Speedwagon and 9 AKB48 members in their dark red tracksuit are outside today in the Tokyo Dome area. Apparently there’ll be an AKB48 event coming up there soon. In this episode, all 9 members have to ride the Thunder Dolphin rollercoaster that goes through the LaQua building. None of the girls look pleased and Sasshi seems like she’s about to cry!
The first 4 members to go on the ride are Harugon, Akicha, Amina and Mocchi. They are fitted with a special helmet camera to film their reaction. There’s a challenge for them as well. A production team staffmember will go up with them in the rollercoaster and he’ll be sitting in the middle between the 4 girls (2 in front of the person and 2 behind). At various intervals in the ride he’ll flash them 3 Japanese hiragana/katakana characters on a piece of paper in his hand. At the end of the ride the 3 characters should make up a kanji word which they’ll have to write on a small whiteboard given to them. The ride goes smooth enough for the four and Mocchi loved it. The only one to get her answer wrong with the kanji word was Amina Sato!
This is where the dramatic stuff starts to happen as the 5 other members take to the coaster – Mikapon, Miichan, Sasshi, Sayaka and Moeno. Sasshi is shitting herself and crying. Miichan also looks very apprehensive and starts to cry. As they’re about to go on the ride, a production member tries to ease Miichan’s fears but she has to back out for now. Once her helmet has been taken off she falls down to the floor. It’s getting too much for her. After 10 minutes to recover, Miichan although still scared plucks up the courage, puts her helmet back on and sits down in the rollercoaster car. Come on Sasshi & Miichan – you can do it! I know how they’re feeling – I’m not a fan of fast rides myself but with the right group of people with me (ones that can make me laugh) I’m fine. The camera pans to Sayaka who’s also looking nervous and then she starts crying. I was very surprised to see this.
Finally the ride gets away with Sayaka sobbing her eyes out. I really felt for her. It’s not the Sayaka I like to see. I’ve seen her cry before but not this hard. Mikapon – bless her heart is smiling away as the car reaches the peak of it’s height at 80 metres before careering down. Moeno also seems to be enjoying herself. As the ride starts to take hold with it’s fast bends, Sasshi and Miichan are closing their eyes. When the ride comes to an end, Sayaka is still crying but fair play to her she still remembered the characters that were being flashed at the intervals so she got the kanji word correct and so did Mikapon and Moeno. Sasshi and Miichan didn’t get it right but that’s because their eyes were closed at the wrong time.
Those that got the correct answer on the coaster now progress to another ride – The Tower Hacker. It’s a vertical ride up a tower 80m high before dropping you down at tremendous speed for a few seconds. The losers from the last round (Sasshi, Sato and Miichan) have to wear a white surgical mask around their mouths. The first three members to go up the Tower Hacker is Moeno, Mikapon and Akicha. The camera shows that Sasshi, Sato and Miichan are on the kids version of the Tower Hacker which only goes up a couple of metres and back down again. There’s hardly any drop but they’re still screaming away like it’s one hell of a ride!!
There’s a chance though for a member to escape the ride if they get a question right which Moeno answers correctly so in the end it’s only Mikapon and Akicha that get to go up. In the gloom of the evening the girls ascend up 80 metres. Mikapon doesn’t look half as confident as she was on the rollercoaster. In fact she was really scared. Akicha was fine. After coming back down, there’s a twist as one of them will have to go up once more if they don’t answer the next question fired at them! This time Akicha gets the question correct so Mikapon has to take the ride all alone. Mikapon is a good sport, however much she disliked the ride.
The next 3 members going up the Tower Hacker is Harugon, Sayaka and Mocchi. Same rules again with a chance for a member to escape the ride. Harugon gets the first question right. The rest are laughing at Sayaka as her frustration is clear to see. Sayaka closes her eyes as the ride reaches the top and drops down. Once again she’s crying like a baby when the ride finishes. Mocchi finds it rather funny!
Will Sayaka get the chance to escape going up again on the 2nd question – the answer is a resounding no! Mocchi apologises to Sayaka for getting the answer right. Sayaka is crying hard as the ride ascends. Thankfully some members came in to console the poor girl once she stepped off the ride after it ended. I never thought I’d see the day when I saw Sayaka being terrified witless. I don’t think it’s entertainment when you prey on a person’s fears. I think Speedwagon rather enjoyed seeing her scared. That finished the main segment for this week’s episode.
Shukan AKB News – No Sleeves’ new single Kimishika is out next week (4th August) and another plug for the Tokyo Dome AKB48 event.
Next week: more hijinks around the Tokyo Dome area.