It was really hard for me to get mobilized to review this part of the telethon (the slowest part of the 24 hours), so please forgive the wait.

While this was referred to as ‘Part 2’ of the 24-hr TV telethon (24時間テレビ), it started when the show was already six-hours old after the initial two hour intro, the drama special starting Ohno Satoshi-san, and the Arashi ni Shiyagare special, all of which have been reviewed in separate articles. This part featured the Shabekuri 007 special and extended for the three hours with the least viewership – roughly from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. So, did they try to keep the audience awake, or give them a sedative so that they’d be fresh and ready to watch come morning?

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For the record, three Arashi members – Sakurai-san, Aiba-kun, and Matsumoto-kun – were still present, but even they will probably drift out during the course of this block in order to rest up a bit before the tough morning.

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In the first segment, Nagura-san hosted as five entertainers stepped up to microphones, ready to answer some potentially (likely) embarrassing questions.

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I know this guy is from Heisei Nobushi Kobushi:

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But otherwise I couldn’t recognize any of them, and that’s a pretty bad sign.

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Since I didn’t know them, there was no interest in finding out their answers to the questions. The questions were also pretty open-ended (like something unprecedented that they did recently), though it was easy to tell when something was properly embarrassing because everyone said “eh!” and then laughed heartily at the explanation.

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Other than those tips, though, this was a tough segment for anyone like me, with the most minimal grasp of Japanese.

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They did try some gimmicks to keep things interesting, like having dances perform while the five entertainers delivered their answers . . .

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. . . but on all the questions, I’m pretty sure the responders carefully dodged the really embarrassing truth. For instance, there was the question that asked “what’s the most erotic thing in your home?” If you think any one of them answered that question honestly . . . .

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If you can believe it, that segment took 35 minutes. That’s program time. It was long.

They followed it with that weird slippery wedding ceremony thing for three minutes . . .

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. . . then finally turned to the first world record challenge. Like last year, we’re going to get a number of people trying to break various world records. The first one, which starts 40 minutes into this part of the telethon, is a bit odd . . .

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. . . since it involves how many times a person can jump rope with their rear end (sitting down and spinning the rope underneath them).

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I don’t think my description does it justice – nor even the screenshots. The goal was 71 hops in 30 seconds. Will a new world record be set? (I can’t even believe people keep track of a record like this). I’ve got to hand it to the challenger – just the VTR showing how adept she is with the jump rope was impressive enough, and the actual attempt showed plenty of technical forethought (for instance, if in a certain split second she was too tired to hop, she twirled the rope above her head to avoid messing up her rhythm or getting snagged).

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That excitement was followed by another talk segment that seemed to be about stuff they disliked/hated within the entertainment world (I think).

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Unfortunately, even though the three Arashi members were still present, no one bothered to ask them. After the three luminaries behind them had a turn . . .

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. . . the focus turned to JOY-san, Kintaro-san, and someone I didn’t recognize.

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I’d be interested in what JOY-san said, but without translation it was hopeless.

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Kintaro-san’s was straightforward, though – the lack of reaction when she did her AKB “Flying Get” gag, where she starts out over-the-top emotional and then says “Flying Get” without any trace of emotion in her voice. As far as gags go, I sort of like it, but there were crickets after she did it.

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Wondering whether it was just Kintaro-san, some of the other entertainers present tried the gag out, giving it their own unique delivery. You’ll have to watch to see the results – this bit started one hour and nine minutes into this part, and was one of the highlights.

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I don’t have a screenshot of it, but Aiba-kun also gave the Flying Get gag a shot. It was the only significant Arashi participation in this whole thing, but someone should definitely make a clip out of it.

After that, starting 1 hour and 12 minutes in, we had more candid camera as part of the Wisecrack Ranking that began in the previous part (Arashi ni Shiyagare 2013.08.24).

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Obviously, this is tough to appreciate without subs, but it’s still interesting to see how everyone is in private. The first was Hakata Daikichi-san, who’s usually such a dapper and straightforward guy. How is he after some drinks? It’s also interesting to see the reactions in the corner, though frustrating to have no idea why they’re reacting the way they are.

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It doesn’t stop with Hakata-san. I’m really impressed that they snuck a camera into a cab – it’s really never safe to be yourself when you’re a Japanese entertainer! Unjash’s Kojima-san found that out:

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So did Akiyama-san, watching his comments from an interview. There were some masks involved in this one.

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Starting 1 hour and 38 minutes in, we got a dokkiri segment – the second-best thing possible, next to the world record attempts. It wasn’t an outrageous dokkiri – more like just another candid camera. The target was this guy:

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Tutorial’s Fukuda Mitsunori-san didn’t even realize that what he had experienced in this video had been a prank, judging from his live reaction to seeing his face pop up as the dokkiri target. The setting is the make-up room, and the title of the prank is “Dancing Fukuda Palace” (an imitation of a show hosted by Akashiya Sanma-san).

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I have to say, there’s something intrinsically amusing with the setting already, and you just know that whatever Fukuda-san was saying to the person making him look presentable, it was bound to be interesting (especially since she was leading him on).

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The fun continued with Neptune’s Horiuchi Ken-san taking the seat next to him – they ended up doing a completely unintentional skit. Fukuda-san returned to the make-up artists later for a second round (and also a third round) – and this time it was much more embarrassing because he was way more familiar with them. His total time in the make-up room for a single show was 46 minutes and 54 seconds – that’s why it’s his ‘palace’.

By the way, the Arashis were all gone by this time, leaving totally inconspicuously. Too bad, though – they missed Fukuda-san going into the repentance/confession box:

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Following that, one hour and 56 minutes into this block, we got the next record-breaking attempt. This time, it was a guy tossing a flying disk trying to knock down as many cans off a wall at a distance of 5 meters in a minute as he can. They had the same thing last year, but that was a failure, so this is the same guy trying to make up for coming one can short. He warms up by playing William Tell with one of the members of Heisei Nobushi Kobushi.

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He needs to get 28 cans in a minute to tie the record. Will 2013 be his year?

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I don’t know this guy . . .

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. . . but he was the next victim of the wisecrack candid cameras, and he was talking about his senpai – Nagura-san and Ueda-san – in the video, so he’s probably in trouble.

There was also a video of the slick Watabe Ken-san, who I love to castigate for never adding any entertainment value to anything.

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And this was no different. There was some light chuckling from the people in the studio watching the VTR, but I didn’t see them so silent for any of the other entrants for the ranking. There were no “eh!”s at all.

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With no reaction from the people in the studio, they went into the last entry:

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I will, of course, leave out who ultimately won the ranking, except to say that it was certainly not Watabe-san.

Awarding that crown took until the 2:21 mark, then we turned back to the slip-and-slide wedding ceremony (I really don’t get this – I assume it’s just silly slapstick, but there could be some aspect to it I’m missing).

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After they had a bit of fun with Nagura-san – examining whether he’s getting old. The most compelling evidence was when they compared his title calls from one year to the next and noticed that they were getting progressively less vigorous. But they also showed some signs of physical degradation and lack of reaction to amazing or funny things – he’d just sit blankly as if falling asleep.

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But that was just a segue into the legendary yearly race – the Shabekuri Grand Prix, where they video-tape the Shabekuri guys leaving after a recording of Shabekuri 007 to see who gets out the fastest. So far, Tokui-san is the member with the record – getting into the elevator in an amazing four minutes and forty-six seconds. Can Nagura-san prove that he’s still young where it counts by beating this record? The race begins 2 hours and 38 minutes into this segment.

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Because it’s so easy to understand, this part is reasonably amusing every time. It’s sort of like a horse race, to it’s better if you pick who you think will win ahead of time. HoriKen’s backroom antics are also laugh-worthy.

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With that, it’s time to get the morning greetings from everyone. Imoto Ayako-san shows us the view from Mt. Fuji, though it’s not quite as inspiring because there’s an overcast, so they contact another pair ready at a location where the sunrise is actually visible.

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With morning in almost in full bloom, they have to wrap this block up. They saved a good segment for last – bringing out a bunch of people who specialize in the monomane (imitation) of a single famous person. For instance, the first one up did baseball player Ichiro Suzuki.

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I always enjoy monomane (I guess because it’s so easy to understand without knowing Japanese), so this was a satisfying way to conclude this part of the telethon as far as I was concerned.

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Okay, so hopefully I’ll find the next parts of the telethon more engaging and motivating so I don’t take so long to review them. The benefit to this part was that we didn’t have to get through any depressing human interest stories. The downside was that it was more difficult to understand, there was minimal Arashiness, and minimal challenges except for the two record-breaking attempts. Oh, and except for the candid camera VTRs, it was limited to the studio, whereas most of the telethon is recorded in much more varied locations.

At this point, we have completed nine hours of program time in the telethon, and approximately twelve and a half hours left (the rest of the 24 hours was presumably ads).