02 March 2008

まごまご嵐 Mago Mago Arashi

Title: まごまご嵐 Mago Mago Arashi
English Title: Grandchildren Arashi
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2005-2007
Episode: 125
  • 大野智 Ohno Satoshi
  • 櫻井翔 Sakurai Shō
  • 相葉雅紀 Aiba Masaki
  • 二宮和也 Ninomiya Kazunari
  • 松本潤 Matsumoto Jun

Mago Mago Arashi is a variety show starring the members of idol group Arashi. It has several segments.

1日孫になります Ichi Nichi Mago ni Narimasu (Being Grandchildren for a Day)
Two members visit the home of an elderly couple, who would be the members' grandparents for the day. As grandchildren, the two members help the grandparents with their work or business, do household chores, and cook lunch.

After eating lunch together, the two members facilitate the Love-Love Talk, wherein they ask questions about the grandparents' relationship such as their first kiss, first date, and first impressions of each other.

The members would usually encourage the grandfather to give a gift to the grandmother to show his affection and gratitude. As grandchildren, the two members would usually present a gift to their grandparents before leaving.

嵐の中華街留学 Arashi no Chūkagai Ryūgaku (Arashi's Chinese Lessons)
All five members study basic Mandarin Chinese within a limited time under the guidance of a special teacher. They then demonstrate their learning through a test. The results are ranked in order and the person who did the poorest would have to review the lesson by himself in the end.

嵐の城下町 Arashi no Jōkamachi (Arashi's Castle Town)
Two members visit one of Japan's castles and explore the local town.

嵐のお江戸発見伝 Arashi no O-Edo Hakkenden (Arashi's Edo Life Exploration)
Two members form a team and they compete against two guests, who also form another team. The two teams are provided with a map of Edo, and they need to find different locations of Edo in modern day Tokyo.

嵐の突撃こどもの晩ゴハン Arashi no Totsugeki Kodomo no Ban Gohan (Arashi's Assault: Children's Dinner)
Two members visit the home of a couple with young children. The parents go out on a date and request the members to provide dinner to the children. The parents usually ask that dinner meals contain ingredients that the children do not like to eat, such as vegetables.

The members engage in a cooking battle and each member makes one dish. The children taste both dishes and pick one dish that they like better. The loser of the cooking battle washes the dishes and cleans the kitchen.

Mago Mago Arashi is one of my favorite variety shows. It has several segments but it primarily shows the Ichi Nichi Mago ni Narimasu segment, where the Arashi members become the grandchildren of an elderly couple.

Although I think it's best if all of the Arashi members are in a variety show together, I also like it when there's only two members because you can see the members make some adjustments in order to make the production entertaining. For example, if two quiet and reserved members are paired together, one member will assume the main host duties and the other member will be more active than usual but will generally play a more reactionary role.

In addition, the two members tend to assume opposite but complementary roles. For example, when a member has a laid back attitude, the other member steps up to assume a serious and responsible persona.

My favorite segment is Ichi Nichi Mago ni Narimasu. The members get to interact with grandparents who do not know Arashi as idols or celebrities, so the grandparents usually treat them as real grandchildren; they order them around to do tasks, they reprimand them when they make mistakes, they praise them when they do well, and they dote on them by giving them delicious food.

The members and the grandparents are initially awkward with each other because they are essentially strangers, then they become closer over a short period of time that everyone is affected and quite sad when they have to part ways in the end.

Sometimes, the grandparents get too attached to the members that they either want the members to stay longer or they want the members to stay with them permanently. I can't remember the episode but there was a grandfather who wanted the members to stay with them and argues that Tokyo is a short train ride away so commuting back and forth will not be a problem but that they should probably find other work opportunities in the area.

My next favorite segment, a close second, is Arashi no Totsugeki Kodomo no Ban Gohan. The Arashi members interact with young children that are typical for children their own age; the children have tantrums once in a while and the members have to deal with the situation as best as they can.

I think Arashi no Jōkamachi and Arashi no O-Edo Hakkenden are interesting but because there are guests, the screen time of the Arashi members in these segments are visibly reduced when compared to the other segments.

まごまご嵐 Mago Mago Arashi