In the midst of all sorts of uncertainty about the future of the group, at least we can still turn to Sexy Zone Channel to see all five members together. So, what are the guys going to do this time?
Whatever it is, they were asked to assemble by 7:45 a.m., which means they are going to some place that would be open to the public during regular hours, and they need to go there early so that they don’t disrupt business.
The staff guy noted that he came to Shori-kun’s Solo Concert, but struggles to say much about it. He also asked Fuma-kun about GTO, which was ending the next day (I assume it is the recording that was concluding, and that ‘tomorrow’ was based on when this was recorded in August).
The staff guy was unusually bad about the opening conversation this time – perhaps because of the early hour. Kento-kun called him out on it.
They got down to discussing the main event and confirmed my assumption about why they were meeting so early.
Their goal is to buy stuff. I think this is similar in spirit to that episode where they picked out DVDs and manga, and hopefully they’ll be required to make presentations of their choices at the end like they did in that episode.
They arrive at the shop, which is brimming with oddities. Fuma-kun quickly tries on a pair of gag glasses, and they eventually all try them on.
The staff introduce the rules. First of all, they each have a budget of 8000 yen (roughly $80) and while they get to pick what they like, they also have to find a birthday present for a girl.
Kento-kun was definitely trying to get the staff to laugh during the rules explanation, and somehow he and Fuma-kun went into a single medley while wearing those things.
The boys will be ranked by the shop workers based on their purchases, and the top three will get their 8000 yen of merchandise, with the person at number one getting a 5000 yen bonus to use. The other two will not get to keep what they picked out. I’m not a big fan of this 3-2 split thing, but otherwise the rules seem reasonably well thought-out.
With all the goofing around outside, though, will they ever go into the store?
Well, before they do that, they have to determine who gets which camera following them – just like in the DVD-manga episode. Marius-kun insists immediately that they play janken to decide, and also places his hand on the biggest camera just in case they’re tempted to just grab them like they did the last time.
The initial focus is on Shori-kun, who immediately starts sharing his thoughts with the camera about the stuff in the store. I’m not sure I’m going to have much to say about this selection process, since unlike with the DVDs and manga, I don’t have particular thoughts about knick-knacks.
Shori-kun seems befuddled by the large variety of choices.
Marius-kun actually says the forest of goods is scary. Indeed, he almost looks like he could get lost in this store.
It’s definitely a great store to send them into for this. Fuma-kun is better at talking while he’s browsing this time (compared to the DVD-manga episode), but he still doesn’t face the camera enough.
Sou-kun seems attracted by the bizarre:
Fuma-kun finds a Route 66 sign that he really wants, and even though it’s way out of the 8000 yen budget, he still seems to want it.
Shori-kun has very level-headed interests, and we next see him looking at a speaker system with a classic look for 3000 yen.
Sou-kun finds some tiger stuffed animals and associates them with the cubs that they got to name in the safari park episode.
Kento-kun goes into Loveholic Prince mode and talks to the camera as if it’s his girlfriend.
Shori-kun has me puzzled as he looks a planetarium domes and seems to judge them based on their color instead of what they display (he has a white dome which says “North” and a pink dome that says “South”, and if those are indications of hemisphere visibility, then he should really be going with North).
As they make their final decisions about what to buy, I think I’ll avoid giving too many details. I had the most fun watching Marius-kun – especially when he tallied the cost of the stuff he already had in his basket with a calculator and realized that he still had 1000 yen left, and had to dash around during the last minute to find something to buy. Fuma-kun had no idea about the bill he had wracked up, and Sou-kun found out that he had 14000 yen worth in his basket – 6000 yen over.
They eventually assemble and do the presentations I had hoped for with store clerk Fukushima-san in charge of judging their choices. They each had two minutes to explain themselves.
Sou went first, then Fuma, Shori, Marius, and Kento.
I don’t want to give away what they picked, though, so I’ll skip discussion of this part.
So, who do you think won?
Marius-kun should get extra points for pronouncing “Village Vanguard” – the name of the shop – and also for putting up with constant interruptions from the others.
Kento-kun should also get points for some stunning precision cost calculation.
At the end of the show, we got to see the winner spending the bonus 5000 yen.
I’d say that this episode was fun to watch, though highly dependent on Japanese comprehension. Unlike the sporty episodes, I don’t think it’s possible to enjoy this one without knowing the language, and I’m sure I missed plenty given my own limited abilities.
I won’t comment on Fukushima-san’s judgment except to say that she decided based on what they picked out for the girl’s birthday (the second rule of the game), and I think it’s obvious that some members have more background on this than others.
It was a nice location shoot – the store itself was a star of this episode – but I hope they do something more active and less confined in the next episode. Perhaps something where they all have to work together on something instead of competing.