Fishing. To my mind, fishing is a lot like golf – possibly a fun activity in certain contexts, but I can’t imagine how watching people do it could be entertaining. Not unless we’re talking about shell fishing or anything involving the fishermen actually getting into the water. In this episode of Sexy Zone Channel, the members of SZ will attempt to prove me wrong. Though honestly, if I find this entertaining, it’s probably more of an indication how much of a fan of the group I am.

Interestingly, they start out on the road, emerging from their spacious touring van and complaining at how quickly the camera is on them (well, except for Kento-kun). I suppose they would have preferred to get situated before the recording started.

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They don’t initially know where they are, except the very visible proximity of Mt. Fuji sort of narrows things down to Yamanashi prefecture. Their first guess is that they’re going to do some climbing/hiking, possibly of the highlands near Mt. Fuji to get a good view, but that would probably take too long.

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Of course, the staff likes to play little games with the boys, and here they’re kept guessing when the staff knows very well that they’ll come nowhere near the right answer. It’s a shame, because the stuff the SZ members propose is much more interesting than fishing. The same was true of the previous episode as well. Shori-kun insists that it must be something active (probably given their food fest in the last episode).

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The staff then gives the hint that they’re concerts have concluded, so the natural thing to do, as Kento-kun guesses, would be something relaxing. They immediately guess that the target might be a spa or an onsen, and practically insist on it . . .

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. . . but no, fishing is also reputedly relaxing.

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There’s an effort by the guys to get excited about fishing, but you can tell that they feel practically all their suggestions would have been better. The only member to sort of give it away, though, was Marius-kun, who gave a little sigh.

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Marius-kun used the word “mukatsuku” (to feel irritated, offended, or angry) where he probably meant a word meaning something like “frustration” and Fuma-kun jumped on him for that. Once Marius-kun grows up a bit so I don’t worry as much about how he’s taking things, the two of them would make a good comedy pair with Marius-kun doing the boke and Fuma-kun the tsukkomi. Clearly, Fuma-kun already doesn’t hesitate in that role.

Anyway, as Marius-kun noted, at least the scenery is nice.

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The staff tells them that they will be fishing for black bass, which are apparently somewhat difficult to catch, and they assure him that they will get some. Then a crow humorously interrupted the staff guy’s attempt to skewer them (I think it was for promising to deliver before they knew what they were up against, but I’m not sure).

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This has been a very slow start so far, with this pre-activity talk taking eight minutes before they finally meet the person who will teach them what they need to know about fishing – Omachi-san, who has more than twenty years of black bass fishing under his belt. Incidentally, while none of them have done this kind of fishing or fishing at this location, only Kento-kun and Marius-kun say that they haven’t done any fishing at all. Marius-kun jokes that he’d be okay with goldfish.

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They are going to be fishing with lures, and the sensei decides to give them individualized instruction. Shori-kun, one of the experienced ones, goes first . . .

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. . . and that leaves the other four in sort of a peanut gallery. Here again (like the previous episode), Fuma-kun seems to be the most energetic in terms of propagating humor, while Kento-kun is mild compared to his input in the past. Fuma-kun’s interlocutor this time was Sou-kun, who has also been looking like he’s at the top of his game.

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Shori-kun does fine, as expected, and next up was Fuma-kun. The sensei told him to swing back to 2 o’clock and to release at 11 o’clock. His first attempt had been around five hours long rather than three.

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Somehow, I felt from the way he said he had fished before that Sou-kun would do well here. Instead, he had a 3 o’clock to 10 o’clock motion that also ended up hurling the lure far off to the side instead of in front of him. When they pointed out the direction of the lake to him, he blamed the wind.

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He did very well on his second attempt, though – the sensei gave him 85 points, and his delighted reaction was cute. Fuma-kun quickly burst his bubble by pointing out that he deserved -50 points for his first go, so he ended up with only 35 points.

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With the three who had some experience getting their chance to practice, it was now time for the newbies. The peanut gallery decided to back up a bit as Marius-kun stepped forward. The lure could end up flying anywhere, considering what happened to Sou-kun’s. Even the cameraman backed up, and then Shori-kun advised that Omachi-san should do the same – which he did! They even started doing the scary Psycho music.

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After all of that, how do you suppose Marius-kun did? You’ll have to watch to find out exactly how it went, but I can tell you that the sensei decided to have him practice more off to the side (at a safe distance!).

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And what about Kento-kun? Surely the leader of the group has to amazingly be competent, right?

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So really . . .

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. . . Marius-kun is feeling a bit lonely right now. He’s still putting way too much of his body into it – he takes a huge stride forward whenever he makes his cast. Contrary to expectations, the bigger motion seems to lead the lure to end up only a few feet away whereas a carefully controlled and limited motion sends it flying forward.

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Regardless of his continued inability to do it, they decided to move forward (after razzing him for more than they really had to). It was time to pick lures, of which they had five to choose from. Their goal here was to pick which one they thought was best – this was a mini-game, if you will.

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Omachi-san explained the different types of lure, and then to pick they each pointed at the one they wanted. Fuma-kun and Marius-kun got their first choices because no one else wanted those. The other three picked the same one and had to do janken.

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Omachi-san then told them the ranking of the five lures for their current purpose. Who do you think got the best and worst?

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That brought us about halfway through the show, and I have to say, I appreciate the detailed explanation of things from Omachi-san as well as his ability to go with the flow of humor from the SZ members. As usual, the boys are fairly good about making things fun for the people they work with (as we especially saw in the double-dutch challenge).

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The best bit was when Omachi-san was demonstrating how to use the lures (the goal is to move them so they seem like real fish/shrimp/etc.) and accidentally caught a fish – he actually started apologizing! He was using the lure he had ranked as the best, so at least there wasn’t any surprise on that score.

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Finally, it was time to get them out into the water, and that meant dividing the five members into two boats:

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Somehow, they manage to make everything into a game, so here they didn’t actually get to see their boats before they picked. One of the boats had an engine and the other didn’t, so they had to try and figure out which one would save them from a lot of manual labor.

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They turned this into quite a little event, and it was hilarious to watch. I don’t know if they can make fishing interesting, but they can sure make picking boats fun. That’s been the trick to this episode so far: they’ve gotten through most of the episode without actually fishing.

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Eventually, though, it was unavoidable . . .

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. . . and then it was just a matter of waiting to see if they caught something in the hour of allotted time. Well, actually, no. They all managed to stay interesting. For instance, Marius-kun had control of the boat’s engine and at one point thought he had caught a fish when really he just gotten his line caught on the bottom of the lake.

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Kento-kun broke his fishing line on his first cast. Shori-kun did a funny imitation of a fish and talked to the camera more than the others. Sou-kun was a tad seasick, or at least sick of being on that boat. They all tended to detect something on their lines, but found it hard to reel it in before losing the catch.

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The hour of fishing was edited down to merciful fourteen minutes. In the end, did they manage to catch anything in that short hour?

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The best part, by far, was when Marius-kun lost his reel, and shouted across the lake to complain to “Kenti” about it. He had mentioned that he had wanted to be in the same boat as Kento-kun, but the way, so there’s no question who he’s most comfortable relying on.

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In the end, I think the episode was a success because they did so little fishing. Even during the fourteen minutes, they kept things entertaining by doing things other than just waiting for the fish to bite.

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So I didn’t really find out whether I was such a hopeless fan of SZ that they could even make fishing worth watching, because they hardly did any fishing, and my attention was maintained by all their antics.

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And wow, did they have to work hard to keep the laughs coming in this one. I applaud the staff, too, for coming up with the games like the lure game and the boat game.

The long eight minute intro was a slow start to this one, though. I felt that they were really pushing the limit there, and it ended up being the most tedious part of the show. I hope that they can tighten that up in the future – especially for these episodes where they already start out on location.

So, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I wouldn’t mind watching it a second time (preferably with a dictionary handy so I can translate more of the jokes). I sure hope we get some more active stuff soon.