22 March 2013

ひみつの嵐ちゃん Himitsu no Arashi-chan

Title: ひみつの嵐ちゃん Himitsu no Arashi-chan
English Title: Arashi's Secrets
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2008-2013
Episode: 211
  • 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

Himitsu no Arashi-chan is a variety show starring the members of idol group Arashi. It has several segments.

あなたはどのグループか? Anata wa dono gurūpu ka? (Which Group Are You?)
The members and a guest are asked questions that can be answered with either a 'yes' or 'no'. Their answers will then be presented against the society's answers to the same questions based on a survey, to determine if they are part of the majority or the minority.

アラオーク・ハウス Araoke Hausu (Araoke House)
The members are at a karaoke place and they go into the room where people sing an Arashi song. It is a special segment to commemorate Arashi's tenth year in the entertainment industry.

嵐 シェアハウス Arashi Share House
Two members will invite guests, mostly actresses, in their share house. They take commemorative pictures with the guest at the end.

チャイルドマインダー嵐 Chairudo Maindā Arashi (Childminder Arashi)
Two members take care of a celebrity's young children. The members have taken a course about taking care of children and are qualified nannies.

ダウト・アクション Dauto Akushon (Doubt Action)
The members are in one team and they confront another team of comedians with their acting skills. Out of the five members, one puts a smelly substance under his nose and the other four put water. The members have to put on an expressionless face and the other team guesses which member is acting.

ホストロワイヤル Hosuto Rowaiyaru (Host Royale)
One member will compete against another male guest and try to satisfy a female guest's requests, such as praising words women like to hear. The Arashi member who will do the challenge will be chosen by the female guest.

マネキンファイブ Manekin Faibu (Mannequin 5)
The members (and male guests later on) each coordinate an outfit under a particular theme, such as 'first date', or incorporates a specific item, such as a jacket. They become mannequins and present the outfit to a group of female guests. The female guests comment about the outfits, and each guest buys one mannequin or outfit. One mannequin will be left unsold in the shop.

モテ 嵐! ダメ 嵐! Mote Arashi! Dame Arashi! (Popular Arashi! 'No Good' Arashi!)
The members are asked about their views, advice, and recommendations about love and relationships. A group of female comedians evaluate the answers of the members, and they determine the member with the worst answers. The member deemed to be 'no good' falls on a pool filled with cold water and ice.

ランキングダービー Rankingu Dābī (Ranking Derby)
The members are ranked based on the results conducted from street surveys. People are asked to pick an Arashi member under various themes, such as someone you will fall in love with for one summer, or someone who will make a good father, or someone who is the coolest from the perspective of the yankee, etc.

V.I.P. リムジン V.I.P. Rimujin (V.I.P. Limousine)
Two members go on a date with a V.I.P. guest, mostly actresses. They interview the guest in a limousine bus while on the way to do something that the guest wanted to do, such as learn about flower arrangement or go on rides at an amusement park.

V.I.Pルーム V.I.P. Rūmu (V.I.P Room)
The members interview V.I.P. guests, mostly actresses, who have special requests. Each guest chooses their favorite Arashi member at the end.

Himitsu no Arashi-chan is supposed to be a show that presents the secrets of the world. Its promotions back in 2008 were quite controversial because the posters show Arashi members standing together, and you can unzip their zippers to find out their secrets.

Ohno Satoshi: Actually, I'm still afraid of Nostradamus' predictions.
Sakurai Sho: Actually, I can't tie a necktie by myself.
Aiba Masaki: Actually, when I go out, I mistook the television remote control as my cellphone at least 4 times.
Ninomiya Kazunari: Actually, my bag is a plastic bag lately.
Matsumoto Jun: Actually, my zipper is often open in ordinary days as well.

The first few episodes have interesting presentations about a variety of topics, but it probably seemed boring at times as the hosts and the guests are basically just watching and discussing videos.

To be honest, the show doesn't seem to know what it's all about or maybe what it's all about changed along the way, hence the constant recreation and new segments are added in regularly. Some segments have managed to stand against the test of time while some segments appeared for a while and were never shown again.

I prefer the segments where all members are present because I like all of the Arashi members and I love their group dynamics. I suppose, they have become busier over time because in the latter part of the show, there are more segments wherein only two members need to be present. The interactions between different Arashi pairings are still fascinating though, so it's not really an issue.

My favorite Himitsu no Arashi-chan segments are, in no particular order: Childminder Arashi, Araoke House, Mote Arashi! Dame Arashi!, Mannequin 5, and Ranking Derby. I think these segments are always entertaining.

For the other segments, whether you find it interesting or not depends largely on the guests and their interests or requests. Some guests have fun requests, such as asking Arashi members to do cosplay or to wear costumes.

My favorite V.I.P. Room moment is when the Perfume members are guests in July 2010 and they requested to have a dance collaboration with Arashi. Arashi members had to learn the choreography for the popular song Chocolate Disco by Perfume in a short time, and the 'Arashi∞Perfume' dance collaboration became such a hot topic.

My favorite V.I.P. Limousine episode is the special edition that aired in August 2010 where Aiba Masaki took Sakurai Sho to his hometown Chiba. It was interesting because Masaki made an effort to do things that Shō likes or is interested in. It was also fun to listen in to their conversations, because they had to talk about things that are entertaining enough for a television show but they also sometimes talk normally as they would have off-air.

ひみつの嵐ちゃん Himitsu no Arashi-chan