Were 2ch users trying to make Aiba have a lung collapse? That’s what many Japanese Arashi fans thought on March 14th, the day when Arashi’s Aiba Masaki made appearances on several Nippon Terebi shows, promoting his new drama “Mineko Holmes Suiri”. A TV special was also held, entitled “Only Tonight! Saturday’s Aiba-chan!? A Impossible Gag Live! National Voting SP”, in which TV viewers could vote on the internet or by phone for an impossible gag they wanted Aiba to do, which was to be carried out at the end of “Arashi ni Shiyagare!”
The options for the impossible gag included: “A. Do 10 gags that popular entertainers do these days” “B. Eat an entire whole wasabi roll” “C. Have a love scene with an onee” “D. Get slapped by a martial artist but keep a straight face”. Voting started around 8 A.M. as “Zoom In!! Saturday”, the show Aiba first appeared on, ended. By the start of “Saturday’s Aiba-chan!?” at 2:00 P.M., option A was leading in 1st place with 847,537 votes, option C in 2nd with 843,978 votes, and option B in forth place with only 85,269 votes.
Around 2:36 P.M., a 2ch netizen who had eyed upon the show made a thread on 2ch’s “New Speed VIP” board stating “For Saturday Aiba’s impossible gag I want to make him eat wasabi rolls!” With the intention of “showing a magnificent sudden change” for the voting, 2ch users used a system where one person could vote as many times as they like. Many 2ch users began participating, calling out “It can’t be helped, lets do it!” “Let’s show them VIP’s power!” “I’ve already voted 500 times.”
Due to 2ch users, the B option began to experience an astounding growth, and some Twitter users pointed out the odd behavior of it.
However, Arashi fans exploded on Twitter: “This is really annoying. Eating too much wasabi is dangerous! What are they trying to do to our Aiba-chan!” “It’s terrible to know because of 2ch Aiba-chan will be made to do something impossible.” “Arashi fans, let’s barrage the A option so it won’t be B!” “Let’s request Nippon Terebi lower the amount of wasabi.”
Arashi fans began to make fearful comments in their tweets referring to Aiba’s hospitalization last year in June due to a lung collapse, with one stating “A hole is going to open in his lung again.” These tweets quickly spurred tweets all across Twitter that 2ch netizens were attempting to make Aiba have another lung collapse.
Both Arashi fans and 2ch netizens bombarded the poll with their votes throughout the night, fighting in a battle of ~* epic proportions *~, but 2ch netizens rejoiced when the B option came out on top with 18,360,860 votes, “You did well guys!” “”A big victory for vip!” “The Arashic on Twitter are in tears lololol.”
In the end, however, at 11:10 P.M., Aiba was only made to eat two tuna rolls varnished in full helpings of wasabi. For a slap in the face, he was given a hug by the pro wrestler Akebono, and for the love scene was given a kiss by make-up artist IKKO. Aiba closed the show with a smile as he shouted, “Why was I kissed?!”
I'm still trying to figure out people thought eating wasabi rolls = lung collapse though.