Nogizaka Skits is a Japanese Sketch Comedy show, aired on Nippon Television for two seasons from 2020 to 2021. A live comedy and concert show called Nogizaka Skits Live was also broadcast on Hulu in April 2021. It was hosted by the Comedy Duo Saraba Seishun no Hikari (Tetsuya Morita and Higashi Bukuro) and starred members of Nogizaka46, specifically the fourth generation in season 1 and the 3rd and 4th generation in season 2.
It is the second regular show to focus on the fourth generation Nogizaka46 members, after its predecessor Nogizaka Doko e?. After season 2, the show was replaced with the music show Nogizaka Star Tanjou!, also starring Nogizaka's 4th generation.
The next skit contains examples of the following tropes:
- Accent Interest: The Insurance Police's catchphrase is in Sayaka Kakehashi's native Okayama dialect, "Chibake tottara oen de!" (ちばけとったらおえんで!, "Stop messing around!").
- In the live show, Rika Sato follows this up with some Iwate dialect scolding, "Gatame ga suna! Odadzuna yo!" (がためがすな！おだづなよ！ "Stop your whining! Don't get carried away!").
- Affectionate Parody:
- Many of the characters are parodies of actual Japanese celebrities. The recurring skit "Audition" lampshades this.
- The title of "Takane no Momoko-sama" ("Lady Momoko on the Mountain Peak", out of reach to everyone) starring Momoko Ozono is a spoof of Born To Be A Flower, or Takane no Hana (The Flower on the Mountain Peak), which main character is similarly named Momo. Its Big Man on Campus gang named the "N4" parodies Boys over Flowers.
- Alter-Ego Acting:
- Yuri Kitagawa maintains that Captain Yuri is not her, but a real person and a friend of hers.
- Sayaka Kakehashi also appears as a police officer in an episode and insists that she's a different person from the Insurance Police.
- In-universe, Fuwan-chan and the Setsuna Shoujo's real personalities are the opposite of their public personae.
- Ascended Fanboy: Rika Sato admires the Insurance Police and later becomes her informant.
- Bait-and-Switch Sentiment: The TV show only shows the last line of Ayame Tsutsuigawa's melancholic hit single "Namida no Nogizaka" (The Nogizaka Street of Tears; Nogizaka is a real street in Tokyo). The full version is performed in the live show, where it's revealed that the singer is actually crying in pain after bumping her leg on a guardrail on the street.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The Superhero Captain Yuri is a Nice Girl through and through, even going so far as applying for a job at the Shibāta evil organization when they run out of monsters, since she figures it means they need help. However, evildoers are all too familiar with her Super Yuri Crush Finishing Move (which also invariably incapacitates her allies and the hostages).
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In-universe, the "Katsu Diner" pep talks are directed to Higashi Bukuro, but the actresses talk directly to the camera and therefore the audience.
- The Cameo:
- The comedy duo Asagaya Sisters cameo as impersonators of their spoof, the Amagasaki Sisters (Haruka Kaki and Seira Hayakawa).
- Shingo Fujimori of the comedy duo Oriental Radio (and co-host of a radio show Nogizaka46 members regularly participate in) appears in an episode of "Yanchana Yan-chan", which is an homage to his duo's routine.
- The Casanova:
- Rei Seimiya's Rayland character is a Crosscast Role spoof of Roland, the so-called King of Hosts, and a smooth talking Chick Magnet who keeps getting fired from his part time jobs because he can't help seducing the swooning female customers. Notably, the real Roland gave a shoutout to the character on his social media, commenting that Rayland's blond hair is inferior to his own (and then plugging his own beauty salon).
- The previously unseen Yamada in the "Insurance Police" skits finally appears in the live show, and turns out to be a smooth talking world traveler portrayed by Seira Hayakawa.
- Insurance Police: "Chibake tottara oen de!" ("Stop messing around!" in Okayama dialect)
- Ayame Tsutsuigawa: "Singing is from the heart!"
- Captain Yuri: "Shakkin!" (onomatopoeia for bright light)
- Yanchana Yan-chan: "Ii ze!" (very casual form of "Alright!)
- Classy Cat-Burglar: The Morie's Angels are, of course, spoofs of Charlie's Angels tasked with recovering a stolen painting from the villain's hideout.
- Somewhat fittingly, happens in the "Captain Yuri" series.
- Yanchana Yan-chan is one of the interviewees for the henchperson job vacancy.
- In the final skit, Shibāta recruits Mayu Tamura, the recurring hostage of the series, to defeat the titular hero. In the live show, the evil Mayu emerges from her Tehepero Musume character and restrains Captain Yuri for Shibāta to finish off, but Tetsuko Kuromiyanagi wrestles her hand off and frees the Captain. Captain Yuri retaliates with her new Super Special Move, Super Summer Yuri Crush, which leads to the performance of "Hadashi de Summer" after the usual Fade to White.
- The Nogizaka Star Tanjou live show includes a special live skit segment featuring Mayutan and her husband Morita. He makes up an excuse to not drink more of his wife's super-spicy herbal drink, and his former superior, the Insurance Police, comes to investigate him for suspicion of insurance with her new rookies, who were civilians in the television skits: Rei Seimiya, Rika Sato, and Higashi Bukuro.
- Somewhat fittingly, happens in the "Captain Yuri" series.
- Cuteness Overload: The Kawaii Armies [sic] (Shiori Kubo, Haruka Kaki, Mio Yakubo) protects society by absorbing the damage caused by cuteness overload. All of them are also Abhorrent Admirers of cute girls.
- Dating Sim: A skit features Morita playing one where he has to court The Comically Serious Minami Umezawa, School Idol Mizuki Yamashita, and Cloudcuckoolander Yuki Yoda.
- Desperately Craves Affection: Mayu Tamura's housewife character Mayutan is desperate for her husband Morita's approval and will be reduced to Inelegant Blubbering when he dislikes her gifts or cooking, forcing him to pretend to enjoy it. It Runs in the Family, as her sister and mother often do the same. He sometimes gets back at her by guilting her into partaking in variety-style punishments like eating scorpions or sitting on an electric zap chair.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Since episode 5, the opening song is the Nogizaka fourth generation track "I see...".
- Ear Worm: The "Yanchana Yan-chan" background music is often described as one.
- Evil, Inc.: The Shibāta evil organization has a company profile and their mission statement is "to contribute to society through doing evil" (and to Take Over the World). They also give holiday bonuses, post job opening ads for henchpeople, and hold recruitment interviews like normal companies.
- Fair Cop:
- Insurance Police Sayaka Kakehashi, the anti-Compliment Fishing officer who also knows her way around a Lawman Baton.
- Rei Seimiya is the Positive Negotiator, who uses her Motor Mouth and indomitable cheerfulness to eventually rescue hostages.
- Ayame Tsutsui is an idol who only becomes a "one-day police chief" for PR purposes, but the skills she acquired as an idol help her handle cases and emergencies much more efficiently than real cops, all before carrying on with her PR duties.This fugitive might be in Sendai. When we performed in a mall there two years ago, I saw someone that looks like him among the audience at the second floor of the atrium. As idols, we have to pay close attention to the audience since they might turn into fans.
Give me ten seconds with the suspect. I'm used to forming rapport within that time in handshake events.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Sayaka Kakehashi is the Insurance Police, who hunts and arrests those who employ "insurance" in social interactions (that is, playing it safe through vague statements, false modesty, Self-Deprecation, Compliment Fishing, etc.; the Japanese expression is 保険をかける hoken wo kakeru) in accordance with the Insurance Supervision Act.
- Her Foil is Runa Hayashi as the Real Thought Lawyer, who can summarily overturn her accusations by proving that the suspects' alleged self-insuring statements are their actual thoughts instead of false modesty. She's also the Insurance Police's Abhorrent Admirer who hugs and sniffs her without consent.
- She even breaks the fourth wall in the live broadcast, when she almost arrests Mizuki Yamashita after she opens the show by reminding the viewers that they're idols who are still learning comedy.
- A Running Gag is the suspects taking insurance when confessing their love for Clueless Dude Magnet Rei Seimiya, only for her to not take insurance and bluntly say that they're Just Friends or Like Brother and Sister.
- Fight Clubbing: A skit parodies this with a Chinese restaurant which is a front for an underground club where, instead of physically fighting, challengers must successfully endure the advances of the resident seductresses or enter Indentured Servitude.
- Flames of Love: The Love Firefighting Squad commit themselves to preventing this from forming between a woman and a Jerkass.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: The money prop used in the skits have a picture of Nogizaka46 captain Manatsu Akimoto on them.
- Funny Foreigner: Ayame Tsutsui's Mental List [sic] AYAME is a psychic based in Las Vegas and dresses in stereotypical Indian fortune-teller dress. She usually speaks in single English words, which her Trolling Translator stretches into paragraphs. Subverted in a later episode when she reveals off-camera that she's actually Japanese and the character is just for show.
- Gratuitous English: The Morie's Angels randomly mix English into their conversation and sound somewhat like foreigners speaking Japanese.
- Gyaru Girl:
- Ayame Tsutsui portrays a gyaru who visits an elderly couple living on a mountain.
- The "Gals Wars" (parody of 1984 series School Wars) skit features gyarus who, despite their seemingly carefree behavior, carry their smartphones in weighted cases to stay in top form and aspire to win the National Gyaru Contest.
- Yuki Yoda's YouTuber character Sutoko speaks in a mix of Fukuokan dialect and gyaru lingo and can enchant others to become gyarus.
- Hellbent For Leather: The "Yanchana Yan-chan" duo, the Shibāta gang minions, the Morie's Angels, and Yamada in the live show wear black leather jackets.
- Holding Both Sides of the Conversation: Delusional Girl Kakki acts out her fantasies about encounters with guys and how the following relationships would play out, all by herself. Being able to speak two dialects in addition to standard Japanese probably helps.
- Hurricane of Puns:
- Sakura Endo's evil minion character, Sakūra, is a Pungeon Master since her DNA was enhanced with that of rakugo comedian Pei Hayashiya. Captain Yuri particularly enjoys the "I'm sorry"/shouri (勝利 victory) one.
- The Ninja Girls' hit single "Sushi Boy" describes the titular young man with words that are homophones of sushi dishes.That cool (ikashita; ika = squid) guy (kare; karei = flounder)
Is so easygoing (sabasaba; saba = mackerel)
His pitch black (makkuro; maguro = tuna), sunburnt dark skin (kohada; also gizzard shad) is also wonderful
His honest (massugu; masu = trout) eyes made me fall for him (hamacchimatta; hamachi = yellowtail)
His shining (tekateka; teka = sliced raw tuna) uniform (seifuku; fugu = blowfish)
I wanna go for him (oikaketai; tai = sea bream)
Wow... wow... (uo = fish)
However many (ikura; also salmon roe) in other schools (takou ni; tako = octopus, uni = sea urchin) cutesy girls (burikko; buri = another kind of yellowtail) there are
Here I go (saa mou; salmon), he'll (kare/karei again) be captivated (torotoro, from torokeru; toro = fatty tuna belly) by me!
I love you!
Everytime (ebi = shrimp; tai = sea bream), you're so warm (attakai; akakai = blood clam)
I like you
Everytime (ebi + tai again), wanna go (anago = conger eel)
To where you are, ah...
I love sushi, I love sushi boy!
- I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Shiori Kubo's Love Dealer Shiori is a casino dealer who challenges Morita to bet at her portable betting table whether the words women say to him indicate they're into him (they're not, but she laments that Morita doesn't notice his Childhood Friend Minami Umezawa's feelings for him).
- Insurance Fraud: The Insurance Police skits parody this, as rather than financial or life insurance, she hunts perpetrators of social life insurance "fraud".
- Intergenerational Friendship: One of the "Yanchana Yan-chan" skits has her offering to help an old lady cross the road, but she carries the lady home instead, and they end up living together.
- Kansai Regional Accent:
- "Maido Cafe" is a Maid Cafe parody staffed by stereotypical Osakan old ladies (maido, literally "always", is short for "thank you as always" in Osaka).
- Setsuna Shoujo members are all from Kansai, which makes their off-stage personae even louder than they would have if they speak in standard Japanese.
- Seira Hayanokōji tears down whoever pushes her Berserk Button (by calling her a "little girl") in Yakuza-sounding Kansai dialect, as she enjoys unrated crime films.
- Captain Yuri and Henchman Morita discuss the business etiquette of referring to each other's "company" (group).
- Seira Hayanokouji uses the very formal greeting ohatsu ni ome ni kakarimasu (お初にお目にかかります), roughly "this is the first time we notice each other".
- Lesser Star: As the Straight Man sidekick to Saya Kanagawa's titular character, Haruka Kaki's Yancha-janai Kakki is sometimes called this regarding the "Yanchana Yan-chan" skits. Subverted when the character is voted first place in the first Charademy Award, while Yan-chan is fourth. Even better, Saya had consoled Kaki by saying the fourth place was for both of them.
- Lost in Character: In a discussion session, Yuki Yoda claims that her Sutoko character has influenced her actual self that she sometimes gets confused.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: The idol trio Setsuna Shoujo (Fleeting Girls, but also a homophone for "pained") are angsty Emo Teens in public, but outside of that they're actually very talkative Genki Girls.
- Mental World: "Inside Yuri's Head" is about Yuri Kitagawa's thought process represented by several members, not unlike Inside Out.
- Mundane Made Awesome: The Yaba*Yaba duo (Reno Nakamura and Sayaka Kakehashi) sings the instructions for making instant noodles in their hit debut single.
- Nuns Are Mikos: Sakura Endo's Love Sister Sakura is a nun who serves the God of Love and gives love advices.
- Older Than They Look: The Tehepero Musume (Mizuki "Miichan" Yamashita, Ayano Christie "Ayachan" Yoshida, Mayu "Maachan" Tamura) are "eternally 15 years old" and constantly reference trends and slangs from The '90s and interests typical of middle-aged women. Their hit single references SMS centers (a service to inquire about delayed text messages, back when they were less reliable).
- Pom-Pom Girl: The Smile Girls are cheerleaders who dance to cheer up people facing misfortunes, although those people would rather they don't.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: Like many TV princesses, Seira Hayanokouji somehow breaks into songs in all her appearances, and all of them are to the tune of "Eine kleine Nachtmusik".
- Pun-Based Title: The titular diner in "Katsu Diner", instead of cutlets (katsu), serves Rousing Speeches (活 also katsu, short for 活を入れる katsu o ireru) by various characters.
- Punch-Clock Hero: In the second Captain Yuri skit, the Captain brings along her apprentice heroes, consisting of real additional Nogizaka fourth generation members, to the villains' hideout for formal introductions. She introduces Morita to them as a competent villain who considerately does evil deeds to keep them employed, all in proper business honorific Japanese.
- Punch-Clock Villain: The Shibāta evil organization won't accept candidates that are too earnest (since evil or dumb people are a better fit for evil organizations) or too young (since the law prohibits minors from working past 10 PM).
- Reverse Psychology: The Setsuna Shoujo absolutely don't want you to buy their single, even though it comes with a limited edition poster.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Seira Hayakawa's Seira Hayanokōji is an Ojou who is excited about Slumming It by taking on normal people's part-time work, but has absolutely no idea how to actually do them.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Defied by Ayame Tsutsui in the Seira Hayanokōji skits, as she declines the cash rewards offered by Seira's butler both times. Played straight in the second skit where she's a movie producer, as she happily accepts money in the form of Hayanokōji Group's sponsorship of her movie (after rejecting it as a personal gift) and gives Seira the main role.
- Sad Clown: Mio Yakubo's Fuwan-chan character, parody of comedian Fuwa-chan (the pun is that fuan means "anxious"), is a hyper Genki Girl on camera, but is full of anxiety and overthinks everything when only her manager is around.
- Second Place Is for Winners: In the first Charademy Awards, Saraba Award winner (chosen by the hosts instead of by votes) Seira Hayakawa gets an original illustration of her and all her characters, which first place winner Haruka Kaki finds more desirable than her trophy.
- The Slacker: The musical duo Sugar (Rika Sato and Kaede Sato; Sato is a homophone for sugar) sings about living on easy mode, yet aspires to perform at the Tokyo Dome (saying someone is "sweet" in Japanese can also mean "easy going" or "overly optimistic", not unlike the English expression "sweet summer child").
- Spell My Name with an S: Rei Seimiya's spoof of Roland is officially spelled Rayland instead of the expected Reiland.
- Stalker with a Crush: The Setsuna Shoujo's hit single is about a girl who collects info about her crush to a terrifying degree but will "carry her feeling to the grave without telling anyone".
- Super Special Move: In the final skit of the "Captain Yuri" series, the titular Superheroine uses an improved version of her Super Yuri Crush, the Super Summer Yuri Crush. Why summer? Because of the Nogizaka46 song the characters perform afterward, "Hadashi de Summer".
- Surprisingly Good English:
- The Ninja Girls strive to spread ninja and Japanese culture around the world, so they often speak English in their appearances. Rei Seimiya and Yuri Kitagawa are former Californians and sound native, but Nao Yumiki subverts this with her unintelligible English.
- Yuri Kitagawa also appears to give a pep talk in English in a "Katsu Diner" segment.
- Meanwhile, Rei claims that accidentally saying "Bless you!" in English when someone sneezes in Japan is a common occurrence (it might be for her).
- The show's unseen narrator also peppers his narration with pretty good English, and most of the skit titles are in English as well. However, titles like "Insurance Police Sayaka" has caused confusion among English speakers since the Japanese idiomatic meaning of "insurance" got Lost in Translation.
- Undercover Cop Reveal: The Insurance Police occasionally has undercover colleagues shadowing her persons of interest, such as Mayu Tamura posing as Higashi's coworker.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Yancha-janai Kakki (Non-Rascal Kakki) is constantly irritated by the antics of Yanchana Yan-chan (Rascal Yan-chan), but they always got each other's back when facing challengers.
- Waxing Lyrical: Seira Hayanokouji's upcoming film is titled Out of The Blue, after the song in which Seira Hayakawa is the lead singer.