This episode of KisuHama Learning (キス濱ラーニング) was a one-hour Friday special. The members of Kis-My-Ft2 and Hamaguchi Masaru-san faced off against the comedy duo Oriental Radio (Nakata Atsuhiko-san and Fujimori Shingo-san), naming stuff in a 100 yen shop in English. Right from the start, I can tell you that it was a very easy episode to understand, and the choices seemed to make more sense on average than in the previous episodes with this game. Perhaps they got some feedback and threw out the more dubious attempts at English.

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Before the start of the challenge, everyone gets some time to study. Really, given this time, there’s little excuse for failure for Kis-My-Ft2. After all, they’ve done this exact challenge – with most of the exact same items – relatively recently. They’re going to be given two choices for each item, so it’s a fifty-fifty chance even without knowing anything. Really, the only thing they needed to know about English coming in was how to pronounce the words – which they’ve been iffy at.

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Oriental Radio are so confident that they decide not to study:

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They do look over the shoulders of the others, though:

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And here’s the first one:

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Oh, wow. I mean, the Japanese know what magic is, after all. They use the word frequently enough.

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This was another one from last time, so they breezed through it:

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But then, on question 3, it was Hamaguchi-san’s turn, and he got stuck on this:

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Even the Oriental Radio guys couldn’t believe it . . .

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. . . and laughed as Hamaguchi-san called it a “meter”:

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Then it was Oriental Radio’s turn, and right away they showed how variety show pros do it, with Nakata-san displaying a whole array of facial expressions and emotions with each item.

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His pronunciation is remarkably good – at least by comparison to those on the other team, including Hamaguchi-san.

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He also flies through the items with ease . . .

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. . . and I wonder where the Japanese got the word “hocchikisu” for stapler from.

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But then they got to question eight and Nakata-san’s assumption about not picking what the Japanese normally called an item hit a snag:

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And when he confidently answers “mud pen” . . .

 

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. . . we find out that you don’t need to actually know English to pronounce it reasonably well.

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Preparing to try again, the KisuHama team return to the books:

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Once again, the first question is an easy one:

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The second one, though, was the only one where I really had never seen either option before. Of course, even without recognizing them, English sensibilities dictate that no one is going to call something “first lucky bag”, so “handsel bag” is the answer. But if you asked me to pick out a handsel bag out from a line-up of bags, all I’d be able to do is make an educated guess.

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I still say that we’d call this origami paper, and probably wouldn’t call it folding paper (simply because paper, in general, can be folded). The only other option is construction paper if it has a heavier weight. The Japanese seem to disregard the possibility that we’ve borrowed some of their words over time.

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This was admittedly a tough one:

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Frankly, in conversation, no one is likely to get confused if you say “keyholder”, nor stop and accuse you of using bad English if you do. There is a right answer, but the alternative is not out of the ballpark.

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The struggle continues:

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Good thing they used the non-existent word “whity” here, because the technically correct word “whitey” probably shouldn’t occur on an educational program – especially in an awkward conjunction with “bleach.”

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This is another tough call. Again, I think people would understand what you mean regardless of which one you said . . .

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. . . and I would have picked “cooking sheet” myself, so apparently I need to brush up on my English.

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This question led me to conclude that Hamaguchi-san himself is in the greatest need of some English lessons:

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You see, he didn’t realize that “inside” was a word, and was trying to parse it as a conjunction of “in” and “side”, which he had trouble making sense of. This led to great mirth for the Oriental Radio pair:

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How will that one turn out?

Here’s another close call that has a definite answer:

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And while my dustcloths often happen to be spare cloths, the words are not interchangeable:

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Another tricky but fair one:

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Eventually, Oriental Radio decides that it needs to do some homework, too:

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I’ll leave the rest of the questions out for your discovery, since we’re approaching the final round here. While that’s true, I still don’t get how they could have spent 8 hours and 25 minutes at this:

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I mean, let’s say that they spent a whole two minutes getting to and answering each item. That’s twenty minutes per attempt, and while we see plenty of attempts, it’s way short of 25. Did they really spend that much time studying? I’ve been suspicious of the time-elapsed clock before, but this is the first time where I outright can’t believe it. Maybe they had some sort of technical difficulties in the middle of it that delayed them.

In the end, it was a thoroughly entertaining episode. The Oriental Radio duo – especially Nakata-san – did a great job making things more interesting. It was fun to have the opposing team watch and comment as the other team was up. The story of the show was Hamaguchi-san inconsistent performance, and the director latched onto this and emphasized it well. That gave the whole thing an additional storyline to work off of.

This was easily the best episode they’ve done since the change from HamaKisu to KisuHama, and it’s too bad this is a special instead of what they do normally. I really hope they see how well this turned out and try to get Kis-My-Ft2 competing against guests in the regular episodes, too.

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