Archive for February, 2007

Ainori #350?

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

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

Ainori #350 will be aired on 2007/03/05.
Hang on, people.


Ainori #349

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

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

Ainori #349


This week we had a busy episode, with a lot of stuff going on. Yankumi’s replacement joined the group. Sanchan cried in front of Bambi, unaware that he was in fact crying for her. Bambi apparently gave up on her diet, even though she is under a lot of pressure. Nagisa went through an unbelievably transformation, and Issy suddenly revealed he felt attracted to her. But as usual, let me start by introducing the new girl woman:

MiyaneeMeet Akiko “Miyanee” Miyakawa, 31 (yes, 31), from Okayama Prefecture. She’s actually the oldest female participant to join Ainori ever, which is good news because she probably won’t be jumping up and down and singing all the time, or trying to look good by putting others down due to an obvious lack of self-confidence ;-) She has a history of dating younger men (Ainori must be a paradise for her), and applied to the show because she got dumped by her boyfriend. She was in Canada (cool!) on a working holiday visa just before joining the show, and I hope she’ll find love on Ainori – maybe she’d be a good match for Gurasan (26)? Good luck!

This week we had the sublime privilege of watching another wonderful Ainori lesson about tectonic plates, and how the ones diverging from each other in Iceland where converging back together in Japan or something, accounting for all the earthquakes, bla, bla, bla, zzzzzzzz. Mmh? Oh, sorry, I fell asleep while typing. I’ve said it before, and (unfortunately) will say it again, if we’d wanna learn about plate tectonics, the fate of whales, the Holocaust or the rise and fall of communism in Europe (not that I’m trying to imply that these are trivial topics, on the contrary), we’d watch the Nature Channel or read about it on Wikipedia. Please, don’t take valuable Ainori air time away from us!

We don’t need your freakin’ lessons!

Sanchan rarrow2_e0.gif Bambi

So the group was having traditional Smalahove, i.e. sheep’s head (yes, sheep’s head – and you thought the Japanese had unusual food!) and everybody was having a great time, except for Sanchan. So later that afternoon, Bambi invited Sanchan for a talk, convinced that she hurt his feelings when she refused his support last week. So she started by apologizing for crying a lot lately, to which Sanchan replied that it was ok for someone to cry if they felt like it, that he actually felt like crying, too. Bambi, thinking he was sad because Yokomi had left, told him she understood as she knew he was close to Yokomi. She then asked Sanchan if he wanted to cry, which he did, unaware that he was in fact crying because he had realized Bambi was in love with Yokomi. I think Sanchan shouldn’t be so sensitive. This is what Ainori is all about, and besides, now that Yokomi is out of the picture, I say he now has a better chance than he ever had before. Then again, with his history, it’s probably the first time he got so close to romance, so I guess he’s having a hard time dealing with all that’s going on. Hang in there, little buddy!



Then, the group visited a hot spring, and Moriken and Gurasan took a dip even though the water was at 50 °C (122 °F)! Usually, the hottest baths in Japanese hot springs go as hot as 43°C (about 110 °F), and let me tell you that you slip in veeeeery slowly. I can’t imagine getting in at that temperature! Anyway, while the group was relaxing and having fun watching the two screaming “It’s hot! It’s so hot!”, Issy told Nagisa: “I’m going to say this just once. Nagisa…”, and then there was a big SPLASH which covered what he told her. Later, back in the staff’s room, Nagisa revealed that he had told her that he was the only one who could change her character. Issy had indeed been on Nagisa’s back for a while, scolding her whenever she did something wrong, but in a “big brother” kind of way, never giving up on her, which was in fact why Nagisa was falling in love with him more and more everyday.

“Nagisa…” SPLASH!

And then, the unthinkable happened! The next day, it had been decided that the group would sleep in tents, so they had to pitch them in a cold, rainy weather, at that. Nagisa, who hates tents as we learned when she made a scene a few months ago, was wearing a mini skirt and high heels as usual, and didn’t look like she was looking forward to another night of camping. So as the group was all working together getting the tents ready, with Nagisa was conspicuously absent. And then, Nagisa appeared out of the blue, wearing jeans and sneakers, apologized for being late, and started helping the others. She then wrote in her diary how sorry she was for being such a nuisance to the rest of the group and the staff, and that she was done being irresponsible.

From Nagisa’s Diary: “I’m done being irresponsible”

Aaah, excuse me, but wasn’t that a little sudden? Last week she was telling Bambi to die, and this week she’s reformed, just like that? Granted, other despicable Ainori participants, like Outlaw, have gone through changes during the show, but at least we could see the process take place slowly, as it should naturally. Personally, I don’t buy it. I say she’s just trying to please Issy because he told her she should change and she’s infatuated with him. I’m willing to give a chance to Nagisa (hey, and even maybe forgive her), the human being, going through a real period of growth and changing for the better. I don’t care much (not at all, actually) for Nagisa, the robot, who just flipped a switch to become Miss goody-two-shoes.

mdbgraham_e0.gifBambi mdbgraham_e0.gif

Then we have Bambi, who’s going through a “diet crisis”. It seems that she was told by all the boys in one way or another that she’d look cute if she’d lose a bit of weight. She was told directly once by Gurasan that she would be popular if she lost weight because she was cute, then Sanchan told her he preferred thinner girls, and to top it all, Issy told her that guys probably told her she’d look cute if she lost weight all the time. She wrote in her diary that she didn’t need to be told, that she knew it. I have to agree that the guys are a bit insensitive on that one. I mean, who goes around telling girls they’d look better if they lost weight? Anyway, the next day the group was having bread cooked from magma heat only (cool), and the reason Bambi is loosing her fight became clear: she was eating like there was no tomorrow! Ok, so she’s on a diet and suddenly there’s a ton of delicious hot bread and butter in front of her (sigh). I guess nobody would resist. But she kept eating even after all the others were done – and no wonder, they were all laughing watching her. Girl! It’s ok to try the food, but you have to pace yourself!

“It’s good”

Issy rarrow2_e0.gifNagisa

That night, Issy met Nagisa in the lobby, who had decided to play a little piano for him. They had a lot of fun, and although I didn’t think she was that good (and she dared turn down a career launch with THAT voice, on account that she wouldn’t be able to sing like she wanted to – please!), Issy seemed to appreciate her “talent”. And then another bomb came: Issy went and tell the staff that he had seen “another” of Nagisa’s good sides, and that he was moved that she started helping with the tents. He also added that he didn’t dislike the fact she was so proud at all. Ah, well, love works in mysterious ways, but I’m disappointed that he fell for the “I’ll help with the tents even though I’m usually a brat” bit.

Without noticing, he was on the verge of love

Next week, Nagisa and Issy’s relationship will apparently skyrocket, Sanchan will get “mature” advice from Miyanee, and try to use it, and some incident (read: unnecessary false suspense engineered by brilliant producers) will happen.


Is It Love?

Sunday, February 18th, 2007


Beer + Milk = Bilk?

Friday, February 16th, 2007


Apparently, a liquor shop owner in Hokkaido has decided to produce beer with milk, and started selling it at the beginning of this month. I personally don’t find the idea very appealing, but it seems the new “Bilk” is a hit, since they’re already out of stock…

Ainori #348

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

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

Ainori #348


After Yokomi’s dropping out and Yankumi’s failed kokuhaku (love declaration in Japanese), the group reached Iceland, Ainori’s 73rd country and the last one in its second lap around the world! A new male member joined the group, Sanchan finally realized Bambi was in love with Yokomi, and Nagisa’s foul mouth got her another warning from Issy, which led to her having a make-up conversation with Bambi.

As usual, let me start by introducing the new participant:

MorikenMeet Kentou “Moriken” Mori, 19, from Gifu Prefecture. A student in an aeronautics school, he wrote on his profile that he would hang in there with his cheerfulness and his youth. An athletic, 183 cm tall young man, he was waiting for the group just wearing a t-shirt in the cold, a very Japanese way to show how pumped up he was about joining Ainori. He must have got quite a first impression from the group, as Sanchan was asked to say something as his direct elder, but answered he’d better do that on the Love Bus, and once they were aboard Bambi unexpectedly started crying again over Yokomi’s leaving. He looks like a very eligible member, and sure hope he won’t go back to Japan by himself. Good luck!


So of course, as soon as they got off the Bus, Bambi got together with Moriken, who was clueless as to why she had suddenly broken into tears. She apologized for her behavior, but for some reason she kept calling him “Miyaken”, until he said: “I guess Miyaken will do”. What a nice guy!

“Miyaken will do fine”


Later, the group decided to have a barbecue, and Bambi was getting busy preparing skewers. Bambi, with only good intentions, had put oversized pieces of vegetables on the skewers, and when Nagisa saw that, she started bitching (again), saying things like “Who made these?” and “Who on earth is gonna eat that?”. Bambi tried to justify herself by saying people who liked wanted lots of vegetables would be happy, to which Nagisa rudely replied that Bambi should eat them. Thankfully, Issy came to the rescue (again), and said he’d like some, joking that they’d better start cooking Bambi’s “ugly skewers”.

Cabbage skewers

Bambi, comforted by Issy’s kind words, started singing (as usual), and Nagisa, probably already pissed off that nobody else complained about the skewers, got angry and told Bambi how annoying she was. Bambi apologized (although I think she should have told Nagisa to put a sock in it), to which Nagisa replied: “Die, bitch!” (note: there’s no word for “bitch” in Japanese, but according to the context and Nagisa’s attitude, I think this translation is suitable. Feel free to suggest other translations).

“Shut up, will you!” “Die, bitch!”

“Die!?”. Nagisa had told Bambi before that she’d kill her if she dropped a plate, but she sounded like she was half-joking then. This time, she really crossed the line. Even back in the “Takano VS Omami Era”, I don’t think there has ever been such animosity between participants. Anyway, Bambi, as docile as she is, didn’t said anything back to the brat, and just sighed instead. Apparently it’s at that moment that Issy took the decision to “change” Nagisa.


After lunch time, Issy took Nagisa aside to talk to her. Nagisa, infatuated with him, looked happy at his invitation, unaware she was about to get it again. So he started by asking her if she wasn’t being too selfish. Nagisa was laughing, not realizing yet this was a serious conversation. Issy had to tell her “Hey! Listen to me!”, before she actually caught his drift. He then told her that although he knew sometimes relationships between girls might be difficult, he thought that it was wrong that she didn’t make more efforts for it to go smoothly between her and Bambi. Nagisa replied that she never really hung out with girls before, and that since this was the longest relationship she ever had with another girl, she wasn’t too sure how to go about it. Issy told her that even if it was so, he thought she should pull back a little bit she shouldn’t pull back like she did (note: thanks to Umi for the correction), that otherwise it was a real waste to act like she did.

“Even if it’s like you say, I think you shouldn’t be pulling back like that”

Ha! What a crappy excuse! “I don’t know how to relate to other girls”? Come on! Ever heard of common sense and courtesy? How about social conventions? Never been told that to tell someone to die was kind of, well, rude? I can’t believe this. Anyway, it seems that little talk with Issy got Nagisa thinking, as to Bambi’s great surprise, she invited her for a talk later that evening.

Nagisa started by saying that she didn’t like the type of girl who’s come on the show and tried to look as nice as possible just to please the audience. She told Bambi she was not good at putting on appearances (I thought on top of being Japanese she also wanted to become an artist – good luck, brat, you’ll never make it with that attitude!), and that she didn’t care whether she was in front of the camera. Bambi replied that all the girls on the show weren’t necessarily like that. And then, Nagisa started her sad, self-pitying story (no, I’m not impartial. So what?).

Apparently she stopped hanging out with girls when one whom Nagisa had trusted through elementary and junior high school betrayed her. Although she was telling to Nagisa’s face that she was her friend, she’d be secretly harassing her, doing things like hiding her shoes or ruin her textbooks. Nagisa felt left out, and was even getting messages on her answering machine telling her to die (sounds familiar?), which she thought was stupid (excuse me? Look who’s talking!). Because of that, Nagisa had been hanging out only with boys since she was a child. So she argued that she was used to speaking in a rough manner, which would be acceptable to boys (yeah, right, boys tell each other to go die all the time). So Bambi told her she was glad they had talked, as she had just about enough of Nagisa’s sharp tongue (oh, really?), and was ready to give up on her. Nagisa told her she wanted to be friends, but that it might take some time for her character to change, and that she wanted Bambi to be patient.

“If I were a guy, maybe it would be normal for me to talk like this”

Ok, I never walked in Nagisa’s shoes, but I really think this was a load of crap. I wonder why her dear “friend” suddenly got so mean towards her. Maybe she was already a spoiled selfish brat back then, too? In any case, I don’t know one kid (me included) know never had a fight with a long-time friend and stopped hanging out with them. Is that a good enough reason to give up on a whole gender? It sort of limits options, now doesn’t it? And even if she had good reasons to stop hanging out with girls all together, what’s with the attitude? Does hanging out with boys only make one impervious to common sense and social conventions? Like, she never, ever interacted with other girls AT ALL since junior high school? She must have been on another planet or something. And the part that gives her away the most: she thinks it was stupid for someone to leave messages telling her to die, but it’s ok for her to do so with Bambi? I’m sorry, but her story didn’t convince me at all. If anything, it made me despise her even more. Her little speech was just a story to excuse her selfish, unacceptable behavior. She’s gonna have to do much, much better than that.
She only had male friends

Sanchan rarrow2_e0.gif Bambi

Sanchan finally suspected that Bambi was in love with Yokomi (about time he reads totally undecipherable signals like her losing her breath when he annouced he would leave, or weeping at the mention of Yomomi’s name!), and decided to ask if she was talking about Yokomi when they where discussing their feelings towards other participants back in Norway.

“(The one you were talking about) was Yomomi, wasn’t it?”

Bad move, as she collapsed again as soon as they got off the Love Bus. Nagisa told her she should get it together, as she wouldn’t last long on the trip (finally, a good word of advice?). Anyway, Bambi walked out of the store they were at, and Sanchan, in a display of courage never seen before, went out to find her trying to comfort her. I say trying because of course, he couldn’t find the right words to make Bambi feel better, and she kept apologizing for spoiling everybody else’s mood, until she finally asked him to leave her alone for a while. Sanchan is a good guy, and he got a lot of self-confidence lately, but he sure is going to learn how to be more tactful.
“Would you like to be alone?”

Next week Yankumi’s replacement will join the group, Nagisa will be thinking about her attraction to Issy, and apparently do something unusual. Will she make a move? I wouldn’t mind at all! Sanchan and Bambi will also get to talk more.