[movie] PIKANCHI 2.5: life is hard and happy… maybe?

[Spoilers ahead.]

As soon as the first scene came on, with the jerky camera zoom-in, it felt nostalgic right away. And minutes into the film when the opening credits rolled in with Pikanchi Double, it was definitely walking down memory lane.

I’m talking about PIKANCHI… LIFE IS HARD TABUN HAPPY, the third installment in Arashi’s Pikanchi franchise (the first in 2002 and the second in 2004; this latest one, screened last year, is called 2.5, more or less half a sequel, that’s why there is no new Pikanchi song).

The story picks up eight years since they last met, on that bridge by Yashio Hills. So what has happened to Yashio’s resident dorks: Haru, Chu, Shun, Takuma and Bon?



Arashi did Pikanchi 2.5 so they could “mess around” in their 30s. They were in their teens in 2002 and in their 20s in 2004. This film is part of their youth and growing up, and it’s melancholic to watch them return to the five characters that are so different from their idol image, and yet are part and parcel of who they are.

Haru is now married (to the mother of his first love) with a daughter (who always looks like she’s about to cry in her selfies); Chu has a son, Teppeki, and is having marital problems with Yayoi; Shun has put up a noodle boathouse; Takuma has become a greek god homeless superhero who walks around with a blanket wandered the world with his music and has returned with a Kenyan wife and eight children (don’t worry, they’re not his but Angelina Jolie’s) and Bon has gotten married (his taste in women remains suspect) and, as he himself proclaims, is a “SAKSESSS STORY!”

Pikanchi’s storytelling is a combination of sitcom and anime plus Arashi’s brand of crack. It’s obvious that they were having fun while filming this (shoot started 39 days before the movie was screened in Tokyo), and I have to say that Riida, Jun and Sho really went to town with their campy acting. It actually felt like watching a school play or an amateur film, which has always been the charm of Pikanchi. It has this look and feel of a final filmmaking project, and for sure, it’s low budget (two costume changes at most except for the “flashback scenes” and only a handful of filming locations) but the ROI was massive (someone actually made a calculation on how much the film earned during its limited one-month sold-out run; it was brought to other Japanese cities too for a limited screening).

Some of the highlights:

  • Bon’s random Engrish and his bright pink suit
  • Takuma’s blanket cape hair headband look
  • Haru still Haru, “the most unfortunate man in Yashio”
  • Shun as sailor moon
  • Chu and his yankee costume

But my favorite scene would have to be Takuma singing Michi in New York. A close second would be Haru, Chu and Shun trying to appreciate Bon’s wife. And there’s that scene of Yayoi clutching her head in dismay when Teppeki appeared in a yankee coat at his piano recital.

I love how Arashi can still do this not only when they’re in their 30s but even when they’re at the top of their game. But the mere fact that they can still do a crack project like Pikanchi only goes to show that they’ve never taken their fame seriously. And it’s nice to see them going back to their roots. That’s why Michi is so apt:

Trudging our way on this path
Wondering where this road will go
Let’s think about things like that along the way

If it’s a dead end,
We’ll have to heave ourselves over the wall

There are no roads you can’t turn back from
Let’s keep going today too

As Bon said:

“Don’t get swallowed by the raging waves of life.”

In their teens, they described life as “hard DAKEDO [but] happy”.

In their 20s, they described life as “hard DAKARA [therefore] happy”.

In their 30s? “Life is hard TOTEMO [totally] unhappy.”

Takuma and Shun disagreed.

So V6’s Inocchi (who played Sho’s older brother here and who also wrote the script) asked them again.

Their answer? “Life is hard TABUN [maybe] happy.”

How about you?

Related post: [news] PIKANCHI 2.5

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11 thoughts on “[movie] PIKANCHI 2.5: life is hard and happy… maybe?

  1. Just finished watching the movie and can’t stop laughing from the first (Ohno’s weird run) to the end (Ohno trying to climb a fence). From Jun’s english and JESUS to nino hair and clothes (seriously, the stylist for nino should be the same person with stylist in vs arashi or at least has the same crazy thinking about nino LOL)

    So they started to shoot 39 days before screening, so they shoot it in really short time. I like when how they shoot and present the movie stay the same with before. I like how they made the flashback with the book and the cracking video.

    I read a lot about this movie from some magazine translation and arashi sure enjoy shooting this movie and how they remember about the old days. I felt the same way when i watched this. The moment in your pictures (in the boat) and when they say “Life is hard TABUN [maybe] happy” is perfect


    • Ohno really breathed his Haru character throughout the film I LOLed. it’s so hard to show this film to non-Arashi fans and say… “and that is their leader.”

      I just feel how the Pikanchi boys have grown up with Arashi and everyone else who have followed them. it makes me want to take out the old Pikanchi photobook and oh, I also have those action figures hahahaha oh my god, this is really going down memory lane.


      • To be honest, if someone doesnt know about arashi before and watching this, it’ll be very hard to follow and laughing LOL. Yes, i do believe it will be hard to accept when they know ohno is arashi leader. It happen to me! First time i know arashi and i know ohno is the leader, it was counfusing me >.<

        Indeed, agree with you and this movie really perfect for their 15th years anniv.


  2. Ya… First off, I downloaded the wordpress app onto my smartphone, thinking my lj account would be enough to read your blog on this device. That way has not been invented, as I soon discovered. So here I am with a wordpress account I am never going to use (tabun) just so I can read your blog even while on a go travelling.
    I really enjoy your entries, and have commented before except I have no idea if those were ever posted considering this account of mines didn’t exist till today.
    Anyways, I saw this movie day before yesturday and I LoLed a lot!
    Then when you also mentioned that Ohno really breathed his character Haru in this film, please watch the credits. Towards the end, just to show how incompetent and unfortunate Haru is, he stumbles (I think), limps and struggles down in a grassy slope before doing the same trying to get over the fence while the rest sit on it, casual. And there is a bit of Yama action – slight – for fans to enjoy.


    • hahaha yes that last scene. that’s why I said Riida really breathed Haru and he was consistent from start to finish.

      hmm your account should be okay from now since you’ve left previous comments.

      thanks for reading! enjoy your travels and so nice to hear you still read this blog even when you’re on the move XD


  3. Oh my.
    Sho is so cool as a dad!
    Oh-chan’s wife is so aggresive, he2x…
    The most succesful from them is Aiba, right?
    Sasuga from Neen! He’s a big daddy [eh, are some of those children adopted? Iirc…cmiiw:)].
    I wonder if Jun’s taste of girl is the same as his’ in this movie [he likes that kind of girl? then their his fans get a fair chance, wkwkwk…].
    But idk, I enjoy their 1st movie more…kinda…crackier? Maybe because they’re still in their teens, so yeah, they’re more carefree and youn-wild-free :).


  4. where can I watch this, I love arashi and have seen the other two episodes. I have been trying to find it online but no luck.


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