This week on Himitsu no Arashi-chan (ひみつの嵐ちゃん), Momoiro Clover Z invades the share house and hosts Ohno-san and Sakurai-san face The Last Mission – the segment of this show most entertaining for people (like me) who have a limited understanding of Japanese.

Ohno-san and Sakurai-san both enter through Sakurai’s door, in the middle of a conversation.

Eventually, the talk moves to Ohno-san’s concert choreography:

Within a minute of them entering, the doorbell rings, and before they even approach the door, they hear a shout from Momoiro Clover that gives them pause. Sakurai-san actually winces at the sound of it.

When they finally open the door, the girls are full of energy and burst in, doing their formal introduction in the foyer.

Nice to see them all in good form – should make for an exciting (read high tension) episode. They do have to take their shoes off, though.

Expect Ohno-san to have this bemused smile for much of the episode:

The Momoiro Clover team manages the seating arrangement question in the most straightforward way possible – by all sitting down on the couch in unison. Sakurai-san offers them a drink . . .

. . . and I think we know where this is going.

They end up asking about the “Aiba Drink”, but it looked like they ultimately got an assortment of Aiba concoctions. They wisely took a suspicious sniff, but presumably the scent is not a tip-off.

So, right away, there’s a whole assortment of reactions, but the best one was from Ariyasu Momoka-san (有安 杏果 – the one in green), who did a little dance in response to the taste.

Only a minute into the chat part, Ohno-san asks about their guns, and they draw (a little sloppily) and tell Ohno-san and Sakurai-san to put their hands up. Neither Arashi complies.

Then things get more serious as Yellow (Tamai Shiori-san – 玉井 詩織) grabs Red (Momota Kanako-san – 百田 夏菜子) and puts the gun to her head. Momota-san then cries for Ohno-san (actually Ohno-seijin) to help her. Ohno-san responds with “帰れ!” (kaere – Go home! or Get out!).

I’m not sure how they took that. Sakurai-san segued quickly, asking the Momoiro Clover Z members for their self-introductions. As you can probably guess, these can get elaborate, and actually took three minutes (which were unfortunately cut out).

Since the elaborate version was bound to be cut out, Sakurai-san asked them to introduce themselves normally – the short version.

I’ve already mentioned Green: Ariyasu Momoka, Red: Momota Kanako, and Yellow: Tamai Shiori, so that leaves Pink: Sakaki Ayaka (佐々木 彩夏) and Purple: Takagi Reni (高城 れに). Sakaki-san is the youngest at 16, and Takagi-san the eldest at 19.

Then, as a post-introduction quiz, Ohno-san and Sakurai-san have to try to name them:

As you might expect, this was funny, and didn’t go well. The girls were great about taking it all lightly.

The conversation continued (actually, we haven’t gotten much casual chat so far – the last time they tried it, the girls drew their guns). There’s some idol talk – shop talk, if you will.

The talk moved naturally to the topic of their costumes, which can apparently get quite elaborate. Evidently their manager is into Gundam stuff, and their costumes sometimes get that menacing robot feel. Other times, it gets even more bizarre. Judging from the little images, it might be worth watching their concerts just to see the crazy costumes.


Then it was cooking time, and when they saw the choices, the members of Momoiro Clover Z screamed (in delight, I think). Apparently, they don’t get extravagant meals. Something about convenience store bentos . . .

They decide to pick which of the two possibilities they want at the same time, and all end up pointing at the mochi cheese mentaiko (明太子 – pollack) monja (もんじゃ – a pancake with fillings thinner than okonomiyaki). There was a little incident where Sakurai-san tries to use the table to get himself off the ground without realizing that the table top was loose, and splashed a bit of everyone’s drinks, nearly toppling everything (watch to see the expression on his face after this mishap!). Then it was time to get cooking.

It was Ohno-san and Ariyasu-san behind the counter, and we nearly got a much more serious mishap, with Ariyasu-san badly mishandling a knife while working on some cabbage, and nearly severing a chunk of her left hand. I told you it’d be exciting! But let’s keep it safe from here on, folks . . .

Ariyasu Momoka-san continues to handle primary cooking duties, and eventually wins back her cooking credentials when frying up the monja. Everyone enjoys the results.

The talk over dinner is about a nation-wide tour (全国ツアー – zenkoku tour).

 

They have one very definite dream – to appear on Kouhaku (which, of course, Arashi is hosting this year as they have the past two years). Well, I’d rather see them on than some of the artists that performed last year.

After the Kouhaku part of the talk, it’s time for the customary photo:

Next, the scene shifted to “The Last Mission” and, without a second’s prologue (I think they had to edit the show tighter than they expected – this should have been an hour-and-a-half at least) the first challenger to Ohno and Sakurai – Naito Daisuke-san (内藤 大助) is introduced in a flash. A heartbeat later, we were already in the first challenge – jump rope:

The first to 200 wins, and considering Naito-san is a professional boxer who doubtless jumped rope in training, this is really one between Ohno-san and Sakurai-san. The penalty is the usual kissy-face one. Who will face the embarrassment?

The intro to the second round is a bit more normal than the rough cut into the first. The challenge is tug-of-war, and the loser will have to announce ten lovable aspects of themselves (or parts of themselves that they like?). Again, the penalty is purely a matter of embarrassment, and everyone is hoping that one of the Arashi members will be made to do it. The question is, who’s the extra challenger?

I normally dislike when names of groups or individuals are in all-caps because I find it aesthetically displeasing, but in this case, I think it’s warranted. The challenger is HIRO:

 

All three hundred pounds of him:

 

I think he’s the first guest fighter to arrive with his posse:

Ohno-san does not look confident as he gets pitted against HIRO first:

Will he be able to pull off a miracle, or will he fall like Aiba-kun did in a previous episode?

Anyway, isn’t the second round the match we really want to see?

Watch to see who’ll face embarrassment this time. The last penalty is the usual one – to copy the gag/material of a popular comedian. To escape that fate, they have to blow out candles in one breath, with the person blowing out the fewest candles losing.

They saved the most experienced Last Mission rival for last – Nakayama Kinnikun:

The comedian the loser will have to copy is Hiroshi (ヒロシ), whose act is certainly famous, though I only know it because it’s often lampooned in monomane.

This was a high-energy Himitsu no Arashi-chan all around. Momoiro Clover Z was everything I expected, bringing boisterous bounciness to the normally sedate share house, not to mention their forthright attitude (in contrast to the reserve of other guests). Arashi faced formidable opponents in The Last Mission, and there were some surprises in the course of the competitions.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi was Ohno-san, because he was so clearly amused by Momoiro Clover Z, for the comments he occasionally threw out, and for his efforts in the Last Mission.