Archive for March, 2007

Ainori News + Spoilers

Wednesday, March 28th, 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 youtube.com.

I figured that with a three week break, most of you Ainori fans would start having withdrawal symptoms, so I decided to throw you a bone. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it sure is better than a slap in the face (don’t believe me? Ask someone nearby to slap you in the face, then try reading this post again).

I’m getting this info from a Japanese blog about Ainori (thanks to “S” for the tip), and although most of the info is verifiable, some of these rumors might just be, well, rumors. But hey, it’s just entertainment, so keep your pants on. Oh wait, coming to think of it, why don’t I let you decide how you’d like to be dressed for your own entertainment experience. ;-)

Ok, I’ll start with news about ex-participants.

Remember Arashi, the one who “stole” Aya from Hide? Well, it seems he started working as a host at a club called Eden (am I the only one thinking: “looooooooooooser!”?), and even has his own calendar. If you remember well enough, this guy doesn’t fare well when he’s drunk, e.g. the time he told Aya he loved her, but couldn’t remember anything the next day. I’d try to find a job where he doesn’t have to interact with women under the influence, if I were him.

arashicalendar2007.jpg
You can check out his host profile here (Japanese only)


Uekki Chaki Yokomi


No, you’re not dreaming! Apparently, as soon as they got back to Japan, Chaki dumped Uekki, and is apparently going out with Yokomi, now. I wonder if they’ll have the guts to tell us on the show?

IssyNagisa

YES! Good news, people! Apparently, Issy dumped Nagisa. Gee, I wonder why? ;-)

WARNING! WHAT FOLLOWS IS A SPOILER ABOUT ONE OF THE CURRENT PARTICIPANTS. IF YOU STILL WISH TO PROCEED, CLICK THE JAPANESE FLAG AT THE BEGINNING OF THE POST AND SCROLL BACK DOWN.

Spoiler starts here:

Spoiler ends here.

And that’s it for now, Ainori fans. There’s a lot of info about ex-participants on that blog, and I’ll try to write more later. For those of you who can read Japanese, please do not spoil the fun for other readers who prefer not to know by writing crucial info in your comments.

Today’s Bentou

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

sn360294.JPG

Vernal Equinox

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

vernalequinox.jpg

Today is the vernal equinox, one of Japan’s national holidays. In Japanese, it is called “shunbun”, and corresponds to one of 24 solar terms found in most East-Asian traditions. On this day, most Japanese go visit their familial grave, and hold family reunions.

As for me, well, this is a day off I was looking forward to, since we had the official school year closing ceremony yesterday. I should know my new affectation within the school by the end of the week, and I’ll finally be able to clean up my desk a bit. But the truth is, I’m sort of fed up with baby sitting Japanese teenagers. I’ve had this on my mind for a while, so I’ll probably start looking for something new during what could be my last year as a high school teacher…

(Taking another sip of coffee, pondering whether I should play CIV IV, watch the final episode of Stargate Season 7, or just go back to bed).

Ainori #352

Tuesday, March 20th, 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 youtube.com.


Ainori #352

WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!

I’m back in the loop, people, with Ainori’s second world lap ending in Iceland, and what a finale, ladies and gentlemen. But first, let me apologize for my flaming comments on my last summary. I still think Nagisa is a bitch for testing Issy like she did, but if he loves her anyway (and yes, it seems he did), that’s his business after all. Can’t tell people how to feel, even if I don’t agree with their feelings, right?


Nagisa
Issy

As you all know, after Nagisa had confirmed that Issy was “really” a nice guy by testing him in the most atrocious way, she decided to declare his love to him, and that’s what we were waiting for in this episode. But the show started with a huge surprise: Issy telling the staff he had decided to declare his love to Nagisa!

issywantstokokuhakunagisa.jpg
“I think I want to declare my love to her”

Dudes, I think this is the first time we had a near simultaneous kokuhaku (love declaration in Japanese) ever, which according to the Ainori rules, is actually impossible. Indeed, the one declaring his love to another by presenting that person the plane tickets to go back to Japan HAS to go back, either with their loved one or by themselves, leaving that choice to the one receiving the ticket. Since Nagisa had just gotten the tickets and was actually waiting for Issy, technically Issy was not allowed to get the tickets and declare his love to Nagisa, but the staff was not allowed to tell him that he was about to be “kokuhakued” either.
confuseddirector.jpg
“Is this a bad time?” “No, no”

That led to a pretty long (and really funny) moment of confusion, with the staff trying to stall Issy, who was getting more assertive by the second. Actually, it looked for a moment like the director didn’t know what to do, until one of the assistant came to tell him Nagisa was ready and waiting. So they took Issy out, and told him to walk down a road where he would find a cameraman. Issy was expecting to find the Love Bus (participants usually get the palne tickets from the Bus driver), but instead he saw Nagisa sitting on a bench, waiting, and couldn’t figure out why he should declare his love to her without getting the tickets first.
issydoesnothavethetickets.jpg
“What? I don’t even have the tickets”

Seemingly willing to forgo that “small detail”, he finally sat on the bench next to her, and started saying he had something to tell her. Nagisa, ready to go through with her kokuhaku, told him that today it was her turn to talk, and asked him to listen. She told him how during their trip together across three countries she had realized how kind he was, and how she appreciated the way he was mindful of others and how he had always been there for him. She then told him how her previous boyfriends were only interested in her for sex, and how had no idea if Issy might do the same thing if they ended up together. He then asked her if she wanted him to tell her what he’d do, probably not realizing he was being kokuhakued and ready to kokuhaku her himself, but Nagisa stopped him and told her to listen until the end, as she was in the middle of her own kokuhaku (wait, am I making any sense?). She then admitted that in order to find out if he was really interested in her, she tested him by being as distant as she could be, and told him she had imagined he would give up on her thinking she was more trouble than she was worth, which is exactly what he said out loud the day before after the last time he tried talking to her. As Issy was pondering the situation, Nagisa proceeded to tell him that even though she had pushed him to the limit, he came back for her so many times to ask her what was wrong that he had “proven worthy of her”. Before Issy could really react, she told him she loved him, and Issy, still not realizing he was being kokuhakued (remember, he had been thinking all along HE was about to do so), told her to wait. She said she wouldn’t wait, and continued by saying she wanted him by her side from then on. Issy was just telling her that he didn’t appreciate the fact that she tested him, when she apologized and suddenly pulled out the tickets, to his great surprise. Obviously, it’s only then that he became fully aware he was being kokuhakued. The end of the conversation was really funny, as he knew exactly what his answer would be, and was trying to tell her that he had been wanting to kokuhaku her, but ended up by just saying: “ok”, “ok”, “ok” to everything she was saying. She went back to the hotel as Issy was looking at the tickets, really confused.
nagisagivingissytheticket.jpg
“Here’s the ticket” “Aaaah, ok”

Although there was no suspense at all since they both wanted the same thing, the whole situation was just so funny, it made me forget how I disliked Nagisa for a (short) while. Issy was politely listening, probably trying to figure out how he would kokuhaku her – without tickets, no less, which kept him from realizing he was actually being kokuhakued. Yep, the whole thing made me jump up and down.

Anyway, as much as Issy was happy, Nagisa didn’t have any confidence in his reply. So the next morning, as they faced each other again, again, there was no suspense, and I think Issy kind of got back at her with his explanation. He started by telling her he had met the girl of his destiny, and how his opinion of her had changed when she played the piano and they sang together. However, although he really didn’t like the fact that she had acted so weird on him (I liked that part, because he was making it sound like he was about to turn her down, he, he, he), he loved her regardless, and told her he accepted her offer.

issyacceptingnagisasoffer.jpg
“Let’s go back to Japan together”

At that point, Nagisa crouched down crying, and from the other participants’ point of view, watching from afar and not being able to hear them, it looked liked he had turned her down, and Bambi even screeched. But when they realized everything was all right as they were kissing, the group ran to them to congratulate them.
nagisaandissykissing.jpg

The weird thing was Sanchan was crying because Issy was about to leave, which made me wonder for a second if they hadn’t miss the chance of potentially becoming the first Ainori gay couple ;-) .

So, as much as I (still) dislike Nagisa, I can’t help but feel happy for them. Good luck, Issy!

issyandnagisacongratulations.jpg
IssyNagisa
Sincere Congratulations!

Oh yeah, here’s a bonus purikura for the fans. Thanks to S for it.

issyandnagisapurikura.jpg

And here we are, Ainori fans, at the end of the second lap. Yep, 8 years, 150 378 km, 73 countries, 39 couples, 7 weddings, 2 babies and countless tears later, Ainori is about to start its third lap around the world, no doubt providing many more hours of blissful fun and romance for all the fans.

Next Ainori will be aired on April 9, 2007. Two new participants will join the group and Sanchan and Bambi will hopefully grow closer together. From the looks of it, the first country of the third lap around the world will be a Spanish speaking country, so if they keep going west, they might end up in Central or South America. Sweeeeet.

NEXT ON AINORI


Ainori #351

Monday, March 19th, 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 youtube.com.


Ainori #351

WARNING! THIS IS A … Aw, crap!

Sorry I kept you guys waiting. As I explain in my last summary, I’ve been quite busy lately.

This week the group got to climb up a glacier – man, I never stopped to think that there were so many cool things you could to in Iceland – and Sanchan finally took his courage in both hands and acted with as much cool as you would expect from even Ainori jocks. Then, the bitchin’ brat played with Issy’s head until he finally gave up on her! You’ve got to admire his patience!

Sanchan rarrow2_e0.gif Bambi

Upon Bambi’s request, the group got to climb the Vatnajökull, which is the largest glacier in Europe. Nagisa, suffering from a bad ankle since high school, decided not to join the group, surprisingly without any complaints. As the group was about to start their ascent, Issy also decided to stay behind, so Nagisa wouldn’t be left alone (what, like all the staff joined the climb? He must really like her!).


From Issy’s Diary: “I’d rather stay behind for Nagisa”

So the group started the long 10 hour climb, and about halfway to the top, they came to a narrow stretch which looked really dangerous. They had to progress in pairs tied to each other, and Sanchan asked Bambi to be his partner. Bambi was scared like hell, but Sanchan kept his cool all along, being very supportive and helpful. Even the other guys, who were watching from a distance, couldn’t refrain from making comments on how cool and manly he was acting. Yep, the little dude sure scored some points with everybody, including me.

sanchanencouragingbambi.jpg
“What?” “It’ll be fine”

Unfortunately, the group couldn’t reach the summit, as the ice bridge that the guides usually used was in pieces, and bad weather conditions started to prevail.


Nagisa rarrow2_e0.gif
rarrow1_e0.gif
Issy

And there it is, folks, the incontrovertible proof that Nagisa is a bitch at heart. This maybe from a guy’s point of view, and I really don’t know if women actually do that often (I sure hope not!), but this to me one of the lowest, most despicable thing a girl can do to a guy, short of cheating on him. Screw her! Let me get a grip so I can try to explain this as objectively as objectively as possible. (Serenity now! Serenity now!). Due to her past experiences with boys and an obvious lack of comprehension about human relationships, Nagisa somehow put in her little head that Issy’s kindness would eventually disappear, as there is this obscure law of the universe dictating that ALL men become less nice once they start going out steady with women. So the only way to test if Issy was the exception to this cosmic rule would be to GET AS DISTANT AS POSSIBLE TO SEE IF SHE COULD ASCERTAIN IF HE REALLY HAD FEELINGS FOR HER. She’s positively nuts! What kind of a reaction did she expect? I know women won’t return phone calls immediately or try to seem distant to keep a guy on his toes, but she really went too far this time. Ever seen a guy get confused? Poor Issy.

nagisadoubtingissy.jpg
Is Issy frivolous?

Operation Nut Job Phase 1: Issy sat next to Nagisa on the bus as usual, but noticing she wasn’t responsive, started asking what was wrong. Unable to get anything but “nothing” as an answer, he was nice enough to let go and tell her she could tell him later if she didn’t feel like talking right now.

/
“What’s wrong? Did anything happen?”

Operation Nut Job Phase 2: The next day, Nagisa asked to talk to Issy. No doubt he was expecting her to explain what was wrong. So she started by saying she wanted to have a serious conversation, and asked him if the day before he wanted to climb the glacier. He replied that he didn’t, that if he really had wanted to he would have done it. So she replied she had been lucky that he really felt that way, and he asked he what she meant. She then told him that he could be just saying that, and Issy asked her if she was trying to pick a fight. Nagisa continued by inquiring if he would be just as kind if they’d go back in Japan, and he asked her if she thought he would change. Nagisa say that she didn’t, and Issy expressed his surprise to her tone, as if she was a totally different person. He then asked her why she was asked him something like that, to which she replied evasively. Lying bitch!

issyaskingifnagisaistryingtopickafight.jpg
“Are you trying to pick a fight with me?”

Operation Nut Job Phase 3: I guess Issy thought Nagisa had told him what was on her mind, and he probably figured she’s be back to normal. So the next day while the group was spending time in a park, he invited her to go with him, but she replied she preferred being alone. The whole group realized there was something going on. Nagisa was sitting on a bench by herself, and an exasperated Issy (with reason) tried to talk to her again. He asked her again what was wrong, that he’d like her to tell him since he was starting to feel uncomfortable with the whole situation. She replied that he didn’t want to find out to help her, but to help himself feel better. He then told her he was worried for her because she wasn’t acting normally, and that he wanted to stop worrying. She then asked him if he wasn’t saying that just for the benefit of the camera, just to look cool to the audience (I couldn’t believe that one!). Issy was quite puzzled, and asked her what she was trying to do, and she told him she didn’t know what he was talking about. He told her he was starting to get mad at her, and that he really wanted to know what she was thinking, and she said she’d like to ask him the same question. Unable to follow (hell, I’m having a hard time following even when I read the script again!), he started asking her why she wasn’t acting normally, and asked her again to tell him what was on her mind. The brat replied she had nothing to say. She then stood up saying they should join the others.

issyaskingwhynagisaisnotactingnormally.jpg'
“Why aren’t you acting normally?”

Operation Nut Job Phase 4: Issy, utterly confused as you might imagine, went after Nagisa and tried to talk to her again. He asked her how she was feeling being by herslef right now, that they should talk about it. She said she wanted to be left alone, and Issy finally gave up, saying to the camera that he couldn’t talk to her, and was angrily cursing out loud.

issycursing..jpg
“Aaaah, shit! Seriously!”

Operation Nut Job: Success! After writing in her diary that no matter how distant she tried to be, Issy was nice enough to try to be with her anyway. Based on those results, she made the decision that it was the perfect time to get the tickets and declare her love to Issy.

nagisalovesissy.jpg'
From Nagisa’s Diary: “I love Issy”
(Note from the blogger: Crazy Bitch!)

3, 2, 1: AAAAAAARRRRRGH!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!
Dudes, I wanted to choke her, but like, really, really slowly – and I’d like to stress that I’m far from being prone to violence. And during all that time she had that Machiavellian smile on her face. Grrrrrr! Little manipulative-no-good-witch. She’s lucky witch-hunts are a thing of the past, because I can easily picture an angry mob of Ainori fans going after her. She sank lower than my lowest expectations. She should burn in hell for this. If Issy gives her a favorable reply, I will lose all the respect I came to gain for him, and he will lose all self-respect. She… I… G! FGWZXVBHJK! #$%&*@… I have to stop now on account that my blood pressure is rising to very, very dangerous levels. Serenity now! Serenity now!

Next week, Nagisa will leave the show one way or another. Excellent! Gooooooood riddance!

NEXT ON AINORI