The guest team for this VS Arashi (VS 嵐) was the women athlete team and . . . well, that basically means it’s going to be great. Dressed in black and leopard print, the Arashi guys wasted no time on banter . . .

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 000

. . . and brought their formidable opponents out. The athlete team’s leader was the great Yoshida Saori-san, who has won three consecutive Olympic gold medals in freestyle wrestling and her list of accomplishments in that sport certainly warrant the term ‘epic’. I have a soft spot for her because she’s right around my age (and by extension around the same age as the Arashi members) and this is her fourth time on VS Arashi, so she knows how things go.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 001

Her teammates were sprinter Fukushima Chisato-san, soccer striker Ogimi Yuki-san, baseball player Kataoka Ayumi-san, swimmer Nose Hitomi-san, and free climber Noguchi Akiyo-san. They’re all Olympic caliber or equivalent, all beautiful (if I can be free to say so), and Arashi should have no chance. Granted, there’s no swimming or baseball related game in VS Arashi, but I sure want to see Fukushima-san in Pinball Runner, Ogimi Yuki-san in Kicking Sniper, and Noguchi Akiyo-san in Cliff Climb. Oh, and if we don’t get Jumping Shooter, I’m going to be totally disappointed.

Disappointed – as in the way Arashi felt when, desperately needing help from some strong “plus one” guests added to their team . . .

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 002

. . . they got Harisenbon’s Haruka-san and Haruna-san instead. Of course, I was delighted to see them, since they’re also frequent visitors to VS Arashi. They’re not going to provide much competitive support, though. Sakurai-san was right to point out that Haruka-san’s cardigan really doesn’t convey a sporting image.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 006

The first game was Pinball Runner and, as expected, Fukushima-san was up for the athlete team. But you know, it’s not all about the runner in this game. Clearly the athlete team has that part covered, but how about Yoshida-san, Kataoka-san and Nose-san, who have to call out the numbers?

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0042013.11.07 VS Arashi 0052013.11.07 VS Arashi 007

Fukushima-san was totally nervous and soft-spoken – totally opposite of the normal image for a sprinter. When the audience responded with “kawaii!”, Yoshida-san humorously accepted the complement meant for Fukushima-san, and continued to add some humor on behalf of her team. But it’s also a lot of fun to watch the other two – Kataoka-san and Nose-san – during this round since they were super hyper and bouncing around.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0082013.11.07 VS Arashi 009

Matsumoto-kun was probably legitimately distressed to see who was calling out numbers for him:

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 011

The Harisenbon pair and Ohno-san . . . this could be bad. Not as bad as Harisenbon and Ninomiya-kun, as we were reminded in a clip of a previous appearance from the pair, but still tricky.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0122013.11.07 VS Arashi 013

Will Kondo Haruna-san justify MatsuJun’s concern, or try her best to help him out? Honestly, I think it was the latter, but the way she called out the numbers sounded like she was imitating bird calls. Better than the way she did it was Ohno-san’s imitation of her afterwards.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 015

Next was the game I most looked forward to (because we see it so rarely) – Jumping Shooter. Ninomiya-kun and Sakurai-san were the shooters against Noguchi-san and Ogimi-san.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0162013.11.07 VS Arashi 017

Sakurai-san didn’t express much confidence, and Ninomiya-kun noted that the two goalies were in a state of constant laughter. And let’s face it, there are few things more unnerving to a guy than the impression that a girl is laughing at him.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0182013.11.07 VS Arashi 019

While the Arashi guys made some good shots, they got criticized by their teammates for how slow they were. Recordings of VS Arashi from four years ago rolled in the corner.

Can VS Arashi veterans Yoshida-san and Kataoka-san show how it’s really done and totally destroy goalies Haruna-san and Aiba-kun? Yes, of course they can. Unless . . . unless there’s an Aiba Miracle.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0202013.11.07 VS Arashi 021

Next was Cliff Climb with sprinter Fukushima-san and free climber Noguchi-san giving it a try for the athlete team. I was sort of surprised they didn’t have Noguchi-san do it on her own, but if Fukushima-san wants to give it a go, that certainly makes it more interesting.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0222013.11.07 VS Arashi 0242013.11.07 VS Arashi 025

Yoshida-san is once again a great comic leader for the team. It’s also perfect to have Kataoka-san standing next to her because she has the best reactions to whatever Yoshida-san is doing:

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0262013.11.07 VS Arashi 028

The climbers for Arashi were Aiba-kun and Ohno-san – seems like a rare pair for Cliff Climb, and I wonder when the last time the two of them did it was. The climbers didn’t actually get to do much talking (Ohno-san said one word and Aiba-kun nothing), as most of the focus was on the platform. Ohno-san handled the tough part of the climb.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0302013.11.07 VS Arashi 031

The athlete team sent up Ogimi-san, Yoshida-san and Nose-san for Kicking Sniper. Will Ogimi-san’s soccer skills clinch this one, or will the super-competitive Yoshida-san knock everything down before Ogimi-san sees a target?

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0322013.11.07 VS Arashi 0332013.11.07 VS Arashi 0342013.11.07 VS Arashi 035

Haruka-san, Ninomiya-kun, and Matsumoto-kun took the kicks for the Arashi team. I don’t think I’ve seen Haruka-san play this game on her own, have I? I think she might be quite good at it.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0362013.11.07 VS Arashi 0372013.11.07 VS Arashi 0392013.11.07 VS Arashi 040

The last game was Korokoro Viking. For once, I really wish they had ended it with Bound Hockey, but they just won’t dump this pattern.

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0412013.11.07 VS Arashi 042

Yoshida-san and Fukushima-san had control of the critical orange zone for the athlete team. Fukushima-san said as little as possible when announcer Itou-san addressed her, but Yoshida-san made up for that by saying everything else and . . . did she invite the entire audience out for yakiniku?

2013.11.07 VS Arashi 0432013.11.07 VS Arashi 044

After that, all that remained was the Arashi team’s turn. Will Arashi be able to pull off a spectacular upset or will the athletes win the day as expected?

This was a great episode, driven in large part to a wonderful guest team. They were more talkative and excited than the women’s volleyball team (well, except for Fukushima-san). Every one of them got a chance to show their unique personalities, and they seemed to have strong camaraderie despite not actually competing alongside each other on a regular basis. Somehow, they seemed a stronger team than the women’s volleyball team – perhaps because they had a mix of skills.

Harisenbon didn’t actually do as much humor as usual this time, but had some solid contributions in the games – Haruna-san in Pinball Runner and Haruka-san in Kicking Sniper.

The Arashi guys were definitely in good form this time, but one member definitely stood out. Ohno-san clearly wins the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi this time for his imitation of Haruna-san after Pinball Runner and his Cliff Climb.

The preview for the next episode looks good, and I also know that in a future episode (not the Nov. 14th one), Chinen Yuri-kun will be on, so that’ll be another must-watch episode. Looks like a great November for VS Arashi.

Don’t miss the funny game test fail at the end of this episode!