I already know that the challenges in this episode of Gamushara (ガムシャラ) are going to be brilliant, but will the directing and narration be able to get out of the way well enough to let me enjoy what the juniors are doing? Let’s find out.

We got the standard opening this time . . .

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. . . and after the briefest of words from Sexy Zone . . .

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. . . they went straight into the new challenge for the week, which involved a record nine juniors – Abe Aran, Takahashi Fuu, Jesse, Morimoto Shintaro, Yasui Kentaro, Tanaka Juri, Jinguji Yuta, Iwahashi Genki, and Morita Myuto. Now, I like large scale junior involvement, but will they each get enough time to shine?

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Or will they get crowded out by these useless cartoons and VTRs? Who needs these, anyway? I appreciate the explanation that this was for Mother’s Day, but their depiction of what mothers do was . . . restrictive:

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And why not just have the juniors tell us all of this, including dividing up into teams dynamically instead of just displaying the teams in a static visual?

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Anyway, we finally got past the useless voice-over part, and team one with Iwahashi, Jinguji, and Myuto offered their services to multiple households, but got rejected three times in a row. It would make anyone hesitate – having all those people and cameras in their house on no notice. On the other hand, with the cameras recording their work for broadcast, you could be reasonably sure the juniors would try their best.

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Jesse-Abe-Takahashi got a place to help quickly, and I’m sort of surprised that the mother in question agreed to give her full name and age.

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Her husband was present, and they had four kids to deal with – ages ten, seven, five, and three months. Heartwarming family, really.

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There’s a lot to deal with , though – can Jesse-kun clean up faster than the kids mess things up?

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We get some nice conversation while they working alongside the five year old, and we hear the staff talking to them for once. I’d much rather hear the on-the-scene staff talking to the boys rather than the announcer.

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The announcer interrupts all too quickly, though, to segue the scene to outside, where the three helpers had to cut planks for some reason.

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Instead of saying something useful about what they’re doing, the announcer decided to tell us that Abe-kun was going to make a mistake before he made the mistake. It would have been so much funnier if we hadn’t known it was coming.

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In fact, I’m not even going to tell you what happened.

The goal of this challenge is to conclude by getting the photo of the mother’s smiling face after doing the task assigned.

Next up was the Yasui-Juri-Shintaro team, and they found a 79 year old who was camera shy.

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Compared to the Jesse team, they seemed to do a lot more work, and even gave her a massage!

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You know how long we got to see them here? Around thirty seconds! What a travesty, since they must have spent a lot longer. This challenge is way too rushed – I think they forced it to fit into this episode because of Mother’s Day, but it’s already apparent that they should have allowed it to stretch to two episodes. Especially since so many juniors were involved.

Anyway, we turned back to the Genki-Jinguji-Myuto team, who had found a mother to help, and were busy at their work.

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Their main task was to clean the car.

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Lots of talk during this one – especially between Jinguji-kun and Myuto-kun. That was interesting to watch.

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Iwahashi-kun found yet another way to be amusing, this time struggling to remove some tape on the car.

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This was the first trio who seemed to get an adequate amount of program time.

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Interestingly, they went to a second household and the mother there also asked for a car wash. I think they’ve been typecast! That’s a good choice, though – it means she can give them a chance to help her without having to much recording inside the house.

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So, we continue to watch Iwahashi-kun and Jinguji-kun force Myuto-kun to fetch the water from the fifth floor flat, with praises that he’s an amazingly kind senpai.

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Annoyingly, we get a preview here about what’s going to happen with this bunch later in the show. You know what? There’s not enough time in this show to waste on stuff like this preview. Don’t tell us what’s going to happen – we’re going to see it in a few minutes anyway.

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Oh, and don’t interrupt one challenge by bringing us another challenge, because that’s the stupid move that necessitates an extra teaser and then an extra intro on the other side. Just finish up what you want to show of one challenge before moving on to the other one.

If I thought they didn’t have enough footage for this show to fill the airtime, I wouldn’t complain, but I know they must have hours and hours of recording given the two challenges this time, so there’s no excuse to waste even a second.

Hmm, screenshots of the juniors pole dancing seem sort of risqué, no?

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Hilarious and impressive at the same time, actually.

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Even their worst efforts, in the middle of saying that it’s impossible and scary, were striking.

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Unfortunately, we only got a couple of minutes of video before someone decided to cut back to the studio so that people could take about it – for a few seconds. Completely useless, since even the most lucid thinker wouldn’t have been able to encapsulate a noteworthy thought in the time they had. Well, maybe an avid twitter pundit might have been able.

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Back to the Mother’s Day challenge with Yasui-Juri-Shintaro.

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Yasui-kun had some fun with four year old Daishi-kun, who helped clean his own mess. This was unbearably cute.

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How are the car washers doing?

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It’s getting late, so the camerapeople have to turn on lights . . .

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. . . and desperate times call for desperate measures as Myuto-kun has to give Jinguji-kun a boost so that he can get at the top of the van. As you’ll note if you watch, Jinguji-kun seems enjoy taking unfair advantage of his senpai.

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The Jesse-Aran-Takahashi team is . . . grocery shopping!?

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Actually, they’ve been tasked to make curry rice! They’re making it for the two adults of the household and for themselves.

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How did it turn out?

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You know what’s shocking? We didn’t even get to watch them properly eat it! I thought for sure we’d at least get that, but instead we jumped to the Yasiu-Juri-Shintaro team . . .

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. . . and a huge pile of manga magazine volumes:

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Their task was to clean up the room, and there seemed to be manga hiding everywhere. I’m not sure why the clean-up took them four hours, but it was probably the long trips up to and down from the apartment. As usual, those hours got condensed into less than the equivalent number of minutes.

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So, which team did the best?

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Perhaps the question is which team got the cutest photo:

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Myuto-kun sure got extra senpai points. Now, he needs to find a way to get back at Jinguji-kun . . . .

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He can’t complain about Genki-kun, though, who took the lead in giving the kids a bath.

The nine juniors reconvened at the end of the experience.

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The juniors were great, and the Mother’s Day challenge was excellent. I liked the fact that eleven juniors were involved in this one, and that added a lot of color to the episode.

I’ve already complained enough about the heavy editing and interruptions. Let’s just say that I think any fan – and this show will primarily attract fans – would rather have seen the challenge footage with just minimal editing for time constraints, no voice-over, and minimal graphics. Oh, and no studio scene. The juniors themselves should introduce the challenge during the parts where they’re all assembled – a scene which occurs at the beginning of each challenge. The only time the voice-over might be necessary is to introduce any sensei who might be involved, like in the pole-dancing challenge.

So I enjoyed the episode because of the challenges and the effort the juniors put in, and would gladly watch it again for that, but I can’t pretend that this show is as good as it could be.