The guest for this Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) was singer Imai Miki-san (今井 美樹), so we might continue the streak where the best part of the show is a musical performance, but before we get to her and the main event . . .

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. . . there was another Tokyo Ii Mise Kudoi Mise segment with Aiba-kun and Ninomiya-kun.

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Here are some more screenshots in lieu of further discussion.

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Okay, enough of that! On to Imai Miki-san. Interestingly, they decided to skip the backroom part where they have a little chat before facing the live audience. It’s not the part I was most eager to get rid of, but it’s no great loss since this meant we got straight to Sakurai-san introducing Imai-san to the audience – a proper way to begin a show.

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And the first thing we found out about Imai-san is that she was amazingly nervous (by her own admission) and that she felt she wasn’t good at TV appearances. She was sure standing stiffly, but at least she had a smile on her face.

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Ohno-san kicked off an assessment of Imai-san’s style, and it sure looks bold – mostly sharp black.

As expected, though, MatsuJun gave 3 Js to Imai-san’s style – the same that he gave to the previous episode’s guest. I still wonder whether he’ll ever dare to give a guest any more or less than that.

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With the format of the show now fairly clear, there was no surprise as we went to Ninomiya-kun’s corner where he detailed Imai-san’s biography.

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Credit to Nino-kun and the staff – they managed to throw stuff in there that had Imai-san confused about how to react (tough to do when you’re supposed to be talking about the guest’s life) and otherwise had some interesting details and classic clips of Imai-san.

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I’m not going to go through those details since for most of it I’d need translation help myself, and I’m not particularly interested in biographical tidbits anyway. The important point was that Imai-san was quite talkative and energetic, and her contributions made it fun.

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She even high-fived the guys after we got a clip of them playing the guitar in a collaboration in the previous incarnation of this show.

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I don’t think anyone watching the episode would disagree that Imai-san was an excellent guest . . .

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. . . so can they make this episode worthwhile viewing by doing something interesting with her after covering her bio?

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No. The answer is no. Actually, after Ninomiya-kun’s segment they didn’t have any significant activity with Imai-san at all.

First, they turned to a VTR featuring a staff trip to London (probably the same trip were they they got the clip from the first episode of the revamped series) . . .

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. . . where they conducted a street poll, first asking about hairstyles and clothing styles . . .

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. . . and then showing pictures of the Arashi members and asking women who they prefer.

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How do I put this? Isn’t this a bit shallow and meaningless? I guess the reasons some of them gave was interesting, though.

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Just for completeness, they also took a vote among homosexuals. So, I guess we’re going to find out whether the old favorite of that crowd – Ohno-san – can regain his throne from the sudden coup from Sakurai-san. It wasn’t really a representative sample, though – only nine votes  were taken. I don’t think it would have been difficult to find more in a city the size of London.

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Next was Aiba-kun’s corner, and the topic continued to be London. But Aiba-kun betrayed us – instead of coming up with something fun like the couch appraisal, he went to the food again – to curry, which is apparently as strongly associated with London as it is with India.

The best part of the rest of the show was where MatsuJun messed with Aiba-kun trying to read the notes off of his phone.

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When I said Aiba-kun betrayed us, I still wasn’t expecting it to be this bad:

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Yup, it’s a second Tokyo Ii Mise Kudoi Mise segment. It . . . doesn’t get worse than this.

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You mean to say that they wanted to talk about curry, which they associate with London, so they . . . go where? Why didn’t the staff just do a VTR on London curry restaurants?

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Granted, this is genuinely kudoi:

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It’s also not how they make curry in London. Or in India.

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Actually, doesn’t this look more like mashed potatoes and gravy?

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Just to be perfectly clear about this, we started with the mise segment for eight minutes, had Imai-san’s biography for seventeen, the London VTR for eight, and then ended the show with another mise segment for nine minutes.

So much for what I said about the show improving in the previous episode. This was really disappointing. They didn’t even have Imai-san sing! It really looks like this show is going to turn into the Tokyo Ii Mise Kudoi Mise Show at this rate – even the thirty second preview of the next episode while the credits rolled technically spent an equal time promoting the mise segment as it did promoting the actual guest.

This show is getting kudoi (tedious). I’m currently pondering whether to give ABChanZoo a second try and there’s also J’s Teacher with Fujigaya-kun or the new Kis-My-Fake to consider.

Should I award a Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi for this episode? I guess it would have to be Ninomiya-kun, right? He was the leader through the most interesting part of the show, and there was no real competition.