Since it was a lazy Saturday evening with no football on, I decided to watch an episode of Vs Arashi to pass the time. It was pretty much the same as always, fun but no real surprises. The opposing team was the cast from the new film Gatchaman, a live-action version of the anime that has been released twice in the West: once as Battle of the Planets, and then again some years later as G-Force.
It was light and undemanding. The format hasn’t changed at all in the past few years but that doesn’t seem to matter. You would think that Arashi would have a big advantage in most games with all their practice, but this show has been going so long that most guests are making their second or third appearance. Plus, of course, Arashi has a guest on their team who is usually a complete novice or playing it for laughs.
But anyway, it was nice to see that Gouriki Ayame really is adorable without a script and soft-focus, and the team as a whole were pretty funny. I laughed when one guy, Nakamura Shido, said he’d be good at one particular game because his hobby was bazookas.
After I watched this, I felt like I needed a bit more Arashi before I went to bed. I couldn’t be bothered to wait for a download, so I went on YouTube to see what had been posted up recently. I found an old episode of Himitsu no Arashi-chan which is a TV show I don’t know much about, but it had Nakatani Miki in it. I wasn’t sure how the glacial beauty of Nakatani Miki would mix with the knockabout humour of Arashi, so I watched it.
I was surprised to learn that Satashi Ohno appears to know about flowers and flower arranging, and they also played a couple of traditional Japanese games. One was particularly interesting (the games are in part four, by the way). Each player has to make a motion in time to some music, according to simple rules. If the object in the middle is still there, touch it or pick it up. If it isn’t there, then knock on the table, or put it back (if you have it).
I’d never seen a game quite like this in England, so I thought I’d pass it on. There are no subs, but the games are easy to follow and it's nice to see how the Japanese entertained themselves before Nintendo.