VS Arashi (VS 嵐 ) is a game show hosted by the idol group Arashi, who compete against a different team of entertainers every week. As with many Arashi shows recently, there’s no preamble, and the show starts with Sakurai-san introducing the guests – Team Fukuzawa (福澤) – an assorted bunch named after their leader, former NTV announcer Fukuzawa Akira-san (福澤朗).

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The other members are Fukuzawa-san’s fellow freelance announcers Matsumoto Shinobu-san (松本志のぶ), Kisa Ayako-san (木佐 彩子), Chino Shio-san (千野 志麻), Miyazaki Nobuko-san (宮崎 宣子), writer Muroi Yuzuki-san (室井 佑月), and table tennis player Matsudaira Kenta-kun (松平 健太).

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Seeing the line-up for the Fukuzawa team, it doesn’t look like a very athletic lot except for Matsudaira-kun. I think it’s a pretty good bet that he’s going to be doing the more physical stuff, and we’re still going to see some of the less demanding games (Rolling Coin Tower, anyone?). Anyway, MatsuJun points out Matsudaira-kun’s prominent leg muscles, and Fukuzawa-san gets Kenta-kun to show them off a bit.

The “plus one” guests were the comedy duo Lotti (ロッチ) – Nakaoka Souichi-san (中岡創一) and Kokado Kentaro-san (コカドケンタロウ). I didn’t catch much of what they said, but I did get Nakaoka-san saying that he keeps his hair the same length as Johnny Depp’s.

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The first game was Pinball Runner, with the four female announcers from the Fukuzawa team as the commanders and Matsudaira-kun as the runner. Once again, the focus is on his formidable legs. Can they help his team get a strong score in this game? There’s some talk about how the movements necessary in table tennis are similar to what this game requires.

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Well, here are some shots from after the run. Does Matsudaira-kun look like he just got a huge number of points?

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Running for Arashi was Kokado Kentaro-san, and his commanders were Sakurai-san, Nakaoka-san, and Aiba-kun. On the bright side, this means there’s no need for the handicap basket for Arashi. On the downside, Kentaro-san’s abilities are a bit hard to determine, and the three commanders aren’t sure what pattern they want to use, and ultimately go with a cumbersome rotation scheme.

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How will pattern B go?

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The next game (as expected) was Rolling Coin Tower. There isn’t much I can say about it without giving the outcome away. Before the game started, there was talk about a finger technique originating from the Fukuzawa team. Soon, everyone was doing it, but I don’t know what the point was. If it was actually something that could contribute to victory in this game, the Fukuzawa team wouldn’t have shared it until afterward, right?

As usual, this was probably a round that was more interesting to play than to watch.

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Afterward, Ohno-san talked about the way he let one of the coins go heavily, leading to it making a sound. He looked surprised the tower didn’t collapse at that point. You’d think that after playing Rolling Coin all these years, nothing would surprise them.

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The third game was bank bowling, with Chino-san and Kisa-san up for the Fukuzawa team. The pre-game talk was about how well they get along together.

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Fukuzawa-san and Muroi-san dealt with the clean-up. There was something about perfect image training here. Fukuzawa-san pulled out his catch phrase (“just meet” – I still have no idea what it means, though I’ve heard it plenty of times) and did some image training.

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Aiba-kun and Kokado-san took the first throw for Arashi. They seem to take the attempt seriously.

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Well . . . as seriously as these two could possibly do it. The results? Well, they were certainly interesting.

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Ohno-san and Nino-kun handled the remainder. In the process, Nino-kun cooked up an “Ohno-meet” in place of “just meet”. When it finally came time to throw, Ohno-san seemed to be trying to figure something out – the right way to stand and throw. Will it work out? Once again, the results were intriguing.

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Next was Kicking Sniper, with all members of the Fukuzawa team up. All five women on the team took the first position – they each kick once, Fukuzawa-san took the second place, and Matsudaira-kun took the third. I’ve got to admit, this arrangement had me interested.

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Arashi offered up Sakurai-san, Matsumoto-kun, and Nakaoka-san. Sakurai-san looks like he’s in a good mood.

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Nakaoka-san had so many athletic credits to boast about from his youth that Ohno-san wondered why he became an entertainer.

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How will they do? Will Sakurai-san do the “just meet” pose or the Usain Bolt victory pose? Will Nakaoka-san show some of the prowess from his youth, or will he prove that becoming an entertainer was a good career move for him, after all?

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No matter what, Sakurai-san is going to do his favorite soccer-related pose again:

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The final game is Korokoro Viking. Are the announcers all talk, or will they be able to upstage Arashi?

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On the other hand, what will Matsudaira-san say when he’s prompted to talk by Fukuzawa-san?

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It’s all up to the Arashi team in the end. Nino-kun and Kokado-san are in the scoring position, and that -50 point slot is in place, with recent embarrassing failures in this game firmly in mind.

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Kokado-san proposes that they do “just meet” if they hit the 50 point slot. Will they get the chance?

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In the end, the show was a pretty average one. The Arashi members had plenty of energy, but the opposing team wasn’t very interesting. Announcers don’t really have the outlandish personalities of comedians or the recognition value of actors. Matsudaira-kun was the one exception – I always like seeing athletes compete against Arashi in this show – but he was only quietly involved. Because only one member of the Fukuzawa team was athletic, a less interesting slate of games was played. There wasn’t any Cliff Climb, Jumping Shooter, or anything like that.

Anyway, in the second half of the show, it devolved into a “just meet” fest. That can’t be good, right? Please, if anyone can explain that catchphrase, I’d be grateful.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi was Sakurai-san, mainly for his performance in Kicking Sniper.

At the end of the episode, they had previews of both the December 6th episode as well as the three-hour New Year’s special that will air on January 3rd. They’re going to debut a new game for the new year. Hopefully, it’ll turn out better than Shotgun Disk.

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