The spring season has not been kind to Arashi in VS Arashi (VS 嵐). With the season close to its end, they have one win and a shocking nine losses! I’ve been doing the reviews, but even I didn’t realize it was this bad – what are the guys going to do about this sorry state of affairs?

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It doesn’t sound like they have any plan, so they’d better hope that the opposition team is weak or lacks cohesion.

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The Maseki Geinosha Team was led by the legendary Degawa Tetsuro-san. Alongside him were Bakarhythm, the two members of Knights – Hanawa Nobuyuki-san (塙 宣之) and Tsuchiya Nobuyuki-san (土屋 伸之), Kanou Eiko-san (狩野英孝), and the duo Nicche (possible Nietzsche?) – Enoue Keiko-san (江上 敬子) and Kondo Kumiko-san (近藤 くみこ). I think they’re going to be pretty cohesive, since they’ve all worked with each other and they’re also representing their agency.

Besides, if they mess up, Degawa-san will shout at them.

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Of course, Prince of Fail Kanou Eikou-san might do something to give Arashi a boost, but he could unexpectedly brilliant, too.

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Perhaps Arashi can get some help from the plus one guest – their senpai from V6, Sakamoto Masayuki-san. Of course, the fact that he emerged carrying the poster for what he’s plugging  . . . it doesn’t suggest that he’s really focused on playing the games to help them win. We’ll see.

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Will Nino-san putting the competition in terms of Johnny’s Jimusho versus Maseki Geinosha get Sakamoto-san in the proper frame of mind – to fight for Johnny’s pride? It seemed to get more of a response from Degawa-san.

The first game was Rolling Coin Tower, and Ninomiya-kun is confident of a win. He’s apparently confident because Degawa-san will have trouble reaching the top after the sixth or seventh go-around.

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Degawa-san has a technique to deal with his . . . shortcomings.

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Sakamoto-san continued to give me a bad feeling, acting totally surprised when Itou-san addressed him. On the bright side, Itou-san pointed out that the Arashi team won the last time Sakamoto-san was on, and he participated in all the games. So, maybe I’m misjudging him.

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Rolling Coin Tower was a crap-shoot as usual. The next game was Cliff Climb, and looking at the Maseki Geinosha line-up, it’s tough to guess who they’d send up. They chose Tsuchiya-san and Kanou-san – an entertaining choice, to be sure.

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They face the new outcropping:

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Or, more precisely, Kanou-san will face it. He gets himself pumped up with a really weak attempt at beatboxing – so weak that the staff member who handed him the mike probably wondered whether it was worth the effort. Don’t be fooled, though – he’ll try his best on the climb.

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For Arashi, Sakurai-san and MatsuJun were the climbers, with Matsumoto-kun taking on the tough part. Well, I say that, but actually Sakurai-san took on the middle and the right, so that might be equivalent of the left side even with outcropping.

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Sakurai-san seems inexplicably confident.

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The third game was Kicking Sniper, with Ninomiya-kun, Sakamoto-san and Ohno-san shooting for Arashi. Ninomiya-kun engaged Sakamoto-san in conversation here, and we found out some unbelievable things about Sakamoto-san – that he can’t swim (at least, not 100m) and hasn’t done soccer, either. I was so shocked that, at first, I thought they were being sarcastic or otherwise joking.

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Bakarhythm-san, Tsuchiya-san, and Degawa-san represented their agency here. Degawa-san had a little fun with Ninomiya-kun, though I wasn’t sure what to make of the exchange (I don’t think Nino-kun knew, either).

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With the changes to Popcorn Hitter, it looks like we’re going to be seeing more of this game. It was next, with Hanawa-san, Kondo-san and Kanou-san representing Maseki Geinosha. Hanawa-san looks convincing with a racket, but on Ame Talk he was found to be an entertainer with bad reflexes (運動神経 – undou shinkei).

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Arashi sent up Sakamoto-san, Sakurai-san, and Aiba-kun. This is a game Sakamoto-san can definitely play – he’s a squash enthusiast, which is even more applicable to this than tennis.

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I’m not to sure about Aiba-kun, though – he was swinging the tennis racket like a golf club. Then again, he’s full of surprises.

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The last game was, of course, Korokoro Viking. The pattern of having either Korokoro Viking or Kicking Sniper as the final game remains intact. Degawa-san says that everything is going according to plan (actually, he uses the word ‘scenario’), and his team will go for perfection – 450 points. Degawa-san and Kanou-san took the critical orange zone.

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This turned out to be the longest round of Korokoro Viking ever, taking the Maseki Geinosha team 4 minutes and 24 seconds. The average was 2 minutes and 34 seconds. As a result, the editors decided to speed it up chipmunk-style. Unfortunately, that meant we missed most of the funny shouting from Degawa-san.

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The Arashi team wasn’t going for perfection – they’d just like to avoid the -30 point slot. But the Maseki Geinosha team had an extra surprise for them – I’ll leave what that is out for your enjoyment.

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The Maseki Geinosha team provided some excellent entertainment in this episode, and were fine guests who put up a good fight. Degawa-san was a bit more subdued than usual, but I think we was trying to give his kouhai more of a chance to take the lead. Kanou-san had his moments, as did the Knights duo and Bakarhythm-san. Enoue-san and Kondo-san, though . . . they were mostly missing-in-action and contributed very little to the proceedings. It was a pretty crowded field.

Sakamoto-san didn’t contribute as much as in his last appearance, but he put on a good show in Popcorn Hitter.

The way the competition ended didn’t really make any sense, but I can’t explain why without revealing too much.

Since the result of the games was all-important, given the abysmal record Arashi had for the season, it makes sense that the Most Omoshiroi Arashi should go to the member who contributed the most impressive effort. The contenders were Sakurai-san and Matsumoto-kun for their Cliff Climb and Ninomiya-kun for his Kicking Sniper performance. Between those three, I think Sakurai-san deserves it for his climb – possibly the best I’ve ever seen from him. Those suspenders Sakurai-san was wearing really annoyed me (I thought his style in this episode was . . . unfortunate), but since they didn’t hinder him (maybe they’re lucky suspenders?) I won’t hold them against him . . . this time.

Hanawa Nobuyuki