As far as I know, there wasn’t an Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) on March 15th – at least, I can’t find any sign of it. Things get a bit unpredictable during the transition time between seasons. Anyway, this episode ties in quite well with the last VS Arashi episode of the season – the March 13th episode – and here’s a hint why:

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That’s a little promo for Sakurai-san’s new movie Kamisama no Karute 2, and we last heard about the movie because the plus one guest on VS Arashi was Sakurai’s costar Miyazaki Aoi-san. Sure enough, after a very long VTR at the start of the show previewing what the show is about (two and a half minutes) . . .

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. . . the audience warms up their ‘kawaii!’s at the first sight of Miyazaki-san . . .

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. . . and get a whole lot of other chances to shout the word out. Take this old photo from when she was six or seven, for instance:

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Miyazaki-san entered show business when she was four, so she’s been in it for 24 years. Ohno-san has been in the business the longest out of the Arashis, and he notes that he’s only been at it for 20 years, so Sakurai-san dubs Miyazaki-san their senpai as she rapidly shakes her head.

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As on VS Arashi, Miyazaki-san gave some impressions of Sakurai-san, though what she said here was very different than the comedy-based assessment that she gave before.

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After that, they had a welcome party with lots of food:

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There was some meat in the midst of the green, and Miyazaki-san explained the logic of the meal.

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Chow time.

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Ninomiya-kun tried to introduce a new segment, but the guy holding the cue cards didn’t have the right title call up. Nino-kun realized that, but decided to real what the guy (presumably an assistant director) had before shouting at him.

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The real title call was so long (like, a paragraph) that it was no wonder Nino-kun needed the right cue card up in order to do it.

The new segment involved finding out who the real Miyazaki Aoi-san is, and it’s Ninomiya-kun’s way of countering the new segment Aiba-kun recently introduced. Well, nice to see at least two of the Arashis are getting involved with new ideas here.

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This corner takes the form of a quiz for the Arashis. They are asked questions about the guest and have two possible answers to pick from. They each stand in one of two places corresponding to the possible answers before the truth is revealed. In this case, there’s an “Aka Aoi” choice and  an “Aoi Aoi” choice.

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The first question was where she went on a trip this year, and the choices were Kyoto and Barcelona. Quite a gap between those two possibilities.

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I’m really going to get irritated by that “or” sign in the middle of the set.

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As you’d expect, they discussed the choices extensively.

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If I’m translating right, the next question was what she doesn’t want to eat on a first date, and the choices were yakiniku and hamburger. That’s a tough one.

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MatsuJun was alone in thinking hamburger.

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Miyazaki-san is sure hard to read – they all state their reasons for thinking what they do, but she just smiles and gives no sign whether she agrees.

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The third question was what she would like her boyfriend to wear – saggy pants or white shirt+jeans.

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Aiba-kun always likes to switch at the last moment. Here he is, getting ready to sprint over to the blue side:

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The final question was who she would rather go shopping with – Ohno-san or Matsumoto-kun.

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That sure puts Ohno-san and MatsuJun in a pickle – do they vote for themselves? I’ll conveniently hide whether they do or not.

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I think Miyazaki-san had good fun throughout this segment, and it was certainly a much more entertaining time than the usual biography corner Nino-kun does.

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There was no avoiding the Tokyo Ii Mise Kudoi Mise segment . . .

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. . . but after Aiba-kun and Matsumoto-kun got their chance to eat . . .

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. . . we went back to the studio as the Arashis investigated the hobby that gets Miyazaki-san’s tension up – embroidery (刺繍 – shishuu).

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She really got excited when they showed appreciation for her work.

But they really couldn’t spend much time on embroidery, so . . . how about succulent plants (多肉植物 – taniku shokubutsu)?

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Miyazaki-san took Ohno-san on a little trip to learn more about arranging these plants.

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In round two, Aiba-kun, Matsumoto-kun, and Ninomiya-kun went into the shop while Miyazaki-san, Ohno-san, and Sakurai-san watched.

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Eventually, Nino-kun pointed out that this wasn’t going to be good for broadcast, and the editor took that as a cue to speed things up with voice-over narration.

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Finally, the whole gang went in to wrap up the show.

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This was a solid episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare. Miyazaki-san was a delight – gotta love the sunny smile and personality. Ninomiya-kun’s new segment was a total success and helped the episode move fairly quickly thanks to the fact that it kept the guys on their feet instead of having them all spend the episode sitting down. The hobby corner at the end was a tad lackluster, though – there was energy, but the activity really wasn’t well-structured. They should have had each member come up with their own plant arrangement and then have it judged by the specialist, or something like that.

There were a lot of contributions from the Arashis in this episode – they all seem very relaxed around Miyazaki-san, just like on VS Arashi. Actually, the member who had the weakest participation was her movie costar, Sakurai-san. Otherwise, Matsumoto-kun did a lot of talking during the quiz portion, Aiba-kun made it his special mission to get the guest to laugh, Ohno-san seemed to dominate the quiz part even without doing much talking and also had the 1-on-1 with Miyazaki-san and the plants at the end, and finally Ninomiya-kun was the MC through most of the show and was responsible for a very good opening half. I think the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi should go jointly to Ninomiya-kun and Ohno-san – the first for his practical contribution to the show, and the latter because he seemed to be Miyazaki-san’s choice.

There was an episode on the 29th and it should be a good one – the Arashis got to try out snowboarding! So, I’ll try and get a hold of that as soon as possible.