Ainori #299

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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).

This month’s participants.

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts and Saiyaman

Ainori #299


Ume I can’t believe this! Umechan retired! Apparently she was in love with a guy in Japan for about a year and a half, but the guy kept rejecting her saying she should lose wait and stuff. Then, determined to find love on her own she applied for Ainori, and against very tough odds got accepted. The problem is that the creep, out of the blue, decided to declare his love to her 3 days before she left for Ainori. Idiot! How selfish can you get? Umechan, torn between her feelings and the decision she had made to join Ainori, kept her promise to the producers, but still went on her trip with mixed feelings. She kept it a secret to the group, the staff, and even lied to herself, trying to forget about the guy while she was traveling. But in the end, the feeling she had betrayed everyone, including herself, got the best of her. Poor girl… That’s why she was relatively inactive during the program. I hope she finds happiness upon her return to Japan, and I hope that jerk gets dumped by his next five girlfriends, starting with Umechan!

So Suuzan, Mie and Alec left Romania for Hungaria, Ainori’s 64th country. I sure miss Hide, who by the way went back to Africa to buy loads of hand-made accessories, and is now back in Japan getting ready to start his online shop (Edit: Thanks to Katherine for the link!). His dream is to eventually open his own boutique, but for the time being I’ll keep my eyes open to find the URL to his online shop ASAP. Anyway, the arrival of three new partcipants, two boys and a girl, will sure make things interesting. Here they are:

Tagami Tagami, 20, from Miyazaki prefecture . He’s a tall (182 cm), handsome young man studying architecture, and has a taste for soccer. He didn’t say much during his self-introduction, but his looks were speaking for themselves. I’m sure this guy won’t have any problems finding the girl of his dreams, since he also seems to have lots of self-confidence.

Outlaw Talking about self-confidence, the next guy is quite a number! Outlaw (yeah, right) 30, from Kabukicho. The guy is a dentist by daytime and works as a host by night! For those of you not familiar with the term “host”, it refers to guys working as gigolos in Japanese night clubs called , you guessed it, “host clubs”. The guy is so self-centered, he was looking at the camera instead of looking at the other participants when he introduced himself, until one of the staff interrupted him to tell him to face the group. He wrote on his profile that he would create a “new Ainori legend”. Please, that’s even worse than TK! This guy should be, ahem, interesting, to say the least…

Izumi Izumi, 25, from Tokyo, is a professional Mah-jong player. Yep, some people make a living at gambling, even in Japan. Actually, she apparently plays in real time against opponents on the internet, playing from arcades all over Japan. It seems Alec even played her once, and he recognized her! He was so excited to meet someone “famous”, forgetting that she’s a nobody outside Mah-jong circles. She’s quite good looking, and I have a feeling she will become Mie’s rival. Do I forsee catfights, again? Only time will tell…

:-) Ainori 299 – Special treat for non-Japanese speakers :-)

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9 Responses to “Ainori #299”

  1. kinki Says:

    wow! i would love to see this episode. poor mie-chan..(;_;) i liked her a lot…
    im waiting for the episode to finish downloading then i will give out my comment here. thanks for your review!

  2. JennyCubachi Says:

    Umechan, why are you going back to that jerk? I thought she was a nice addition to the show, although she did not get enough face time during the Ainori voyage. I hope everything goes well with her. I can’t wait to see how these distinctive additions to the show will conjure up new emotions (or turmoil). I’m glad to see your summary of episodes. Thank you so much for them. It really clarifies some things for me and other adamant viewers of the show!

  3. Stephen Says:

    My favorite part of this episode was Alec hopping over the bench and waving his hands on the way to greet Izumi. That guy… is silly.

    I think the hosts were right when they said the staff is really enjoying their work now… what a collection of personalities! And with the unfortunate departure of Umechan, there should be another girl joining soon. Probably in two weeks, since there was no hint of it in the next ep. preview.

  4. Katherine Says:

    Hi! I really enjoy reading your summeries on Ainori everyweek. I’m not quite at the point that I can understand everything and you’re site always helps to clear up things. Thank you very much for all the effort you put into it.

    Anyways, I did a quick search after watching this weeks episode and found Hide’s website. The address is

    I wasn’t sure if you had found it or not yet. It says that its currently open, but I can’t seem to get the actually part of the shop to load…

  5. Sylvain Says:


    Thanks for the link. I just sent an email to Hide to tell him about the dead link. Cheers!


  6. Marcelo Says:

    Oh-hoho, I really missed posting here! Enjoyed your vacation, Bouchard san? Heh, according to your posts while you were away it seems so. Yokatta.
    Me and my gf agree with you all: it’s a pity Ume chan decided to retire for a jerk. “Your should lose some weight first” what a… son of his momma. Well, she’s old enough to know what she’s doing… or so we hope. I guess she really wanted to give Anori a shot at first, but since things didn’t go as fast and well as she hoped, she preffered to leave for him rather than waiting a year and a half traveling around the world, like Hide did, searching her significant other. Needless to say, ganbare, Ume chan.
    Now, sugee, Izumi’s really a beauty!! Even though Alec fell for her for the most childish reasons, I believe her beauty also struck him. Seeing Alec approaching Izumi’s something I’m really looking forward to see.
    As for “outlaw”… heh, I’d rather not express my thoughts here. Heh, he’ll be fun to watch as a comic relief, though.
    Tagami was the most “normal ” of them three. He seems to be nice and decent though, sort of like a modern knight.
    This group will be fun to watch, that’s for sure!

    Sore ja, mata.

  7. Josh Says:

    I was sad to see Ume chan go! Actually the last two episodes have been tough. Hide has been such a fixture each week… i gotta say I shed some tears when he left :(

    As for the new guys, I think it’s a good mix. Izumi is stunning, and I think being a pro mah-jong player is kind of cool :) Tagami seems like a nice guy, from the little we saw. Outlaw seems like an interesting guy.. I’m not going to write him off just for being so vain.

    Ahhh Hide…. we’ll miss you!

  8. Jeff Says:

    I like to see Ainori very much~
    However, this TV show cannot be boardcast in HK~
    So, did u have any epidose that is early than #278~
    If u have. can u share with us?

    At last, very appreciate u give me a chance to know Ainori this TV. ^^

  9. jenna Says:

    Je suis persuadée qu’ils ont viré Ume-chan, l’histoire fait so fake!

    Enfin vivment la suite! Et merci pour ton boulot de traduction (car je n’ai plus la patience d’attendre les sous-titres. Je regarde en japonais maintenant!)