It seems as though Himitsu no Arashi-chan (ひみつの嵐ちゃん)’s run will end in March of the coming year, to be replaced by a talk show hosted by Sakurai-san and Ariyoshi Hiroiki-san. While I’ve sometimes found segments of HNA less than interesting, and criticized the share house segment in particular, the new show doesn’t sound like anything I’d want to review at all, so the loss of HNA, whatever its faults, is unfortunate.

Plus, isn’t Ariyoshi-san hosting enough shows already? I swear, it sometimes seems like he either hosts or appears as a guest on half the shows on Japanese TV. If you only watch certain shows, you might not know what I mean, but since I’m constantly looking out for new stuff, it seems like I end up bumping into him all the time. Another of his shows must be ending in March, or there’d be no way for him to add anything more to his schedule without time travel.

Anyway, we’ve still got plenty of Himitsu no Arashi-chans left, so lets see if the guys can round the series out well. The best way to do that would be to have all five of them in for a special or two, but for now, we get a pair as usual. This time, it was Aiba-kun and Nino-kun – the natural comedic duo. They enter looking cold, with Aiba-kun rubbing his hands together to warm them up.

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They start off by looking at the photo wall, and Aiba-kun asking about the Takei Emi episode on November 29th.

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The participation of Gomez in that episode leads them to talk about baseball players they like, and possibly whether they would recognize them out of uniform.

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Nino-kun doesn’t bother to get up to greet Kimura Kaela-san at the door when she arrives, leaving Aiba-kun to do the honors.

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Kimura-san brought some kitchen ware over so that she can do some serious cooking.

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That’s later, though. For now, they settle in, and talk about Kimura-san’s own home. She’s got white walls and white carpet, but some other colorful touches. No matter what she says, it seems like the Arashi guys have been told to use the word “oshare” (stylish) as a response.

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The graphic at the bottom of the screen calls Kimura-san the “oshare banchou” – the stylish group leader, if you will. But she’s quick to bust that pattern. When they ask what she wears around the house, she says sweats and tee-shits, and when they follow up that those must be stylish sweats and stylish tee-shirts . . .

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. . .  she reveals that it’s not so, and that even the newly bought ones seem to get holes in a very compromising location:

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So . . . really no point in getting stylish and expensive ones if that’s going to happen, right? Not too sure about what might cause that, but Kimura-san proposes the most likely explanation – bugs.

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There’s further clothing talk . . .

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. . . then Aiba-kun has a plan. He goes to the back and grabs a bunch of baseball caps.

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Kimura-san then has to name the teams.

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They try on some of the caps, with Nino-kun pulling some eye-protection down on his that made him look like some sort of Ultraman (didn’t get a screencap of that, though, but it was missable).

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Then Aiba-kun came up with a new quiz (you get the feeling that he’s been wracking his brain to come up with ways to make the show more interesting). This time, Kimura-san has to name the mascots of the different networks.

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This is really hard, even with all the clue they give. It turns out to be a guessing game, where they throw another clue in until she gets the answer. It’s theoretically possible to play along, but it’s tough.

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Kimura-san has to resort to looking at the label to figure out the name of the blue beagle:

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On, and this one is not called Psychopanda or Panda-frankenstein:

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The quiz was fun, and got them hungry, so it was time for Kimura-san to show off her culinary skills.

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She needed some help, though, so the boys played cup-and-ball with the first person to miss being the helper.

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I won’t reveal the result, but much cup-and-ball excitement (if the game can be called exciting) ensued even after the winner was declared.

We get a teaser for a “big disclosure” about MatsuJun getting drunk (酔っ払い – yopparai), but nothing interesting came of it (except that MatsuJun can get drunk, which is hardly a surprise).

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And then they ate:

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Kimura-san almost forgot to plug her album before leaving – Aiba-kun had to remind her:

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And to conclude, they took the customary photo, with Nino-kun donning the Ultraman-inspired cap again:

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With share house over, it was time for The Last Mission. Aiba-kun is introduced as “Mr. Last Mission” in honor of his epic fails in this segment. Nino-kun hasn’t participated in a year.

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Their first opponent is the formidable Akiyama Yoshihiro-san . . .

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. . . and the game is one of my favorites – Tataite Kabutte Jankenpon (叩いてかぶってジャンケンポン – striking-covering rock-paper-scissors). In this, you only win the round if, after winning janken, you manage to strike your opponent’s head with a plastic mallet before they can cover up with a helmet. The penalty for losing is the usual – the kissy face thing that’s just all about embarrassing the loser.

 

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There’s a familiar face in the audience, but for once, he won’t be participating.

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Let the games . . . begin!

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The penalty for the second game will be far more interesting – they have to do 5 monomane (impressions).

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The actual game is pretty good, too. They have to toss a marshmallow into the air, over a bar set to a certain height (starting with 3 meters and going quickly to 5), and then catch it in their mouths.

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The opponent for this round was Shoji Tomoharu-san, who appears to be excited and in excellent form:

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How will this new game go?

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The penalty for the last game is the usual – participating in an owarai duo’s act. Aiba-kun has already suffered this fate twice before:

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To avoid this batsu game, they will have to avoid being the first to fall, as they hang from a bar:

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This round’s guest opponent is Razor Ramon HG, who I haven’t seen in so long, I was quite shocked when he appeared. I wonder if he makes much money in showbiz anymore.

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Surely Arashi can beat this joker!

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The owarai combi that the loser will have to join for the penalty is none other than Audrey – Kasuga-san and Wakabayashi-san in the flesh:

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After the episode, we get a little teaser for the Christmas special. Looks like it’s Ooshima-san and her pack of wild women flooding the share house again. Should be fun!

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This was a very good episode. Kimura-san has a good flow to her, but I think I was most impressed by Aiba-kun continuing to try to find ways to eliminate the dull moments. He seems to be the one most focused at this sort of thing. After all, he came up with Aiba Tea and all its variants, which was the best stand-by to break the ice. So, the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi this time goes to him, for coming up with those quizzes.

The Last Mission was mainly good for the second challenge and penalty, though I’m also partial to the first challenge. It was nice to see them play something new instead of the games we’ve already gotten used to seeing.

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