This episode of Gamushara (ガムシャラ) follows the August 10th one more or less directly, and I recommend watching both together. In fact, there are multiple versions of the events depicted being mixed-and-matched, as in the August 16th special and also the September J’s Partys. The one thing the August 16th special lacked that this episode has, though, was the final result – which team won.

We begin with the formidable double dutch team – Matsumura Hokuto, Morohoshi Shoki, Morimoto Shintaro, Tanaka Juri, and Kyomoto Taiga. Unlike some of the other teams, this team went into the challenge with some basic skills in this area, and early on I thought that the main thing they had to learn was how to turn the ropes.

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I’m sure they will show us some tremendous skills, but editing has so far hidden most of their attempts to practice those. In the interest of surprise, the editor has made this team’s segments one of the most difficult to appreciate. They focused a long time on the speed-step, and only in this episode do we get to see what they were really up to. We first see then three days before the big day.

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And I think they are the only group who we are told (by the commentator) did their entire run perfectly during practice.

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But we don’t have a really good sense of whether that’s impressive or not, so the director turns back the clock three weeks and reviews how far they’ve come.

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In the process, we see some of the special moves that they were learning, but still not all of them.

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The sensei gave them a talk to refocus them and to make sure they worked together as a team. Honestly, that was probably their strong-suit to begin with since these guys have worked together for a very long time. The only team that has lacked any sense of real cohesiveness has been the breakdancing team, where they’re all very quiet and shy.

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Just to reinforce the team spirit, though, Taiga-kun presents his team members with a misanga – a good-luck bracelet in their team color (yellow) – on the day before the performance.

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So, that’s the double-dutch team all set to go.

How about the percussion team – Jinguji Yuta, Nakamura Reia, Matsukura Kaito, Tajima Shogo, and Inoue Mizuki?

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They had the most demanding instructors. At the beginning, they seemed like they had never even attempted drumming before, but now they’re getting all sophisticated and self-directed. We don’t even see the sensei in this clip.

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Unfortunately, their ability to catch their mallets after tossing them in the air still needs some work.

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They all mess up, but when Jinguji-kun does, he shows his frustration. I like that, because it demonstrates that he’s passionate about getting this right and that he feels particularly disappointed in himself.

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While he’s not as tough as the sensei, he shows his displeasure when they fail as well, though not as much as when he makes a mistake himself.

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While practicing with the cymbals . . .

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. . . Inoue-kun accidentally makes a wrong move and the cymbals from Jinguji-kun and Reia-kun smash into his head. Watching the replay, I liked his reaction/expression as he walked away from it.

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He assured them he was all right, but it was a dangerous mistake that they knew they’d have to be more careful of. Rule 1: don’t do physical harm to team members. That’s automatic disqualification.

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In short, they weren’t doing so well before the main performance (the graphics people declared it a last-minute slump), and the commentator didn’t say they managed to do a fully clean run of it.

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So, what’s going to happen during the big event? We hear from all the members beforehand.

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And after a brief flashback of their progress . . .

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. . . it’s time for the real thing.

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Nice sharp outfits for them. Glad to see they didn’t have to wear pink shirts like their sensei did in the first session. What’s on the back of Mizuki-kun’s vest, though?

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The beginning looked good, but then I had one issue – they edited the transition between the cymbal part and the bucket part. Any editing of the actual performances is a big no-no in my book.

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Otherwise, this team managed a very strong set and I didn’t see any faults. Then again, I’m pretty sure we didn’t get to see the full performance, so that’s an issue.

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They got to react to how they did . . .

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. . . and then it was time for the big boys – the double-dutch team with their good-luck bracelets.

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Somehow, though, I don’t think these guys need luck, but the sentiment is good.

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This was a fantastic performance, and one thing that made them stand out was the way they celebrated whenever they succeeded in doing a special move – something the other teams did very little of. That increases crowd engagement and makes the effort memorable. I hope the other juniors make note of that.

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The MVP on this one was probably Shintaro-kun, but they were all very good.

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The post-performance celebration and especially the tears from Hokuto-kun were very poignant on this one. I was definitely moved by Hokuto-kun’s reaction, and sniffed a few times in his honor.

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Then, it was time to find out which group won. I watched this thing three times, and I still don’t understand the scoring.

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Yasui Kentaro-kun was in charge, though, so that make it all legit.

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I’ll leave the result out for your enjoyment. I won’t even say whether I agreed with the final assessment or not (certainly not a given when the audience were the judges and I don’t even understand the scoring method).

What I will say is that it was nice to see the culmination of all of this – the past month and a half of Gamushara episodes. I’m sure this is not going to be the last time I discuss these challenges, as the September J’s Party has been replaced with two episodes on the Gamushara Summer Festival. There’s also the August 24th episode of Gamushara, which will provide some extra footage and also a chance for the four teams to reflect on the experience together.

I hope, though, that we get back to the more dynamic Gamushara episodes soon. I’m a bit worried that the staff is going to continue with these same four teams since the teams are named after the show’s title (though I never refer to them as Team Ga, Team Mu, Team Sha, and Team Ra). Having four teams is fine, but unless these teams are going to become steady groups in other contexts (like Shounen Club), which I doubt, then I think it’s better if they have rotating membership so the juniors work with different members and gain some experience that way.