In the past two episodes of VS Arashi (VS 嵐), the Arashi members have been dressed in athletic outfits because they’ve been playing against sports teams. Judging from their clothing this time, they must be taking on a senior center.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 000

Seriously? Sweaters and cardigans and . . . whatever the heck Ninomiya-kun is wearing? Okay, so they don’t think too highly about the abilities of their opponents, I get it, but this is no way to look when promoting your new single!

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 001

Nino-kun especially.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 002

Sakurai-san talked to Ohno-san about the fact that Ohno did the choreography for “Bittersweet”, they made the obligatory note about Ninomiya-kun’s . . . whatever, and then brought out the guest team.

The guest team was the cast of the movie “Mogura no Uta – Sennyuu Sousakan Reiji” . . .

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 003

. . . which looks like a very, very strange movie indeed . . .

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0042014.02.13 VS Arashi 005

. . . but the cast has some familiar faces. They’re led by perennial favorite Ikuta Toma-kun, and I also immediately recognized Endo Kenichi-san, who recently appeared in Ando Lloyd, and Iwaki Koichi-san, who was in Miss Pilot. The other three members were Naka Riisa-san, who I should have recognized but didn’t because of the beanie, Minagawa Sarutoki-san, and Minami Akina-san. Incidentally, it’s the first time on the show for Endo-san, Iwaki-san, and Minagawa-san.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 007

The plus one guests added to the Arashi team were Jinnai Tomonori-san and Kendo Kobayashi-san. Now, I’ve been meaning to say this, but shouldn’t it be “plus two” guests. I mean, we almost always seem to get two, and in this case it isn’t even a comedic duo – I have no idea what these two have in common.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 008

They swear they’ve been acquaintances for 20 years, though. Anyway, it’s good to see them – Kenkoba-san in particular can be good fun.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 009

Unfortunately, the first game signaled that the Arashis might be dressed appropriately for the episode, because it was Rolling Coin Tower – the most subdued of all the games available. It’s usually the case that the pregame talk is interesting, but I didn’t hear much of note this time.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 010

Iwaki-san sure knows how to look cool. He looks like some sort of beat poet or old time hipster who managed to survive the decades.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0112014.02.13 VS Arashi 0122014.02.13 VS Arashi 013

After Rolling Coin Tower . . .

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0142014.02.13 VS Arashi 015

. . . they went on to Cliff Climb. I honestly didn’t think we’d get this game at all. And they decided to introduce a great rule this time – whatever time is left on the clock after the second climber reaches the top and pushes the button gets multiplied by three and added to the team’s score. So, finishing with ten seconds to spare would net 30 points – more than pushing even a lucrative button.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 016

Hopefully this will encourage people to try and get to the top instead of lamely trying to get to the tough button on the overhang when they don’t have a chance.

The climbers for the Arashi team were Ninomiya-kun and Jinnai-san, and Jinnai-san was the one taking on the overhang.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0172014.02.13 VS Arashi 0182014.02.13 VS Arashi 0202014.02.13 VS Arashi 021

I swear, Ninomiya-kun looked so weird climbing:

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 022

Toma-kun and Minami-san took on the cliff wall for the Mogura team, with the team leader in charge of the tough part. Can Toma-kun do better than Jinnai-san? He must – he’s Johnny’s!

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0232014.02.13 VS Arashi 0252014.02.13 VS Arashi 026

Next was Bank Bowling, and Kenkoba-san went up with Matsumoto Jun-kun first. Kenkoba-san got some laughs here, and I especially liked the comment that he was going to aim for the blue pins (because it’s pretty much a VS Arashi cliche that everyone says they’re going to aim for the red pin).

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0282014.02.13 VS Arashi 029

Then, on reflection, he decided they should both aim for the center, but that got both an interesting reaction and ironic results.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0302014.02.13 VS Arashi 0312014.02.13 VS Arashi 032

Ohno-san and Sakurai-san took care of the very complicated clean-up situation.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 033

Ikuta-kun and Naka-san took the first throws for the Mogura team and talked about their in-movie relationship and love scene.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 034

There was an exchange between Sakurai-san and Kenkoba-san that got laughs from the crowd, but I totally didn’t understand.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0352014.02.13 VS Arashi 0362014.02.13 VS Arashi 037

Handling the remaining pins were Minagawa-san and Iwaki-san.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 038

Hmm . . . I wonder whether Iwaki-san can bowl.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0392014.02.13 VS Arashi 0402014.02.13 VS Arashi 041

The penultimate game was Kicking Sniper, and it was here that Kenkoba-san and Jinnai-san decided to do a bit of a comedic exchange . . .

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0422014.02.13 VS Arashi 043

. . . but could even their best efforts draw attention away from Nino-kun’s clothes?

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 044

Kenkoba-san had some choice comments for Aiba-kun, and that seemed to spur Aiba-kun on. Which Aiba will we get – Miracle Aiba or Baka Aiba?

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0452014.02.13 VS Arashi 0462014.02.13 VS Arashi 047

It was only during Kicking Sniper that we got a real moment from Endo-san – he’s been pretty quiet all episode.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0492014.02.13 VS Arashi 050

He was up to kick alongside Ikuta-san and Naka-san. We found out that Naka-san accidentally kicked a ball into the face of one of the staff during practice (and it was interesting to see the way they practice for this game).

But then announcer Itou-san mentioned that Endo-san could balance a pole on his long chin, leading to this:

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0512014.02.13 VS Arashi 0522014.02.13 VS Arashi 054

Endo-san’s reactions during the game were also really hilarious.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 055

The final game was, of course, Korokoro Viking. The Mogura team was up first with Ikuta-kun and Naka-san taking care of the critical orange zone.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0612014.02.13 VS Arashi 0562014.02.13 VS Arashi 0582014.02.13 VS Arashi 059

What led Ohno-san to make this face?

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 060

I have no idea – definitely need subtitles for this one.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0622014.02.13 VS Arashi 063

In the end, it was all down to the Arashi team to clinch the victory. Ohno-san and Kenkoba-san had the tricky part.

2014.02.13 VS Arashi 0642014.02.13 VS Arashi 0652014.02.13 VS Arashi 0662014.02.13 VS Arashi 067

This was a fairly slow and unremarkable episode, right from the start. I thought it’d be more fun watching Toma-kun on VS Arashi, but he was fairly subdued in this episode. The best moment from the Mogura team came from Endo-san in Kicking Sniper – both for the pole balancing and his reactions. None of the other members of the guest team made much of a mark.

Both Kenkoba-san and Jinnai-san did their best to liven things up, but there was too much vacuum and not much to work with. They also made solid contributions in the games.

While Ninomiya-kun’s outfit sure drew attention and comment, I’m going to avoid giving Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi credit for it this time. I don’t want to encourage this sort of thing. So, ruling him out, Ohno-san takes the M.O.A. for this episode thanks to scattered moments throughout the show. Not much to go on, I know, but this wasn’t an episode with many highlights. Since Jinnai-san took on the tough part in Cliff Climb, no Arashi member got any points from that challenge.