Himitsu no Arashi-chan (ひみつの嵐ちゃん) is an hour-long variety show hosted by Arashi. This week, Matsumoto-kun and Ninomiya-kun handle a share house segment with guest Takei Emi-san (武井咲) and then a mannequin must-item segment where their opponents are NEWS’ Masuda Takahisa-kun (増田貴久), DAIGO-san, and Ogi Hiroaki-san (小木博明) from Ogiyahagi.

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MatsuJun gives a funny look to a cameraman – apparently, an enthusiastic still photographer, if I’m reading the blurb in the corner right:

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Nino-kun and Matsumoto-kun talk about how busy their guest has been lately, but when she rings the doorbell, they take the opportunity to complete their conversation instead of getting the door.

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Eventually, Takei-san starts pressing the doorbell repeatedly, so they have to move.

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Right away, all the talk is about her busy schedule.

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Nino-kun gets excessively comfortable on the floor, surprising even Takei-san.

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The talk continues to revolve around her schedule and professional activities.

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They move on to her worries/concerns (悩み – nayami). It’s apparently tough being a teenager . . .

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. . . and Takei-san wants to play more. In response to that, she gets some advice from the stoic MatsuJun.

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Her next issue is somewhat connected to that – patience and perseverance (我慢 – gaman, which is actually a complicated term with lots of weighty significance). Apparently, MatsuJun professes to not be very patient in the gaman-sense of it (sort of like being willing to put up with stuff).

MatsuJun has more advice here, and Takei-san’s reaction seems to stun Ninomiya-kun.

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Ninomiya-kun points out that reprimands are just reprimands, and that they are best left behind (at least, that’s my best translation of it). Sounds like Takei-san puts up with more than she should.

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Her next problem is that she finds variety shows scary. Well, that’s something they should be able to help her with.

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Problem number five has to do with answering people collecting data for articles. It sounds like some days she’s stuck doing this – answering questions for articles – for an obscene amount of time. I think she said that in one day she talked to 35 companies from 5 in the morning to 1 at night. That’s . . . I hope her agency is paying her well. Even the Arashi guys looked stunned by this.

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I’m not sure how Ninomiya-kun’s proposed solution of using a bell ties into that, but they sure had fun with the idea.

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Then it was food time, with a range of meat including some really expensive stuff available for yakiniku. Takei-san is thrilled by the prospect – looks like she’s a real meat-eater. Her face totally lights up.

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This stuff is 16000 yen for 500 g (about $180 per pound):

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They seem surprised that Takei-san does yakiniku on her own at the age of 18, though I don’t understand why this is such a surprise.

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The meat-eating continues . . .

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. . . but then there’s somebody at the door. It’s a surprise guest for Takei-san . . .

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. . . but she doesn’t recognize him, leading to a programming emergency.

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Takei-san is totally oblivious to the fact that the delivery man was someone significant that she was supposed to recognize. Instead, she opens the package he gave her and finds grapes. But the grapes weren’t the important part . . .

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After three minutes of trying to lead her to the answer, Nino-kun finally gets her to mention a baseball player named Gomez (ゴメス) that she liked as a kid and even had an ornament of. That’s Leonardo Gómez Vélez, first of the Baltimore Orioles, then eventually a player with the Chunichi Dragons. And yes, that was the man at the door who Takei-san failed to give a second look to.

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Well, she’s appropriately shocked, and finally gets it right when he rings the doorbell again. This time, she’s giddy with excitement, and it’s real fun to watch.

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It’s amazing how long Takei-san stays in a state of shock. Her father’s a Gomez fan, too.

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Unfortunately, while Gomez is okay with English, his Japanese a bit . . . well, it’s not really possibly for them to communicate with him. Nino-kun nods to prompt him to say “hai” in response to certain questions, which was hilarious. Finally, they get a translator over and ask him questions through her.

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Takei-san’s delight here really made the episode. This was a rare brilliant moment in the share house segment.

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Mannequin must-item was next. As mentioned above, the guests competitors were NEWS’ Masuda Takahisa-kun, DAIGO-san, and Ogi Hiroaki-san.

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Already, this looked like a wonderfully eccentric line-up for this segment. You couldn’t have picked three people with more extreme fashion senses. I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing anything any of them picked out, but there’s no denying that there’s real suspense about what might be under those blue cloaks. Could be just about anything.

Well, not anything. Their outfits have to contain something that uses leather. But that’s pretty broad.

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Masuda-kun is a major focus on this one – not only as one of Arashi’s kouhai within the Johnny’s agency who backdanced for them before he debuted, but also as the Johnny with possibly the most eclectic fashion.

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Ogi-san and DAIGO-san aren’t completely ignored, though:

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The judges for this episode are Nishikawa-sensei (of course), Maeda Bibari-san, Babazono Azusa-san, and Naka Riisa-san.

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And at long last, we get the comparison I’ve been waiting for ever since I first saw Naka Riisa-san – between her face and Ninomiya-kun’s. It was Nishikawa-sensei who pointed it out and had them stand next to each other, but they only spent a second on it.

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After all, they have to leave time for Nishikawa-sensei to criticize everyone’s outfits.

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This was an unusually wonderful episode of Himitsu no Arashi. Takei-san was great, but the fact that the conversation was focused instead of aimless was even better. Of course, whole thing between her and Gomez was what really sold the episode. Her reactions were priceless.

The mannequin must-item segment was good, too, because the outfits were all extremely different. As expected, Ogi-san, DAIGO-san, and Masuda-kun all had their own unique way of incorporating leather. I’d have to rate Masuda-kun’s as the most extreme of the lot, but it depends on your point of view.

I really didn’t see any way to differentiate between Nino-kun and MatsuJun after the share house, but in the mannequin must-item I felt Nino-kun had the best outfit, so I’ll give the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi title to him this time.

Next week, the share house guest is Tabe Mikako-san. That should be good, if only because she plays such boisterous characters that her real behavior is likely to be much different from that image. The second segment next week is “The Last Mission”, so I expect a fun episode all around.

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