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 BT downloads available @ D-Addicts
Good News, people! It seems streaming videos of Ainori are still available on youtube.com.
WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!
Busy episode this week, in which the guys kept on teasing Sanchan, until Chaki talked to him and finally confronted the others with the problem, and possibly set him to become more confident. Tachi’s feelings for Junko also kept getting stronger, leading him to make the ultimate decision.
For the past couple of weeks, the guys have desperately tried to get Sanchan to come out of his shell, but it was all in vain. As they tried more and more to make him react, what started as innocent remarks slowly degenerated in teasing that kept escalating. While they were having a barbecue, Sanchan was eating silently as usual, and the guys started telling him stuff like “At least say it’s good or something”, “Have a reaction”, etc. This led him to sit by himself away from the others. The next day while they were eating, Uekki started dumping vegetables in Sanchan’s bowl, and Tachi was telling him “Sanchan, you gotta eat your veggies” in a childish voice. Now all that might seem like it was all in good fun, but for a withdrawn guy like Sanchan, it certainly wasn’t that funny at all. That night, Chaki talked to him and told him she was worried about the situation, and asked him if he was ok with all the teasing. He replied that he was fine for now, and she told him that she was there for him if he needed to talk. The next morning, the guys started making fun of his small jaw, and Uekki started playing with Sanchan’s face, teasing him. Chaki couldn’t take it anymore, and she confronted the guys while they were on the Love Bus. She told them she was worried that their “jokes” might have actually hurt Sanchan’s feelings. Sanchan then told them that he didn’t want to screw up the relationship between him and the guys, which is why he had kept putting up with all of their teasing. The others realized what they had done, and apologized. Sure, the teasing itself wasn’t called for, but in fact, I believe the situation really helped Sanchan. When he told them how he felt about it, this was actually the longest utterance he ever made in front of the camera for once, and then he wrote in his diary that “I’m the one who didn’t say anything when they were teasing me, so I can’t blame them. From now on, I’ll try to say what I think out loud”, which I think is quite a breakthrough for him. I hope the poor guy is going to start talking more, otherwise it’s going to be a long trip for him, and the others.
So of course, the guys apologized as they should have, and that night the three of them agreed that they should make better efforts to really help Sanchan have a nice journey on Ainori. The next day, Tachi invited Sanchan to have a beer at a local bar, he started talking to him about the power of love. Tachi explained how when he was just about to turn 20, he had fell in love with a nurse while being hospitalized. The funniest thing is when he told Sanchan that he had his first sexual experience with that nurse, Sanchan immediately asked “At the hospital?”, which prompted Tachi to say “Hey, it’s not a porn movie”, which in turn led the show hosts to conclude that Sanchan surely watches porn movies to react like that. Anyway, Tachi explained that when the nurse, who was living in Omiya (in Saitama Prefecture, some
120 40 km away from Sinjuku, where he was living at the time), had asked him on the phone to come see her late at night, he had no choice but rent a car to get there since there were no trains anymore. His point was that the power of love can make people do crazy things, and that if Sanchan had feelings for one of the girls, be it Yankumi or Chaki (Junko was conspicuously NOT mentioned), he should take his courage in both hands and talk to them.
“At the hospital?” “No, no, not at the hospital!”
Later, Sanchan was thankfully given a chance to show one of his hidden talents. He beat one of the locals who seemed pretty confident playing table tennis, and really impressed the rest of the group. I’m pretty sure this week’s episode’s was a turning point for him, and hopefully he’ll start feeling comfortable enough to start interacting more with the other participants. Ganbare, Sanchan!
The next day, the group went to a park where they all split in pairs, as they usually do, and as Junko was having a talk with Uekki, Tachi, who was by himself, started jogging around the park in an attempt to impress Junko by displaying his physical abilities. After an hour of running, an exhausted Tachi returned to the Love Bus, where Junko came to give him a towel and helped dry his hair. Needless to say, he got really excited about that, so much so that he took that as some sort of token of affection, and decided he was ready to declare his love to her. Dude, it’s way too early! Down, boy, down!
And yes, next week Tachi will be seen walking towards the Love Bus to get the fateful plane tickets. That’s just too bad, because it really looks like he could have a real good chance with Junko, if he’d only take his time a little more. The girl is obviously not ready, and will probably get a hell of a surprise when he give her the “kokuhaku” (love declaration in Japanese”). Whatever the outcome, I can’t wait to see what will happen!