Archive for August, 2006

Ainori #328

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Ainori is a popular reality show in Japan, aired on Fuji TV on Monday nights at 23:00.

In August 2005, I discovered that Ainori was not only popular in Japan, but also all over the world thanks to Bit Torrent technology. I decided to write a summary of each episode, and do a translation of the weekly photo captions from the official site. What do I get out of this? I get to improve my Japanese, I get more traffic to my blog, but above all, I get the satisfaction of knowing many non-Japanese speakers all over the world can appreciate a truly unique reality show. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to post any comments or questions you may have.

Ainori’s official homepage (Japanese only).

Current participants

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts


Good News, people! It seems streaming videos of Ainori are still available on youtube.com.


Ainori #328

WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!

Souri

Chaki

Wow! After Souri’s blunder in last week’s episode, in which he wanted to declare his love to Chaki but was so insisting on knowing about her past that she left before he could say anything, he went ahead with a pretty bold move this week. The morning after his failed declaration, he called the whole group out in the rain, and standing on some broken stairs made of bricks, he declared his love to Chaki in front of everybody. The group seemed really surprised when at Souri’s unorthodox “kokuhaku” (love declaration in Japanese), and Chaki got really emotional, presumably realizing why Souri had been so insisting the night before. For a reserved, unexperienced law graduate, Souri really took his courage in both hands and did what he thought was best. He gave the fateful plane ticket to Chaki, who had a whole day to think about it. I’m not sure, but I think it’s the first time one of the participant actually declares his love in front of the whole group.



Hide

Takano

Alas, the next morning, Chaki explained to him how sorry she was that she had left in the middle of their conversation the night of the failed kokuhaku, that she thought they would have had much more time together, time for her to reveal her mysterious past. Her failure to realize what was going on left her apologetic, and although their was someone with feelings she had longed for, she told him she wasn’t ready to reciprocate. Souri insisted (again), saying he didn’t want to lose her, but Chaki was very straightforward saying he wasn’t the one she wanted by her side. That’s too bad, because although Souri was a geek, I never saw him as a loser like, say, Alec. I really was rooting for him, and I think if he had taken his time a little more, he might have had a chance with Chaki. In the end, he said that it even if Chaki had rejected him, what really mattered was her happiness, and that even if that meant not being with her, he was ok with that. That is true love, people!



Hisayon

And then, a real bombshell. Right after Souri left, Hisayon told the group she was dropping out! Hisayon explained that when Tagamikun dropped out after she exposed him for the fraud he was, she had intented to drop out, too. However, when she realized how she had screwed up the mood of the participants, she promised herself she would leave only after fixing what she had done. She explained that she was leaving because her journey had been riddled with trouble: the fiasco involving Outlaw and Goki, her infatuation with Tagamikun and the emotional rollercoaster that ensued, Chaki’s accusations and desire for her to leave, all of that had made her time on Ainori far from an enjoyable experience, and her decision had been made. That’s why she had been trying so hard to lighten up the mood by baking a cake for the group, enjoying herself (almost too much) during meals, and ultimately, fixing the misunderstanding she had with Chaki. That’s too bad, because I thought Hisayon was really pretty, and I admire the courage she had handling the Tagamikun incident. That little prick screwed up both Izumi and Hisayon’s trip, and she (they) deserved more than that. I wish her good luck, and hope she finds someone suitable for her back in Japan.

Well, next week we’ll have two new participants, which means the start of a whole new ball game.

Ok, I know I’ve been slow on translations lately, but don’t worry people, work has finally slowed down a bit. I’ll be finishing them as soon as the summer vacation starts. Damn! This summer vacation was so busy, I really must apologize for not doing my translations. The worst thing is I really should be doing them for my own studies. I don’t know when, but just for the record…
:-) Special treat for non-Japanese speakers coming sometime – I promise! :-)

NEXT ON AINORI


 

Retrospective

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006


Hi people, I’m finally back! I must apologize for not posting for a couple of weeks, but between the beach, a road trip to Hokkaido, Tanabata Festival, the biannual compulsory car inspection and a major computer crash, I had little time to think about blogging. So this post is a little unusual, as it actually introduces previous ones that I will post chronologically. Cheers!

Ainori #327

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Ainori is a popular reality show in Japan, aired on Fuji TV on Monday nights at 23:00.

In August 2005, I discovered that Ainori was not only popular in Japan, but also all over the world thanks to Bit Torrent technology. I decided to write a summary of each episode, and do a translation of the weekly photo captions from the official site. What do I get out of this? I get to improve my Japanese, I get more traffic to my blog, but above all, I get the satisfaction of knowing many non-Japanese speakers all over the world can appreciate a truly unique reality show. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to post any comments or questions you may have.

Ainori’s official homepage (Japanese only).

Current participants

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts and Saiyaman


Good News, people! It seems streaming videos of Ainori are still available on youtube.com.


Ainori #327

WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!

First, I have to apologize for not writing about Ainori in a while. This summer vacation was one of the best I had in years, so I did indeed neglect my blog. So here it is…

Hisayon

Chaki

This week the group visited a school and were really surprised to attend a “landmine awareness” class at a local primary school. They then moved to another city were they decided to play bowling, a sport at which Souri is apparently really good. However, the bowling alley they played at had balls without wholes in them, and Souri did terribly bad. However, he had such a good time with Chaki and he was so happy to see her smile that he didn’t mind the humiliation at all. That night, he was reminiscing about the time they had spent at the primary school, drawing pictures with the kids. At one point, Chaki, who wanted to draw two hands holding each other to represent peace, asked him to hold her hand as a model. He then started remembering his whole Ainori experience, and how he had fallen in love with her. The next morning, he was seen walking towards the Love Bus, where he asked the driver for the fateful plane tickets. However, before he could even go through with his love declaration, he made a big mistake. He wanted to know not only about her now, but also about her past. A few episodes ago, he had noticed how Chaki was uncomfortable watching a fight, and kept pressing her to tell him what it was about violence that made her feel so awkward. Not realizing that he was about to declare his love to her, she was obviously upset by his question, and told him she didn’t want to talk about it. She mentionned that it was something a regular person would probably not make a big deal about, but that for her it was a big problem, and that she wanted to solve it by herself. She told him not to worry about her past, but to concentrate on her, now. Souri should have stopped right there, but he kept insisting, until she finally left. He followed her to her room, but it was no use. I can’t be sure, but I think this is the first time someone screws up their own kokuhaku (love declaration in Japanese). I think they were both wrong. Souri shouldn’t have insisted that much, but the way he told Chaki how much he wanted to know her was like waving a big red flag saying: “Hello! It’s a love declaration!”, and I blame Chaki for not seeing that. I know she was upset by his question, but it was obvious what he was about to do. What’s interesting is that next week it seems like Souri will be hearing Chaki’s answer to his declaration which means that there are two possibilities. Either he was able to re-kokuhaku her, or there’s an Ainori rule that says a participant cannot return the tickets not matter what, i.e. he has to declare her love to her and get the answer on the spot, without letting her sleep on it. Yaiks! Either way, I can’t wait to hear her answer. Go, Souri, ganbare!

Ok, I know I’ve been slow on translations lately, but don’t worry people, work has finally slowed down a bit. I’ll be finishing them as soon as the summer vacation starts. Damn! This summer vacation was so busy, I really must apologize for not doing my translations. The worst thing is I really should be doing them for my own studies. I don’t know when, but just for the record…
:-) Special treat for non-Japanese speakers coming sometime – I promise! :-)

NEXT ON AINORI


 

Obon Special – Otaru

Friday, August 18th, 2006

Otaru is a small city near Sapporo and is famous all over Japan for its sushi. Naturally, we had to try some. You can hardly get better than that in Japan.




Rice topped with sea urchin roe, salmon roe and eggs



Same as above, with a piece of raw salmon added



From left to right: shrimp, tuna (maguro), squid, tuna (bintoro), sea urchin roe, and the usual side of pickled ginger



Which is it? Gozishrimp or Shrimpzilla?



The head, from which you suck the inside, some other part of the head in the middle, and finally the whole body, topped with its own brains!

Obon Special – Hiking in Sapporo

Thursday, August 17th, 2006



Sapporo is literally a hiking paradise. There are a seemingly unlimited number of trails, all at a 20 to 30 minute ride from the downtown area. The first trail (top third of the map) we tried is called the Maruyama trail (2.7 km), and is situated in Maruyama Park (Chuou Ward), along route 89. You can also take the subway and get off at Maruyama Kouen station. It took us one hour and fifteen minutes round trip, and we had a great view of Sapporo at the top which is 225 metres high. The trail is really easy, and has many stairs. It does get quite steep and rocky at times.

The second trail (bottom two thirds of the map) we walked is part of a network of trails on mount Moiwa (Minami Ward), which totals 12.7 km. We started from the Kita no Sawa entrance, and it took us 30 minutes to get to a crossroad called Uma no Se (1.3 km). You can find that entrance in Kita no Sawa from route 82, at the end of a street called Miyama Doori. You can also get to that trail by bus getting off at the Kita no Sawa Kaikan Mae stop, but you’d have to walk quite a bit to get to it. We then proceeded to the top situated at an altitude of 531 m, by walking towards the Shimin Ski Jou entrance, which took us about 45 minutes (1.1 km). We found out with disappointment that there was a building with restaurants and a huge gift shop at the top. So much for hiking up a mountain! The view was even better than the previous trail, and we had lunch among a bunch of tourists who had come either by car or by bus. We then walked down the rest of that part of the trail, which took us just about an hour (2.5 km). We then walked another kilometre to route 230 where we took a taxi back to where we had left the car. The trail gets really steep and rocky at times, and has many stairs. The last part of the trail allowed us to see a beautiful view of the city among the mountains.



Top of Maruyama


Top of Moiwa