Earlier this year on SMAPxSMAP, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi and Higashide Masahiro got paired up during the “Best Friend Feeling Couple” segment back on January 5, 2015.
They agreed that they should hang out sometime, took a purikura picture and hugged. It’s TV, I didn’t expect it to go further.
But it did. And we got to see it on the March 2, 2015 episode of SMAPxSMAP.
The segment is not in typical SMAPxSMAP fashion, but it is the same program we turn into every week. It starts out with Tsuyoshi letting us know there’s someone he wants to meet…
Tsuyoshi shows up at Higashide’s dressing room. Not at all intimated by the height difference (or age difference!), he follows through and invites him out to eat. Luckily for us, they hadn’t eaten yet. Tsyusoshi brought his car too, so they can ride in style.
Tsuyoshi’s love for old things shows in his excitement. He talks about the car a bit, but I think he’s most proud with the fact that you can stand on the tires.
He hops on one of the tires saying that you can’t do it normally. The editors were kind enough to point out you don’t normally stand on tires any ways. (Also pointing out that things have now become very awkward.)
While admiring the car, Higashide pointed out a kiss mark on the trunk.
But no scandal. It was Tsuyoshi who kissed his car. Multiple times. Since Higashide pointed out multiple kiss marks on the trunk.
Yes. This is my favorite SMAP member. I sometimes wonder why too.
Let’s go for a drive!
And time for the date to really start! They go for a drive across Rainbow Bridge, heading for a cafe Tsuyoshi likes.
I will say this, I am jealous. It must’ve been a beautiful drive (except for the freezing temperature! Upper 30s fahrenheit! Brr!). Tsuyoshi makes it seem like it takes the drive sometimes at night by himself just to de-stress. I wish I hadn’t known that, because i may be tempted to stalk out Rainbow Bridge at night the next time I’m in Tokyo.
There’s some talk that is edited out because – can’t be aired on TV. If they can’t air it on TV, that’s fine. I’ll buy a DVD!
They arrive at their destination, both hungry. They get a booth by the window and it’s a beautiful view overlooking the intersection. And there just so happens to be SMAP billboards on one of the buildings.
Which leads really well into Higashide’s question: do you feel pressure being a part of SMAP? SMAP has been going on for awhile, and Tsuyoshi’s life is pretty much as a SMAP member. It must be hard and he must be insanely busy.
Tsuyoshi originally joined to dance and sing and become famous. And he’s busy. But he loves it.
Higashide shares that it’s nice to get out. It’s been a long time since he’s been out since he spends a lot of time at home, busy memorizing lines and such. There’s some shop talk, about strategies for memorizing lines. Tsuyoshi says he memorizes on the go, like in the bath. He’ll read his own lines out loud and memorize those, but that’s it. He also admits he doesn’t look at other parts of the script besides his own.
Higashide is shocked. And so am I. How does Tsuyoshi pull off the emotions he does without actually knowing what else is going on? He even admits he doesn’t know when to be mad or not. My god. The directors he’s gotten must be amazing. He must also be a pain to work with.
Higashide reads the script and other characters lines. I’d probably do the same if I was an actor, because it’d be scary to not know what was coming when filming.
I think the only thing they do have in common with how they memorize their lines is that it’s easier to walk around and learn their lines than to not. Glad that I’m not alone in what I thought was a super awkward pacing and talking to myself habit.
Higashide asks Tsuyoshi if he has any worries.
“I can’t love someone.” Then he switches the subject and congratulates Higashide on his marriage.
Tsuyoshi is pretty blunt, “Marriage… that was fast.” Wow. He recovers though? I think. My Japanese failed me a lot during this talk. But he does congratulate him.
Tsuyoshi goes serious again, saying doesn’t quite understand loving someone or marriage.
I’m pretty sure half the viewing audience would volunteer to teach him.
There’s some awkward silence, but Higashide imparts his thoughts on love, but a lot of it boils down about wanting a family. Tsuyoshi says he does understand wanting a family.
Then Higashide points out that being in your teens as an idol must’ve been hard to find love. Which they actually went there. Too bad my Japanese knowledge failed me here too. Man!
What do you want right now?
Subjects change to a little less serious as Higashide asks, “Is there something you want right now?” But not in the boom-chika-boom-chika way.
Tsuyoshi’s pretty simple, predicable, and our adorable Tsuyopon, saying that he really likes leather jackets. That he has about 100. And I’m just going to stop there and wonder if I would have 100 leather jackets too if I’d had a bunch of money since forever.
Higashide likes clothes and watches and cars, but has cut back on buying things. He does collect bowls… which leads perfectly into Tsuyoshi giving Higashide a present!
Present from Tsuyoshi
Tsuyoshi mentioned that he remembered Higashide’s wife mentioning they collected bowls, so perfect gift! They comment that they are very cute. I’m not sure that’s the word I would’ve used to describe them, but they do look very nice.
Perfect ending to a perfect date. Higashide was a bit surprised it was time to go, but it was already midnight.
It was a night full of pretty normal conversation, they both wondered if SMAPxSMAP could even use the footage. Tsuyoshi said it would’ve been better to be drinking. I’m not sure a guy known for taking his clothes off while drunk should be suggesting that to a married man, but I guess we’ll see what happens next time!
Post-Friendship Date Impressions
“It looked private, but we were really on SMAPxSMAP and I wondered if it’d be okay. I had a good time. I’m younger and worried a lot, but Tsuyoshi’s a really good guy.”
“He’s a good kid. I’m older and he’s really cute. I’ve fallen for him.”
Oh Tsuyoshi. We know you did. Don’t worry. I’m also setting some time aside to watch Mondai no Aru Restaurant because Higashide was really adorable.