This was a special Father’s Day edition of Gamushara (ガムシャラ), and the plan for the episode brought six juniors to a rainy field. The juniors in question were Hanzawa Akatsuki, Matsumura Hokuto, Jesse, Takahashi Kaito, Iwahashi Genki, and newcomer Fukusawa Tatsuya. I wonder if having just one new junior involved is going to be a pattern – seems a bit stingy.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0002014.06.15 Gamushara 001

Anyway, this is the lucky family that is going to get help from the six Johnny’s juniors to craft an extra-special Father’s Day. I wonder how, among the tens of millions of families in Japan, this particular family happened to be chosen. It’s like winning the lottery . . . except not quite as lucrative.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 002

I suppose it was relatively convenient – Saitama is directly north of Tokyo – and if the staff specifically wanted to find a strawberry farmer, that could have narrowed it down in the Takano family’s favor. This is all a surprise to the father of the family, by the way, so I can only assume the mother engineered it.

Jesse-kun holds a poster with Takano-san’s details.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 003

And we find out that Iwahashi-kun really likes strawberries, so he volunteers to go pick them. He decides to recruit Fukusawa-kun as his helper, but the announcer unfortunately decided to talk right over Fukusawa-kun’s reaction to this – we could see his lips moving, but not what he was saying. Horrible.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 004

The staff explains that the other four will head into the house to help the kids and mother prepare whatever they need – the juniors will be taking their orders from them.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 005

The strawberry team headed for the greenhouse (and, now that I’ve started to try and grow strawberries, I completely understand why they do it in greenhouses), and they get permission to help pick the ichigo.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0062014.06.15 Gamushara 007

The farmer demonstrated how to pick the strawberries, but Iwahashi-kun . . . well, you can see for yourself:

2014.06.15 Gamushara 008

He’s really proving to be a great character for variety shows – he didn’t show it as much in Johnny’s Jr. Land as he has been here on Gamushara.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 009

Inside the house, the other four did some research, conferring with the kids about what should be done.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 010

They ended up with a to-do list . . .

2014.06.15 Gamushara 012

. . . and then Takahashi Kaito-kun suggested that the kids should write thank-you letters to their father.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 013

With that, they went to work.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0142014.06.15 Gamushara 015

While Hanzawa-kun could easily reach the cooler, he decided to get the kid to clean it . . .

2014.06.15 Gamushara 016

. . . so Jesse-kun had to give the kid a little lift. Hanzawa-kun held the lid of the cooler up.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 017

Strawberry picking continued, and while we were seeing these two at work, the director also decided to add a little inset box where we could see what was simultaneously going on in the house. I approve.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0182014.06.15 Gamushara 019

When asked how he is with his father, Iwahashi-kun said “犬猿の仲です” (kenen no naka desu), which can be roughly translated as “like cats and dogs” (it’s actually dogs and monkeys, but has the same meaning – not getting along very well). I found that to be unusually frank. The graphic person gave it two exclamation marks, and I think he was about to say that his father didn’t agree with Genki-kun’s decision to join Johnny’s, but was interrupted in the middle of that sentence.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 020

The preparations at home even include repainting:

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0212014.06.15 Gamushara 022

The strawberry guys got to munch on onigiri. It’s interesting that Iwahashi-kun has been fielding all the staff questions – we’ve barely gotten a few words from Fukusawa-kun. Judging from the way the announcer talked over him earlier, I wonder if they just decided to cut out some of his parts.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 023

Of course, Genki-kun has some really interesting ideas. They asked him about what kind of father he’d like to be, and  he said he wanted a family that could play a baseball game. When Fukusawa-kun asked if this meant having an 18 member family (the required nine for each side), Genki-kun confirmed! That’s . . . ambitious. I hope he’s either including extended family or grandchildren. Actually, it’s sort of refreshing that Genki-kun doesn’t seem to think things through very much – he just gets caught up by the idea. I just got done watching the movie “October Sky” earlier today, and Homer Hickam (whose real story the movie was based on) had sort of the same mode.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 024

Jesse-kun and Hanzawa-kun were busy with paper art. I sort of feel that Genki-kun and Fukusawa-kun got the easier end of this challenge.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0252014.06.15 Gamushara 026

Hokuto-kun and Kaito-kun helped with the cooking, and it sounded like this was a fresh experience for Kaito-kun. At least, he complained about the smell and seemed to be chopping things very slowly.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0292014.06.15 Gamushara 0302014.06.15 Gamushara 031

I might have underestimated the Genki-Fukusawa side of things – I didn’t realize that customer service was part of the bargain, but they spent some time helping the father sell strawberry goods.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0322014.06.15 Gamushara 033

Hanzawa-kun was bound to be used as a ladder at some point:

2014.06.15 Gamushara 034

Meanwhile, Hokuto-kun and Kaito-kun are suddenly aware of the time limit as they’re in the middle of making the chocolate cake. Hokuto-kun speeds up his mixing.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0352014.06.15 Gamushara 036

As is the pattern on this show, they interrupted the weekly challenge to bring us another chapter in the monthly challenge – the final chapter of this one, in fact.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0372014.06.15 Gamushara 0382014.06.15 Gamushara 0392014.06.15 Gamushara 040

Jesse-kun, Morohoshi Shoki-kun, and Takahashi Fuu-kun are on the last leg of preparations for their performance . . .

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0412014.06.15 Gamushara 0422014.06.15 Gamushara 0432014.06.15 Gamushara 044

. . . and Takahashi-kun will get to incorporate some of his breakdancing into it.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0452014.06.15 Gamushara 046

Jesse-kun is somewhat injured, so the coach has to stand in for him during practice.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0472014.06.15 Gamushara 048

Will he be ready for the main deal?

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0492014.06.15 Gamushara 0502014.06.15 Gamushara 052

I couldn’t get many good screenshots of their performance at J’s Party because movement=blurry, but this has to be watched to be appreciated anyway.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0532014.06.15 Gamushara 0542014.06.15 Gamushara 0562014.06.15 Gamushara 058

It was very impressive, but I won’t say whether they managed to do it perfectly or not.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0592014.06.15 Gamushara 0602014.06.15 Gamushara 0612014.06.15 Gamushara 063

Palpable sense of relief afterwards, of course.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0642014.06.15 Gamushara 0652014.06.15 Gamushara 066

All that was left of the show was to see the Father’s Day party.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0672014.06.15 Gamushara 0682014.06.15 Gamushara 069

I think Takano-san was pleased by all this, and maintained a very fatherly image throughout.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0702014.06.15 Gamushara 0712014.06.15 Gamushara 0722014.06.15 Gamushara 073

The version I had of this had the commercials in, and they interrupted this final scene twice – very annoying. Anyway, the elder son eventually read his thank-you letter to his father, and that concluded the challenge.

2014.06.15 Gamushara 0742014.06.15 Gamushara 0752014.06.15 Gamushara 076

There was a very brief live stage clip during the closing credits. That was awkward, but what would normally happen during the closing credits is a preview of the next episode, and they’ve consistently preferred to surprise the audience on that (a choice which I support).

2014.06.15 Gamushara 077

This was a very focused Father’s Day episode – we got the stated challenge, the conclusion of the jump rope challenge, and nothing else. I thought it was very good – not as entertaining as a more active challenge would have been, but after they did the Mother’s Day episode, I’m glad they followed up with this one as well.

Except for the usual announcer interference, the main issue with this episode was the way Fukusawa-kun was marginalized. He was the only new participant, and he didn’t really get a chance at the spotlight. To some extent, I think the nature of the challenge itself made it difficult for him, but so did the fact that the staff was more interested to get Genki-kun to talk than to prompt Fukusawa-kun for anything.

So, hopefully the next episode will allow more juniors some room to introduce themselves.