This Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) special was Part 1-3 of the 24-hr TV telethon (24時間テレビ), coming after the drama Kyou no Hi wa Sayonara featuring Ohno-san in the lead role. Its job is to take the telethon past midnight and to hand things off to Shabekuri 007 in Part 2. The Shabekuri guys will take care of the part where few viewers will be watching.

Normally in Arashi ni Shiyagare, the Arashi guys don’t know who the guest is and what’s going to happen, but there’s no way that could be the case this time. Last year, they faced off against Olympic athletes in athletic competitions in what was obviously a lopsided battle . . .

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. . . but this time, their opponents are going to be the members of fellow Johnny’s idol group Kanjani8 in a live face-off. Kanjani8 did their best to seem menacing and competitive in a VTR:

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The Arashi guys and their fellow hosts are already pumped up.

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When the two groups encounter each other, it gets loud. They are totally talking over each other and shouting at one another. Maruyama-kun took the liberty of starting off things weird – as usual, it’s going to be surreal to watch him do his thing, whether in the foreground or the background.

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Shibutani-san is good and energetic, too. Always great to see him ready for action.

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Technically, the hosts – or perhaps moderators/referees – were Nagura-san and Ueda-san from Shabekuri 007. There will be a smooth transition as the Shabekuri guys start to take over more and more, and the Arashi guys trickle out later in the night to get some rest for all the activity the following morning.

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Kanjani8 totally dominated the pre-game tough talk, as you’d expect. The Arashis were almost embarrassingly stunned into silence.

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There was a panel of guests, including Hokuto Akira-san and her husband, Harisenbon, Ueto Aya-san, Masu Taichi-san, Itou Asako-san, and others. I’m still hoping Itou-san will do an Arashi dance sometime, since she’s quite good at them. The eleven panelists get to vote on which group will win the competition, and the balance is a nearly even split – 6 to 5 in favor of Arashi. The two panelists asked about their choice both said Kanjani8, though.

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The first game was the same as the first one last year – climb a 6 meter rope and pop a balloon at the top with a spiked helmet:

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So . . . who’s going up for this one? It ends up being Matsumoto-kun versus Nishikido-kun – a compelling match-up, I think.

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The panelists obviously have to weigh in (otherwise there’s no point for them to be there):

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The helmets are very WWI German general, but they sure make the tough talk beforehand funnier. I’d love to get this exchange translated, of course. Since this was a live broadcast, there were none of those handy graphic subtitles that help me search for the key words in the dialogue.

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Who do you think will win? You’ll have to watch to find out – I’m not going to give anything away. Aiba-kun and Okura-kun battled each other in the same game on the second round. Again, I think this is a fair match in terms of their build.

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That microphone got slammed into the mat so often in this exchange, it was amazing.

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I have to compliment Aiba-kun on his excellent form during that climb.

The next game was also from last year – they had to make free throws from a negative inclination of 35 degrees:

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By the way, that graphic showed about 25 degrees of inclination – 35 degrees is much more extreme as you’ll see from the video. Also, the hoop was not that close.

After a bunch of ads relating to what’s coming up in the telethon and other promotional efforts, we saw Murakami-san competing against Sakurai-san. My instinct is that Murakami-san is the favorite in terms of the sit-ups, but what about his aim?

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Murakami-san seemed to be torturing Sakurai-san, continually telling him stuff as he was lying down inclined.

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The next one seems completely unpredictable – Maruyama-kun versus Ohno-san.

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Maruyama-kun is . . . an interesting character. He told a lengthy story while on the inclined plane, and that couldn’t have done his abs any favors. It probably hurt his performance.

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Ohno-san seems to be in serious pain even before he starts:

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Before we get to see a match between Nino-kun and Shibutani-san . . .

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. . . we need to check in briefly with marathon runner Oshima-san, who seems to be doing well. She does a great job keeping a smile on her face, looking like a real winner.

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The next game had to do with catching a fast volleyball spiked by a members of the All-Japan men’s volleyball team (and wow, were they tall). This is no joke, folks!

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And the two members facing this menace are the lightweights of each group – Shibutani-san and Ninomiya-kun. Needless to say, they had to don extensive protective gear.

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I loved how Nino-kun scampered away on his first try.

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But they weren’t the only ones to face the spiked volleyball. Yasuda-kun was next and he called out Matsumoto-kun. MatsuJun’s shouts of dismay at this were great, and this time we saw them getting suited up like knights donning their armor.

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Will either one of them be able to catch the volleyball? To be stoic is literally to stand firm, so can MatsuJun hold true to his reputation? Or will Yasuda-kun pull off a surprise victory?

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Now, that left Yokoyama-san the only Kanjani8 member who had not participated in a game, but before he got a chance we got one of Ninomiya-kun’s VTR segments about Japan. Last time he found out about whether it was “Nippon” or “Nihon” and a bit of history. This time, it was actually about historical Japanese hairstyles, starting with the Jomon period (which is, for the Japanese, prehistoric).

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Nino-kun models each male hairstyle himself, but gets some help with the female variants from Oniyakko-san, and messes around while in costume so that it’s amusing to watch.

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We get to the familiar styles of the Warring States period (the 16th century):

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What they don’t explain is the transitions – how the heck did they get from one style to another, since they seem so different? At least the change from the Warring States period to the Edo period isn’t too surprising:

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The music during the Edo period scene was great – it was a shamisen version of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”. Way to mix cultural references!

The VTR concluded with a ranking of current popular Japanese names during the Showa period. Makoto totally dominated for men, and Kasuko was the winner for women. But this is going pretty far back, and the period they highlighted for Makoto was not the same as the one they highlighted for Kasuko, leaving me a bit confused.

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After that Nino segment, Yokoyama-san got his competition and picked Ohno-san as his rival. They would each have to try to use their rear ends to push the other off of a 3.4 meter high tower.

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So, who do you think has the stronger butt-bumping skill?

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With that, the Arashi-Kanjani8 battle was complete . . .

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. . . and so we turned to the next Dart Trip VTR featuring Sakurai-kun. This came one hour and one minute into Part 1-3 of the Youku version of the 24 hr TV telethon – halfway through the file.

Sakurai-san went to Ashikita-machi in Kyushu’s Kumamoto Prefecture. The first person he met recognized him immediately, and was giddy with excitement.

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Sakurai-san seemed universally recognized this time, and everyone was delighted to see him.

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I was once again unsatisfied by the answers to the key question, but I suppose I’m just going to have to accept that they were only looking for simple phrases as answers.

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It felt like a long dart trip because Sakurai-san went from one person to the next very quickly, and seemed to meet more people than the previous dart trips this year had.

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At least this guy wasn’t entirely clear who Arashi was – he didn’t know there were five members:

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With that, we begin the pivot into Shabekuri 007, with the rest of the Shabekuri guys (the comedy teams Neptune, Cream Stew, and Tutorial) joining the show and an extended panel of talents. All five members of Arashi were still present at this point (one hour and eleven minutes into the video).

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There’s a lot of introductory stuff . . .

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. . . and I’m not going to discuss everything they said and did. I’m just going to point out the key segments and whether they were interesting.

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There was a fairly interesting mock wedding ceremony involving a slippery slide to the brides at time index 1:16. This was just late-night slap-stick, and definitely not for everyone. In fact, they didn’t even bother showing all of it, cutting it short.

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After that, they ranked recent ‘wise’ sayings from entertainers (these were uttered in private rather than on the air, and are probably supposed to be embarrassing). The first ‘target’ was Goto Terumoto-san from Football Hour.

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For each of the targets, they have secret videos of them making the statements being ranked, so viewers will be able to judge the context and see what to really think about the words.

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Of course, the secret videos are great for regular Japanese viewers because they are riveting to watch as the audience reacts and also because they kill valuable time to carry the show to dawn. I especially thought this one with Oriental Radio’s Nakata-san getting interviewed was good:

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I think I enjoyed it because it was a formal situation in daylight rather than a casual scene like the others.

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For all these videos, of course, it is critical to recognize the people involved, know something about their character, and also to be able to understand the utterances being highlighted.

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There will probably be more of that later, but at 1 hour and 38 minutes into this 2 hour segment of the telethon, we got Ohno-san’s Dart Trip to Daigo-machi in Ibaraki prefecture. I only managed one clean screenshot of it featuring these two elders . . .

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. . . because we only saw Ohno-san talking to that one group of people before they cut to previews/commercials. It was the complete opposite of Sakurai-san’s VTR and took about a minute and a half. I sure hope they’re going to show more of his trip to Ibaraki later, since this was quite disappointing.

Following the ads and a check-in with Oshima-san as she was running in some serious rain, the Going! segment started at 1:41. Going! is a sports show, and they did all updates on a whole array of sports, starting with snowboarding. Aiba-kun and MatsuJun were the Arashi participants at this point.

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There was soccer . . .

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. . . and baseball . . .

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. . . more baseball . . .

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. . . and more soccer.

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But then they closed it out with something other than the two most popular sports.

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And that’s how this two-hour block of the 24 hour TV telethon ended. At this point, we’re through six hours of programming time, and probably around seven hours of real time (I don’t know how many ads were cut out).

Obviously, the main attraction in this block was the competition between Arashi and Kanjani8, and it was thoroughly entertaining to watch. Fans of either group can probably skip the second half of this block. It was great that they had sufficient games so that all the members of both groups got a shot. The Kanjani8 guys certainly helped Arashi out by injecting a ton of humor into the proceedings.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi was a close one between Matsumoto-kun and Sakurai-san for their performances in the games as well as Sakurai-san’s Dart Trip, and I think it’s fair to give it to them both jointly. I also considered Ohno-san because, like MatsuJun, he participated in two games, but I didn’t find his results as . . . interesting.