As Aiba Masaki-kun repeats at the start of this episode of Aiba Manabu (相葉マナブ), it’s serious this time – they’re even dressed up as boy scouts (or something of the sort):

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This series is one of the few variety shows that really has a totally different topic each time – and a different setting to go along with it – and this time Aiba-kun and his pals are in the wild. Their task is to learn about how to deal with the potential dangers of camping.

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The location this time is Hinohara village in Tokyo prefecture.

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As Aiba-kun, Sawabe-san, Cunning Takeyama-san, and Suzuki Taku-san approach the camp site . . .

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. . . they discover two new members to their crew – Iio Kazuki-san (飯尾和樹) and Hamatani Kenji-san (浜谷健司). I’ve mentioned that the show needed some new faces, and it looks like we’re getting some – though I’ve never seen these two before, so they’re even newer than I expected.

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Their first task was to put together a tent as a rain shelter.

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Initial attempts proved haphazard and ineffective . . .

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. . . so a specialist was called in to help them along, though they still didn’t rush and kept it fun.

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Eventually they got it finished, but if had actually been raining they would have been drenched.

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But that was just the first task. Despite the rain, they headed out to learn what plants are edible and which ones are poisonous.

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Needless to say, there was a specialist for this part, too – Okamoto-san.

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Okamoto-san gave them various leaves to eat, but also warned them about similar leaves that might be dangerous. The first leaf lacked taste, but not to worry – Okamoto-san had some miso paste packed.

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Leaves are one thing, but you’ve got to be doubly sure about berries.

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Let’s face it – the lives of Aiba-kun and his friends are in the hands of Okamoto-san.

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And all was going well . . .

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. . . until Okamoto-san made a mistake!

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Thankfully, even though Aiba-kun had it pretty close to his mouth, it wouldn’t have done him any harm anyway. And taking a look at how similar the leaves are to what Okamoto-san thought it was, I don’t think we can blame him for this mistake:

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After examining and taste-testing the flora, the team headed to the river, somewhat worried about whether the camera-person would be all right.

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The next segment was about river survival. Now, this is a mountain, so the river water is not as dangerous to drink as sea water, but it still could use some filtering. Enter the mizu-Q straw:

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But when they try to use it, they quickly discover some drawbacks to what is otherwise a great idea.

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But what if, say, one of them fell into the river while trying to take a drink – possibly because it’s raining and there’s a flash flood?

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Hamatani-san gets to play the victim as the specialist gives them all some tips about what to do.

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Then they get Hamatani-san back ashore, and he has to play the potential drowning victim in need of first aid.

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The specialist goes through the method and timing to provide the necessary respiratory aid.

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And Aiba-kun provides shadow CPR.

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For the last segment of the show, they looked at some of the latest camping goods . . .

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. . . including a cooler with a light in and other features (not sure if the light is an entirely good idea since it’ll attract bugs, but I suppose it’s always good to have extra light).

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I thought these little things were nifty – tightly packed sanitary wipes that expand with water:

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There were also matches that still lit successfully after getting wet.

Considering they packed all that into around twenty-two minutes, you know it was a pretty fast-paced episode. I was impressed by all the content they tried to get through and the fact that they didn’t try to stretch it into more episodes. Even better – this is the first of two camping episodes, so they have even more to show us.

While the episode featured plenty of activity, it also had points which were dominated by talk from the specialists, so that was a bit frustrating from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know the language well enough to understand.

Still, it was both informative and entertaining, and I’d say it was a good but not great half-hour for this show.