Archive for November, 2006

Ainori #339

Wednesday, November 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 #339

WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!

Two major developments this week. First, Nagisa’s true character has been revealed: She’s a spoiled little brat! Then, Uekki and Chaki not only made peace, but a Sami tradition drove Uekki to make what possibly could be one of the most important decisions in his life.


Uekki
Chaki


So there was this cold again between Chaki and Uekki, due to his behavior last week, and although Chaki asked him to say something on the bus, he couldn’t. That afternoon, Uekki was talking with Yankumi, and she convinced him to try and talk to Chaki. Well, he didn’t say much, as he only apologize that he couldn’t talk, because he had too much on his mind. It seemed it was enough to make Chaki really happy, as the next day she finally disclosed her past, something she had refused to do until now with anyone (some of you may remember how she got mad at Souri for insisting that she talked about it), and I think that gesture is revealing of how much she likes Uekki. Well, it seems Chaki was romantically involved with one of her superiors at work, and when he was reassigned at the Hiroshima branch, he asked her to come live with him. So she quit her job to do so, but once the transfer had occurred, the story changed and the boyfriend asked her to come visit for a week at a time, once a month. It’s only the fifth time that she realized something was wrong, and her boyfriend finally admitted that not only he had been two-timing her, but that the other girlfriend was pregnant with his child, and that she was asking him to marry her. Now this guy was the first she had ever fully believed in, and that betrayal understandably made her untrusting of other men.

NagisaYankumi


I’ve been suspecting that much since she joined the show, but this week we finally got confirmation: Nagisa is a spoiled, over-pampered, selfish, fresh out of high school bitchin’ Ojousama (and I work in a SHS, so I know what I’m talking about). I thought it was weird when she revealed she had turned down her career launch, but now I get it. For a couple of weeks they showed how uneasy she felt since she had joined the group, and personally I assumed it was due to the new environment, the fact that she was the youngest in the group (as a matter of fact one of the youngest participants to join Ainori ever), culture shock, bla, bla, bla, but nooooo. Miss if-things-are- not-exactly-the-way-I-want-them-to-be-like-they-have-been-since-the-day-I-was-born-and-as-they-should-be-until-the-day-I-die-in-a-perfect-world-custom-made-only-for-little-moi Nagisa is bored, and she’s pouting, period. I mean, what was she expecting? Did she think a trip around the world with only the bare necessities of life would include karaoke nights, purikura machines, and fast-food restaurants thoughtfully placed at regular intervals so she could relax and entertain herself after a hard day of posing for the camera? Did she think the producers would pass a questionnaire every night asking what the participants would like to do the next day, what they’d like to eat, and at what time? So when the group came to a small village to try sleeping on deer furs in traditional Sami tents, a once in a lifetime experience – one that not too many people have a shot at and that I personally would kill for, Nagisa Sama didn’t help to pitch the tents, was just standing there waving her hand in front of her face because of the odor, and started complaining about how it was no fun at all to be there. When she said “What are they gonna do if my clothes get stunk up?”, Yankumi lost it, and dragged her behind one of the buildings to talk to her. You see, one thing Japanese people cannot stand is someone behaving selfishly in a manner that might affect how smoothly the group they’re part of works. Surely Nagisa’s behavior fell into that category, and when she told Yankumi how she was bored by the group’s activities, the ex-gang leader warned the little wretch that she’d better lighten up quickly and start making some efforts to enjoy herself. “Gaki” (brat) is what she called her. Yankumi is my hero! I hope Nagisa drops out and goes back to Japan to find out it’s too late to start her career anew. Bitch!

UekkiYankumi


When the group learned from a local about the Sami belief that if one gave a piece of reindeer antler to the person they liked, their love would come true, Yankumi and Uekki both went on a quest to find the prized object, a notoriously difficult endeavor even for the Sami people, as they have to find naturally fallen antlers. The funny thing is that Nagisa, Issy and Sanchan, who are the ones seemingly not in love with anyone else, were the first to find antlers. Yankumi, who had the intention to give antlers to Yokomi, even got lost for about an hour, but was very happy when Yokomi found her. She had found antlers (actually, a whole skull with the antlers attached to it), but was very disappointed when she was told that her find and everyone else’s were not good, as the tradition calls for big male antlers, which are even more difficult to find. When they were told of a moe likely, remote place for such antlers, Uekki got up early the next morning, and walked for 5 hours to get there. Lucky enough, he did find the precious antlers, and apparently made his decision right there on the spot: he would ask Chaki to marry him!

Uekki had made his decision. “I want (you?/her?) to marry me”

Well at least that’s what it looks like. They showed him heading towards the Love Bus at the end, where he will probably ask for the fateful plane tickets, and they showed him talking to Chaki about marriage in next week’s episode. Now they didn’t show him actually ask her to marry him, but the producers played on the ambiguity of the Japanese language to make it look like that. He may just be telling Chaki about what kind of woman he would like to marry, but I sure hope he’ll pop the question, which would be a first on Ainori. Imagine, not “Would you go back to Japan with me?”, but “Would you marry me?”. The suspense is excruciating!\(^O^)/

NEXT ON AINORI


Ainori #338

Tuesday, November 28th, 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 #338

WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!

This week the group tried more of Sweden’s traditional activities, such as outdoor baths, sauna and outdoor partying. They also visited one of the country’s many islands, where Yokomi’s attention was drawn to Chaki. He kept his focus on her for the rest of the program, which made Yankumi and Uekki feel neglected. Is it the start of a weird love “rectangle”? We’ll see. Sanchan also made another important step towards improving his social skills, as he invited a girl for the first time in his life.

SanchanNagisa

Oh yeah, Sanchan is making a loooot of progress. He noticed that Nagisa wasn’t enjoying herself very much since she had joined the group, and he decided to invite her to ask her what was wrong. She told him how she liked to do things at her pace, and that she wasn’t used to do things in groups. The funny thing is that she kept talking for 20 minutes, while paradoxally informing Sanchan that she thought she wasn’t a good talker – and Sanchan kept listening, periodically giving short answers. They finished the conversation with Nagisa thanking him for letting her talk, and Sanchan telling her that he was there for her if she ever needed someone to talk to. Granted, Sanchan didn’t invite her with a romantic purpose in mind, but I think he came a long way since he joined the show. I’m sure he’ll do fine when he finally falls for one of the girls.


“You think I could invite her for a talk?”


The group visited the island with the intention of walking around it, but Yankumi and Nagisa had for some reason decided to wear high heels. When the group realized how much they had trouble walking on the rocks, they decided to call the walk off. However, Yokomi noticed Chaki’s common sense, as she was wearing sneakers, and decided to invite her away from the group and have a talk.

“Wearing shoes was the right decision”
“I know!”

Both boutique clerks, they started talking about clothes and prices, and Yokomi was pretty impressed at how she was wearing non-expensive clothes only. The next day, Yokomi sat next to Chaki at breakfast, and that day they had quite a lot of fun when the group when to a public pool. Their behavior made Yankumi feel pretty uneasy, and got Uekki quite infuriated. What Uekki didn’t know is that Chaki wrote in her diary that although she had fun with Yokomi, she wished she could have been with him. The next day, the group joined an outdoor party, and started drinking (Aquavit), which has never proved beneficial for past Ainori participants. Bad call indeed, as after a couple of hours of drinking, Chaki went to sit away from the group, and Yokomi eventually went to join her. They kept talking, lying on the ground, and it didn’t look to good from a distance, especially from Uekki’s point of view.


Remembering how Chaki had preferred Tagamikun over Souri in a previous country, he decided that she was going for looks only, and wrote in his diary how he thought they were already in love with each other, and that they’d better kiss as soon as possible and go back to Japan together. Now if he had stopped there everything would have been fine, when Yokomi and Chaki joined the group back, Yokomi lied on the ground in a drunken haze. Uekki started telling Chaki she should take care of him, that only her could take care of him. Maybe it was the booze, but it seems he had quite a short memory of recent events, as he starting clapping and singing (oh yeah, just like when he screwed things up between him and Chaki) in his own immature way: “There’s only you, there’s only you”, trying to encourage the others to follow his lead.

“C’mon, there’s only you”

Sure enough, Chaki walked away from the group and started crying again, quite disdappointed and unable to understand Uekki’s feelings. I can’t believe he pulled the same crap again. He should have learned his lesson the last time, but no. At least this time he had the booze as an excuse, not that it makes it more forgivable. In any case, it seems she forgot his behavior quite easily, as it seems next week she’ll be talking to him about her past relationships.

Next week, it seems Yankumi will revert to her gang leader instincts, as she’ll give the evil eye to Nagisa, and apparently get lost in the woods!? Uekki will also try a new strategy to presumably win Chaki’s heart. Looks like there’s going to be a lot of action, something that’s been missing from the show for a long time.

NEXT ON AINORI


Please Warn a Step for Stairs

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Okinawa

Monday, November 20th, 2006

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I’ll be in Okinawa from Tuesday to Friday for the school trip, the most important event for senior high school students in Japan. I don’t know if I’ll have internet access while over there, so I decided to create a miniblog I can update directly from my cell phone. Since I’ll be busy I’ll probably write it in Japanese only, but I’ll upload pictures whenever I can. So for this week, my blog’s theme will be a sunset in Okinawa, and the famous shisa.

November’s header and wall paper.

Reserch – Point of Serious

Sunday, November 19th, 2006