Archive for May, 2007

Ainori News – Tachi & Junko

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Tachi Junko

Apparently, Tachi and Junko have broken up for some reason (guess it can’t always end with a wedding and a baby). It seems Tachi has now moved permanently to his favorite area (no doubt where some of the best ski slopes in Japan are), and now works in a shop. According to some fans who talked to him, he is true to the image he projected on the show, i.e. a great, openhearted guy. He is currently single. I guess his participation on Ainori paid off a bit, as he even appeared in a pachinko TV commercial.

Ainori #360

Thursday, May 31st, 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


new.gif righ-red_e0.gif Ex-participants’ blogs
(Japanese only)
JUST ADDED BAMBI’S BLOG
left-red_e0.gifnew.gif

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts

Streaming videos of Ainori are available on youtube.com.


Ainori #360

WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!

This week, the group got to learn how to play the steeldrum, Gurasan got closer to Neko, Sanchan was still down due to Bambi’s returning to Japan, and Miyanee and Oga’s relationship seemed to be going well, until Oga’s moral got in the way. And oh, bonus: the group moved to Tobago, the country’s second largest island, and man, talk about a tropical paradise! b-)

steeldrums.jpg

The show started with the group meeting a man who was making a steeldrum. According to the show, steel drums were invented about 70 years ago by descendents of African slaves who had had their drums taken away by their bosses. While working with old oil drums, some of them noticed that they could get different notes by hitting different parts of the cover, and the steeldrum was born. After watching a steeldrum performance, the group decided to learn how to play, and three hours later, were even able to play a rendition of “La Bamba“.

thegroupplayingsteeldrums.jpg


Gurasanrarrow2_e0.gifNeko.jpg

Since Neko had joined the group, it seems she had trouble blending in with them, and has felt tired probably due to jet lag and culture shock. She admitted she had to make efforts to have fun with the rest of the group, even though she didn’t always felt like it. So at one point, she suggested they’d go for an impromptu swim in the sea, and the other girls flattered her on her figure, and envied her for having a nice enough body to even think about going for a swim. Neko kind of insisted that they could do it in their underwear, but the other girls told her they couldn’t go just like that on a whim. After that, the girls kept commenting on how nice it was to be as young as Neko. That little conversation may have been the last straw, as Neko lost her cheerfulness back on the Love Bus.

Her state of mind didn’t go unnoticed by Gurasan, who invited her for a talk on the next day. He was very straightforward, telling her it was usually difficult to talk about one’s worries if it wasn’t done privately. This prompted Neko to start sobbing, and Gurasan told her it was ok to cry, and that she should whenever she felt the need to. She then told him she didn’t know how to mingle with the group adequately, and how she realized how small the world she had been brought up in was, since it was her first time to leave Japan. Gurasan replied that although he wasn’t very good at giving advice, he could always listen, and told Neko he’d like her to come to him whenever she felt like talking. She promised she would, and later told the staff she felt Gurasan was like an oasis. When asked if he stood out from the rest of the boys, she said yes.

gurasanislikeanoasis.jpg
(Gurasan is) like an oasis

Wow, that was quick! Ok, people, keep your pants on. She’s young, inexperienced and no doubt intimidated by the fact the other girls are older than her, not to mention fatigue due to culture shock. She needed someone to talk, and Gurasan was there for her. Doesn’t mean anything yet, although I’m sure Gurasan saw a good opportunity to break the ice – that is if he’s really interested at all. We’ll have to wait and see…

Sanchanleftmouth.gif rightmouth.gifHiroe

When they got to Tobago, the group went to Pidgeon Point for a swim in the sea (about time!), except for Hiroe and Sanchan, who stayed on the beach. Hiroe noticed Sanchan wasn’t very peppy (not that he usually is!), and asked him if he was ok. Sanchan replied he guessed he wasn’t. Hiroe, starting to take pleasure walking in the water, asked him to join her for a swim, even though they were wearing their clothes. Sanchan went to change, and they started having fun in the water. Then Hiroe, out of the blue, started a somewhat cryptic and philosophical conversation. She started saying that people fell in love with others not necessarily for their looks, or personality, but maybe for their soul. She told Sanchan that looks came from one’s body, which was merely a container for the soul. That’s where she lost Sanchan, who couldn’t follow her. She tried to explain again that the body contained the soul, but as he obviously was at a loss, she simply said that they should hang in there, and they started laughing. To tell the truth, I wasn’t sure where she was going either, but that girl sure has deep thoughts.
sanchanataloss.jpg
“What!?”



Miyanee

Oga

The night after they played steeldrum, the group was in the Love Bus on their way to a party when they noticed Miyanee was wearing make up, something no one had seen before. It was obviously meant for Oga, who was laughing, somewhat embarrassed. When they got to the party, they got together for a bite to eat, and Miyanee decided to finally ask him about something that apparently had been on her mind for a while: his status as an artist. Indeed, in Japanese show business, some entertainers have restrictions that stretch even to their private lives, especially if they are idols. Miyanee asked Oga if he was affiliated to a tarento agency. He replied vaguely that he thought he was (??), and Miyanee asked him whether he could find love on Ainori, kiss and go back to Japan under those conditions, arguing that if he did, he would lose popularity. When Oga told her he didn’t think it had anything to with it since he wasn’t an idol, Miyanee insisted that it could have an impact on his career, but Oga assured her it wouldn’t. He explained that he was serious about finding love on Ainori, and that he would turn down any girl for whom he didn’t have deep feelings. Miyanee asked him whether he intended to use that as a publicity stunt, and Oga replied he didn’t. He added that he had no idea what his agency’s position was on the subject, but that it was his life anyway. Later in the staff’s room, Miyanee explained she was really happy Oga had revealed his feelings about Ainori, and that she loved him. Well, I guess any woman would fall for a tall, handsome karate champion who not only doesn’t seem to have any flaws, but also doesn’t make any compromise about his life principles.

miyaneereallylovesoga.jpg
“Ha, ha, ha. I love him, really”

A couple of days after they had arrived in Tobago, Miyanee and Oga were sitting together on the Love Bus, and Miyanee noticed Oga seemed pensive. When she asked why he didn’t seem in the mood, he replied there was nothing wrong. That night, they got together and she asked him what was on his mind, and he told her that although he had joined Ainori to find love, he couldn’t, specifically because of what happened back in Dominican Republic on “El Bonche Bus” (See Ainori #354). He told her he couldn’t fall in love with any girl who didn’t care about making a spectacle of herself like that. Miyanee tried to explain that they weren’t trying to flirt or anything, that being drunk it was difficult to refuse the invitation to have fun and dance, but Oga replied it wasn’t so difficult to refuse to act like that. Miyanee told him that they couldn’t undo their actions, and that if he really thought like that, it would therefore be impossible for him to get involved either with her or Hiroe. She wrote in her diary that their romance had just fell apart, and that she felt she would have t make a fresh start.

ogaisaperfectionist.jpg
“I don’t think it’s that difficult”

Obviously, Oga wasn’t talking in a general way, but specifically about Miyanee. Agreed, Miyanee might have overdone it went freakin’ wild on the Bonche Bus, but as she said, she was drunk and just trying to have a good time. Although she tried to explain that, Oga still wouldn’t budge. And there it is people, Oga’s flaw: he’s trapped by his own principles. Mr. Perfect doesn’t allow any mistakes on the part of other people either? Well I’ve got news for you, choir boy, nobody’s perfect! How many of you ever got drunk and had something to apologize for the next day? If I were asked for a show of hands, I know I’d have both hands up! Now I’m starting to realize why Oga didn’t have a girlfriend back in Japan: he’s an obsessive perfectionist. If Miyanee had done that after they got together, I would understand (hey, I’d be pissed, too!), but was she supposed to refrain from having fun just in case someone was watching her? As she said, what’s done is done, and she can’t undo that, so why not give her a chance? I’m curious to see to what extent Oga is going to let his principles get in the way of romance. Too bad, they would have made a great couple.


Miyanee rarrow2_e0.gifMoriken

The next day, Miyanee sat next to Moriken on the bus. Moriken was singing and having fun, and at one point greeted someone outside the bus with a “Yah man!”. Miyanee told him he was funny and cute, and later wrote in her diary that she thought it could be fun if they became a couple.
morikenisfunnyandcute.jpg
“Moriken, you’re funny. You’re cute”

What!? A 180 degree turn? Probably not. Obviously Miyanee was hurt by Oga’s position, but I think she still loves him. I’m sure she wrote that comment about Moriken just to try to forget Oga. I sure hope Oga reevaluates his feelings, because Miyanee seems like a serious girl (eeerrr, except when she gets drunk and almost starts humping some dude on a party bus), and I think they’d go well together.

Next week, the group will get to a new country in South America, where a string of unbelievable events will ensue. Looks like they will become the target of some film crew, and be invited to a chic reception; and Miyanee and Moriken will apparently get friendlier.

NEXT ON AINORI


Ainori #359

Thursday, May 24th, 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


new.gif righ-red_e0.gif Ex-participants’ blogs
(Japanese only)
left-red_e0.gifnew.gif

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts

Streaming videos of Ainori are available on youtube.com.


Ainori #359

WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!

This week, the group arrived in Ainori’s 75th country, where a new female participant joined them. Guransan, who hadn’t got involved with any of the girls yet, seemed to be immediately attracted to her. The group also took some local dance lessons, and the relationship between Miyanee and Oga made some progress.

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

NekoMeet Youko “Neko” Kosakai, a 21 year old student majoring in “Asian Issues”, from Kanagawa Prefecture. She has been to both England and China as a foreign student, and is now enjoying studying Chinese the most. Her nickname means “cat” in Japanese, and she took it because she’s apparently told she looks like one (am I the only one thinking “Cheshire Cat” here?). She told the group she had joined Ainori to find the one who would be with her forever. Good luck, pussycat!


Gurasanrarrow2_e0.gifNeko.jpg

Now something that had not transpired until now was the fact that Gurasan is a devoted cat lover, having one back at home and apparently cuddling any other he can find. Seemingly unattracted to any of the girls since he had joined the group, he was a bit pumped up about meeting the new one. When he heard her nickname was “Neko”, it looks like something clicked in his mind, and he sat next to her on the Love Bus. The funny thing is that he obviously really nervous. An ex-gangster terrified by a 21 year old university sophomore – that’s not something you see everyday! When Neko was asked what type of man she was into, she replied one with (loosely translated) self-esteem, to which Gurasan replied by saying he could be a prospect. I think they’re probably too different for it to work, her being a serious university student and him being an ex-biker. Then again, it’s too early to tell, and we have seen opposites match before (e.g. Suuzan and Mie).

gurasanisapotentialprospect.jpg
“So I could be a prospect”

Back to our regular program. The show started with the group arriving in Trinidad and Tobago, met Wesley, the new driver, and got their money for the trip. They started touring on Trinidad, the largest island of the country. They seemed quite happy with their new hotel, and they had their first meal in a local fast-food restaurant where they had roti, a popular Indian dish (40% of the population is of Indian descent). The food seemed ok, but the group suddenly lost their enthusiasm due to the void created by Bambi’s absence. Indeed, it seems she used to make the meals more enjoyable with her keen “appetite”. Later, Sanchan told the group he was lonely since he was in love with her…

sanchanfeelinglonely.jpg
“I feel lonely after all”

Moriken leftmouth.gif rightmouth.gif Miyanee

The next day, while the group was enjoying some free time, Miyanee and Moriken got together for a talk, which gave us a lot of insight into Miyanee’s life. She got her first job at 24, working on commission for an internet provider. In charge of finding costumers, she admitted getting as much as 2 000 000 yen (about USD 16 500) in two months. In an office where 95% of the 200 employees were men, she struggled to get in the top 10 salespersons, the first one being awarded 500 000 yen (about USD 4 100) bonus. However, she could never get higher than the 8th position, which made her really disappointed. She explained that she wanted to work and make money by herself, as she couldn’t bare the thought of having a man working to feed her. She told Moriken that although she wasn’t ready to get married at all, she wanted a boyfriend to get “satisfied”. Oh yeah, Miyanee has the raging hormones of a 31 year old woman all right! ;-)

miyaneeatwork.jpg


Miyanee rarrow2_e0.gif Oga

The next day, Oga got together with Miyanee, who had hinted two weeks ago that she had a soft spot for him. She started by asking him about Bambi’s love declaration, and he explained Bambi had said he had change her. Miyanee jokingly asked if he really had that much charisma, and ask him to change her, too, and Oga told her she couldn’t be changed. Miyanee suddenly told him she had growing feelings for someone, and it seemed obvious from Oga’s look that he knew she was talking about him.

The next day, the group got to go shopping, and Miyanee and Oga paired up again. She started asking him about how he was on a date, and he replied he wasn’t the type to choose a place in advance, but that he usually paid for it. They seemed to have a good time shopping together, and on the way back, Miyanee couldn’t help saying it really felt like a first date. She later wrote in her diary that she felt comfortable with Oga, and that she liked the fact that he could make simple conversation.

dancingass.gifdancing.gifMorikendancing.gifdancingass.gif

The afternoon Neko joined them, the group went to a shop specializing in clothes for the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, which also provides a space in the back for practice. The group was a bit surprised at how sexy the costumes were, but they all dressed up and tried the local dance. Although it didn’t seem to come easily to some of them, Moriken really gave it his best shot!
morikengoingatit.jpg

That night, the group had a welcome party for Neko, and of course, they drank again. During the conversation, Moriken was talking about one time when his girlfriend cheated on him, and after he lost all enthusiasm about there relationship, she ran back to him, which he didn’t like. As the other boys were saying how they understood, Miyanee argued that she didn’t get it as if she came back it proved she really loved him, whereas the boys argued it was a question of pride. When they asked Sanchan what he thought about it, he took a few seconds before replying he had no idea – right, wrong person to ask!

sanchanisclueless.jpg
“Eeer, I don’t know” “Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha”

An hour later, it became obvious that Miyanee had hit her limit, as she lay on the floor saying it had been a long time since she had gotten so drunk. Of course, the group started to help her, but Oga was particularly thoughtful, asking her if she needed some water, if she felt sick, and if she wanted to go to the ladies’ room. Miyanee remembered how he was the first to react back when Bambi was hyperventilating, and acknowledged his kindness and the attention he gave to people around him, admitting that it felt safe when he was around. She wrote in her diary that after 30, there are ups and downs, and that it would be nice to have such a kind man around to help her when she’d hit a wall.

miyaneeistired.jpg
“I feel so tired” “Right, today was a big day”

I think this episode sealed it for Miyanee. Unless Oga suddenly reveals a hidden dark side (which is something the hosts are talking about a lot – he’s just TOO perfect), I’m sure Miyanee will go for the kokuhaku (love declaration in Japanese) soon. I think they’d make a great couple, although I’m having trouble reading Oga’s mind.

Next week, Gurasan will apparently discover something about Neko that will make her cry, and Miyanee will take out the big guns and ask overt questions to Oga. I’m telling you, this woman is on fire! Grrr!

Edit: It seems I’ve actually inspired someone else to write about Ainori (Is that cool or what!?)! Check out Blink’s blog!

NEXT ON AINORI


Constructhon Vehicles Only

Monday, May 21st, 2007

constructhonvehiclesonly.jpg

Ainori #355, #356, #357 & #358

Tuesday, May 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


new.gif righ-red_e0.gif Ex-participants’ blogs
(Japanese only)
left-red_e0.gifnew.gif

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts

Streaming videos of Ainori are available on youtube.com.

First of all, I’d like to apologize for the delay long absence. As some of you may know, it was Golden Week here in Japan, so I did things I usually don’t have time for (I’ll talk about that later), not to mention a new class schedule I’m still getting used to. Anyway, here’s a double triple quadruple summary. Enjoy!


Ainori #355

WARNING! Oops! Ah, well, here it is anyway…

Bambi apologized the “incident” that happened the week before, and after a talk with Oga it seems she decided to put more effort on her diet. Sanchan admitted having fun concentrating on his role as the group’s treasurer, and the group met a young Dominican boy, whose dream is to become a professional baseball player.

mdbgraham_e0.gif Bambi mdbgraham_e0.gif

After last week’s bashing session, the atmosphere was a bit tense on the bus, until Bambi apologized to the others. They all accepted her apology and the situation returned to normal, but I still think it was a storm in a glass of water. The next day, Bambi and Oga talked about their high school days. Bambi admitted she had been spoiled, and that she always had more than she could have wanted. Oga explained that he started learning karate when he was two years old, under his dad’s supervision. When he was in school, he was living a strict life in a dormitory (presumably with other karate students) where it was forbidden to play. Although he didn’t always like it, he explained that he had learned how to conform, and became aware of how important it was to make concessions in order not to create inconveniences to others while living in a group like, say, Ainori. He told her how he thought it was important to be aware of how his whims could be affecting others around him, and not to act upon them. Although he was nice enough never to mention her directly, Bambi got that “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” message loud and clear, and said how she had to rethink her whole way of life.

That afternoon, while the group was having lunch, Bambi put back half of her sandwich in the middle of the table, and started drinking some water. She obviously did that not only for her diet, but also to as a gesture to show the others she’d try to stick to her commitment.

bambiputbackthesandwich.jpg
She put back the sandwich!

That night, Bambi was seen jogging with Oga and Hiroe. I’m sure the others supporting her not only psychologically, but also exercising with her will make a world of difference for her. Good luck, Bambi!

Bambi rarrow2_e0.gifOga

The next day, Moriken apologized to Bambi for embarrassing her about the food, and she replied that she was happy he cared enough to mention it. Then they saw Oga, who was practicing his kata about a hundred meters away. As they were talking about how cool he was, Bambi couldn’t stop glancing at him, until Moriken told her:”You like him, don’t you?”. Oh, yeah, it couldn’t be more transparent!

Sanchan

Well, it seems Sanchan is taking his job as a treasurer really seriously, and for a good reason: he thinks it’s fun to keep numbers in the black!

sanchanthinkitsfuntokeepnumbersintheblack.jpg
“What’s fun is to keep numbers in the black”

Sanchan Hiroe

Later on the Love Bus, Sanchan and Hiroe sat next to one another, and Hiroe complained that she was about to have her period, as she was getting thirsty easily. Sanchan, in an embarrassing and appalling display of inexperience, started asking her about it. She explained that she would gain about one kilo, and that menstrual pains were an inconvenience. Seemingly unaware of what menstrual pains were, he asked her about it, and she explained that they were so bad, she had to take medication to make them bearable. Sanchan seemed surprise to learn that symptoms included not only nausea, uterine pains and blood loss, but also lower back pains, and the fact that you’re not yourself for a while. He seemed relieved when she told him that the symptoms go away when that time of the month is over. I know he claims he never really talked to women before Ainori, but this was really too much…

aboywithadream.jpg
His dream was to become a baseball player, like Sammy (Sosa)

The rest of the episode revolved around an 11-year-old boy, whose dream was to become a baseball player, like Sammy Sosa. Indeed, Dominicans make up the highest number of foreigners (i.e non-Americans) in MLB, and players like Sammy Sosa fuel a dream of escaping poverty for many young Dominicans. The young boy (I’m not sure what is name is in Spanish, they only gave the katakana version on the show – help anyone?), whose father drives a motorcycle taxi, works fixing bikes in the morning and goes to school in the afternoon. Since the father makes barely enough money to feed his family, the boy gives all of his money to his mother. The group was obviously shocked at the family’s living conditions, reaction common to over-pampered bitches from industrialized countries like us (you heard me!), who unfortunately are way too often blissfully unaware that this kind of life is the norm rather than the exception (I’m sorry, Hey! I really didn’t like the look of disgust on the participants’ face when they saw the house, but it’s not like these people have a choice!). So the boy invited them to play baseball, in a field surrounded by garbage, with old pants as bases, gloves made of cardboard, a rolled sock for a ball and a straight branch for a bat. Nevertheless, the group had a lot of fun playing with the boy and his friends, and after the game was over, the boy revealed he had never seen a real game at the stadium, since he couldn’t even afford the ¥180 (about USD 1.50) ticket. After they had gone their separate ways, Gurasan suggested that the group should skip a meal so the group would be able to take the boy see a real ball game (I’m really starting to like this guy). Two days later, the group took the boy to a game, and although they were worried it would be cancelled due to bad weather, the group was delighted to see the boy enjoy his first real baseball game. The group parted with the boy, wishing him good luck with his dream. Ainori also made a very nice gesture by using some of the money from their ongoing fund-raiser to buy the kids everything they needed to play baseball.

baseballgear.jpg
Aluminum bats, balls, gloves, helmets, catcher’s protecting gear, catcher’s mask, protective cups, storage bags, bases

I thought this was really nice. Ainori has already built two schools in Africa, and who knows, this baseball gear might just be what this kid needs to become the next Sammy Sosa. Good luck, little dude.

By the way, has anyone noticed Masami Hisamoto’s T-shirt?

bitchtshirt.jpg
A remnant of the infamous “Bitch” brand name, perhaps?


Ainori #356

WARNING! Nop, nothing here either…

In this episode, the group got to meet a Japanese-Dominican family, Bambi’s diet proved to be successful, and her infatuation for Oga got so deep she decided to declare his love to him, until something happened between Oga and Miyanee.

scale.jpgBambiscale.jpg

Bambi really hung in there, going jogging every night and continuing her water diet. As a result, she could confirm on the scale that she had lost as much as 4 kilos, one kilo short of her objective. Later that day, the group decided to go shopping for groceries, in order to cook dinner. The ones to be in charge of the meal were decided though a round of “janken“, and ironically, the love triangle composed of Sanchan, Bambi and Oga were chosen. They decided to make patties, and although Bambi wanted to buy ready-to-cook ones, Oga insisted to make them from scratch. As they were having fun preparing the meal, some of the food suddenly caught on fire, and before anyone could react (nop, didn’t even say:”I’m gonna huff, and I’m gonna puff…”), Oga simply BLEW IT OFF in an amazing display of super-breath powers! Yep, all those years of training sure seem to have paid off. That really impressed Bambi, who made Oga taste food from her fingers, and gave a heart shape to some of the patties for him, completely ignoring Sanchan. Sanchan couldn’t help notice, as he wrote in his diary.

lookslikebambilikesoga.jpg
From Sanchan’s diary:”Looks like Bambi likes Oga”

That night, Bambi went to the staff’s room, and told them she was ready to declare her love to Oga.

bambireadytokokuhakuoga.jpg
“I will declare my love to him!”

Except for the last part, the rest of the episode revolved around Hajime Tabata, an 87-year-old Japanese man living in Dominican Republic. As many other Japanese, he was lured there 47 years ago as part of a government program promising free, fertile land in the Dominican Republic and other countries, in order to promote population growth after WWII. When he arrived to the so-called “Caribbean Paradise”, Hajime found out that the land he was promised not only didn’t even have a road leading to it, but was in fact saturated with stones, therefore unsuitable for farming. Other Japanese who had come with the program found themselves in the same situation, with similar plots of bad land, or worse, with land in the jungle.

As he came on his own volition, Hajime decided nonetheless to stay with his family, and after many years of effort, had become a successful coffee producer, preserving the Japanese way of life, having built his own Japanese bath and even making his own miso.


Miyanee
Oga

The next day, Bambi was sitting next to Oga in the Love Bus, and completely oblivious of the fact he didn’t seem to feel too well, kept acting as electrified as usual. Later, after the participants had changed seats, Oga found himself next to Miyanee, who realized he wasn’t at his best, and thoughtfully offered him pills for carsickness. Bambi, suddenly realizing what was going on, asked if he was ok, and Miyanee told her Oga was feeling a little dizzy. Oga jokingly added that Miyanee must have made him lose his cool. Bambi, suddenly realizing how Oga was selflessly able not to bother others with his own discomfort, started to ponder whether they were compatible at all, since she had been so self-centered she wasn’t even able to see he wasn’t feeling well. She went to see the staff again that night, and in view of the circumstances suddenly made a 180 degree turn, telling them she was even thinking about dropping out.

bambithinkingofdroppingout.jpg
“Seriously, I wonder if I shouldn’t drop out”


Ainori #357

WARNING! Aw, why bother…?


Bambi

Oga

Yep, Bambi changed her mind, and went ahead with the kokuhaku (love declaration in Japanese).

The show started with Bambi and Sanchan reminiscing about the time they climbed up a glacier back in Iceland. As they were talking, Bambi mentioned how Oga and Miyanee, sitting on a bench a few meters away, looked good and composed together. Sanchan, suspecting Bambi had a thing for Oga, asked if she was in love, and to is great surprise, she replied that she wasn’t expecting to form a couple with anyone any more.

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Had Bambi given up on Oga?

That night, Bambi was seen jogging again, hanging in there with her diet. Three days later, She got up on the scale again, and confirmed she had reached her goal, i.e. losing 5 kilos (11 lbs). That was a turning point for Bambi, who had been compulsively overeating, and had hated herself for a long time. One of the reasons she had joined Ainori was that she wanted to change, and her meeting Oga was one of the decisive factors behind her first successful weight loss ever. After telling the staff she had finally come to like herself, she made the final decision. She wrote in her diary how until now, she had turned a blind eye on her own feelings for Oga, on account that they would make a ill-matched couple, and that he would fit better with another girl (presumably Miyanee?). She was scared to acknowledge her own feelings, and Oga’s qualities, i.e. his kindness, his will to improve himself and the smile he kept under all circumstances, had revealed such strength that she couldn’t think of imposing her feelings on him, since it didn’t seem to be reciprocal. She had only been trying to protect herself, she had only been running. However, she was now ready to give it a try, even though there was an obvious personality clash between them.

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“I think I like myself, now”

So the next day, she walked up to the Love Bus and got the fateful plane tickets from the driver. When Oga joined her, she was laughing nervously at first, but finally started speaking. She told him how she felt the atmosphere had changed when he joined the group, and how she was impressed by his karate. She told him how she was happy when he told her she didn’t need to lose weight, and how she appreciated that he had been encouraging her when she was down, and how he had advised her based on his own experience all along. She explained how she got attracted by his simplicity, that she liked him, and finally got the courage to ask him to go back to Japan with her.

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“Please go back to Japan with me”

After the group was told about Bambi declaring her feelings to Oga, Miyanee hinted that she was interested in Oga by writing in her diary that she wouldn’t like it if Oga left the group.

The next morning, Bambi told Oga she was happy he had listened to her the night before, and asked him again to go back to Japan with her. Oga replied that when he joined the group, his first impression of Bambi was that she was cheerful only. As time went by, he had seen her down, crying or getting angry, and although he couldn’t always be by her side, he was happy that she had brighten up during the last few days. He explained that however, he had come to Ainori to fall in love on his own terms, and since he wanted to go back to Japan with someone he loved, he couldn’t go back with her.

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“I can’t go back to Japan with you”

Oga went back to the Bus, and Bambi went to say goodbye. The worst part was that Sanchan stayed in the back until the end, and couldn’t even say goodbye to her. Poor little dude. After the Love Bus left she broke down in tears – and surprisingly didn’t lose her breath like she did so many times before. I think Bambi acted on an impulse because she had reached her goal, i.e. losing 5 kilos. Bambi should have waited for Oga to get to know her better, as her move was obviously too quick. I understand she was on a high due to her diet being successful, but she really should have given it more time… Anyway, I hope she can keep her new weight, and hope she likes herself enough to find someone she loves.


Ainori #358

WARNING!
Oh, wait, there’s no spoiler in this one!

Finally, I’m almost up to date! Sorry for the delay people, but a number of factors contributed to my neglecting my blog for so long – I’ll explain later.

Ainori #358 gave us a peak behind the scenes, i.e. mostly dealt with technical stuff and the ins and outs of production. I will summarize on Thursday – knock on wood!

Next week, the group will arrive to a new country, a new girl will join them, and apparently we’ll see the start of a “mature” romance – no doubt Miyanee and Oga. Oh wait! How about Miyanee and Gurasan?

NEXT ON AINORI