Korekatsu Arashi was one of the appearances, campaigns, and special programs the group had in the last stretch of 2015 until the first week of 2016 that are too many to count or even to keep tabs on, and that’s on top of the release of Blast in Miyagi concert DVD/BD. Geez, these guys can’t even give us a break during holiday season! 😂
Due to one thing and another, i got around to these specials later than usual — e.g. i watched Johnny’s Countdown and Korekatsu one and two weeks post airing date — that i decided to write this blog post instead of spazzing about certain moments online, because everybody has moved on to newer episodes while i was just caught up on Ohno/Higashiyama-senpai’s flawless cartwheel-backflips, for example. Speaking of which, i bet thereafter nobody dares to say they’re too old for these stunts because well, the daisenpai who’s turning 50 can still execute the flips smoothly and beautifully yunno! But i digress.
This special episode was part of VS Arashi franchise as well as the first leg of the 7-hour of Arashi Fuji TV had for that day, which is great news for fans, i wonder if nonfans would get sick of such schedule, though of course i’d like to believe these shows were enjoyable by fans and nonfans alike. Botchan probably fits the bill better in serving a broader audience since it’s a drama adaptation of Japanese classic literature. But i digress again.
In short, Korekatsu is about a group of people challenging Arashi in a set of matches they’re confident of winning after performing rather poorly in the regular VSA program, hence the team and show’s name — “Kore nara, Arashi ni kateru” meaning “If we did this, we could win”. So it’s basically a revenge round wherein Korekatsu Army led by Chihara Junior proposing games they’re good at to increase their odds of winning. There are five matches in total because Arashi is a quintet — one loss equals embarrassing punishment for one of ’em, which i was ambivalent about. On one hand, i don’t want them to lose, but ain’t that the point of the show, to ensure as many members are receiving the punishment as possible?
I like the reversal; Arashi is technically the home team yet they’re at a disadvantage. Admittedly, even as regulars doing the VS games every week, these guys don’t fare that much better than the guests (case in point: Sho and his repeated failed attempts at conquering cliff climb and that’s before the game’s recent revamp), so unless the away team chose things Arashi members are bad at, anything can happen.
First up is Speed Crying Showdown, and the pro called in to assist Korekatsu Army is none other than Ashida Mana-chan. Anybody who ever watched her projects can vouch for her great crying skills i expected an easy win for her. But the point is shedding a tear the fastest, regardless of the techniques used, which prompts Sho and Nino to practice their preferred method right away resulting in hilarious yet scary faces. Oh, these two…
And to ensure it’s difficult for the players to slip into the mood, they are to play fun concentration game Pin-Pon-Pan first. This seems to be an effective trick, as Sho and Mana-chan are still smiling 15 seconds into the showdown tho both quickly turn the tables and are actually among the first ones to get watery and so close to drop it. It takes 1 min and 20 seconds for the first tear to fall, and the winner is unsurprisingly so smug about it, although in hindsight, the showdown would have ended sooner had any of the other front-runners blinked and force-dropped their droplets.
Regardless, the match is won fair and square. It’s amazing that they can summon the tears without proper setting or even the right emotions. Well, that’s why they’re actors, huh?
Next is Detection Game, wherein the two teams take turns in selecting 4 out of 12 photos of cross-dressing men. The team with the lowest total weight wins. So their task is to ‘detect’ and call out those who look slim based on their profile photos alone. Naturally, the two assistants helping Korekatsu Army in this turn (IKKO and Kaba-chan) claim to be able to distinguish them and make pretty good points throughout the game that Arashi slyly fish for information, openly copy their choices, or follow their reasoning.
While aren’t cross-dresser in real life (cmiiw), some of them have feminine features and look legitimately pretty. At a quick glance, some of them even look like fellow Johnny’s in disguise! (e.g. #4, 7, and 11 resemble Kyanjani’s Kurako, Subako, and Yasuko, while #8 Hey! Say! JUMP’s Daiki. Hee)
I love the chosen music before the reveal (“Let’s get ridicuLOUS~!”) because the gap can be jaw-dropping, particularly regarding #6. I wonder if these photos are retouched but if anything they really corroborate the amazing power of makeup and slimming angles LOL.
Moral of the game? Don’t judge people from their selfies, minna-san!
Teamwork is the third and my favorite match, which is to determine which team knows their leader better. With 16 years of comradeship under their belt, the other four of Arashi are confident about having Ohno down pat, although Korekatsu Army is quick to point out that Fujiwara’s Fujimoto Toshifumi has known Junior-san for 26 years despite only out for drinks 3 times during that span. So much for being close, huh?
The questions are more behavioral than facts-based in nature so it’s interesting to listen to the teammates’ theories as to the choice their leader would make in the proposed situations. There are 6 scenarios in total — why an even number i have no idea — and they are all pretty random: the second food item the leaders would eat, which kanji they would write if given water radical, the type of flowers they’d give on Mother’s Day, which Dragon Ball character they’d play, which cute puppy they’d take, and which word they’d choose while playing shiritori.
It’s a fun sequence, with unexpected twists and out-of-character picks, although i feel bad for the leaders. They spend majority of the rounds shut inside the box with headphones on only to be out for a few moments and getting yelled at for picking the ‘wrong’ answers, even though the challenge is essentially about predicting the leader’s moves and not the leader matching the teammates’ choices. Neither of them get to explain their selections either! The end result is always uproarious though.
Teamwork is probably the longest match in the show although i still wish it were longer. I’m thoroughly enjoying the leaders’ general cluelessness to the settings and the teammates’ scrutiny/reactions to their every move.
But there are two more matches to go, although at this stage we already know the show’s outcome.
Hence begins the fourth match, Receive Control Taiketsu, or rather tennis serve control(?), for which Barbie and 14-year-old junior tennis player Sato Naho are introduced. There are two hurdles in this game: accurately re-directing the projected balls to the screen divided into 25 boxes to unveil the hints underneath and correctly/quickly guessing as many pictures within the time limit (90 seconds for Korekatsu Army, 120 for Arashi Team as none of them has tennis experience) as possible. The figures are mostly located in the middle so it’s crucial for the servers to hit-to-open the center parts.
The ace assistants are great at hitting the target, but Nino is the ace in guessing game. He can accurately get what it is despite the bare minimum or even abstract clues (as seen in Shiyagare‘s art quiz episode with violist Hakase Taro). Thanks to the additional 30 seconds Arashi Team gets, the rounds are pretty tight.
With this we’ve come to the last showdown, Radio Control. This was the challenge i was confident would be won by Arashi Team. There are two infamous gamers in the group after all, both are quite nifty with navigating RC planes. (Remember the gold moment where Nino flew the heli right into Sho’s crotch in Shiyagare? Or THE Rajikon Heli showdown they had for one of BET de Arashi episodes where Nino crash-landed his heli right into Sho’s waist? 😂) But then the opposing team invites the baseball legend coming in fourth in the National RC Championship(?), Yamamoto Masa.
To level the playing field, it’s a 2vs1 match, and to my surprise Ohno is selected to represent the team alongside Nino. I thought it would be Matsumiya by default since Jun performed better in both instances mentioned above, but then i didn’t know Ohno was into rajikon in the past.
If i can put it this way, the game is Whac-A-Mole, rajikon style. So, instead of whacking the randomly appearing moles, the players are to use their radio-controlled cars to pop the randomly appearing balloons. There are two rounds in total. The first one is tight, and Ohmiya combi leads by a close margin, so for the second round, Masa-san decides to get into his serious mode position. Sure enough, he really ups his game this time, deftly steering his car and popping a lot more balloons left and right. Sasuga pro!
In the closing session, they don’t announce the final result or the ultimate winner, so i think that’s not the point of the show. Regardless, Korekatsu offers a downright entertaining one-and-a-half hours — there are no boring matches or moments at all! Well, i probably zoned out a bit during Detection Game, but not for too long. I’m still replaying certain parts to this day, particularly the Teamwork sessions. That segment had the most members’ interactions and ai i could watch it all day.
All in all, Korekatsu Arashi is a nifty spin-off of VS Arashi as both programs give us two opposing teams in a series of matches. If this is in any way a pilot and not a one-time show, then i don’t mind seeing more of it in the future. It would be greater if it’s a semi-permanent fixture like BET de Arashi or Baba Arashi, to spice things up every now and then, as VSA can get humdrum after a while.
Just throwing it out there 😉