Two weeks is a long time between Sexy Zone Channel episodes – especially when we have to wait those two weeks before getting to see the result of a challenge. Last time, we found out that SZ really could make a double-dutch challenge very interesting to watch, but if they really want to do a double-dutch performance set to “Lady Diamond”, they might have to dispense with the humor this time and really get focused.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0002014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 001

While the university double-dutch team makes the routine look easy . . .

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0022014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 003

. . . it’s a lot trickier for the SZ members, who only learned the basics of double-dutch that day.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0042014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 005

On the bright side, they have the university team members holding the ropes – don’t underestimate how much that’s helping to smooth the rough edges . . .

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 006

. . . but after all the basic training they did last time, the boys must have some pretty sore muscles, and they’ve already had to change tee-shirts since their previous ones probably reeked.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 007

Starting this review, I wonder if I’ll have much to say in the midst of the pic spam.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 008

How about a leap-frogging Kento?

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 009

I’ll say one thing – the quality of the video is excellent despite the quick movement, just as it was last time.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 010

They began with each member practicing their own parts with the specialist they were paired with. While Kento-kun leapfrogging was impressive (though full credit to the rope-turner who supported his weight), the part that was most fun to watch was Shori-kun’s because he had some fancy footwork. The most difficult part, though, seemed to be Fuma-kun’s because of the speed.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 011

A funny scene was when Marius-kun and Shori-kun each tried out Fuma-kun’s part to see if it was really as difficult as he made it look. Marius-kun’s “zen zen wakannai~” will make me laugh every time, and Shori-kun couldn’t even start it. So yeah, it wasn’t just Fuma-kun.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 012

It was a very thorough and compelling portrayal of their practice. We saw them fail a lot, and only occasionally get it right.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 013

Oh, and excellent background music by the way – they had “Congratulations” playing behind most of it, and I like the song precisely because it’s so easy to use in this way – as theme music for any impressive exertion.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 014

After around an hour of practicing their specific parts, they took a brief break to talk it over, and asked the university students to show them the full performance one more time.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0152014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 016

After that, it was time to start putting everything together – to fuse together all their parts. On the first try, they didn’t even get past the initial eight counts.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0172014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0182014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 019

And that’s probably when they figured out it was going to be a long afternoon, after all.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 021

It was tough on Marius-kun, since his was the last part and he had a huge amount of pressure. If they even got to him, that meant all the others had gotten it right, so if he failed . . . well, you get the picture.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0222014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0232014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 025

Whenever a member messed up, they tended to pick up with that member again, to allow for practice where necessary. Along the way, everyone tripped up at one point or another, even Kento-kun.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0262014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0272014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0282014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 029

Fuma-kun might have had the toughest part, but Sou-kun had the most wear-and-tear on his body with those backflips. At this point, though, Fuma-kun is doing quite well and he’s not the one who’s causing Sou-kun pain – Marius-kun is.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0302014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0312014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 032

There are a few times when they seem inches away from getting it done, but at that point it’s all about Marius-kun’s ability to get his kirakira move right and exit the ropes. On the best of these Marius fails, everyone drops to the floor in dismay – including all the university students – and then Kento-kun shouts “kirakira shiro yo!!”

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0332014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0342014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 035

I really like how the university team is fully into this – their enthusiastic help is a huge part of what makes this enjoyable to watch.

The other part are the little touches, like when Marius-kun tries to get the others to do a “yay!” at the end once they start trying to do the moves with “Lady Diamond” playing – at full tempo – without the ropes. The “yay!” is a good idea, but none of the other SZ members seems to be listening when he says it, and his response to that fact was cute.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0362014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0382014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 039

Around twenty-two minutes into the episode, they try a full fun with ropes swinging and music playing. Sou-kun is the first to fail in this final phase, but that’s all right – they’ve got a lot of episode time ahead of them, so he’s definitely not the only one who had trouble.

It was mostly Fuma-kun at this point – if doing that quick step move was tough before, it’s even more challenging now that he’s tired and the full tempo of the music is determining the pace.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0402014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0412014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0432014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 044

Fuma-kun needs some extra practice . . .

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0452014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0462014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 042

. . . and two hours have passed since we checked the clock near the start of the episode.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 047

The question isn’t so much whether they can do it or not – they’re not going to leave until they get this routine done at least once. The real question is how long they’ll take to do it, and I’ll leave that answer for your viewing pleasure.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 048

The staff asked Shori-kun how this challenge compares to the cliff climbing in the first episode, and he noted that in that one, they were facing it alone. If they succeeded, it was just their own success. This is the first time they’re really taking on a challenge as a team in Sexy Zone Channel, so it has a different feel to it.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0492014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0502014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 051

There are a lot more screencaps . . . .

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0532014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0552014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0562014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 063

Poor Sou-kun is really hurting at this point – especially his wrists as they bear the impact of his hands on the ground and then his entire body weight.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 062

There’s no question that their instructors are impressed with their determination, though.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0642014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0652014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0662014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 067

Eventually, the staff tells them that they’re only going to get five more chances before they have to call it a day. I don’t know how seriously to take that ultimatum, though – it’s possible that the staff wanted to give them a deadline so that they would get more focused.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0692014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0702014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 071

They look focused, don’t they?

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0732014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0742014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 076

Eventually, there was some measure of victory in this challenge, and there was a huge celebration between the SZ members and the university team . . .

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0782014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0792014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0812014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0822014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0832014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 084

. . . and each of the members had time to reflect on the experience, just as they had with the previous challenges.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0852014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0862014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 087

Matsushima-kun got a lot of praise from the university students as well as the other members for his back flip efforts. I wonder how many flips he managed to do during this ordeal.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0882014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0932014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0892014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 090

Some time was given to how wonderful their instructors were, of course, as well as how much fun double-dutch was. Fuma-kun reflected that he’d like to take a breather in the next episode.

2014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0942014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 0952014.04.23 Sexy Zone Channel 096

And there you have it. Honestly, the two April episodes really had to be watched together, just to see the full progress the members made over the course of one day. The effort displayed in each episode was striking enough – see it all as one picture, and it’s even more impressive.

I don’t actually know how they managed to make this so much fun to watch, considering it was a whole episode devoted to them practicing the same thing over and over again. As expected, there wasn’t as much humor in this one as in the last one. I guess they just generated a strong rooting interest – I don’t know if viewers who weren’t fans would have the same reaction, but it’s possible.

As has been true for every episode so far, the structure of the program has been pretty much flawless. Doing things so well . . . they really make it hard for me to review this!

I checked the official site, and they’re keeping the topic for the May 7th episode a secret. Will Fuma-kun get his wish for a challenge that isn’t so physically taxing, or will the staff have another sport lined up for them? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.