This VS Arashi (VS 嵐) was a Bet de Arashi special. It was a somewhat unexpected special since normally Bet de Arashi is featured as the second half of an extended episode – two hours or more – but this is a stand-alone one hour feature.

Even before Sakurai-san explained the premise of the show for those who haven’t seen Bet de Arashi before, he assured everyone that there will be new games. In fact, all the games will be new. That’s sort of a shame, since I really enjoy watching them play cards, and I don’t think we’re going to get that. Perhaps the new games will make up for it?

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 000

Sounds like there’s some relief among the Arashis that there won’t be canoes this time, but surely with that pool available they have to do something there. Sakurai-san says that there will be a new water game.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 001

The idea behind Bet de Arashi is that the six guests, arranged in three pairs, pick which Arashi they think will win each game. They get points it they are right, and which ever pair gets the most points by the end gets a prize (and these haven’t been meager prizes – I think they’ve generally been vacation trips. I’m not going to go through the guests because, even though they’re familiar faces, their contributions to the show are minimal. This is very much an Arashi-centered affair.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 002

With so much to do, they don’t waste much time (a minute and a half) before getting to the first game. It’s Whack-a Mole between Ninomiya-kun and Aiba-kun. In the screencap, you can see MatsuJun’s shocked expression – it was a good idea for the members not to know what the other members had been up to. Looking at them standing ready, your first reaction might be to Aiba-kun’s huge cartoon shows and mallet, but then you’ve got to ask: where’s the mole? And why is the set so big?

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 003

And then you notice Nino-kun wearing the helmet, and yes, they’ll each play the mole while the other member tries to do the whacking.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 004

Just in case you weren’t sold on the idea that Aiba-kun is a mole-whacking farmer, he adds a straw hat:

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 005

Each round is one minute, and it is the mole that scores points – for the time he can stick his head up without getting bonked. Once the mole is hit, the game ends. They will alternate twice for a total of four rounds.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0062013.08.15 VS Arashi 007

Obviously, the mole’s goal is to appear in a place where the farmer will take a long time to strike at.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0082013.08.15 VS Arashi 009

The guests place their bets . . .

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0102013.08.15 VS Arashi 011

. . . and the game begins. It’s all play from this point, and I can’t say anything more without giving too much away.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0122013.08.15 VS Arashi 0132013.08.15 VS Arashi 0152013.08.15 VS Arashi 016

Aiba-kun looks really serious in this shot:

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 017

Who do you think won? Well, whoever it was, the game was certainly fun to watch, and this might have been the best pair to play it – gamemaster Nino-kun and energetic Aiba-kun. And there was no doubt they tried their best, judging from how hard they were breathing. It totally have me grinning from ear-to-ear by the end.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 019

Could the next game be as entertaining as that first one? As expected, we went to the pool, and it was Sakurai-san and Ohno-san in . . .

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0202013.08.15 VS Arashi 0212013.08.15 VS Arashi 0222013.08.15 VS Arashi 023

. . . bubbles! They’re in bubbles! (or, as they called them, beach balls). Even the scene where they inflated the balls was done well, with full humor.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0252013.08.15 VS Arashi 026

Oh dear. This could genuinely be just as hilarious as the Whack-a-Mole, or even more. They have to dash 30 meters in the water.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 027

Even watching them get into the pool was funny.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 028

It’s called a water dash . . .

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0292013.08.15 VS Arashi 030

. . . but it’s really a water scramble.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0312013.08.15 VS Arashi 032

The third game was between Nino-kun, Aiba-kun, and Matsumoto-kun – the three young fellas. But the game is fun for all ages – flying a radio-controlled helicopter on a complicated 250m course through the studio, and through square hoops.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0342013.08.15 VS Arashi 036

Frankly, the lights on their overalls were just irritating.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 037

In this sort of game, Ninomiya-kun should be the favorite, right? Well, each member made their case directly to the guests.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0382013.08.15 VS Arashi 0392013.08.15 VS Arashi 0402013.08.15 VS Arashi 041

And MatsuJun got two pairs backing him.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 042

While not as physically taxing or intrinsically humorous as the first two games, this game had the virtue of simply being rare to watch. At least, I haven’t seen an RC heli race on TV – even on Japanese TV.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 043

It was great to see all the stuff backstage, too – really gives you an idea how much goes into shows like VS Arashi. It was a whole warehouse of sets.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 0442013.08.15 VS Arashi 0452013.08.15 VS Arashi 046

I totally love the way this race ended – you must not miss it. It was epic, and it kills me that I can’t say anything about what happened without ruining it.

There was one more game after the RC heli race and . . . I can’t say anything about it. Can’t offer any screenshots – nothing. It’s very nature is a big surprise. It sure had everyone in tears with laughter – especially Sakurai-san.

Instead, I’ll offer a screenshot of a game that the Arashi guys did a simulation of, but I don’t think they’ll use it for anything – at least, not in its current form.

2013.08.15 VS Arashi 050

This episode was spectacular. I mean, all Bet de Arashis are great, but since they’re usually in larger specials, they can be put with less interesting stuff. Even just judging the Bet de Arashis we’ve seen so far, though, I really think this was the best. There wasn’t a boring moment, there was great humor throughout the episode, and the games all looked like fun. There was also an interesting flow between excitement in the early games and tension in the later games, With the last game being the slowest but also the most intense with anticipation.

Obviously, all the Arashi members fully participated in this episode and they all had great moments. This was probably the best episode of anything they’ve put on this year. That said, I will give the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi for this episode to Aiba-kun, for reasons you’ll have to watch to understand. And do make sure to watch! I can’t recommend this episode enough.

The August 22nd VS Arashi should be good, too – it features the Women’s Volleyball team, who are always good guests able to play the most demanding games while also cracking jokes.