Ainori #335

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 #335

WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!

This week the group left Poland and took a boat to Sweden, where they got to meet two new participants. Sanchan is also apparently getting bolder as he tried to change his image a bit, and invited the new girl, although he didn’t seem to quite get the hang of it, yet. Uekki also confirmed that he could see Chaki as a potential wife, but committed a huge faux-pas which might have spoiled his chances with her. But first, let me introduce the newcomers.

Issy Kouichi “Issy” (read: Ish-shi) Ishida, 25, is from Fukuoka Prefecture, a mere 10 minute ride away from Uekki’s place. He works as a waiter in a reception hall, and is so “pretty” that the other participants had trouble identifying what gender he was at first. He does indeed describe himself in his profile as an “androgynous boy with a fair-complexion”. Is it just me or does that sound creepy? Then again, Japan is a ground-breaking country when it comes to metrosexuality, and such a type doesn’t surprise me at all. What will be funny to watch is when he starts speaking with Uekki in their local dialect and none of the others will be able to follow. I wish him good luck, and hope he doesn’t snatch one of the guys away from the girls – ha! ha!

Nagisa Nagisa Inaba, 19, from Saitama Prefecture. As she graduated from high school this year, she is one of the youngest participants to join Ainori ever, and a so-called “artist”. I say so-called because she said she recently turned down the launch of her professional career (record deal, including a theme song for a movie, the next Ainori theme – of which “strangely” the staff had no knowledge whatsoever, an advertising contract as a model for a famous lingerie brand, etc.), on account that she wouldn’t be able to sing the way she wanted. She also told the staff that she would never use her fame as an Ainori participant to give her career an edge. A Japanese artist with integrity? Yeah, right! I can already smell the B.S. through the TV screen, even if my TV set is off. In any case, she certainly tries to sound assertive, and if she really is, that would more likely be an advantage for her on the show. I wish her good luck, anyway, in both her love life and career.

SanchanNagisa

This week, presumably to welcome the new female participant, Sanchan had dressed up in pink, no less, and was ready for action. Indeed, he invited her to have a talk as soon as he had a chance, but the conversation didn’t go very far. Amidst long, awkward silences, Nagisa asked Sanchan why he joined Ainori, to which he replied (inaudibly at first) that he wanted a girlfriend, and wished he could get to talk to people normally. The poor Nagisa almost fell asleep, and that must have been a rough start for her. At least Sanchan got to practice inviting someone…

UekkiChaki

At the beginning of the program, Uekki revealed to the staff he could see himself marrying Chaki. His job as a gardener, specializing in pine trees made to look like huge bonsai, traditionally calls for the wife to help, and this apparently requires strength of character on the part of the woman. Chaki had proved she had such strength on more than one occasion, e.g. when she confronted Hisayon during the Tagamikun ordeal, and when she told the guys to stop bullying Sanchan.

Well, I guess he’s getting a bit nervous about their relationship, as he couldn’t get the conversation going when they were on the bus. However, two days later, they seemingly had a great time together when they saw a display of masks and made comments about them. They then went to sit on a bench, and Uekki started acting in an unbelievably childish manner. When Tagamikun dropped out due to the discovery of the fact he joined Ainori even though he had a girlfriend back in Japan, Uekki had noticed how depressed Chaki got at the time. So he started by asking her if she had any feelings for Tagamikun, to which she replied she did, but only realized them when he actually left the group. So Uekki started clapping his hands while singing: “I hit the nail on the head, I hit the nail on the head, you fell for his looks, you fell for his looks”. So she started telling him that it wasn’t Tagamikun’s looks, that there was another reason for that. As she was about to tell Uekki what that reason was, he cut her midsentence and went:”So you DID like him”. She tried to explain again that she knew Tagamikun was kind of a playboy from his looks and the way he talked, but still Uekki cut her and said:”So you did like him. That’s so funny. You fell for him so quickly”. She tried to tell him to listen, but he kept laughing at how quickly she had fallen for Tagamikun, at which point Chaki, obviously hurt by Uekki’s behavior, told him how awful he was, and started crying. Nice going, farmer! Everything was going so well, and he had to act like a freakin’ child. I mean, if I were him, I would never even have brought up the subject. What a mess! I hope Uekki has learned that he should let sleeping dogs lie. And the way he kept jibing at her, it was just rude. I wish I could say I hope he’ll be able to fix what he’s done, but I can’t. If he loses her, he deserves it. His fate is now in her hands…

:-) Special treat for non-Japanese speakers coming soon! :-)

Well, it seems next week Yankumi will definitely fall for Yokomi (Go, girl, go!), and Uekki will try to fix what he did this week.

NEXT ON AINORI


 

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7 Responses to “Ainori #335”

  1. abbafan Says:

    Hej! Long time reader, first time poster. Just thought since the gang have reached my favorite country I should post. I thought I did see Sergelstorg in the intro for this episode, so was surprised and very happy that they had indeed gone to Sweden! Well, have to say I am still in shock about Junko changing her mind so suddenly and going home with Tachi. I agree with you Sylvain she is truly one of the most beautiful female participants to grace the show, and so I was very jealous to see her go off with Tachi! My focus now is on Yankumi. Nagisa is a bit young and it’s still early to have an opinion on her, and Chaki’s previous immaturity and bitchiness towards Hisayon totally turned me off her for good.

  2. gambaru Says:

    chaki turned me off completely.

    then she redeemed herself completely by being the only person to treat sanchan like a human being.

  3. jennycubachi Says:

    Boy did Uekki kill any chance of Chaki gaining any feelings for him. To act so inconsiderately, especially with a woman’s feelings is childish and inconsiderate. Uekki should follow this advice: think before you speak. I know he is trying to lighten the mood, but he shouldn’t have done so at the expense of others (remember Sanchan)?
    Kouichi reminds me of the extreme metrosexuality of TM Revolution. HA HA! I’m no too happy with Nagisa. She’s just too fake.
    I wish the best for Sanchan. I am proud of him trying to converse with a newcomer. He is really coming around.
    I can’t wait to see more of Yankumi and Yokomi. Hopefully they’ll be featured a bit more in the show.

  4. Stephen Says:

    Unfortunately it doesn’t surprise me too much that Uekki has shown himself incapable of acting like an adult when it counts. I’d always thought he seemed like a guy who would be fun to hang out with (”I don’t mind a little puke, but I’d be shocked if you pooped your pants!”) but probably not much use in serious or sensitive situations, and he really proved that here. First he brings up a subject that should have been left well enough alone, and then he acts like a 10-year old kid when he gets his answer. Good going, dude!

  5. Ayumi Says:

    Uekki is really inmature! I’ve never liked him very much, and now he has demonstrated a child behaviour. I understand he may be jealous of Tagamikun ‘cos Chakki liked him but he must not have acted like a child. However, I think he will apologise to Chakki and they will be good friends again. And the new “guy”, Issy, is interesting. Maybe he falls in love with a boy, that would rock! Has ever been any homosexual couple in Ainori?

  6. jennycubachi Says:

    Ayumi,

    It will not surprise me if Issy is a homosexual. Have we not seen so many twists and firsts in this show? It will be interesting though to see the dynamics between the participants and Issy if that turns out to be true.

  7. New York Jihen Says:

    I can’t believe he made her cry. What a f#@ktard. And I used to root for the two of them getting together. Stephen is right, fun to be around. (But not for too long.)

    A gay kokuhaku would be crazy, right? Coming on the show “with the intent of finding a girl” but falling in love with one of the guys. That would make a very memorable episode.

    But what is up with the new guy’s shirt? What was he thinking? That can’t be metrosexual. Metrosexual implies good taste.