With all the figure skaters they seem to be featuring on Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ), I sure hope they manage to get Hanyu Yuruzu-kun on at some point, after his gold-medal finish at Sochi. For this episode, though, the guest was Ando Miki-san, the 2007 and 2011 World Champion and (according to Wikipedia), the only female skater to complete a quadruple jump in competition.

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Now, I don’t expect this to go as well as the episode where the Arashi guys had to try to learn to skate, but I hope it isn’t going to be too focused on food.

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No Mise segment at the beginning of this episode, so that’s a good sign. They still promise to make this a “first experience” variety show, but does that meant they’ll get out of the studio or not?

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I have no idea what was going on in the opening talk until Ando-san started talking about tea.

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They brought out ten varieties of tea. I don’t recognize all of them, but the one in the top right is Earl Grey.

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It’s amazing how they manage to act like they’ve never had tea before and are surprised by the taste of it. The “Miki-tea” moment (a reference to a gag from Shoji Tomoharu-san).

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I’ve never seen people get so excited by tea. There was good energy to the segment, even though I couldn’t really understand where the entertainment value was coming from.

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After that, Ninomiya-kun got to do his biography segment. Feels like it’s been a while since we’ve seen this – a good thing, since I really don’t want them to do the same segments episode after episode.

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Obviously, Ando Miki-san had a very busy childhood, considering she started to skate at the age of eight and was already aiming for the top by the time she was twelve.

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Don’t ask me where all the dog stuff fits into the picture. I can only assume she likes dogs. Sakurai-san ends up looking quite frightening when they load him up with dog goods – you’ll have to watch for yourself to understand, though.

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They showed a clip of her doing that quadruple jump when she was 14.

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That clip was juxtaposed against images of their own humorous attempts to skate.

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They moved on to talk about Ando-san’s first experience with a broken heart – when she was 14.

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Then they brought out a total surprise – Hannya’s Kanada Satoshi-san. Ando-san is apparently a big fan of his. I am too, and wish we saw more of him on Arashi shows (has he ever been the plus one guest on VS Arashi?).

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Of course, he gets over the usual gag first . . .

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. . . and then ropes Sakurai-san into doing it. It’s such a famous gag that they all know it.

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Matsumoto-kun is up next.

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Then Aiba-kun and Ohno-kun, who each put their own unique spin on it as usual.

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Naturally, it ends with Ando-san getting to do it.

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That was so clearly the best part of the show that I was a bit less attentive to the rest of the episode. They continued with her biography for a bit . . .

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. . . talking about her becoming a mother in 2013 of a 3.35 kg baby . . .

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. . . and then they finally got to the special experience of the episode – something about a Nagoya tea house/cafe.

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Rather than have them do a location shoot in Nagoya, though, they put together a Nagoya-themed kisaten in the studio (hey! That’s cheating!), complete with a replica of a famous figure.

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The rest basically involved food, including Miki-san cooking the dish Ninomiya-kun ordered.

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Well, it’s a lot better than the Mise segment, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

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It was decided that Sakurai-san was the weakest at cooking, so he became Miki-san’s assistant.

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Here was the dish they prepared and Nino-kun eating it:

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I tuned out completely as they ate . . .

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. . . though this strawberry thing briefly caught my attention.

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And after all of that, we got a live stage. Remember how I said in the review for the previous episode that they should put the live stage at the end? Well, it looks like I wasn’t the only one who realized that, and so Arashi ended the show on a strong note this time. The song was “Road to Glory” – the NTV Sochi Olympic theme song.

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It was exactly what you’d expect from an Arashi Olympic theme song – straightforward and not particularly memorable. I really had trouble looking at the screen with them in glaring white, though.

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I understand that snow white is indisputably the right color for the Winter Olympics, but . . . yeah, didn’t really work for me.

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It was a good episode all around, and the best part of the episode remains the bit where they all acted silly alongside Kanada Satoshi-san. Ando Miki-san was an excellent guest – especially because they had so many topics to talk about thanks to her like tea, dog-themed goods, Kanada-san, and figure skating. I like that they started off with the guest – you’d think that should be an automatic, but they keep trying to do things differently when in this case the natural approach is clearly the best. I like that we’re starting to get live stages from them, and that this one was in the right place.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi in this episode was pretty obvious. Sakurai-san had the dog mask scene, he was the first to mess around with Kanada-san, and he also cooked alongside Ando-san after being dubbed the worst at cooking, so I think he got marginally more attention than the others through all phases of the show. That said, all of the members had plenty of good moments in this episode, so it was very satisfying viewing for Arashi fans. The members seemed very engaged.