“Mecha Mecha Iketeru” is a variety show which played a big role in propelling AKB48 members Kawaei Rina and Shimazaki Haruka to stardom. The concept of this show changes according to the characteristics their guests, and this time round, they’ve invited Oshima Yuko to do a graduation special.
I’ve always found Mecha Mecha Iketeru to be unpredictable, so no doubt this is going to be one great episode.
So the show starts off with Oshima Yuko meeting up with comedian combi Yabe and Okamura. They decide to take her on a 2D1N trip to “celebrate” her graduation. In the bus, Okamura asks her if she’d be all high and mighty after becoming an actress, which she obviously denied. Yabe asks if she’d do anything and everything if she was invited to “Mecha Mecha Iketeru”, which Yuko agreed to without hesitation. Unfortunately she did not sense the evil intentions behind the giggles of the comedians.The bus takes them to their first drop-off point named “Water Tank”. A few minutes later, the scene changes to Yuko walking in unwillingly in swimwear. The MCs announced that she’d be challenging herself to a diving game which requires her to navigate a maze underwater to retrieve various items. Yuko asked why she had to do it, and Okamura said “Don’t you know Amachan?”(a hit drama series in 2013 based on a female diver.) “Don’t you want to appear in Season 2? You might have a chance you know?” Yuko had no choice but to agree…
Unfortunately it was pretty hard for her to continue holding her breath while maneuvering the maze, so it took a few tries before she was able to succeed. The difficulty of her challenge was increased later as they switched the fish to a bowling ball. By this time Yuko was already too tired to succeed so the comedians brought in Minegishi Minami to cheer her up. Without a word, she burst into a dance version of Ayame Gouriki’s “Tomodachi Yori Daiji na Hito”, which she has been getting popular for over the past year. Yuko was considerably energized and even joined in the dance. After that, Yuko returned to her challenge. She was unable to lift the dumb-bells from the water so Miichan climbed up the water tank to dance for her again. Unfortunately, she did not realise she was stepping on styrofoam floorboards, so she broke through the floorboards and fell into the water. Since the tank was destroyed, they decided to abandon this game.
In the bus, they asked Yuko about her acting experience in “Ando Lloyd ” with Kimura Takuya. Yuko said she admires Kimura for taking on such a difficult character so the comedians asked if she would like to become an “Ando Lloyd”(a robot). By know Yuko knew what she was getting into but had no choice but to say yes. She was brought into a room to watch 2 comedians acting out the role of a elderly man and his robot girlfriend. The elderly man tries to persuade his robot girlfriend to go to the hotsprings with him, but the only words which the robot girlfriend can say is “Dame yo! Dame Dame!”(which means no). Eventually the robot girlfriend goes haywire. Yuko was informed that she’d need to act out the same role as the robot girlfriend. Unglamorous yes but Yuko did it all the way. In the end she got so into the role that she competed with the comedian to see who is better at going haywire.
In the 3rd segment, Yuko was tasked to buy crepes in public dressed in her robot costume. She found it very embarrassing but had no choice. Suddenly, this comedian(i suppose) who won the title of “dumbest member” in an academic test on a previous episode of Mecha Mecha Iketeru, appeared and started laughing at her, taking photos of her and sending it to Okamura. Kawaei Rina, who was also crowned the “dumbest center” in another episode, appeared too and both took great delight in ridiculing Yuko’s looks. Kawaei even tried to send a picture of Yuko to Akimoto Yasushi. Yuko then returned to the bus, only to find it driving away without her. She was forced to run after the bus with a handful of crepes in her arms, terrorizing strangers along the way with her zombie makeup.
The night is about to come to an end. Yuko and the comedians were asked to alight from the bus and take a taxi to a nearby hotel instead. In the taxi, Yuko talked about a time when she wondered if it was right to pursue a singing and acting career at the same time. Akimoto Yasushi gave her a piece of advice – between the tough and easy road (to success), she should choose the tough one. At this point, the taxi driver suddenly asked “Excuse me, there is a tough road and a easy road ahead, which one will you choose?” I think you guys know which she was forced to choose now. Yuko was taken on the most terrifying ride of her life, which caused her to break into tears. Okamura commented “That was definitely a tough road!”.
Next morning, the comedians decided to enter Yuko’s hotel room secretly and film her while she was still sleeping. They invited Kentaro, Yuko’s fan to join in. Kentaro is quite funny because he admitted that he had actually switched oshimen to Yuko after Shinoda Mariko graduated. Yuko was then woken by the smell of Kawaei Rina’s shoes…ewww. She was quite shocked to find a stranger (Kentaro) in her room, but after finding out then he was a fan who had never been to handshake sessions, decided to fulfill his wish.
On the way to breakfast, Yuko looked out the window to find Watanabe Mayu and Kato Koji(another comedian) involved in a brawl. (This segment is another followup to the long-running “feud” between Kato and Mayuyu, which started when Kato kicked Mayuyu in the head while filming for another variety show.) Turns out they were arguing over whether to serve Yuko a western or Japanese breakfast. Whilst arguing, Kato also made digs at Mayuyu’s idol image, accusing her of having a ugly face in the morning, and spending too much time in the toilet. Mayuyu went ballistic upon hearing these and started sending invisible attacks to Kato. Yuko approached the 2 to stop them, but Mayuyu caught her by the head and pushed her face into a cake. They finally managed to stop violent Mayuyu after showing her a pic of cute babies.
Back in the bus, Yuko decided to give up on breakfast and requested to remove the cream from her face. Her wish was granted as her bus seat suddenly tipped backwards, into a pool of water. The expression on her face was priceless! I truly believe she didn’t expect that coming. Whats worse, she was made to promote herself as an actress later, looking all wet and messed up.
The bus reaches National Olympic Stadium, where Yuko was to hold her graduation concert. Here Yuko is welcomed by the rest of AKB48 members. Team K also showed up to express thanks to their leader. I will just translate the most touching part here.
Kobayashi Kana: I came into AKB48 in the same generation as you. I was also once the center before you took the position away from me. The fans and staff talked about us and thought we were on bad terms. Last year’s October, i called you for the first time. I thought you looked depressed. “How did you know?” you asked. Of cos i knew. My eyes have followed you more than others ever since my position was taken by you. That was the first time you talked about graduating. At the end of the call, you said you were worried about Team K. You said sorry and told me to work hard.I thought it was very like you to worry about others. But the one suffering is actually Yuko. People may think i have lost to you. But while you were working on your movies and dramas, i stood on stage and danced and sang more than others. I will not lose to you. So leave the rest to me. Look forward and realise your dreams.
Yuko: I think you guys will really work hard without me. Thank you for creating this opporunity for me!