Hopefully I can use vacation time to get all caught up to shows like Kiss My Fake. For now, here are two more episodes from November.

The Kis-My-Ft2 members went into the November 7th episode with no wins and two losses, and since whenever they lose, one of the members is replaced by a fake in the next episode, you’ll note the absence of Miyata-kun and 70 year-old Miyata Yasuhiro-san sitting in his place.

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Let’s hope that the Kis-My-Ft2 members do a better job this time so they don’t have to pester another elderly gentleman to come on the show in the November 14th episode.

The guest team was composed of people who were once frequent guests on Arashi variety shows (which is where I first saw all of them). Ogi-san led the guests as usual (with his comedic partner Yahagi-san hosting), and joining him were Suzuki Nana-san and the comedy duo FUJIWARA. A totally solid panel.

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Just to recap how this show works, the two teams will each be presented with a set of items and have to decide which in that set is a fake. For each round, a specified number of points goes to the team(s) that gets it right, and the team with the most points by the end wins. If the Kis-My-Ft2 team loses, one of their members is randomly selected to sit the next show out. If the guest team loses, the members except for Ogi-san will not be allowed to return to this show – though I’m not 100% sure about that point. Does that mean this could be the first and last time we see FUJIWARA on? Let’s find out!

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Their first task was to identify which sports manga from famous mangaka Takahashi Yoichi-san was a fake. Takahashi-san is best known for the famous soccer manga Captain Tsubasa, but apparently he did other sports manga, too.

The choice is between a 100 ski jump manga . . .

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. . . a tennis manga . . .

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. . . a speed walking manga . . .

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. . . and finally another soccer manga.

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Now that is a tough choice. I can deal with the tennis and the second soccer story, but ski jump and speed walking? I can’t pick between the two. And could they be trying to trick us, making the fake one of the more likely manga?

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You’ll have to watch to find out which one it was, of course.

The next round was worse. They had to figure out which folk tale/legend was a fake. Considering folk tales are already fiction, that compounds the difficulty. Thankfully, there were only three choices, so just picking randomly gives a fair chance.

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The first story was about two Buddha statues – one from Kyo (Kyoto?) and the other from Nara.

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And I have no idea what the rest of it was about. I trust this isn’t considered sacrilegious or anything.

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The second one involved a farting wife. Having read a few real Japanese folk tales, I can confirm that bodily functions (including farting) were not off-limits.

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I’m not really sure what the third story was about – the title didn’t give any hints. Seemed like an old man scaring villagers with stories of monsters in order to get food ended up the victim of a monster, but that’s just me guessing based on the images.

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Obviously, without knowing the details of the stories, it’s hard to pick between them. That said, my impulse would be to doubt the one the last one, simply because I didn’t really get it, and the title wasn’t descriptive. I think folk tales ought to have descriptive titles.

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The guest team agreed with me, but the Kis-My-Ft2 team picked the Buddha statue story based on input from their 70 year-old Miyata. Which team was right?

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Because of the time it took to tell the stories, that was it for the November 7th episode. Now, if you don’t want to know the result, don’t read any further, because I’m going on to the next episode, and if the Kis-My-Ft2 team won, all the members would be present in the screencaps, but if they lost, one of the members would be replaced. There’s no way I can avoid giving the result away without omitting most of the KMF2 screenshots.

Okay, with that disclaimer out of the way, the guests for Nov. 14th were YOU-san and Kendo Kobayashi-san (hereafter Kenkoba-san) alongside the ever-present Ogi-san. Again, excellent guest booking on this show.

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Well, I hope if you’re still reading you don’t mind the spoiler, because here’s Nikaido-kun . . . I mean, 79 year-old Nikaido-san:

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Looking good for 79, really. He must have been athletic in his youth.

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The first round involved figuring out which creature (yokai) that might have been created by Mizuki Shigeru-san – the mangaka for Gegege no Kitaro – really wasn’t. I love this classic manga stuff – I hope they keep it up.

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Now, if you’ve seen the movie “Great Yokai War” (which is where I first discovered Kamiki Ryunosuke-kun), you know that the yokai are quite . . . weird. Trying to figure out which one is the fake is bound to be difficult. Is it the one with the eyeball in its rear?

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Or is it the old woman with the octopus attack (eight arms!)?

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How about the other two, which I have no idea how to describe?

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Just on principle, I think it’s one of the yokai that are difficult to describe, but the Kis-My-Ft2 team picked creature with the eye in the wrong place and the guest team picked the eight-armed old woman.

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The next task was to figure out which comedy masters/teachers were fakes after watching three groups perform.

The first pair was dressed as a doctor and nurse. The performers were 69 years old and 76 respectively.

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Much laughing will occur.

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But will it be enough laughing? Or will a comedy pro like Kenkoba-san be able to figure who’s fake out too quickly?

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The next pair were relatively younger women (at least, they didn’t look like they were in their seventies), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t old enough to be masters in their craft.

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Kitayama-kun berated Senga-kun after the latter suggested that the voice volume of the second pair was too low.

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The final pair looked like they were right out of the late sixties/seventies, and they went with a ukelele-driven song.

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Yahagi-san’s laugh is great . . .

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. . . and Kenkoba-san always covers his head like this:

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Surely that last pair were legit. Kis-My-Ft2 thought that the second pair were the fakes, and as I was playing along, that was my choice as well.

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Yahagi-san really had a good time in this episode, and I think that’s always going to be the best sign that it’s a great half-hour.

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Both episodes were very good, but I think the second one really took it to a new level. First of all, yokai are intrinsically interesting both visually and as ideas – much more than sports manga. The competition between the comedy challenge and the folk tales was a bit tighter, but the comedy won out thanks to one of the most epic endings I’ve seen in a Kis-My-Ft2 show.

I’m sure the Japanese viewing public get even more fun out of it because they can understand everything and can play along with every part without just blindly guessing, but this is still a good show for English-speakers provided a bit of ingenuity in figuring out the topic. Among the Kis-My-Ft2 variety shows I’ve seen, it’s the fastest-paced show.

The downside to it is the one I identified in the last review – there’s a lot less Kis-My-Ft2 now that they have A-list guests. I’m not sure which of the Kis-My-Ft2 shows except for this one are still running, so I’ll make it an open question – do they still have a show where they get to go on-location for challenges like they did in the early days of HamaKisu? Or are they mostly studio-bound now like Arashi? I hope that somehow they’re still getting to do good challenges away from the studio.

Otherwise, this show is fun to watch and easy viewing. As long as I can keep getting the episodes, I’ll continue to try to catch up with it.