Tag Archive: VS Arashi

VS Arashi 2014.07.31 Review

The members of Arashi decided to promote their new DVD at the beginning of this VS Arashi (VS 嵐), but they surprised Ohno-san by asking him to take the lead on it.

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He tried to play it straight, but briefly seemed to forget the name of it. MatsuJun asked if Ohno-san had yesterday off – referring to a joke from the July 10th episode.

The guests were the cast of the movie Rurouni Kenshin (they’re promoting both Kyoto Inferno and The Legend Ends – I’m not sure what the logic of releasing two movies in the space of two months is, but I’m sure fans are happy). The members were Sato Takeru, Takei Emi, Kamiki Ryunosuke, Tsuchiya Tao, Miura Ryosuke, and Takahashi Maryjun. Of them, I think Takahashi-san is the only one I haven’t seen in a drama or movie before.

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This is a younger-than-Arashi team, so that’s very good. On the other hand, it’s a movie team, which usually means that they’ll stick to playing the lighter games. We’re definitely going to get the new game this time, but I’m wondering if we’ll see Cliff Climb or not.

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The guest team for this VS Arashi (VS 嵐) is one of those prefecture teams with a mishmash of talents. In this case, the team members were all from Hiroshima, and they were the three members of Perfume (Nocchi, A~chan, and Kashiyuka), 9nine’s Nishiwaki Sayaka-san (the younger sister of A~chan), and the two members of Ungirls (Tanaka and Yamane). So, as far as prefecture teams go, this was a pretty close-knit bunch. I’m curious to see how Perfume does. We’ve seen Ungirls plenty of times, and so with them I’m just wondering what sort of antics they’ll pull.

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Actually, Perfume has been on VS Arashi as well – all the way back in 2008, six years ago. Sakurai-san brings this up.

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Next, they talk about how Nishiwaki-san is A~chan’s younger sister and how the main resemblance between them is their voices.

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VS Arashi 2014.07.17 Review

In this VS Arashi (VS 嵐), the guys waste no time telling us that there is, in fact, a new game! Now, while that’s very exciting, and I’ve been waiting quite a while for this, I have to point out that the previous new game, Popcorn Hitter, went nowhere and the one before that, Shotgun Disk, is only rarely played and generates practically no drama. Meanwhile, a lot of my game-related complaints have to do with existing games that aren’t played enough – like Jumping Shooter and Falling Pipe, which are games that the Arashis can still do poorly in despite being the regulars and which also pit the two teams against each other head-to-head.

The new game is called “GoGo Sweeper”, and from the little view in the corner, it looks like it only involves two people at a time, and if it takes any skill at all, would be relatively easy to develop an optimum strategy for. That’s just a first impression, though, and I’ll give my definitive review of it at the end. Will it be a keeper, or will it end up another Popcorn Hitter?

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Sakurai-san is about to call out the guest team, but Ninomiya-kun wonders if it’s all right – whether they’ll need to put up a mosaic to pixel out (for censorship). That gets the audience’s attention (eh!).

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And yes, it is the Suikyu Yankees team. So, as if the promise of a new game isn’t enough, we get a bright young team making one of the more epic entrances on VS Arashi that I’ve ever seen. Don’t worry, they’re not required to play all the games in their swimsuits.

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So, the Suikyu Yankees team is composed of Hey! Say! Jump’s Nakajima Yuto-kun and Takaki Yuya-kun along with Yamazaki Kento-kun, Ohara Sakurako-san, Oomasa Aya-san, and Kurashina Kana-san. Kurashina-san is the eldest of the bunch at twenty-six. Of course, it’s very nice to see Yuto-kun and Takaki-kun competing against their senpai, and I hope we see some exciting performances in the games.

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VS Arashi 2014.07.10 Review

It’s unlikely that I will be bored during this episode of VS Arashi (VS 嵐). It’s a two-hour special pitting the Arashi members against agency rivals Kanjani8, and in case that’s not enough, there’s some baba-nuki at the end to cap things off (not with Kanjani8, though, unfortunately). Somewhere between Arashi and Kanjani8, there will be sufficient fun to keep things entertaining.

At the beginning of the show, the Arashis note that while they’re roughly the same age as Kanjani8 and entered the agency at generally the same time, they debuted five years earlier. According to Ohno-san, this makes them Kanjani8’s dai-senpai. I wonder how the Kanjani8 members will react to that.

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This is the first time the entire roster of Kanjani8 is present to challenge Arashi on this show, and if they win, they want to turn the show into VS Kanjani. Or, Yokoyama-san concedes, they’ll be willing to settle for Kanjani Manabu (taking over Aiba Manabu) at worst.

Just to give it a try, the guests decide to simulate becoming the hosts, and ask Arashi to head backstage so they can do a Kanjani8 opening to the show. They even got their own VS Kanjani opening sequence.

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They mostly commented on how big the set was, then called the guest team out, so Arashi could retake the stage. This is the first time on this show that Arashi has been introduced as the guest.

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This is the start of a new season of VS Arashi (VS 嵐), but will it be any different from any other season in the two-and-a-quarter years I’ve been reviewing this show? I love Arashi, but things have been feeling repetitive for a while now. Even the tiny tweak to Dual Curling seemed like a big deal considering how static the show has been.

Now, game shows don’t necessarily have to change games – Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and countless other shows have had the same format for decades without anyone getting tired of them. But Japanese TV is a much more dynamic arena, which is largely what I like about it. The variety in this variety show for the past few years has mainly been a matter of guests rather than activities, but that’s not been enough. In particular, it hasn’t really been enough for the Arashi members themselves. Early in VS Arashi, they were constantly surprised by happenings on this show, and the games were a real challenge. In recent years, those surprises have been few and far between, and they are well-practiced on all the games. It would be easier for them to make things interesting if they were facing games that they had little experience playing.

And that’s the thing about the other game shows I mentioned: the hosts in those shows didn’t play the games, so things were relatively fresh for all the contestants involved. With Arashi taking part, they need to find a way to keep things fresh for themselves.

So, let’s see what they do.

The episode began with Sakurai-san noting that Aiba-kun’s left nipple seemed to be showing through his top, but it turned out it was just a logo on the tee-shirt underneath. It was good that Sakurai-san clarified that right away, though, because it was easy to get that wrong impression.

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The guest team was one of those mish-mashes of talents – it was the Pocchari (plump) team. The only member of the team I’ve seen a lot of and have confidence in is Kendo Kobayashi-san. The rest all have variety show experience, but I just don’t know much about them.

Aside from Kenkoba-san, there were two newcomers to VS Arashi – actor Watanabe Tooru-san and Morning Musume member Suzuki Kanon-san. There was also Fall in Love’s Barbie-san (at least, I think it should be romanized that way), Yanagihara Kanako-san, and Matenrou’s Antony-san.

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Now, Watanabe-san doesn’t seem particularly plump, but he points out that he used to be an action star and a top idol, so I guess by those standards he’s put on a bit of weight.

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