This episode of VS Arashi (VS 嵐) began with the Arashi guys discussing Matsumoto-kun’s new drama starting in January, and with Ohno-san wondering in his usual way if it involves a kiss – in this case, a chocolate kiss/kiss with chocolate (since the drama is Shitsuren Chocolatier).
The guest team this time was the Second Generation (nisei) team – composed of members with parents (or in two cases grandparents) who were in the entertainment business.
The members were Otsuru Gitan-san (大鶴義丹), Azuma Takahiro-san (東貴博), Hanada Masaru-san (花田虎上), Takahashi Maasa-san (高橋真麻), Osawa Akane-san (大沢あかね), and Akai Saki-san (赤井沙希). Of these, I recognized Takahashi Maasa-san, who has appeared on VS Arashi before, and Hanada Masaru-san, who was a former Yokozuna – sumo champion – and is familiar as well. Otherwise, I didn’t know any of them other members, which is somewhat remarkable and worrying.
The plus one guest was a surprise – singer-songwriter Moriyama Naotaro-san. Moriyama-san is very low key, but also quirky. He was one of the last few guests on Arashi ni Shiyagare before it changed format, so we got to know him a little bit better from that. He also seems to have a sporty build, and confesses to playing soccer throughout his schooling.
It’s also true that his mother is in the entertainment business, so he’s a second generationer as well, and the guest team wonders why he isn’t with them. Well, I’ll leave that be.
The first game was Korokoro Viking with the Nisei team up. The conversation seemed a bit choppy . . .
. . . but then Itou-san revealed that Akai-san is a pro-wrestler . . .
. . . and she demonstrated one of her moves on the former Yokozuna! As long as you understand that she’s doing this to a former sumo champion, this is sort of an epic moment.
After that, the talk was sort of banal, though Takahashi-san did provide her characteristic “ganbarimasu!”
The Arashi team had Ninomiya-kun and Moriyama-san in the orange zone. That combination should be a good one, but Moriyama-san sure seems like he’s in an eccentric mode – approaching Aiba levels of goofy energy.
Right after that, he was up as the runner for Arashi in Pinball Runner. During this, Itou-san delivered a message from Ogiyahagi’s Ogi-san, who’s apparently been married to Moriyama-san’s elder sister for seven years.
MatsuJun called the pink balls and Aiba-kun handled the yellow ones.
Akai-san had the best moment during the Korokoro Viking, and she also did the running here for the Nisei team. She and Moriyama-san are in the early lead as the main drivers of the show. She expressed confidence based on her stamina and training.
When she notes that she does a hundred squats, Moriyama-san says she’d like to see it. (Don’t worry, they don’t actually have her do it – there wasn’t enough time.)
Takahashi-san decided to offer up some background music for the occasion:
The third game of the episode was Rolling Coin Tower, and the talk once again revolved around Moriyama-san. I swear, he’s totally dominating this episode now.
Takahashi-san did get the audience to go “fuu~”, though, so score one more good moment for her (I didn’t catch a screenshot of that moment, though – she’s just standing there innocently in the image below).
After that game . . .
. . . they played Bank Bowling with Sakurai-san and Moriyama-san up first. Moriyama-san did a totally weird move for the camera – no clue what it meant. He had so many other mannerisms for them to spend time on that they totally passed on making any point about this one.
So, what sort of a bowling combination will Sakurai-Moriyama be?
However it goes, Moriyama-san gets another note from Ogi-san . . .
. . . and Ohno-san and Ninomiya-kun tried to take care of any pins that remained standing.
For the guest team, Takahashi-san, and Azuma-san bowled first, and then Otsuru-san and Osawa-san tried their best to get the spare (after which they apparently made drinking arrangements with the Sakurai-Moriyama pair for reasons you’ll have to watch to understand).
It was all down to Kicking Sniper after that with Akai-san, Hanada-san, and Otsuru-san up for the Nisei team. At first, I wondered whether Akai-san really needed the ‘ladies zone’ thing, but as it turns out, she’s really got zero soccer acumen despite her training in other areas.
I have to say, I’m not much of a fan of Takahashi-san’s cheers, but I’ll concede that they add a touch of variety to the normal run of events.
The kickers for Arashi were Moriyama-san, Ohno-san, and Matsumoto-kun.
Will Moriyama-san’s soccer skills help the Arashis win the day?
There’s no question about it – this was the Moriyama Naotaro episode. He was the most entertaining person in the studio, though Takahashi-san and Akai-san made solid contributions. Otherwise, the other participants only had significant moments when bouncing comments off of Moriyama-san.
On the whole, it was a below average episode with the least engaging set of games and lackluster performances in those games.
I’m tempted to give Aiba-kun the Most Omoshiroi Arashi just for the neon yellow shorts, but I think this is one of those times where none of the Arashi members really stood out. That said, Sakurai-san doesn’t get enough recognition for the way he engages with guests and offers up comments, and I think I’ll give him the M.O.A. for doing an excellent job with that in this episode. Sure, he does it in every episode, but I don’t generally give him credit for it. Also, he did have the bowling moment with Moriyama-san.