Trying to catch up with the activities of juniors on Gamushara (ガムシャラ), I’m pleased to see some new faces in the mix for the main challenge this time:

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The newcomers are Kouchi Yugo, Matsukura Kaito, and Kajiyama Asahi, and they join Morita Myuto, Jesse, Jinguji Yuta, Takahashi Fuu, and Kishi Yuta in a whole lot of eating. Well, not quite – you know how much I hate eating shows – but this promises to be a bit more interesting. As you can see on the left in the screencap below, they’ll be taking on the chilliest food in the neighborhood – a street that is apparently known for this sort of cuisine.

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The question is, which team will consume less water when faced with the flaming hot food? The teams were divided as follows:

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The blue team was the Kishi Team, and the red team was the Jesse Team, and they were each given a two liter pot of water that they could drink from. The remaining water volume would be measured at the end. I have to admit, this aspect of the challenge was genius (and I’m sure done in other shows before).

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What wasn’t quite as brilliant was the fact that they went to different places instead of taking on the same dishes in rotation to see which team was really more resistant to chili. On the bright side, at least they got to pick which places instead of the staff deciding for them, since the staff all too often likes to come up with sharp contrasts between the teams, regardless of whether it seems fair. After janken, the Jesse team got to pick first, and Jesse-kun chose a place offering honey wings – I think he’s under the impression that sweet and chili cancel each other out, which is not strictly true.

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The eldest junior present – Kouchi Yugo-kun – offered his team some sage advice. I think he advised aiming for the worst dish first, so that they would then be desensitized after that, but I’m not sure about it.

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After the initial picks, they didn’t show us the rest of the selection process, and just displayed the result:

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With that, the two teams were dispatched to their locations.

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I’m not going to detail all the dishes they had, but rather focus on the more interesting reactions. After all, watching people eat extreme food is different from the normal umai situation because we get to see them sweat it out and squirm.

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They have to finish the dishes put in front of them, and Jinguji-kun had the first bite of the episode – out of a chili burger. So much of it oozed out, I don’t know whether he got the worst of the chili.

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As with all good spicy food, the heat snuck up on him. He thought it was delicious until a few seconds later, when it started to hurt.

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Same with Myuto-kun, who started begging for water after taking only a tiny nibble. Jesse-kun naturally denied him the water.

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Myuto-kun is clearly weak at this sort of thing – at least, so far – so the other three had to do all the eating.

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Kajiyama-kun handled his part without any fuss at all. Will we eventually see him meet a dish he can’t handle so easily?

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The Kishi team hit their first location . . .

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. . . and it was quickly clear who the king of funny faces would be:

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The three who attacked the ramen first all had trouble immediately . . .

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. . . but Matsukura Kaito-kun just started vacuuming the noodles up as if it was nothing.

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As you might have realized, though, the effect of the dish simply hit him late, and then he was in big trouble.

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The soup was especially tough to take . . .

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. . . and Kishi-kun took charge as the team leader, trying to speed through it. That was a failure.

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Instead, they went through it slowly to earn their water.

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Kouchi-kun decided to offer a single cup of water for them to share, but after he and Takahashi-kun took their gulps, there was none left for the other two, leading the announcer to lament about their teamwork.

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The Jesse team hit the honey wing location . . .

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. . . where the proprietor forced them to wear plastic gloves because the wings were too dangerous to touch with bare skin. Seriously?!

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They successfully executed the “douzo” gag to get Myuto-kun to take the first bite.

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What’s going to happen to Myuto-kun’s tongue?

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Myuto-kun is clearly the reaction leader here, as the others just grimace a bit.

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Kajiyama-kun did a little dance of chili pain in the corner this time, and Jinguji-kun was red-faced and perspiring.

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Kishi-kun is still the best at the faces . . .

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. . . but I’m always more interested to see how Kouchi-kun and Matsukura-kun will do, because I have a bit more faith that their reactions are authentic.

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In the middle of that challenge, they turned to the jump rope performance challenge involving Jesse-kun, Takahashi-kun, and Morohoshi-kun. As usual, I don’t like the interruption, because is just means an additional transition from the announcer, and the spicy food challenge is already being chopped up pretty tight.

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We can interesting bit of tape with them talking about the challenge in their van . . .

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. . . and they focused on practicing their synchronization, since they’ll be performing as a team.

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Points to Morohoshi-kun for the SMAP tee-shirt, by the way.

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There’s some good video here – it’s not one of those updates where they don’t show us anything new.

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Soon enough, though, we go back to the challenge for the week. We saw it in a previous episode, too, but there seems to be a bond between Morita Myuto-kun and Jinguji Yuta-kun:

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Some sort of dyed-hair fraternity, perhaps?

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Jinguji-kun didn’t look like he could take anymore . . .

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. . . but the danger in this dish was more from the soup than the main meal – they polished most of it without trouble.

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Of all of them, Kajiyama-kun was the only one who still looked like he was ready for action at the end.

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The next dish really slayed the Kishi team . . .

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. . . but they fought through it . . .

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. . . and eventually they, too, were done.

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So, which team do you think managed to survive the ordeal with less water consumed?

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The challenge was definitely enjoyable to watch and a good idea, but the usual flaw to this series still applied – we didn’t get to hear the guys speak as much as we should have, and heard too much of the announcer. On the bright side, the video was more compelling than usual, and we didn’t have the studio scene taking up time.

It was nice to see Kouchi-kun, Kajiyama-kun, and Matsukura-kun in particular, because they all suit variety shows well and don’t get enough opportunity to show it. Even here, Kajiyama-kun was somewhat marginalized, but Kouchi-kun got unusual attention thanks to the fact that he was the eldest junior present.

In terms of comedy, Kishi-kun and Morita-kun were the clear winners. Altogether, though, the juniors did an admirable job of making things interesting, and the drawbacks to the show were still solely a matter of format and editing.