This week’s KisuHama Learning (キス濱ラーニング) continued the xylophone challenge the members of Kis-My-Ft2 and Hamaguchi Masaru-san began on the December 12th episode.

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The eight challengers each take a few bars of each song, and all eight have to play their part correctly to clear the song.

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They dealt with the four easiest songs last week, ranging from elementary to middle school level in difficulty. This time, they have to clear the four tougher tunes – the ones meant for middle to high school students.

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The first song for this episode is “Shounen Jidai” (少年時代), which involves tremolos (トレモロ).

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Can they learn to move their hands fast enough to make passable tremolos without missing the next note?

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The first go-around on “Shounen Jidai” seems to go well . . .

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. . . but a first try clear was not to be.

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And on the second try, Hamaguchi-san’s tempo slowed to a crawl, so he was called out for excessively slow tempo. There’s been a lot of slow tempo faults that weren’t called, but Hamaguchi-san’s was so egregious – basically going down to a second a note – that it was unavoidable.

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Then Hamaguchi-san just completely messed up, putting expressions of despair on the faces of the KMF2 members:

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Tamamori-kun, as the most reliable player, takes the most difficult part, which happens to be the last four measures. That means that all the pressure is on him, as all the others have to have cleared their parts before he even gets a chance.

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Eventually, they make it, and the next song is the theme from the anime Lupin the Third.

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The tempo for this one is fast, and while the KMF2 members look tested . . .

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. . . the real question will be whether Hamaguchi-san can keep up.

Tamamori-kun gets the first measures this time:

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Can they manage this famous theme on the first try?

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After that, they faced the first high school level song – “Doraemon no Uta” (Doraemon’s Song).

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Actually, a lot of this one is quite easy, consisting of straight runs through the notes:

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But then there’s Miyata-kun’s part, which is rather more sophisticated:

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As are the parts for Kitayama-kun and Fujigaya-kun. Fujigaya-kun had to shout “hai! takekobuta!” in his third and fourth measures.

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The most difficult song they tackled in this episode was “Csikos Post” by Hermann Necke. I didn’t recognize the name, but I sure recognized the melody, as its used constantly in the background  of shows.

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The new musical element this time is the glissando (グリッサンド).

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And so they practice:

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Tamamori-kun has the first part . . .

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. . . and for the first time, he missed!

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This had to go to replay:

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And, perhaps because a serious blow had been dealt to his confidence (or maybe because the part was really, really hard to play), he immediately failed again:

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How long will it take them to clear this last song?

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More importantly, can they get Hamaguchi-san to use both hands when playing his part?

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Any way you look at it, it’s going to be a tough time for Kis-My-Ft2 and their variety show senpai:

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I’d say that these xylophone episodes were . . . okay. Nothing special, though. Much as I like to see Johnny’s members try new things and get frustrated while learning, this show needs to try something fresh soon. The problem is that it’s too clearly a step down from HamaKisu. If they hadn’t done HamaKisu for six months, and just started out with this, I’d probably be more amenable to it. But, having the alternative to compare this to, it sure seems that this new format was more a result of budget cuts than anything else. Someone in control of the purse strings no doubt forced them to cut out all the location shooting they did in HamaKisu, and this is the show we got.

They need to do something to make that less obvious, or I’ll eventually lose interest with this show. With a variety show survivor like Hamaguchi-san involved, maybe he can see how things are going and push for better backing. Any more eating episodes or musical instrument episodes (barring something that elementary school students don’t play, like guitars or violins) are not going to get favorable reviews from me.

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