On Aiba Manabu (相葉マナブ), the focus this time is on dining troubles and ways to cure them.

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For instance, pouring soda onto ice and finding that you’ve got a glass full of foam:

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There is a solution! I think it had to do with making sure the ice was damp because the bubbles form because of bumps on the ice (I never put ice in my soda).

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And before we even get to Aiba-kun and his buddies, we get a second tip – this time about solving the annoyance of seeds in watermelon by slicing it the right way – cutting it in half and then noticing the v-shaped patterns the seeds form, then cutting along those.

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Well, some of these tips are bound to be useful no matter what you enjoy eating, and their demonstrations should make things relatively clear even if you don’t speak Japanese, so let’s finally bring out the host of the show, Aiba Masaki-kun.

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He starts in the studio talking to the mysterious chief. Been a long time since we’ve seen this scene. I wonder if they shoot one every time, but end up cutting it out?

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Aiba-kun was teamed up with Watabe-san, Cunning Takeyama-san, and Sawabe-san this time, and the setting was a regular household, with a family seated at a dining table demonstrating everything and the Aiba team off to the side. The camera work and lighting keeps the Aiba team distinct from the family, as if the family is part of a pre-recorded VTR instead of being right there. This struck me as an interesting technique – certainly better than going to VTR every minute – and it also seemed to surprise Watabe-san and the rest.

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The first issue they tackled was the best way to separate the egg yolk from the egg white – something that could get quite messy if done incorrectly.

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Naturally, there is a specialist for this episode:

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It turns out the right technique involves using a plastic bottle, and she asks them to try to figure out how to do it given that hint.

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Trying to pour the white into the bottle is obviously wrong and messy . . .

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. . . and the answer is to just let the bottle suck up the yolk.

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How about the way the microwave makes some dishes extremely hot? Is there any way to solve that?

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Well, obviously you can just use towels to hold it, but often the issue is with the plastic wrap used to cover the dish.

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We get some cute graphic explanations throughout the episode.

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When it comes to the plastic wrap, of course, the solution is to leave a bit open. The wrap is there to make sure stuff doesn’t splash, but leaving an open space allows the hot water vapor to escape without diminishing the splash protection.

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The best aspect of the way the specialist handled things was that she let them try to figure it out for themselves with some hints, but didn’t just straight away tell them the answer.

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I’m not going to go through everything, like the right way to serve curry without spilling . . .

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(Aiba-kun and his crew couldn’t resist digging in)

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. . . or something about barley tea and milk in equal parts tasting like milk coffee.

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The barley tea/coffee thing apparently has something to do with the raw material:

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Aiba-kun crosses the artificial wall between his crew and the family, offering the youngest child a cup of the milk coffee made from barley tea. After she drank it and confirmed it tasted like milk coffee, they all applauded. Ah, the simple things little kids can do to win approval!

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I didn’t understand the toro and mayonnaise thing. And with wasabi, it turns out soda is good at counteracting its effects? Not sure about that one.

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The shaved ice headache bit was fun, though.

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I’d say that this episode was more informative than fun – it was one of those episodes. Not a bad half-hour, just different from some of the recent, more active offerings. Unlike some of the other information-heavy episodes, though, it had the side benefit of being useful and not just interesting.