Ainori #362

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

Ex-participants’ blogs
(Japanese only)

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts

Streaming videos of Ainori are available on youtube.com.


Ainori #362

WARNING! THIS COULD STILL BE A SPOILER!

Late summary, again, apologies, apologies, apologies. This time, the group learned the true meaning of being in a tropical country – big-ass bugs? You bet! Gurasan was invited for a private conversation for the first time since he joined Ainori – about time! Sanchan gave some advice to Miyanee, who used it to make a truce with Oga, and as it was hinted last week, Sanchan dropped out for personal reasons.

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This week, the group stayed in a hotel apparently in the countryside, where they shared a room equipped only with hammocks. When they got there, they really seemed to enjoy the new experience, until night came, and they realized all kinds of “uninvited guests” were crawling about. “Strangely” enough, they went back to a more urban area the very next day. Mmmmh.

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The night they went back to the city, Neko asked to have a private conversation with Gurasan, who was extremely pleased. Indeed, it was the first time anyone had ever called for him, throughout 5 countries! Now that’s gotta be some sort of Ainori record! Anyway, she had asked to talk to him because she never had a chance to thank him for everything he had done for her. Indeed, his advice had helped here to finally blend in with the rest of the group. When he asked her how she felt about the whole Ainori thing, she replied she could finally enjoy herself, and Gurasan expressed satisfaction since he had been able to help her. She then gave him a misanga she had made herself. They then talked about the full moon, and whether they could see the rabbit in it. When Gurasan, upon admitting he had never seen it, wondered if there wasn’t something wrong with his eyes, Neko joked that there must have been something wrong with his head. Gurasan jokingly replied that he thought she had been thinking that all along.

She wanted to talk to him to say thank you? Now that’s bullshit, if you ask me. She’s obviously attracted to him and wanted to spend some time with him far from the watchful eyes of the others. And giving him a misanga? It might not be so significant in western culture, but it definitely isn’t meaningless in Japanese culture. I think it’s obvious they like each other, but why on earth don’t they show any of them admitting it in front of the camera? It’s like an itch you can’t scratch! But patience, people we might have an answer next week, as there will be a development related to one of them being part of a big (social) problem now in Japan.

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A BIG PROBLEM IN CONTEMPORARY JAPAN
A surprising development will occur!

Miyaneeleftmouth.gif rightmouth.gifSanchan

The tension between Oga and Miyanee had been noticeable for a while now, and Sanchan, probably in a final gesture before he dropped out, decided to do something about it. Indeed, it seemed Sanchan was deeply regretting his inability to express his feelings to Bambi, and apparently didn’t want Miyanee to go through the same thing. So he invited her for a talk, and asked her how romance was going. She admitted she had had a thing for someone (Oga), but that she had been confused and hesitant recently. When she said she felt she should step back and ponder about the situation, Sanchan told her the object of her love might as well go back to Japan if she took too long. He added that she was kind and thoughtful, and that she should be more active toward that person. She thanked Sanchan for the advice, admitting she felt weak.

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“If you think about it too long, that person might go home, you know”

Wow! That was truly amazing. Sanchan really talked to Miyanee as her Ainori “sempai“, in a way I never thought would be possible when he joined the group. He made so much progress, it’s like he has grown ten years in the short period he was on the show. He might not have found love, but he sure found himself. Good job, little dude!


Miyaneerarrow2_e0.gifOga

The next morning, Miyanee followed Sanchan’s advice and sat next to Oga on the Love Bus. Silent at first, she started laughing nervously, and apologized to Oga for that. When he asked her why she was laughing, she said it was nothing, that she only thought he looked in a good mood. He replied that he didn’t think that was the reason, that she was lying to him. He jokingly told her that she shouldn’t start laughing just looking at people’s face, and she replied she had realized it had been a while since she had seen his face. They both laughed together, and the long silence between them finally broke. She then wrote in her diary that she felt really happy, and that she realized how comfortable she felt when she was with Oga, thus reiterating her attraction to him. She also thanked Sanchan for the advice.

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“This is good, good, good” “What the hell?”

I can’t believe that of all people, Sanchan was directly responsible for Oga and Miyanee getting friendly again. Miyanee confirmed he affection for him, and who knows, during all that time Oga spent by himself, he might have even found a way to forgive her behavior on “El Bonche Bus”. Hang in there, girl, you an do it!



Sanchan

And then, the next day, something that a lot of people had been suspecting for a long time: Sanchan’s dropping out. He personally went to knock on the others’ doors, and asked them to gather downstairs. He then told them that he had decided to quit, explaining that before joining Ainori, he had poor social skills, was not interested in going out, and hadn’t had much chance to talk to a lot of people. However, since he had joined Ainori, he had spent a lot of time with many people and had had many experiences, and had become able to express his thoughts and talk a lot more. Now, he wanted to go back to Japan, and talk with the people who had taken care of him, namely his family and co-workers. He then told them that frankly, he had always felt uneasy about romance, and never thought he could fall in love. In Norway however, he had met Bambi and fallen in love with Bambi, had talked much with her, and climbing the glacier with her in Iceland were to him precious memories. He finished by saying that the simple fact he was able to fall in love on Ainori was satisfying. Gurasan and Miyanee tried to convince him that he could still gain something from staying, but apparently Sanchan had been thinking about dropping out since the previous country, and told them he had no regrets.

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“I’m dropping out”

Yep, it was quite a ride for the little dude. From the application letter to Ainori, in which he explained he wanted to become able to talk to people, and go on a date with a girlfriend, and the interview in which he admitted he hadn’t talked to a girl in 6 months, to the meeting with the group, the hesitations, the long silences, the fever, the bullying from the other boys, and his meeting with Bambi… Honestly, I always thought he would drop out, even though I was rooting for him. But he has grown so much, I’m sure he would have had the guts to go through a kokuhaku (love declaration in Japanese) if he had stayed a little longer. Maybe he couldn’t get Bambi out of his mind, maybe he couldn’t imagine falling in love with anyone else. Or… is the whole thing a cover up? A couple of months ago I found a rumor on a Japanese blog saying that Sanchan had hooked up with a girl he worked with, and that the staff didn’t know what to do. Did they order him to drop out? Mmmh…

In any case, Sanchan didn’t leave Ainori empty-handed. He changed so much in so little time, I’m sure Ainori will have repercussion on his life for years to come. Good luck, little dude…

Next week, a new male participant will join the group, Oga and Miyanee will renew their friendship, and something will happen between Gurasan and Neko.

NEXT ON AINORI


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5 Responses to “Ainori #362”

  1. Alex Says:

    I read the same thing about Sanchan hooking up with someone back in Japan. And it does make sense it a way, as his biggest change seemed to be after they return to the Domician after Japan.

    I cant help but feel like he was forced out and that they will soon have a special with him and his new girlfriend. Hopefully he can carry on his new found confidence back in Japan.

  2. Tric Says:

    I was rooting for him as well. Too bad he didn’t leave with a girl, but he sure gained something valuable. My hat’s off to you, Sanchan…

  3. Ayumi Says:

    Oh, poor Sanchan. He was my favourite from the current members and I’m very sad he left Ainori alone. But he has progressed so much since he first joined, its unbelievable. I remember when he first uttered a phrase (not one single word answer). I was very glad for him. I think he couldn’t forget Bambi and that the trip had no sense for him when she left. Maybe he made the right decision, but I wished to see him “kokuhakuing” someone.

  4. nu york jihen Says:

    Nooooo!!!

    Tric said it before. I think Hiroe was hinting that she would have given Sanchan a chance, at least to get to know him first. I wonder what he saw in Bambi, maybe her cheerfulness? How could he have a chance with someone so outgoing? I think Sanchan was looking for someone with physical flaws, even though Bambi’s (being fat) wasn’t real. It’s a shame to see him go.

  5. Enchanted Says:

    Ah, sayonara San-chan. Despite people wishing against his leave, I think him leaving now is for the best. He has gained so much from the show, and if that rumor is true (I’m reading about it here for the first time), then I wish him the best of luck. Either way, ainori has been a tremendous stepping stone in his life, and I’m glad to see him go.

    It’s a random thought, but did anyone else notice that the girls who fall for Oga always laugh upon seeing his face? Lol, that just cracks me up. I mean, it’s most likely out of nervousness on seeing such a serious and thoughtful face, but still. It personally makes my day.

    Normally, I’d have some idea as to what plot twists there are based on the previews, but this time I’m just completely out of it. There are so many possibilities but nothing sticks out. I just hope nothing too horrible happens (but then again, that would most definately make the show even more interesting). =]