Well, the new challenge in this episode of Gamushara (ガムシャラ) sure looks interesting:

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But before that, we have to check out the conclusion of the spray art challenge with Yasui Kentaro-kun, Haniuda Amu-kun, and Suzuki Shunei-kun. Yasui-kun introduced the show as usual . . .

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. . . but to my surprise, they skipped the lengthy intro bit where some of the juniors mess around. This was the first of a few signs that the director is finally figuring out how to edit this show – the way they did the opening in the first two episodes was fun, but took too much time considering how short the show is and how much they want to get done. So, they quickly explained the whole Gamushara J’s Party thing and how the three members were going to do spray art on stage.

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Another good sign that they’re compressing things a bit – they showed a single image with all three members involved in the challenge instead of showing them one at a time. Every second counts when you’ve only got twenty-two minutes or so to work with.

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We got the spray art practice footage, as the juniors tried to get their times down to three minutes.

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They had their final practice before the show on stage . . .

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. . . and Shunei-kun made a serious mistake on his last try:

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Jesse-kun gives Yasui-kun a final word of encouragement . . .

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. . . and they went crazy on stage.

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Now, they only have three minutes to do this, and I was a bit disappointed that they cut out forty seconds of it. I was also annoyed by the fact that the announcer couldn’t just keep quiet for that time (there was commentary from the other juniors on stage, so any other comment was really unnecessary).

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Still, I think they did a good job of concluding this challenge. Deciding to do it as part of J’s Party, with the crowd and everything, was really brilliant.

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Hmm . . . looking at all that spray coming up, maybe it would have been better for them to have been wearing masks, after all.

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If you want to see their results, you’ll have to watch the show. I was impressed – mainly because they were able to do them in three minutes.

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So . . . will we see this again when this J’s Party eventually airs? Might be interesting to see it in its original context.

For the J’s Party filmed in May, Morimoto Shintaro-kun, Matsumura Hokuto-kun, and a junior I’ve never heard of before – Nagata Jiei-kun – will be handling the challenge.

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For now, we turn to weekly challenge (as opposed to the monthly one like the spray art and whatever the three juniors listed above will do), and here we have six juniors involved: Nakamura Reia, Iwahashi Genki, Jesse, Yasui Kentaro, Matsumura Hokuto, and Takahashi Kaito. That’s six of the seven members who were on the promo ads for the show – Jinguji-kun is missing, and they make a note of that at the start of this. Apparently he wasn’t feeling well, and Genki-kun is a bit perturbed by his buddy’s absence.

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This location shoot was done on April 12th – the day that the first Gamushara was supposed to air (though, because it airs after midnight, it technically aired on April 13th).

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The goal of this challenge is for these six junior, who were the faces of Gamushara on the ads, to promote the show in a more active fashion.

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How active, you ask?

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This active:

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Umm . . . do you suppose this would really give the right impression of the show’s contents?

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Then again, I guess it couldn’t hurt. Besides, I want to see them in those costumes and playing those instruments.

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It’s the Tokyo Chindon Club, and never has a name been more appropriate – you see, “chin” is the sound of the cymbal and “don” is the sound of the drum, so the name of what they do is literally the sound that they make.

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But simple as it sounds, will the juniors really be able to pick it up in the time they have? Yasui-kun found out that regularly people practice for two to three years first, but the sensei laid the pressure on by saying that the juniors would be fine.

The sensei asked who was the biggest show-off/stand-out (目立ちたがり屋 – medachi tagariya), and Jesse-kun immediately raised his hand. I think he and Hokuto-kun decided they were the most conspicuous because they were tall, and that’s fair enough because they got the full chindon set, which is a pretty tall and cumbersome thing to carry around.

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Takahashi Kaito-kun and Iwahashi Genki-kun got the big drum:

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Yasui-kun and Reia-kun were responsible for handing out flyers.

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Since the chindon set is the most complicated, Jesse-kun and Hokuto-kun had the early focus. Now, I don’t think either one of them has an ounce of existing instrumental aptitude, do they? I mean, Hokuto-kun’s attempts to look like he was playing the keyboard in SHARK were . . . . But maybe this will finally give them a taste of rhythm.

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Jesse-kun picks it up quickly enough – he won back the points that he had lost due to that English segment last week – but Hokuto-kun has a definite lack of confidence.

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Not that this stuff is at all easy – their left and right hands have to be doing different things. Of course, for anyone who has played the piano, guitar, or a range of other instruments, they might wonder what the big deal is.

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Well, you only have to watch Hokuto-kun in this to realize that for some people, it’s not so simple.

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Yasui-kun gave Hokuto-kun no mercy, though. He got a real kick out of seeing the normally cool and smooth Hokuto looking foolish.

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Genki-kun and Kaito-kun were up next, and while their part wasn’t quite as complicated as their predecessors, they still had a rhythm to get down.

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Just watching the part that they had to learn made Hokuto-kun feel better.

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Rather than following what the sensei was doing, they seemed to be banging away randomly, and Yasui-kun had to interrupt the chaos.

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What about Yasui-kun and Reia-kun, who are supposed to hand out the flyers? They must be feeling really lucky now, right?

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Well, they do have to present the flyer in a particular way, and they’ll be the ones approaching passers-by.

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There was more time for practice after their initial introduction to the instruments. According to the announcer, Kaito-kun and Genki-kun were doing well with their drums . . .

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. . . but Jesse-kun sure wasn’t impressed by Hokuto-kun’s efforts.

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After a bit, it was time for them to get dressed up.

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I was waiting for this ever since the opening, and I think Genki-kun had the best look out of the six. Then again, I’ve always been partial to a white-red-black color combination.

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By the way, Yasui-kun and Reia-kun only find out after getting dressed up that they have to hand out 1000 of those flyers. With each of them handing out one every five seconds, it would take them 42 minutes to get through the stack, and we’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out how they do. Looks like they’ll be in Harajuku, which is . . . well, you can see how busy it is in these shots:

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That’s the nominal end of the show, but there was an omake gourmet segment from Hokuto-kun.

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Wait a minute! After he looked so uncool in the last segment, you can’t tell us he’s the coolest junior member! And maybe he should be practicing those drums instead of eating!

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Well, I guess there are some viewers who must want to see Hokuto-kun eat, so here he is, just for you:

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Interestingly, during the closing credits, they decided to show a live stage, and for the first time they didn’t letterbox and distort the image.

So I see some improvements in areas I cited as problems – especially the pacing of the show, the awkward way they ended previous episodes, and some of the unnecessary VTRs. The announcer was still jarring at times, but I didn’t feel he was quite as obtrusive as before.

The biggest change was that they more or less totally eliminated the studio scene this time, which means we didn’t see the three members of SZ at all, and more importantly we didn’t see people reaction in the little box in the corner. I never like the little box in the corner, because it reminds you that you’re watching a VTR instead of watching what’s going on as it happens. A viewer likes to be pulled into the action – as if they were right there – and the box in the corner, the announcer, and choppy editing all undermine that. While the elimination of the in-studio scene has its drawbacks, I think it’ll allow more time and space for the challenges, which are the exciting parts of the show.

I like the chindon challenge – it’s always interesting to see Johnny’s mixing with the public like that. I remember a HamaKisu episode where they sent the Kis-My-Ft2 members out to find people who actually knew who they were – in places that their normal fanbase doesn’t roam. I think what we see in the next episode will have a similar feel to it.

I’ll be looking to see whether the May episodes continue to show this kind of improvement in the flow of the show, or if this was episode was just an exception.