Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Seal of Approval Given to the Powered Up Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ)

Guys, remember when I said that I had hope for the powered-up Shiyagare, despite its faults? Well, hmm... let's think, what has it delivered so far?

There was that funny Yowakutemo SP (aired 2014.04.05) where Arashi had a friendly competition on how who could take the ever-kawaii Arimura Kasumi on the best date and then spent the night trying on leather jackets, roasting meat, and singing (badly) in a smoky BBQ mise with three of the ikemen cast. 

And then, there were the two episodes (2014.04.12 and 2014.04.19 eps) where Arashi once again (seriously, they're never going to outgrow this) donned the good old high school uniforms and attended lectures from Miura Asami and Suzuki Nana, who both showed an exceptional talent at bringing out the cute, the droll and the awkward in our five boys. Not the mention that the Suzuki Nana episode had another segment which featured some sorely missed Arashi Engrish as some, um, Hollywood 'sturrs' came to visit? *hint hint, Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield*

Next (aired 2014.05.03), who should come but the married and charming Ueto Aya, who is not only pretty, but also really spunky and had the baka boys running all over the NTV studio playing hide and seek on a whim. That's after an exhilarating game of let's-see-how-contorted-Nino's-face-and-Ohno's-body-can-get (also known as a massage) where Arashi pinned the unfortunate massagees down to receive Aya-chan's treatment.

And just one week after that, we got this. (2014.05.10 episode)

Believe me when I say that Riida making this hengao (変顔) was the mildest of the points of hilarity in this episode. The guest was actress Kimura Midoriko, and her task? Why, to teach our squeaky-clean boys how to turn themselves into big bad bullies, of course! And who are they bullying? *rolls eyes* OHNO SATOSHI, DUH. As Kimura-san says, Riida just has a face that you want to see in tears! Hahaha, MatsuJun, you better watch out, there might be someone more DoS than you in the industry. But anyways, back to the skits, my personal favorite was when Arashi's resident Mr. Nice Guy (like seriously, even elementary schoolkids aren't intimidated by him) Aiba Masaki had to play bully to a meek AD Ohno.

Producer Aiba: You hungry? Here, eat this. (places chicken tempura on desk) What's that? Need chopsticks? Here, use these. (throws two pens onto the desk). Hey, EAT, quickly!
First of all, Tennen Combi = WIN. Second of all, Tennen Combi antagonizing each other = double WIN. And lastly, forcing Aiba to be convincingly mean is like forcing a giant jiggly pond of jelly to stand upright of its own accord (props to you if you know which Baka Experiment I'm referencing here lolz): stuff's going to spill out, and infectious laughter will ensue. This episode just made me fall in love with Aiba a little bit more than my already obsessive level of love ><

But the clear winner of the night was Jun, because A) when it comes to acting, I'm pretty sure our perfectionist Jun treats every skit (or, well, every skit that isn't clearly meant to be pure crack) as a full-out audition even if the context is a variety show; and B) you're putting Arashi's DoS Banchou in the director's chair and asking him to unleash his inner beast fully onto poor, deferential Ohno; likes seriously, were we expecting anything less than perfect?

That chin squeeze. Jun was pretty proud of that move after the skit was over. 
But the moment that really sent Twitter and Tumblr into hyperactivity that night was this tender bit of Juntoshi skinship when it was all over:

Oh-chan feels so at home in MatsuJun's strong arms. Cue the *awwwww*
Seriously, Ohno, stop being so damn cute! And perfect! And prettier than me. God damn it, is it wrong that this hug hit me harder in the heart than any hug Jun has ever shared with a female costar in a drama?

I honestly do think that Riida was secretly enjoying this episode the whole time. I mean, not only does he get to play the role that requires the least amount of energy expenditure (which is highly important to Ohno, in case you didn't know or couldn't tell from his other performances), but he also gets to guilt his band mates into skinship afterwards. And hey, anyone still remember something called Ohmiya SK? Riida was practically born for skinship.

But the fun certainly doesn't end here! Shitsuren Chocolatier may be over, but Arashi isn't quite ready to let go of such wonderfully photogenic people entirely... yet. So welcome Mizuhara Kiko (aired 2014.05.17) and Ishihara Satomi (aired 2014.05.24) to the now-familiar white-horse set. (side note: it really would have been too much to hope for a Mizukawa Asami appearance, I suppose, ah le sigh) Kiko drew out the best in MC MatsuJun, or a more accurate way of saying this would be that MC MatsuJun drew out the best in MC MatsuJun... since his segment was sort of about Kiko, but mostly about Jun. Hehehe... divas will be divas, and they ain't gonna share spotlight, right? Kiko was a great guest though, and gave as good as she got in this hilarious segment. I mean, she made Jun's face do this:

And no, that's not from a re-enactment of the mindblowing orgasms their characters obviously shared in the drama. Just a bit of relatively harmless teasing about the 21 DVDs and roses incident with Kasumi-chan. Seriously, the Arashi members are never going to let Jun live this one down. I mean, Dear J, it's already bad enough that you snubbed Nino with a library card... but to choose Kasumi over Kiko in the ChocoJun green room??? Nope, mark my words, this is going down in NTV's store of "notable footage to air during embarrassing SP's."

"Haven't you guys watched American talk shows?" Jun needs his leather couch and all its surrounding accessories, which of course include ostentatious roses and crystal lamp shades. You don't crimp on style for Don J!
Anyways, MC Jun was one of the most entertaining things I've seen on AniShi. He's adorable, sexy, and has just enough of a teasing mean streak to make it exciting for us to watch (and the members can ad lib the SHIT off this kind of Jun, too; believe me, even the rare Sakumoto moments were alive and kicking in this ep, and that's saying something). I sincerely hope that this corner continues (obviously, it would only work on guests who have worked with Jun before, but that shouldn't be too hard to manage), because I want more MC Jun!

On the next episode, Satomi was dragged through the same dating relay as Kasumi, only her date themes were a little more mature. So basically, Riida gifts her a portrait on his wall, Nino conjures a ring, Jun acts like a gentleman, Aiba plays 'imaginary boat'  and Sho... well... Sho's got his shiritori. With popcorn.

Riida's impromptu portrait of Satomi.
But as usual with Arashi, the intermember interactions are where the real laughing points lie. And lucky us! We get treated to little snippets of Arashi commentary on their bandmates' dating techniques. Everyone agrees: Nino's a sly old fox, Aiba's imagination gets the better of him, Sho doesn't understand the meaning of an "adult date," Ohno plays to his strengths and Jun really really likes the word "奮発" (funpatsu, meaning "to strenuously exert oneself" according to Google Translate). Seriously, I could watch a whole episode of just the members in the waiting room, because Arashi laughing at Arashi's expense = entertainment gold.

The latest episode (aired 2014.05.31) closed the month of May out in the most hilarious way possible: with Arashi as members of an American Home Comedy.... aaaaaannnnnnndddd.... AYASE HARUKA as the director/screenwriter! This needs no more words. Caps alone will do it justice.

Blond beauty housewife Jun, Joshima-mitai Ohno, daughter Sho. 
Papa Ohno's face, Grandma Nino, Baby Aiba and the Director-san who is having the time of her life!Ah, what better bliss than to have five gorgeous idols be your stage puppets for the night?
And with that, let's happily conclude that after a period of experimentation with the new format, our beloved Arashi ni Shiyagare has finally found its new groove! I'll say it again: I'm lovin' this show! Bring on the Funyasssiiiiii~


  1. "Arashi laughing at Arashi's expense = entertainment gold."

    this is what I love about their variety shows! because no one can make fun of Arashi and no one can laugh at Arashi than them members themselves.

    and yes, I've been enjoying the new SHIYA though it's kind of a combination of SHUKUDAIKUN and VIP ROOM.

    ITA too on MC Jun. omg the gold mine of snark whenever Jun will be seated on that leather chair. encore please!!!


    1. Thanks for the RT's by the way! I love member-ai, and I think it's in its best form when expressed as teasing comments/intermember snark. Hahah!
      The new Shiya has officially overtaken VSA as my favorite variety show now ^^ I do agree that it has some elements of VIP room in it, but while VIP room was a bit of a hit and miss, the way Shiya now has the members putting their own spin on the guest interview segments has made it pretty consistently good. And it's good that the producers/Arashi themsleves are open to experimenting with the formats of these things. I'm actually sort of glad that we've been seeing less of the Ninomiya segment (it was a bit of a hit and miss), and instead we're getting Nino to do other more interesting segments like the one with the big OR sign and the members have to choose between Aka-guest or Ao-guest. Shiya's been steadily improving itself! I'm proud of them ^^

  2. I lol-ed hard at Aiba failed attempt to be mean producer. It doesn't suit him at all. That guy have zero mean cells in his body XD XD

    1. Yup, trying to get Aiba to be mean or bad just doesn't work.
      *sigh* I want to marry him *sigh*

  3. this post is great! really summed up what i was thinking!
    i didn't really like the new power-up shiyagare and was rewatching the old ones like christmas sp with one-tachi guests.

    my favorite part of the whole post would be "Arashi laughing at Arashi's expense = entertainment gold." cause that just sums up the reason i like them so much. i seriously cannot skip a single second of their talks cause we never know when nino is going to snap or ohno just can't stop sneezing or messed up his words in title calls (from VSA). i mean thats the best part, at least for me. LOL

    you literally have all the episodes i love! haha starting from the bullying-skit. i honestly can't watch jun or nino because their just so good that i get shivers. but THAT HUGGGGG OMFGGGGGG is probably the highlight of the whole episode. how jun felt so bad for bullying his leader. and i totally agree with you that ohno get's the easy part here ;) but getting bullied by 4 people (5 including the guest) is pretty tiring though. :P
    if riida was to act, we might get to see Naruse in like 6 years!

    the american comedy is epic. nino trolling ayase by bending to low XD

    the only thing i miss is the opening talk. i like the old format of how they didn't know the guest and had to do impromtu opening talks. just love it from ohno being the first to give new year money, aiba planing to do marathon,

    1. ps. was it only me that fell for Ohno's laugh when Sho asked Ayase if she likes bread, and she said un, gohan mo suki, and sho has this WTF face and ohno's just burst out laughing.

      i love ohno's laugh, when he really cracks up like now and in kiko's episode. XD

    2. Recently, Shiyagare has just been on a roll. And when any show gives us such a continuous string of successes, I naturally have to write about it!

      When Shiya first powered up, it was a little bit boring, but I guess being a patient fan pays off, because the staff and Arashi all needed some time to adjust to the new format and experiment with different types of segments to see what worked and what didn't. And I'm really glad to see that they succeeded in weeding out the boring parts and coming up with a hilarious new show!

      I assure you that you are not the only one who loved ohno's sudden solo laugh haha! I definitely noticed it and thought it was adorable, because Ohno totally lives in his own little Tennen world, and of course he would understand why Ayase answered gohan when Sho asked about pan. LOL.

      Ahhhh.... I am so looking forward to Saturdays now ^^

  4. Arashi ni Shiyagare becomes more entertaining w/ each episode. Otsukaresama desu, staff-san!

    Arashi's ability to make us laugh comes so naturally; and I'm impressed at how even after all these years - they still make each other laugh like they haven't seen or heard these things before.

    1. * ... they still make each other laugh (or laugh at one or the other like they haven't seen or heard these things before.)

      : D

    2. Haha yes! It seems like the laughs just don't stop! Member-ai is one of the best things about Arashi, and when it's expressed in the form of them laughing at each other, it really is saikou!

      Glad to see that you and so many others are enjoying Shiya as much as I am <3