What’s the right way to show a person you love that you’re angry? How should you show that something is unacceptable to you while not endangering the relationship? The members of Kis-My-Ft2 will attempt to answer these questions in this episode of Kis-My-BUSAIKU (キスマイ ブサイク) in their own unique ways. Of course, there are no absolute right answers, but through this episode we’ll see which answers are better, which are worse, and why.

As in last week’s episode, the guest is Sekine Tsutomu-san, one Japanese TV personality I’m always happy to see because has a very well-rounded manner about him – being able to be serious with gravity and funny without stock gags.

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Nikaido-kun didn’t do too badly in the last episode – that is, he wasn’t in one of the two bottom spots – so can he continue his improvement here, or will we see the return of the fail-prone Nikaido?

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The situation leading to the argument between the members and their girlfriend requires some explaining, and I’ll try my best but my translation skills are . . . iffy at best. Anyway: because their cell phone got totally soaked, they weren’t able to get in contact with her (I guess no one has a land line anymore?). The next day, she’s suspicious that they were fooling around. As far as I can tell, their goal is to be offended by the accusation in such a way as to convey the fact that they still love her (as opposed to a way that would only reinforce her suspicions that there’s no love anymore). This is one heck of a tricky situation – how will they do?

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Tamamori-kun has been the most consistently kakkoii member (in the top three), while Fujigaya-kun has taken the top the most often. I really should be jotting the rankings for each episode down to keep track of when a member is in position to overtake one of them – right now I have no idea. Should probably also do weighted rankings (7 points for #1, 1 point for #7, and tally it up to see who’s really done the best).

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In the opening talk, the way Fujigaya-kun discussed an approach led Sekine-san to call it the “lawyer-type” (bengoshi-type), while Nikaido-kun came up with “THE 男が出る” (THE Otoko ga Deru). I’m not sure how to translate that latter one, but it sure sounds ominous.

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Miyata-kun seems to get the most variable results – getting both the top spot and the bottom. Where will he end up this time?

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I’ll start with Fujigaya-kun as usual (going in alphabetical order instead of the 3-2-4-5-6-1-7 ranking order they use in the episodes), and he wisely started right off with apologizing as he entered and giving his reason. Some of the others will wait until the girlfriend complains about the lack of contact.

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He lets her insist that he was messing around three times with mild replies before he shouts that she should cut it out.

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Immediately after shouting, he says that it was his mistake, but asks her to trust him. He leaves some silence in there before wrapping his arm around her, leading to favorable comments about his timing. The way he wraps things up is also good – he gets her to go with him to buy a new cell phone.

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So, old smoothy seems to still have to touch – he even had some of the other members and Sekine-san saying that they’d like to be Maiko (the girlfriend). Is it good enough for #1?

Kitayama-kun started out by apologizing as he walked in, but didn’t state his reason. He allowed two turns before the “いい加減にしろよ!” (ii kagen ni shiro yo! – cut it out!) line, which seems to be a standard phrase.

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He said something about a surprise, and it seemed like even the judges didn’t see the meaning of it. He didn’t state any apology, and he was too quick to hug her – it didn’t seem like she was even close to being convinced. He closed with a stock line – “Ore no koto shinjite yo” (basically, “trust me”) which was . . . really inadequate.

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Miyata-kun started out apologizing and giving his reason for not contacting her, but a comment noted how he put his hands in his pocket on entering. That made him seem nervous and suspicious (in comparison to Fujigaya-kun and Kitayama-kun who didn’t expect the girlfriend to see anything suspicious in their failure to make contact, Miyata-kun seems to be expecting an argument).

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He stays standing for too long, and instead of making the short sharp replies that we saw from Fujigaya-kun and Kitayama-kun, he’s too verbose (especially since he’s looking down at her). When he finally comes out with the “cut it out” line, it has no force and doesn’t convey that he’s irritated.

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He puts all the blame for her suspicion on her and the argument seems to escalate rather than abate.

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When he tries to put his arm around her, she actually struggles at first, and he ends up forcing her into the hug.

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Nikaido-kun’s opening line was “have I kept you waiting?”. That’s . . . a phenomenally bad line to start things off with since it’s not really an apology and doesn’t give a reason, but acknowledges that he’s done something wrong. There’s a bit of contempt there that seems likely to increase the girlfriend’s anger. It’s also clear that he hasn’t taken notice that she’s already upset, which is failure to read the atmosphere.

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He says “ii kagen ni shiro yo!”, but I don’t think the way he said it deserves the exclamation point.

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If I read it right, I think he then turned around and suggested that, because she was so quick to suspect him, she must be cheating. I hope I understood that incorrectly because . . . is Nikaido-kun deliberately trying to show people what not to do?

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Does this look like he’s trying to make up with her?

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Worse, he then bangs the table and then stands up. That’s worrisome, since it speaks to violent impulses. He’s also increasing the tension instead of trying to reassure.

Can you believe that immediately after banging the table and standing up in anger, he grabbed her into an embrace like this? If I was the girl, I would have probably struggled and run out.

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What does Nikaido-kun have to say for himself after that performance?

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After the girlfriend stated her suspicion, Senga-kun shot it down with a firm tone. There was a careful touch of desperation as he reassured her – not too desperate, but just right. He also worked in some keywords including, most importantly, “gomen”. After all, it’s right that he should apologize after giving her a reason to doubt him (though I sometimes despair of how the increasing ease of communication within my lifetime has shortened the delay before distrust sets in). The alternative – attempting to focus on why she’s doubting him, for instance, would only make him seem more suspicious.

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To my surprise, Tamamori-kun did apologize or talk about his cell phone getting wet as he entered, asking “what’s wrong?” before saying “gomen” and delivering the explanation.

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His denial really had the marks of genuine surprise, and he said “cut it out!” faster than anyone. He said it firmly, but not with the force of some of the others like Senga-kun and Fujigaya-kun. Shouting like that would be out-of-character for him, anyway.

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The strongest point for Tamamori-kun was the fact that he was looking directly at her in a pleading way while some of the others seemed evasive with their eyes. He stammered out quite a lot, but did so while giving the impression that he’d be a bad liar.

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In the end, he caps it off with a gentle hug – at least, one that had a better feel to it than many of the others we had the displeasure of seeing in this episode.

When Yokoo-kun enters, all he does is note that she seems upset, not even trying to anticipate that she might be upset that he didn’t call.

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Instead of firmly denying that he was cheating, he actually sighs when she makes the accusation. He bizarrely adds “soro soro” (any time now, gradually) to the “ii kagen ni shiro yo!” line and says the words without any emotion at all. It was a most unrealistic approach to hearing such suspicions from a girlfriend – I can’t imagine anyone really acting this way.

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Yokoo-kun is going to become the Prince of Sighs after this performance. And, as with the other attempts to keep an even tone early, it goes wrong late in the scene – especially when Yokoo-kun’s left arm goes out and forces the girlfriend into him. It’s actually uncomfortable to watch.

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At least he says “gomen” at the end, but I don’t think that made up for the rest.

The members all got specific advice from counselor Tsukakoshi Tomoko-san. As Sekine-san noted, the members had better study her words carefully and put the words into practice.

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The talk with Sekine-san was also very focused and reflective.

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Here’s a bonus teaser for those who haven’t watched the episode: what (or who) are they all laughing at?

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This was a challenging scenario for the guys to tackle, and that alone made it worth watching. Throw in the measured humor of Sekine-san and the wisdom of counselor Tsukakoshi-san, and I really couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Except for the flaws in the member’s approaches in the scenes, of course, but all of that was good entertainment whether they triumphed or failed.

It was still reasonably easy to see the differences without knowing the language, though I think getting the dialogue down was more essential in this episode than in some of the others.

So, the show is still fine viewing, though I hope they’ll mix things up a little in the new season – perhaps give the guys some other challenges to prove that they’re not busaiku instead of just these scenes with the girlfriend. Kakkoii doesn’t completely revolve around one’s behavior around a girlfriend, does it? I can probably deal with another season of them keeping it like this, but I’ll probably be itching for fresh elements by October.