They didn’t take any time at all before introducing the guest team in this VS Arashi (VS 嵐). It was the cast of the movie “Kanojo wa Uso wo Aishisugiteru”, which opened two days after this episode aired.

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Representing the movie were Sato Takeru-kun, Miura Shohei-kun, Kubota Masataka-kun, Ohara Sakurako-san, Tanimura Mitsuki-san, and Aibu Saki-san. Ranging from 17 to 28, they are all younger than the Arashi members, so will youth beat experience? This will be Sato Takeru-kun’s first time on the show and the first time for Ohara-san on any variety show.

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The plus one guests were the comedy duo Non Style – Ishida Akira-san, and Inoue Yuusuke-san – and I think it’s fair to consider them top-notch comedy guests.

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All eyes will be on Sato Takeru-kun. How will he do?

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The first game was Rolling Coin Tower – somewhat disappointing since the guest team looked ready for something more exciting. I guess they wanted to give people time to talk . . .

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. . . and of course for Miura-kun to do his admittedly great impression of Takeda Tatsuya-san (Kinpachi-sensei). We’ll be seeing a lot more of this throughout the show because they can’t get enough of it, and neither can I.

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That was pretty much the highlight of Rolling Coin Tower, though.

Fortunately, they turned to Cliff Climb next, and Sato Takeru-kun made ready to tackle the dastardly overhang that has smashed so many dreams of a perfect score. He was assisted by Kubota-kun.

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As you might expect from Takeru-kun, he sounded totally calm and confident, but can he really manage the sort of cool performance worthy of Himura Kenshin?

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Or perhaps the greater burden is on Kubota-kun, who has to be quick enough to set him up properly.

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Aiba-kun is the Arashi members who has to match or surpass Sato Takeru-kun’s climb. He was paired with Ishida-san, who took the opportunity to plug The Manzai 2013 – an end-of-year comedy competition. Ishida-san went for both the center and the right so Aiba-kun could go straight up the left.

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Aiba-kun is aiming for a perfect score, but has he been part of a perfect climb since they added the Odaiba chin (the overhang)?

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Looks tough.

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The third game was Bank Bowling. We’ve been getting a lot of this game, and I guess that’s fair enough since we’re still waiting to see who will get the first spare. We’ve come tantalizingly close a few times, but the achievement remains elusive.

The Arashi team had the first crack at it with Matsumoto-kun and Inoue-san taking the initial throws. For some reason, announcer Itou-san had trouble getting Inoue-san’s name out – it was almost like Itou-san was laughing at something while he was saying the name, but I couldn’t tell if it was unintentional or some kind of setup. Of course, it did lead to some funny comments from Inoue-san – he would have to turn in his comedic license if he passed up a chance like that.

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The two veterans – Ohno-san and Sakurai-san – attempted to finish off the pins to claim the first spare. And, fitting to their relatively old age compared to the guests, they started to speak as if they were elderly. Inoue-san tried to tell them something, but the ignored him with humorous intent.

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Aibu-san and Ohara-san were up for the movie team, and they both play girls who had/have relationships with Takeru-kun.

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It’s handy that if things get awkward, they can always toss the conversation to Shohei-kun so he can do his monomane.

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I’ve been enjoying Aibu-san’s work in Miss Pilot, but how will she do here?

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Shohei-kun and Tanimura-san handled the second chance for the guest team.

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Hmm – with their teammates reacting like this, either they did horribly, or Shohei-kun did his monomane again.

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Kicking Sniper followed that. The three guys on the guest team went up to take the shots and Itou-san asked Aibu-san to confirm that they were a cool bunch. Not quite sure how to respond, Aibu-san just said “sou desu ne” which has roughly the connotation of “it seems that way” or “I guess so.”

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Needless to say, that weak endorsement didn’t play well with her teammates, so she followed up by a firm confirmation that they were, in fact, cool.

Kubota-kun assures everyone that he’s full of energy, Miura-kun manages to get some words in without pretending to be someone else, and Takeru-kun was unperturbed as usual.

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Non Style, Ninomiya-kun, and Matsumoto-kun tried to knock the targets down for the Arashi team.

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Inoue-san took off his shirt and went to his tank-top, getting squeals of . . . something . . . from the audience. This led him into some inadvisable running and tumbling.

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After that misadventure, Sakurai-san put the shirt back on Inoue-san, but the highlight clips was already recorded and Ninomiya-kun was already tired from laughing.

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The last game was the usual – Korokoro Viking – and Miura-kun had an impression to spare (one that we hadn’t already seen) for the occasion.

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Ohara-san can’t say anything without the audience going ‘kawaii’.

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After giving it their best try, the guest team looked on and awaited their fate . . .

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. . . as the Arashi team had one last shot to secure a victory. In this critical moment, it was Sakurai-san and Non Style in control of the point-scoring orange zone. I haven’t seen Sakurai-san take control of this zone very often – will his evident friendliness toward Non Style help?

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This was a fairly lackluster episode. Unlike other recent episodes, where wasn’t the same Arashi energy and presence. At the same time, the only really outspoken and entertaining member of the guest team was Miura Shohei-kun, who definitely deserved the MVP for this hour. Otherwise, Kubota-kun had some moments, but the rest of the movie cast was very low-key (though they performed well in the games)

The plus one guests got a few laughs here and there, but I don’t know enough Japanese to really appreciate their contributions (well, except when Inoue-san went running around like a crazy man).

I don’t think there was a really outstanding Arashi member this time. Well, except perhaps Sakurai-san, who played off of Inoue-san during both Kicking Sniper and Korokoro Viking. Ohno-san did the funny voice during Bank Bowling, but Sakurai-san contributed there as well. But there was one in-game performance that really stood out – Aiba-kun in Cliff Climb. So, I think I’ll give the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi to Sakurai-san and Aiba-kun jointly.