No, I haven’t forgotten about Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ), especially now that I really have to catch up so I can review the New Year’s episode. Fair warning, though – these two episodes were yawners, and I might have to deploy sarcasm in order to keep this review interesting to read. It’s a shame, too – they almost had me going with the last two episodes of November and especially with the November 30th one, but then they decided to do this.

The guest for December 7th was Kimura Tae-san and for December 14th was Yakushimaru Hiroko-san (most recently from the hit morning drama Amachan but also in Kisarazu Cat’s Eye with Sakurai-san).

Both episodes started with the Tokyo Ii Mise Kudoi Mise segment as usual.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0002013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 001

In the December 7th one, it was just Aiba-kun and Ninomiya-kun joining Watabe-san for dinner – no special guest this time.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0022013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0032013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 004

Looks like ramen was on the menu, so if you enjoy watching Arashis eat ramen . . . .

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0052013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0062013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 007

But onto the main part of the show, we see that Arashi decided to go with the Grease look . . .

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 009

. . . which seems a total mismatch for Kimura Tae-san’s green and white, but what do I know? They note that Kimura-san really hasn’t had much involvement with the Arashis except Ninomiya-kun.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0102013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 011

Naturally, Sakurai-san asks Kimura-san about her impression of Nino-kun, and she describes him as “chotto hentai” (a bit weird/perverted). There’s an additional joke involved in the way she phrased it using homonyms, but I’m not going to get into that.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0122013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 013

Well, anytime Nino-kun gets called ‘hentai-kun’ in the first few minutes has to be considered a fun start to show.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 014

Next, MatsuJun did his fashion check, and as usual gave three Js – it’s not even a surprise, I think.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0152013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 016

There are really only two proper segments to Arashi ni Shiyagare now – Nino-kun’s biography segment and Aiba-kun’s quiz segment. So, moving into Nino-kun’s bit, will he exact some revenge for that hentai comment from Kimura-san?

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0172013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 018

Well, maybe old photos of her will serve as a bit of payback:

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0192013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 020

The next topic was about an unforgettable love from her youth – a certain Tetsuya-kun.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0212013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0232013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0242013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 025

Honestly, not much in this segment sounded particularly interesting to me. There was some talk about part-time jobs (this seems to be a popular phase in many biographies) . . .

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0262013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0272013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 028

. . . and also her observations on the personalities of the Arashi members. Based on the way Nino-kun is looking at the camera here . . .

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 029

. . . do you think he just got a compliment from Kimura-san, or is he just making an amusing side remark?

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0302013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0312013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 032

The next point of interest was when we got to clips of her horror movie work (I think it was part of the Ring series of films), in which we didn’t get a decent glimpse of her face at all.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 033

The guys moved closer to the screen to try to get a better look.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 034

After that, the topic was her marriage to an ordinary man (don’t ask me what ordinary is in comparison to).

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0352013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0362013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 037

Nino-kun often has a little activity in his segment, and this time it was apparently to get Kimura-san to do a fan dance:

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0382013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0392013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0402013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 041

The goal of the dance was to outline a story with the movements. Ohno-san gave his own shot at this.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0422013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 043

Aiba-kun took over after that, and his segment focused on . . . bathtubs and installations.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0442013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 045

This was not Aiba-kun’s best contribution to date from an entertainment standpoint, though Kimura-san seemed to appreciate it.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0462013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 047

So did the Arashi master of relaxation himself – Ohno-san.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0482013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0492013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0502013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 051

But beyond the part where Ohno-san starts to sing along to Enya’s “Only Time”, there was nothing to keep me interested in what was going on.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0522013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0532013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0542013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0552013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 056

And some stuff was just plain incomprehensible to me.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0592013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 061

Just to sum up the episode – unless you’re a huge fan of Kimura Tae-san or bathtub technology, it will probably be very slow going. Best thing in the episode? Ohno-san and the bathtubs. For being the only interesting element in the bathtub segment, the Arashi leader definitely deserves the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi for the hour.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 062

The December 14th episode also began with the Mise segment, but this time Ohno-san and Matsumoto-kun were accompanied by Morisanchuu’s Murakami-san.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0632013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 064

The restaurant served Italian food.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0652013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0662013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0682013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 070

I really don’t understand why the chef drizzled honey on this pizza. Is that a thing?

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0712013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 072

Uh-oh – we’re getting the backroom scene. That means there wasn’t enough good material in this episode.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0732013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 074

The guest was Yakushimaru Hiroko-san, and once they got in front of the live audience, they pretty much went straight to Nino-kun’s biography segment.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0762013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0772013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 078

Apparently, when she was young, Yakushimaru-san dreamed of becoming an archaeologist. That brought an obligatory Indiana Jones comment from Aiba-kun.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0792013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 080

As Yakushimaru-san explained, she just likes old stuff. Liking the subject doesn’t necessarily mean she’s well-versed in details, as they quickly discovered.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0812013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0822013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0832013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 084

The best part of the biography segment was when they went through some of Yakushimaru-san’s early work. I didn’t realize they had gunslinger girls in sailor uniforms all the way back in 1981.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0892013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 090

And not only did she wield an assault rifle with confidence, but she also released her début single that year – a song that was related to her gun-toting acting role.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0922013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0932013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 094

 

The clips continued as they went through other highlights of Yakushimaru-san’s early career.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0952013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0962013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0982013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 099

Past a certain point, they just listed her top movies and dramas:

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 101

 

There was even that 24-hr TV special in 2012 with Nino-kun:

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 102

 

After they wrapped up the biography talk . . .

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1032013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1042013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 105

. . . it was Aiba-kun’s turn to take control of the show. Unfortunately, the game this time was a dog show.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1062013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 107

When I say dog show, I mean literally – three dog owners paraded their pets and Yakushimaru-san got to pick her favorite.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1082013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1092013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1102013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 111

I really don’t have anything more to say about it.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1152013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1162013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1172013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 119

Now, if it seems to you that my description of the December 14th episode has been rather short so far, you’d be right, and that’s because the main body of the episode had less content than usual. To compensate for that, they . . . they did another Mise segment. This time, the special guest was Morisanchuu’s Oshima-san and her eating buddies were Aiba-kun and Ninomiya-kun.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1202013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1212013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1222013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 123

The food was tasty and chili, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

2013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1242013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1252013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1262013.12.07 and 12.14 Arashi ni Shiyagare 127

So while both episodes were disappointing, the Dec. 14th one was especially horrendous with its desperate use of two Tokyo Ii Mise Kudoi Mise segments. The best thing about the episode was the clips of Yakushimaru-san from the 1980s. Otherwise, there was nothing memorable – even the dogs were somewhat lackluster, though they tried their best to be entertaining.

I couldn’t come up with a Most Omoshiroi Arashi for the second episode.

The next two episodes of Arashi ni Shiyagare are both specials – the Christmas special on the 21st and the New Year’s special on January 1st. While both of those will doubtless be more interesting than what we’ve seen in the first two December episodes (and the New Year’s one will probably be epic), they won’t be indicative of where the show is heading.

You might say that the quality of the episode is dependent on the guest, and that would partly be true. However, the fact that they don’t have better ways to fill time than throwing in another Mise segment or that awkward backroom segment is an issue that needs to be resolved. Why don’t the other members except Nino-kun and Aiba-kun develop some interesting segments, and then mix-and-match different ones each week, depending on what might be most suited to the guest? It’s strange that we’ve lapsed into this pattern where only two members seem to be doing all the work, and probably not coincidental that they happen to be two members with their own solo variety shows.

Advertisements