After watching Kis-My-BUSAIKU (キスマイ ブサイク) for a few episodes now, we are left with one overriding question: what is Nikaido-kun thinking?

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It seems impossible that someone could make so many mistakes, but perhaps it’s just the topic. Maybe . . . maybe Nikaido-kun needs a drastic change in focus. How about food?

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In this episode, the members of Kis-My-Ft2 were called upon to construct the ideal arrangement of salad for a girlfriend. Salad is . . . not my sort of food. I’m a dedicated carnivore, so if the arrangements they come up with can make the veggies look appetizing to me, I know they’ve done an amazing job.

Recalling the way he munched on leaves during a HamaKisu episode and of course his epic onion spree during the one month-10000 yen challenge, perhaps this is the episode for Tamamori-kun to claim the top spot.

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This is essentially a continuation of the last episode, so Koyabu Kazutoyo-san (小籔千豊) is still the guest, and he gives some opening thoughts about this task.

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At the salad bar, the members have a choice of 18 main ingredients, and they will be scored on both selection and visual presentation.

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As usual, I’ll go in alphabetical order to at least keep their rank obscured, but I can’t avoid revealing the dishes they constructed or I won’t have anything to talk about.

Fujigaya-kun’s arrangement seemed thrown together without any theme – the way someone would arrange food for themselves. It didn’t seem like he made any special effort to make it look good. Could he really have so little artistic sense?

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What Fujigaya-kun put together caught me by surprise by its banality. The only unconventional touch was the use of two dressings, and I don’t think the judges favored that choice.

Kitayama-kun decided to go with serious variety – out of the 18 possible components, he included all 16 vegetables.

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He did, however, make the dish look nice and colorful. There’s a distinct three-fold pattern to it.

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The comments regarded his choice as healthy. His presentation overall was well-conceived and not contrived. The word “sweet” comes to mind.

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Miyata-kun used his bare hands to arrange some of the food, which seems to me a definite no-no if you’re serving someone else. The use of mayonnaise could go either way.

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He called the result “3D Oni Salad” (oni=demon), and it felt a bit immature – the sort of arrangement you’d give to a kid who wouldn’t eat his veggies otherwise. You know, someone like me.

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I was impressed by the use of “Dies Irae” as background music, which totally contrasted Miyata-kun’s smiling face.

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Nikaido-kun continues to be the one with the most to prove, but you wouldn’t think it by the way he approached the challenge – he didn’t seem to have a clear idea of what he was doing. If I had experienced such epic failures, I’d try to come in with a plan.

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Actually, to be fair, he had a plan. Unfortunately, it was badly executed. He tried to make a “Smile Salad”, and the result looks like a nightmarish mutant clown.

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Artistically, I don’t approve of ingredients hanging over the side of the plate, but that’s the least of this face’s problems.

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Oh, and patting the girlfriend on the head always makes things worse, just for the record.

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Is Nikaido-kun being this bad deliberately?

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Senga-kun started by looking at the food puzzled – not a good start if you want to look cool doing something.

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He dubs his dish an Italian-style egg-surrounded three-color salad. And when he says egg-surrounded, he means it.

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One of the judges called him “Mr. Egg Man”, which I think is a Beatles reference. In any case, he clearly hasn’t heard of cholesterol.

Tamamori-kun had the sparsest arrangement, using only three components – mizuna (a mustard green), seaweed, and pickles. He didn’t even use dressing – noting that the pickles already provided the flavor.

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One judge called it an oshare (stylish) salad, and it was certainly thoughtfully constructed.

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Finally, Yokoo-kun looked like he knew what he was doing right away, with one comment noting that he looked methodical.

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The result was a flower salad, and it has a clear sense to it:

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That’s how the members shaped up. Aside from their bits, there were also two inserts – one for the top three salad dressings and another for the top three salad components.

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These inserts weren’t as bad as the ones in the previous episode because they weren’t ads – they didn’t specify a place where the items highlighted were being sold and the price.

So with those, and also some talk bits . . .

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. . . all that was left at the end was the Kisumai Yori Kakkoii Audition segment.

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I felt this pair was particularly unimpressive. The first one was a pianist who had skills, though they weren’t even close to jaw-dropping.

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The second one was a dancer, and he’s going to have to do a lot better than that if he wants to convince KMF2.

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Altogether, I was thoroughly satisfied with the episode. Once again, we saw some significant difference in personality based on the way they arranged the salads, and as long as there are substantial contrasts like that, it makes the challenge colorful.

I also appreciated the more artistic element to this challenge, which tapped into a different side of personality than the challenges so far have. Except . . . I don’t really know what Nikaido-kun is tapping into. It seems unreasonable for him to fail so consistently, but I suppose even the best player has losing streaks. I’m rapidly approaching the limits of credulity when it comes to him, though.