Last time on Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ), we got the pocchari (plump) part of the classroom format with Miura Asami-san. This time, we get the baka (foolish) part as presented by Suzuki Nana-san. That’s not the whole story of the episode, though – we also get a visit from the stars of The Amazing Spiderman 2, so look forward to that later in the show.

The main segment itself should be a lot of fun. Suzuki Nana-san brings a lot of energy and they did a great job with the format in the previous episode.

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That said, I’m a bit surprised at how they’re very forcefully tying everything into Yowakutemo Katemasu – Ninomiya-kun’s new drama for two episodes in a row like this. Have we ever seen an Arashi drama get this much attention (direct and indirect plugging) on their variety shows before? And hardly a mention of Ohno-san’s drama (Shinigami-kun) on any of their shows.

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Unlike Miura Asami-san, Suzuki Nana-san’s blackboard writing is huge and a slightly sloppy. Still entirely readable though (from a mile away). Best part was when she got the kanji wrong for the “ju” in jugyou (授業 – lesson) and had to look on her notes to get it right. That’s Aiba-level baka, right there, so she’s clearly qualified to instruct us.

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That, and the fact that she made a whopping 301 TV appearances in 2013.

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It doesn’t take long for Suzuki-san to single out Aiba-kun as the target for her message that even though they’re baka, they can win (o-baka demo katemasu).

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Ninomiya-kun notes that people with an o-baka character tend to use their hands a lot, and Aiba-kun proves him right.

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Suzuki-san’s first topic was assessing why each of the Arashi members had trouble getting happy. None of this was meant to be taken seriously, since she mainly cited their primary character traits – Sakurai-san’s intelligence and Matsumoto-kun’s stoicism, for instance.

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I totally didn’t follow her next point . . .

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. . . but she eventually did a mini-skit with Ninomiya-kun where she tried to show the power of the word “sugoi”. Since that didn’t work out very well . . .

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. . . Sakurai-san suggested that Aiba-kun should see if he could get the intended feel of the skit.

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No question about it – he was certainly closer to Suzuki-san’s wavelength than Nino-kun was, and even managed to set up the punchline she ended with.

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Suzuki-san makes very abrupt transitions, and here it even throws the Arashi members off. She catches them by surprise when she asks Matsumoto-kun and Sakurai-san to step up and show mutual admiration for each other – presumably in the same “sugoi” way she had just done with Aiba-kun. I guess showing over-the-top admiration is a key part of why Suzuki-san is in such demand for TV appearances – other aspiring talents take note.

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In the next scene, Ninomiya-kun explained to Suzuki-san how to write a quiz question on the board – with the OO (maru maru) in the place where they have to guess a word or phrase. It beats me how Suzuki-san could have appeared on 301 shows last year and not have encountered this, but I suppose the best explanation is as Nino-kun put it – “o-baka dakara desu.”

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All Suzuki-san put on the board was “Tonikaku OOO” (Anyhow, [blank] [blank] [blank]), which got this reaction:

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Of course, no one would be able to guess how to fill in the blanks in that sentence. MatsuJun is having a great time in this episode, by the way – he’s gotten a ton of strong laughs in.

Anyway, they asked for some hints, and Suzuki-san ended up standing with arms outstretched to model a kanji, but it was only part of the kanji, so Nino-kun had to help out with the other radical – the other part of the symbol. I’m sorry I didn’t get that screenshot.

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The funny thing is, I have no idea how MatsuJun guessed the right kanji, because it didn’t look anything like what Suzuki-san and Nino-kun were posed as to me. The fact that Suzuki-san couldn’t remember how to write the kanji on the board anyway . . . .

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The topic was about was the importance of kissing one’s significant other. Suzuki-san claimed that she kissed her husband a hundred times a day, but as with everything else she says, I wouldn’t take it very seriously. The Arashis tried to figure out how she and her husband could fit so many kisses in. She also went on to the importance of hugs.

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The next quiz question had me in awe. The topic was “how to prevent affairs”, which was funny in and of itself, but . . .

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. . . note the small circle and the oval in the clue at the bottom of the screen. That was hilarious to see.

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Also note that Ninomiya-kun continues to be Suzuki-san’s stalwart assistant (the fact that it’s his turn is written on the board).

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Nino-kun gave them the hint that the answer is something Ohno-san hates the most, and while the crowd all seemed to get it immediately, Ohno-san was bewildered.

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Ninomiya-kun asks him what his condition to marry a woman is, and Ohno-san immediately answers that she has to let him be free. So, the answer is the opposite – to prevent affairs, Suzuki-san counsels to keep tight leash.

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I think during the course of this discussion, she convinced the Arashis never to get married . . .

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. . . and she decided the best solution was to ask them what concerns/questions about married life they have. I didn’t realize until this point that this was the married life episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare, but it looks like that was the theme after all.

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Well, if they’re going to have someone spend half the episode on this topic, at least it’s Suzuki Nana-san. As a result, the concern they brought up was farting. This topic sure gets brought up a lot on Japanese TV in relation to couples (we saw a whole episode on it in Kis-My-Busaiku, among other places). Of all things to be worried about when it comes to marriage . . . .

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In what was sort of a rough cut – an abrupt ending to Suzuki Nana-san’s part – they went Hollywood for the second half of the show. I was surprised because I thought Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, and Emma Stone would only make a brief appearance – much like the appearances from previous Western stars on Arashi ni Shiyagare. Instead, they were in for more than twenty minutes of program time.

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No offense meant, but wow was their interpreter short. It was just visually striking to see her there in the midst of all the towering figures (Arashi guys included). I heard her English, though, and it was top-notch, as you’d expect.

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The introductions were somewhat awkward. The Arashis were asked to each introduce themselves one at a time, and they tried to do as much as they could in English. Sakurai-san went first – he’s relatively good at English, after all – and he decided to mention that he played Yatterman, which he called the Japanese Spiderman (much to the dismay of all Japanese, including his group members).

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Thankfully, MatsuJun switched to Japanese quickly, but then he asked Jamie Foxx to say “funashi nashi” in a funny voice and . . . WHY? I totally don’t get it. He was supposed to introduce himself and . . . I don’t even get the gag.

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Mr. Foxx was obliging, of course.

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Ninomiya-kun tried to introduce himself as a Hollywood star (because of Letters from Iwo Jima), but I really think he needs to work on pronouncing “star”. Clint Eastwood’s name? Maybe just leave that out entirely and mention the movie’s name instead.

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Aiba-kun was very Aiba.

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Ohno-san was the best. The way he pointed at himself and said “leader” (careful to get the American “r” down) was absolutely brilliant. And then when Sakurai-san made the spelling of Ohno-san’s name clear and the guests made an “Oh No” joke . . .

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. . . Ohno-san’s face was . . .  well, you’ll just have to watch to see it for yourself.

Anyway, except for Ohno-san who saved it at the end, the introductions were entirely cringe-worthy.

The plan was for the Arashis to compete against the Spiderman trio in a series of battles. The first game was the one the guests would be most comfortable with – a basketball free throw shooting contest.

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Could Sakurai-san, Matsumoto-kun, and Aiba-kun possibly beat their illustrious guests? Well, there was lots of craziness here, and I’m not going to mention all the details – you’ll have to watch it for yourself to see what happened.

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It only got crazier after that, as the game from Japan that was chosen was . . . a fan throwing contest.

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Actually, make that a head-to-head fan throwing contest with some very complicated rules.

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I really don’t know what to say about this game. It’s definitely not the game I would have picked – my choice would have unquestionably been tataitte-kabutte jankenpon (the peculiar form of rock-paper-scissors that involves hard hats and rubber mallets).

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The guests were good sports . . .

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. . . and I can’t quite bring myself to comment on the way this show ended. Call it a cup-and-ball dance. It might be impressive or it might not be, depending on your point-of-view.

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This was a difficult episode to assess, mainly because of the second half where Hollywood walked in.

The guests were all great – Suzuki Nana-san at the top was tough to follow, but was energetic and chaotic as expected, and the stars of Amazing Spiderman 2 certainly did their best and kept things smooth.

The games were a problem. It would have been much better to keep the games neutral rather than pick one game originating in the Unites States and another originating in Japan, since the results were a bit too predictable.

I appreciate that the Arashi members tried to introduce themselves in English first, but after going as far as they could there, it would have been nice to hear them say something substantial about themselves instead of going silly.

So, what I can say about the episode is that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it. On the other hand, I can’t say I enjoyed it – I didn’t understand enough of the Suzuki-san part, and understood too much of the Spiderman part.

The Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi was Ohno-san, for his response to what kind of person he can’t tolerate during the first half and his solid self-introduction in the second part. Also up for consideration were Ninomiya-kun for helping Suzuki-san to get organized, but he lost points for not being able to say “star”. Matsumoto-kun also seemed a reasonable choice because he seemed to be the member having the most fun throughout the episode, but that “funashi-nashi” thing still makes me shake my head in dismay.