Ainori #373

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).

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

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts

Streaming videos of Ainori are available on

Ainori #373


During this episode, Hiroe finally made the decision to drop out, the group moved to a new country to discover they’d be traveling with a new vehicle, and a new female member joined the group. Kuu finally revealed how she felt about Moriken, after a little adventure that might have been fatal.



That’s it, Hiroe is gone. While the group was having its last meal in Taiwan, Hiroe was obviously really down, despite the other’s efforts to cheer her up. When the group reached the airport to leave for the next country, she suddenly announced that she wouldn’t be joining them, to their great surprise. When she was asked to explain why she was leaving, Hiroe replied in an obscure manner, as usual. She told them that she had been thinking about dropping out for a while, but that she stayed longer because she had started falling for someone (Moriken, of course). She explained that he was really neat and pure, and that he had shed a light upon her. However, that light had been so strong it had made her realize her own dark side, and that instead of light she had preferred water instead (see what I mean by “obscure”). So Moriken, obviously aware she was talking about him, asked her what she meant by water. She explained that to her “water” would have been words to acknowledge and accept her as she was, which is what she really hoped for. So the group said goodbye, and thus ended Hiroe’s Ainori.


Right. Her final speech was as obscure as she ever was, and it’s not surprising that she never could make a real connection with anyone. It is worth noticing that her leaving was far from being emotional, as opposed to when other members leave the group. Nobody shed a tear, not even Hiroe (not in front of the camera anyway), which gives me the impression she had become deadweight for the last few episodes. Although I wasn’t surprised by her decision, I felt pretty indifferent, as I’m sure most of you did.

So the group got on a plane, and made a stop in Fiji, where they picked up a new female participant, and a pretty, ahem, “colorful” one at that. Please bear with me, as this will be an unusually long introduction.

chaba.jpgAlthough she failed to mention her real name, she told the group to call her “Chaba”, which is the name for some tea from her native Shizuoka Prefecture. 25 years old, she works for a firm dispatching independent contractors to other companies. She wrote on her profile that she had the best smile ever, and I have to give that to her, she does have a nice smile. But the fact of the matter is, she’s the leading contender for the worst nutcase on Ainori, ever!

First thing she told the group was that she was looking for a “serious man”, as apparently, she has a history of unfaithful boyfriends, on whom she exerted herself in order to get back at them. In a parody of “The Best House 1 2 3” (a show on Fuji TV, you can watch an excerpt on youTube), they showed us her top 3 “Love Revenge” (and allow me to point out that a “Top 3” hints at the fact there were probably many more), just to show how crazy she is.


Number 3: One time on New Year’s Day, her boyfriend had told her he couldn’t go to the shrine with her to pray for the fist time of the year, as it is customary here in Japan. Wondering why he hadn’t been able to go, she found by accident an incriminating “purikura” with the date on it, showing him and another girl holding an “omikuji” (a kind of Japanese yearly horoscope one can get only at a shrine), and the “omikuji” in question. Angry, and thinking “If you like omikuji that much, I’ll give you some”, she went to his cigarette stock, and pretty much in the same fashion as some omikuji were traditionally made, she wrote “extreme bad luck” on the end of every single cigarette but one, on account that she found in herself some pity for him.

Chaba’s revenge on her unfaithful boyfriend
Number 3: Bad Luck Cigarettes

Number 2: One night, her boyfriend had told her he couldn’t go to see some fireworks because he had to work. However, she got a phone call from a friend telling her she had seen her boyfriend with another girl at the fireworks. Angry, and thinking “If you like fireworks that much, I’ll give you some”, she went to the supermarket and bought lots of fireworks shaped exactly like incense sticks. She then proceeded in coloring them in black with a marker to make them look like fireworks, and replaced her boyfriend’s incense sticks with them. .

Chaba’s revenge on her unfaithful boyfriend
Number 2: Fireworks Incense

Number 1: One day, as she was cleaning up around the house, she found a letter (again by “accident”- or is it? I can easily picture her going through her boyfriend’s stuff frantically) addressed to his boyfriend from another girl, telling him how much she had a good time and asking him if he had liked the pasta. Angry, and thinking “If you like pasta that much, I’ll give you some”, she went to the supermarket to buy lots of pasta, filled the bathtub with hot water and put the pasta in it, apparently enough for 50 people.

Chaba’s revenge on her unfaithful boyfriend
Number 1: Pasta à la Bathtub

So when the staff asked her what happened after that, she told them they split up, or more accurately, that he dumped her. No? Really? Of all the unbelievably immature, insane shit I’ve ever heard in my life, this has to be some of the best (or worst, errr, you know what I mean). It’s the means she used to get back at him that gets me the most, but rather the amount of whatever she used to get her deed accomplished. I think one pack of cigarettes would have been enough to get the message across, but three cartons? One or two incense sticks might (and I insist: might) have made sense, but again, three boxes. Serving him some pasta generously laced with Tabasco might have served him well, but filling up the bathtub with enough pasta for 50 people? That shows a dangerously suspicious level of mental instability, if you ask me. And te way they tried to make it sound like those were like “good ideas”. Shit, no wonder the guy was cheating on her, and it’s even more amazing to me that he put up with her for so long. I wonder what’s in store for the (poor) male participants who will dare to cross her path on Ainori. Now, she’s gonna be fun to watch!


So after meeting the nutjob, the group left Fiji (dudes, I would have loved to see Ainori in Fiji, as I dream to retire over there :-) ) for Tuvalu (which, by the way, is just as much of a paradise :-) x2), Ainori’s 79th country, and apparently the fourth smallest country in the world. It’s actually a small group of islands, and the one the group arrived at was Funafuti, which is shaped like a thin stripe, no more than 10 meters wide in some places! Since a vehicle like the Love Bus would be pretty much useless in a country made of tiny islands, the group got on board a small, pink Love Boat, fully equipped with a camera at the top of a mast. The group immediately moved to a deserted island, where they got to enjoy snorkeling.

The Love Boat

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And this is where Kuu finally confirmed her feelings for Moriken. Apparently a bad swimmer, Kuu was unwilling to try, but Moriken offered to help her, and they started enjoying the crystal blue water. However, they started going further and further, and at one point Kuu took a pretty good sip of sea water, and started panicking. Obviously in trouble, Moriken grabbed her, and brought her back to the beach. That night, Kuu told the staff how she admired Moriken’s reliability, leadership and kindness. She then acknowledged how cool he was, and how she liked his smile.

In the dreamlike paradise of Tuvalu,
Kuu, the pretty flutist, fell in love!

I think this was to be expected. It’s been clear that there was good chemistry between Kuu and Moriken since she joined the group, and I’m pretty sure Moriken feels the same way towards her. I think they go well together, and I sure hope we can see a successful kokuhaku on one of those paradisiacal beaches. ;-)

Presumably the next day, the group got to visit a place where they keep stamps, which are apparently famous worldwide among collectors. Indeed, the Tuvalu stamp business at one point accounted for about 25% of the national economy.
That night, they had Chaba’s welcome party, and the conversation quickly started revolving around her use of the Shizuoka dialect. I won’t go into any linguistic details here, but for those of you who have some knowledge of the language it should prove quite interesting. Anyway, the funny part was when Moriken tried to reproduce one particular intonation, and was told by Chaba that he sounded gay, which he didn’t seem to approve.

“Yeah, but, that sounded a little gay, do you mind?”

That night, she told the staff how she had fun, and that’s when we got to learn about how lunatic she really was. She told the staff she was glad she had joined Ainori, no doubt in search of her next victim…

Next week, Kuu will apparently tell Moriken how she feels, that is, short of a kokuhaku, and Moriken will give a misanga to Chaba, gesture which will apparently start a love triangle of hell…


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5 Responses to “Ainori #373”

  1. New York Jihen Says:

    I prefer Hiroe crazy over new girl crazy. It’s not like I understood what Hiroe was saying anyway, so bizarre obscure stuff meant nothing to me. That’s good crazy, and I wish she hadn’t left. The new girl is psycho crazy, but she seems fun and will probably liven up the place.

  2. califun Says:

    i like the new girl chaba!! she is sure to make ainori exciting! they were collecting toomany no persoanlities on the show..and its about time! and i am happy hiroe is gone..she just put negative vibe to the whole ainori show!

  3. Kokobean Says:

    Wow! After joining Ainori for 7 countries with no love interests with other female participants, Moriken has become 大人気 all of a sudden! O_o First Hiroe, then Kuu… and looks like Chaba is gonna fall for him too o_O Lol Chaba is psycho, this will bring alot of excitement and laughter into the show. I agree with Califun, they need more interesting ppl on the show. I really miss Suzan and Hide ; ; Hope the new male participant will be an interesting one ^^

  4. lala Says:

    Oh my goodness. Am I the only person who liked Hiroe? She really grew on me, and some of my absolute favorite Ainori scenes are the ones between her and Sanchan. She could have become my favorite girl if she had more of a chance… And I don’t think the stuff she said was that obscure; she explained what she meant when Moriken asked her (although I have to admit I was worried for a moment she was just bullshiting and wasn’t going to be able to explain herself XD) Anyway I love Hiroe and it actually disturbed me how it seemed like the other contestants acted like they couldn’t get away from her fast enough once she retired…

  5. rockasoo Says:

    I really didn’t mind Hiroe either. When I lived in Japan I taught at Osaka Municipal College of Design and it was full of Hiroes. When I when to University, I took Fine Arts and it was full of Hiroes as well. I think it’s an art school sorta thing. Not necessarily good for an Ainori crowd but I liked her.