This is basically the Yowakutemo Katemasu (弱くても勝てます) special in Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ), with all the guests involved acting in Ninomiya-kun’s new drama (which I expect to review). This special is divided into two parts – the first featuring Arimura Kasumi-san, and the second with guests Fukushi Sota-kun, Nakajima Yuto-kun, and Yamazaki Kento-kun.

Arimura-san has other recent experience working alongside the Arashi members in dramas, though. She was in Shitsuren Chocolatier with Matsumoto-kun, did two episodes of Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri with Aiba-kun, and though it’s not in her DramaWiki credits, she was in a Nazotoki was Dinner no Ato de special with Sakurai-san. Based on that, Sakurai-san notes that she’s part of the Arashi family.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0002014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 001

Well, that leaves one member with whom she hasn’t worked, then:

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 002

Until her part in Nino-kun’s drama, though, Arimura-san’s main experience with an Arashi was with MatsuJun in Shitsuren Chocolatier, and Sakurai-san asks for her impression of Matsumoto-kun. She recalls when he asked her what she would like for her 21st birthday (this past February, during the run of the drama). She asked for the DVD of a movie Matsumoto-kun liked, and he ended up giving her 21 DVDs (to match her age)! Well, that’s some impression of him!

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 003

I’m sure we’d all like to know which DVDs they were, but that’s not the end of the story. In the bag with the DVDs, there was a yellow rose and blue rose! It looks like MatsuJun was not happy about being revealed in this way.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 004

Aiming a bit young, isn’t he? Ahem, anyway, they decided to go with Aiba-kun’s Yarisugi segment to introduce Arimura-san instead of Ninomiya-kun’s biography segment because Nino-kun will be leading the festivities in the second part of the show.

Aiba-kun is still as scattered as ever, though – he gets an early laugh from Arimura-san when he forgets that he was to flip the panels to reveal the details.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0052014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 006

The first point was that she debuted very recently – only four years ago at the age of 17. In an industry where it seems like everyone has been in it since they were toddlers, she not only started late, but she has also recorded a string of roles in some pretty good dramas. Of her ten past dramas, I’ve watched at least a part of five of them, which is a tremendous batting average. She’s also been in four movies – two of them based on the drama Keizoku 2: SPEC.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0082014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 009

They talked about her experience entering the industry – something about Kansai-ben (the Kansai dialect) was involved – and then also about becoming an adult and whether anything had changed.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 010

Arimura-san was remarkably open, and noted that she really hated her 19 year-old self, feeling frustrated that she was unable to change. Turning 20 and becoming an adult gave her the chance to change, and she wouldn’t want to go back to being 19.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 011

Aiba-kun praises her for thinking so much about the change to adulthood, admitting that he’s useless – he hasn’t even thought about it once! That admission got a big laugh from the other Arashis.

The next point on Aiba-kun’s board was a weird one – too much bloodshed from the head. That got an “eh!” from the crowd. Turns out that, her apparent image aside, Arimura-san is a bit of a tomboy (おてんば – otenba), and her activities have led her to bleed from the head three times. Most notable was probably the second time, when she knocked into the crossbar of a soccer goalpost.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0122014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 013

There were three items on Aiba-kun’s Yarisugi board, but they totally cut out item number three, just like they cut out one of them items last time.

The main event of this part of the show was a date competition – each of the Arashis had to take Arimura-san on a date, and she’d pick who did the best job. This ties into the “first experience” theme of the show because Arimura-san is so busy that she can’t experience a date. So, they’ve decided to prepare a variety of scenarios for her, and even have sets ready for each of their plans:

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0142014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 015

They even picked out special outfits, so until it’s their turn, their clothes are hidden in black cloaks:

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 017

This is really reminiscent of Himitsu no Arashi-chan in a number of ways.

Aiba-kun was the first one up, and as you’d expect, his approach was earnest with some goofiness. The Arashis had a required line that they had to say at the end (something like ‘let’s talk on the phone before going to sleep’ – you get the picture), and Aiba-kun has an especially difficult time getting that line out.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0182014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 019

You might be able to tell from the screenshots or you might not, but they made everything in the date scenes fuzzy – they added a blur to make it seem that this was . . . I guess a dream? Anyway, that was annoying, since the net effect was just to lower the video quality (not a problem if you’re watching in HD like the intended audience, but somewhat of an issue if you’re watching it compressed like I was).

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0202014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 023

I’m not going to get into the details of what each of the Arashis did – you’ll have to watch for yourself to find out. It’s all pretty self-explanatory anyway.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0242014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 026

Even on a date, Ohno-san finds a way to catch fish:

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 027

A cotton candy machine? Can you guess what Ohno-san’s scenario was?

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0282014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 030

Ninomiya-kun took her on a picnic.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0342014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0362014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0372014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 038

After janken . . .

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 040

. . . Matsumoto-kun went traditional.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0412014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0422014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 043

Sakurai-san went for a driving date with her.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0492014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0512014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0522014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 054

With Arimura-san’s verdict, the first part of this spring special ended . . .

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0552014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 056

. . . and the second part began.

Fukushi-kun, Yuto-kun, and Yamazaki-kun had a brief moment in-studio after a VTR introducing them rolled.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0582014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 059

Then Ninomiya-kun came out, dressed up as Kinpachi-sensei and emerging to that drama’s theme music. He introduces the premise of this part of the show – he’s going to give them an extracurricular lesson in being manly. You see, his co-stars all look cute (according to him), but that’s not really the right feel for baseball, so they need to fix their image. This should be hilarious.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0602014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0612014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 062

With that, they all pack into the van . . .

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 063

. . . pick manly names for themselves (they all chose variations on their own names except for Ninomiya-kun, who picked “God”) . . .

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 064

. . . and arrive at the location for their training. Their first task is shopping, and they go into a shop that only has leather clothing.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0652014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 066

The safer bet is to get a leather jacket, and that was supposed to be the goal, but Aiba-kun aims for the more challenging option – leather pants.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0672014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0692014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 068

Of course, not all leather jackets are created equal, and a lot of them seem designed to convey . . . stiffness.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0702014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 071

I guess the intended impression is that they’re walking tanks:

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 073

As for Aiba-kun and his tan leather pants . . . .

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 074

He really needed a belt with that, considering how the top button kept releasing whenever he bent.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 075

Sakurai-san reached peak manliness by picking out a leather vest rather than a jacket in order to show off his arm muscles.

They wear their new purchases out to dinner (except for Nino-kun, who excused himself from this requirement), and had a manly meal of charcoal-fired meat products.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0762014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0772014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0782014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 079

The first topic of conversation was . . . the type of woman they like. Really? In the manly meeting of manliness they’re going to go with an idol magazine question instead of talking about their favorite cars or sports?

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 080

For each topic, one of the guests had already given an answer, and Fukushi-kun kicked this one off.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0812014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0822014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 083

Next topic was what they do in their time off, and Yamazaki-kun answered with billiards and guitar. Well, now we’re getting somewhere.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0842014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 085

Nino-kun brought out a guitar and had Yamazaki-kun demonstrate:

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0862014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 087

But Yamazaki-kun isn’t the only guitarist on hand, so Ninomiya-sensei tried to show us his skills, but Ohno-san handled the singing in the most lackadaisical (and funny) way he could manage on the spur of the moment.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0882014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 089

Next up, Yuto-kun threatened to show off some monomane. I’m . . . not sure what to make of the result, but MatsuJun didn’t think it was broadcast-ready. Poor Yuto-kun.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0902014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0912014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 092

Fukushi-kun showed off his card magic skills, performing a trick with Ohno-san picking the card. It’s a very easy trick – I know how it’s done just by watching, but I won’t spoil it for other viewers.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0942014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0952014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 096

Of course, Ninomiya-kun couldn’t let that go without a challenge – can he do a more challenging trick that will impress even Fukushi-kun?

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0972014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 098

Well, I definitely don’t know how he did it. It was on a totally different level than Fukushi-kun’s trick, as he promised.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 099

To cap the show off, they remind everyone about the name of the drama, which will begin airing today – April 12th.

2014.04.05 Arashi ni Shiyagare 100

This was an excellent episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare, and solid in terms of specials. Though young, Arimura-san was a wonderful guest who expressed her thoughts well, laughed at jokes (always a good way to win people over), and most importantly acted in a way that removed any awkwardness from the date challenge. Fukushi-kun, Yamazaki-kun, and Yuto-kun were all fine guests, and having them show off their special skills was an entertaining way to end the episode. I wish Yuto-kun had something a bit more interesting to offer in this department – his monomane has never struck me was particularly brilliant, and unfortunately it’s tough to do drumming during a variety show like this – but at least he made up for it by being the most expressive person in the room.

On the Arashi side, the episode was very clearly dominated by Aiba-kun and Ninomiya-kun, and the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi has to go to Nino-kun. Not only was this all centered on his new drama, but he also had the best date scenario with Arimura-san (in my opinion) and also produced the grand finale of the episode with that card trick. Aiba-kun had some delightfully silly moments, and got plenty of mileage out of the button on those leather pants, but I was surprised how little effort he put into that date scene with Arimura-san – even if his goal was to make it funny, which it shouldn’t have been. The other members participated, but had smaller roles (like Sakurai-san with the leather vest and Ohno-san with the singing).

So, the spring season looks like it’s off to a good start. Let’s hope the show opts for a rich mix of guests in the episodes to follow.