Himitsu no Arashi-chan (ひみつの嵐ちゃん) is an hour-long variety show hosted by Arashi. This week, Aiba-kun and Ninomiya-kun did a share house segment with Inoue Mao-san (井上真央), and a mannequin must-item segment where they compete against Matayoshi Naoki-san of Peace, Sakai Denpe-san of Sakist, and Mukai Satoshi-san of Panther.

Aiba-kun enters the studio alone, and starts to tell a horror story when the doorbell interrupts him.

When Aiba-kun opens the door, Nino-kun enters with Inoue-san. Well, that’s different. I hope they’ve got better ways to make this show interesting, though.

Once they settle in, Inoue-san expresses relief that the show wasn’t going to be with just Aiba-kun. Using that to kick things off, they start talking about hosting Kouhaku (紅白) –  Inoue-san and the five members of Arashi hosted last year’s show – and what Inoue-san’s impression of the members is.

She said that Aiba-kun seemed the shyest (人見知り – hitomishiri – shyness) member of Arashi – the one most anxious with strangers. I guess that’s why she thought it’d be awkward if he was the only one hosting this show.

During Kouhaku, she apparently chatted mostly with Nino-kun and Ohno-san. Aiba-kun seems to make extra effort to converse with her and be approachable for the rest of the show.

Inoue-san doesn’t really have hobbies, so they talk about what her interests starting with golf, but Inoue-san didn’t continue pursuing that. She says she doesn’t really stick with anything, calling herself fickle (飽きっぽく – akippoku).

Nino-kun asks what she’s kept with the longest, and she answers Tetris.

They ask what she does at home on her days off and, assuming I got the translation right (a big assumption), she said she watches stuff she recorded from TV. She watches TV, then she sleeps.

She wants to get into something though – it’s not that she doesn’t want a hobby. Out of all things, they bring up the cup-and-ball game (けん玉 – kentama). Apparently, it’s one of her strong points, so they decide that she should have a best-of-5 match against Aiba-kun. The loser has to do monomane (an impression).

It’s not the most exciting game they could have chosen to play, but it still offers some valuable moments of suspense. Who will win?

More importantly, who is the loser going to imitate?

One thing’s for sure – neither Inoue-san nor Aiba-kun are any good at monomane. If they were, it wouldn’t be much of a punishment for losing.

After that, they moved on to the food for the day. This time it was mezashi (メザシ – dried sardines), to which Nino-kun responds “is it really just mezashi . . .” I think you can appreciate why that might seem like an underwhelming meal.

Well, Inoue-san is enthusiastic about it, and basically takes over the show at this point. She brings out quite an assortment of the fish, and they each get their own mini-grills. I don’t think I’ve seen mini-grills like that before.

Aiba-kun tries the specimen from Chiba-ken (his home prefecture) first, but he doesn’t look too sure of it.

 

After they get their first taste, their confidence in the food seems to go up.

The dinner talk starts off with talk about occasions when Inoue-san joined Nino-kun for a drink (I think that’s what it was). There was also something about Nino-kun changing and Totoro, but I’m at a loss to explain it.

After Inoue-san got a chance to plug her new movie, it was picture time. For some reason, Aiba and Nino got Inoue-san to take a picture of them.

 

Then they left through the front door, leaving her in the share house alone. Which of the Arashi members’ doors will she decide to leave through?

Then it was time for mannequin must-item, with Aiba-kun and Nino-kun facing off against Matayoshi Naoki-san, Sakai Denpe-san,  and Mukai Satoshi-san, the Yoshimoto agency’s top three fashionable comedians.

 

They might be fashionable, but this is a lackluster lineup compared to mannequin segments past.

 

The must-item this time was a checked pattern. That should be relatively easy, so we can expect that they complicated things to disastrous effect, right?

You’ll have to watch to find out what sorts of outfits they picked.

In contrast to the guest mannequins, the guest judges were probably the best panel I’ve seen in a while. It was very nice to see Honda Tsubasa-san, but I was just as happy to see Oshima Miyuki-san of Morisanchuu, because she’s a dependable source of funny comments and has unpredictable tastes. Besides those two, there was the ever-present Nishikawa-sensei and fashion model Kagami Seira-san

With the judges introduced, all there was left was their comments about the mannequins and the final choices. Will the two Arashi members prove to have better fashion sense than the best that Yoshimoto has to offer?

It was a solid episode altogether. Inoue-san was a bit on the quiet side, but the share house bit was still reasonably smooth. The mannequin segment proved quite interesting, since I was instinctively repelled by some of the outfits, and for once, the judges had the same reaction that I did to at least one of them.

I think the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi has to go to Aiba-kun, for his deliberate attempts to engage with Inoue-san, for the cup-and-ball match, for picking the Chiba sardine, and for other reasons I can’t mention without perhaps ruining your fun.

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