Happy Aloha~♥ Friday the 13th (゜Д゜;)！！
In the past I’ve ‘celebrated’ this day by posting some possibly frightening/odd things here and on this Friday the 13th it’ll be no different as we take a trip into the way back time machine to revisit one of Utaban’s most frighteningly creative shows (・д・`*)！！！The year, was 2000 and Momusu had just released their highly successful 9th single “Happy Summer Wedding” which reached nearly the 1 million mark in total sales!! The site, the Utaban set. The mood, well you can probably guess as it’s Utaban after all =D.
Perhaps no show has been more supportive, nurturing and then yet so…..um eager to torture/humor Momusu on a week to week basis as Utaban♥ had over the years~. And where timing can be so key to one’s success both Momusu and Utaban were so new together, coinciding perfectly as they each grew on their own and of course together over time as each made gigantic strides on their own as well as while in each others’ company (*´∀｀*)♥。
Ichii Sayaka “kaasan” had just departed the group and the group lineup in the following Utaban clips are the “Happy Summer Wedding” group, so Gen.4 was brand new with Tsuji/Kago (yet to be nicknamed Nono/Aibon) being sooooo *adorable* here and of course there’s a very cute Yossi & Rikachan rounding out the rookies of the group~. =)
Finding and collecting t.v. show clips back then was absolutely nothing like it is today….with the internet not yet being the amazing file sharing land that it has grown into in time, if you lived outside of Japan then finding clips on your own was really a case of exploring the shelves of your local Japanese video store and hoping to find the most recent t.v. shows there amongst the rows and rows of VHS tapes. And if you were lucky the quality would be sort of decent on some accounts but for the most part you’d end up with at least a bit of graininess to cope with when you returned home with your newly found *treasures* to watch. After all we weren’t yet capable of home DVD transfers of video so being digital was out of the question as of yet (that being reasoning for the caps and video clips here being on the fuzzier side due to the VHS source tape). So I’ve been continuing to watch some old tapes during this past few weeks (another Utaban episode posted here not too long ago:
…and I came across one particular priceless old Utaban episode which I haven’t viewed in what seems like ages, as truth be told I couldn’t seem to find it xD. So it was time to make that VCR/VHS to Digital/DVD transfer and…..wallah~!~!
~Utaban, the “Balloon Game” episode~
It all seemed so innocent really, we have Nakaikun with his erm buzzer thingy,
…which when *buzzed* then alerts a ‘calm’ and ‘thoughtful’ Taka-san to turn on a member’s air tank which are conveniently labeled by name, thus filling balloons up to dimensions they were never intended for.
You see Takasan’s sort of ‘innocent’ and ‘calm’ looking here.
Let’s just say that is until “provoked!!” (゜Д゜;)!!
And about those balloons again.
I almost had forgotten to mention one thing about them.
They’re clipped on to each member of the group (^q^) each of whom are btw also seat~belted to their chair allowing no way to escape (・o・)！Talk about the producers being so very thorough in their preparations for such an event (。ーωー。)笑。
Here, in these images Rikachan after finding herself “speechless” in trying to remember the word order gets a bit of Taka-san’s “air” love♥~. 😄
But wait…I’m getting a bit ahead here as the game being played involves word memorization set to a specific theme which changes after a member is unable to come up with the right words in the correct order in which they are spoken, thus the over inflated balloons ensue next, for the girl whom fails in this memorization concept. For example if the given theme were to be something like “things you find in a bento box” (which is actually used here), the first player (from left to right the order then circles back to member on the left and on and on until a mistake is made or a member is unable to think of a word which fits the criteria) could say “salmon”..the next player would then have to say “salmon” and then add her word/phrase to the mix and on down the line as the chain of words keeps growing longer and longer making it much more difficult to remember the correct order as well as come up with one’s own new word/phrase to add. Some other categories which will pop up in tonight’s episode include animals, countries, singers, body parts, designer names, comedians as well as the mischievous categories of host’s Taka~san and Nakai~kun’s very own images as described by the girls in the form of chosen adjectives which the girls must on the spot and while under great pressure come up with, and with each chosen answer you can bet that they’ll be judged under the immense scrutiny of the hosts themselves as in effect the girls will be speaking openly of just how they personally view both Taka~san and Nakai~kun =O.
From the very start though a few things seem to be amiss, however as we know this is Utaban so they’re rather definitely by design with no such mistakes in judgment being made! So initially upon learning of the game to be played and its ensuing rules, Yukosan’s (the best leader Momusu ever, period o(*´∀｀)o゛♥) having a ‘slight’ issue with her positioning in the seating arrangement order and the producers of Utaban as well. You see going last in this game makes for an initial possible disadvantage if say the string of answers reaches you, you’d then have the most to memorize at that first opportunity to fail.
And then there’s the un-inflated balloons themselves which as noted by Johnson (Kaorin) and Gomaki (Gocchin/Goto Maki, she always had the cutest nicknames! with the first one reminding me of a Gotou “sush roll” if such a thing exists =) )…have something in them?!! (*´艸`)!!
You see even after exploding once (here Yukosan’s explodes all on its own mysteriously! 😮 ) these balloons which are “affectionately” called “doubles” by Nakaikun & Taka-san continue to be inflated with a second life all their own (・д・`*)!!! Which explains the ‘something in them’ feeling which Johnson and Gomaki had mentioned earlier.
Add also that not all Utaban balloons are created equal. That evidenced when Aibon’s balloon explodes at a relatively smaller size as compared to well…..?
Some of the others reaching freakishly huge sizes!!!
And do note the usual suspects which Utaban routinely loves to key on, those of course being Johnson, Yukosan and Keisan and while they tried to go after Gomaki from the very beginning too, that didn’t seem to last very long as she would later have none of it! =D Funny when some balloons are capable of reaching much greater heights of abomination~! than others…(^q^)!
After transferring VHS to DVD I’ve uploaded this Utaban gem just below ＾ ＾…..I apologize again for the lesser quality and I wanted to divide the original 29 minute clip into 2 parts with the slight omission of Kaasan’s letter just to make them easier to stream here and watch.
So sit back, relax and enjoy all of the wild balloon madness which only a show like Utaban was truly capable of bringing into our living rooms on a regular basis week after week! ＼(^o^)／☆
And lastly before I leave you to your balloon enjoyment and thoughts, just a few fun things to take note of while watching these 2 clips are:
~Tonight’s program ‘highlights’~
- When asked to present “good” adjectives about Taka-san (“良所”) “iitokoro”, Yuko lets out a gasp of “EHHH?!!” (゜ロ゜ノ)ノ and hilarity ensues!
- The “Super Slow” mo footage which was used here to um ‘highlight’ replays is just hilarious as the replay voices sound like low and very odd growls…(^q^).
- Yossi has the funniest expression when her balloon is heading towards inevitable explosion!
- Each girl’s air tank has their name written upon it and initially one may thing to themselves, how sweet♥.
- Gomaki, Johnson & Yuko’s balloons aren’t from you normal run of the mill party store headquarters.
- A great nostalgic performance of “Happy Summer Wedding” appears in this episode.
- The “Johnson” nickname at this point was already in wonderful full blown regular use (to further unlock the mysteries to Kaorin’s ‘special’ nickname or if it confuses you, you can visit here for answers =).
- Both Nakai~kun and Taka~san have a soft spot for Tsuji (‘Nono”) which rears itself to the dismay of her fellow members on several occasions as the hosts nonchalantly give her more time than anyone else to answer along with a few let’s just say hints to help aid her =P.
- Gomaki loses a sandal during the climax of the show!
- Johnson names an entire continent when the theme was asking for “countries” instead. =P
- ‘Special’ balloons are known as “doubles” ♥♥~.
- Taka~san remarks on there “being more room” in those very ‘special’ balloons ♥♥~ when they haven’t yet reached their bursting point!
- Tsuji (“Nono”) does the sweetest thing when Gomaki’s balloon is about to explode by………??? awww that was really the sweetest!! You’ll just have to watch till the very end to find out what she does o(*´∀｀)o゛♥.
- Yuko’s chair gets further and further away whenever a fellow member is having a bit of erm, difficulty in remembering the order of words/phrases or coming up with a new one =D.
- Gomaki is definitely the most terrified of over~sized balloons….but really who wouldn’t be??! (;゜□゜)！、still her reactions are the truest of everyone’s alongside Johnson’s and Yuko’s of course!~!
- And just be sure to beware of Taka-san’s……um actions after Gomaki’s balloon explodes as I’m not entirely sure of what exactly he’s doing there?!?……..(・c_・;)？
So now here’s “Fuusen wari kokon touzai game!!”, tonight on Utaban….
~Utaban “Fuusen wari kokon touzai game!!” part one~
~Utaban “Fuusen wari kokon touzai game!!” part two~
(note: Part two includes Momusu’s Utaban live performance of their then newly released single “Happy Summer Wedding” which is intertwined between the game footage, as the game isn’t over until Gomaki loses a sandal =O).
…Utaban…television so ＊good＊, it’ll bring you to tears~. (´⌒｀。)