Hallo Hallo Café Review: Episodes 1-2

Hallo Hallo Café is a show that was aired simultaneously with Tagalog dubs of Amachan from October 5, 2015, to May 13, 2016 and it was produced by TV5 in collaboration with the café’s namesake, Hallo Hallo Inc and it features Philippine TV mainstay(?) Yachang (yes, this Yachang) as the owner, Angel as the manager and the idol group Kawaii 5 as the helpers.

The gimmick here is that after each episode of Amachan, a Japanese-style variety show will follow suit doing what every other variety show does.

The OP is done pretty much like how South Park will do TV show openings in-universe, so that heightens up the “so bad, it’s good” vibe to it and the song, while it’s good, made matters better or worse? I seriously don’t know where to put this in.

We go now to into the episode proper and wherein it follows the following pattern:

  1. A scene inside the café that will set up the challenge that the Kawaii 5 girls will be in.
  2. The challenge proper
  3. A 1.5-minute promo for Cool Japan store with Angel telling you to put in the keyword of the day and you’ll get a chance to win prizes from HalloHallo.

Yachang in 2016 is no different from Yachang of 2001. He still speaks Tagalog like how Tsunomaki Watame (IS THAT A HOLOLIVE REFERENCE?!?!) speaks Tagalog, Angel Pancho can be hyperactive at times, to the point of cringy, and Kawaii5 acted how an idol group should be. That’s the show in general but you know we’re not there to review the show in general, we’re here to review this episode by episode and since all 156 episodes are 5 minutes long, and with me being a lazy man, we’ll review two episodes per week.

Episode 1

Yachang introduces himself as the owner, while Angel being the overly energetic host that she is, smacks Yachang in the face, accidentally due to extending her arms during the introductions. Slapstick funny but that’s fine, it’s a variety show not Sargon of Akkad’s intellectual hour. While they are doing some Amachan references, they had this camera angle that just kind of makes it weird.

Is it supposed to give us a glimpse that this is a cafe? I mean it gets the job done but that’s just a bit odd for my taste and then they introduce Kawaii 5 and the cameraman strike again with another weird angle moment.

I know that they are supposed to face the camera but that the cameraman gives us the right perspective seconds after their introduction and here’s another nitpick that I found, they never get to introduce themselves one by one.

You might say “haven’t you watched the opening to the show?” I did and it’s kind of odd that Yachang and Angel were given time to introduce themselves but the Kawaii5 only get to introduce themselves as a unit? Talk about consistency.

There was a language pun/joke during the challenge intro segment and it goes like this:

Yachang: Today, manghuhuli sila ng special ingre(*gibberish*)ents.

Angel: Ingredients.

*SFX* Yachang: うに (uni)

Venus: うに?!

Yachang: うに!

Alice (in a baby-ish voice): うに! Yung sinusuot ng ‘studyante.

Kawaii 5: EHEHEHEHEHE Uniform!

I call this a clever one as for you can see, uni is the Japanese name for the edible part of the sea urchin and how the staff Paolo Kurosawa handpicked for this show were able to put in a language joke for that, even though corny by comedy standards, was brilliant writing because it incorporates uni into something unrelated smoothly but let’s face it, nobody cared about that part of the segment as Yachang giveth and Yachang taketh away. Angel was about to say what uni is but then Yachang interrupts her and off to the beach they go.

The challenge portion of the show is nothing special but for a debut episode, pinaghandaan ang challenge because they didn’t just stay inside the studio and have some sea urchins on some aquarium, no. Pumunta pa sila ng beach para lang manghuli ng sea urchins, talk about budget.

The promo portion had Angel visit Movie Stars Café as it is the giveaway. No, not the literal café, it’s just a voucher or something to eat at said café and see, this is where attention to detail comes to mind as if you watched this in 2015 and you’re stupid, you’ll be thinking “Uy! Mananalo ako ng restaurant. Nice.”

Episode 1 ends with Venus, the challenge winner, being pelted with powder from above and then the show ends with the cast yelling the show’s name.

The first episode, for me, gets a 3 out of 5. The visuals and the audio are decent, the challenge, although not unique, I can say na pinaghandaan and it relates to Amachan and the uni joke bit. The only low point is the camera angles at the beginning of the show and I don’t consider Angel and Kawaii 5 low points because, something that’s so bad, it’s good is a positive point in my book.

Episode 2

It opens with Yachang drinking his coffee when all of a sudden, the rest of the cast decided to startle the shish out of him and guess what, Venus gets to be another victim of the powder and…wait a minute? Was Yachang drinking powder all this time?!

What’s the challenge this time, you ask? It’s the JeJeJe challenge. Say that again?

Yes, you’ve heard it right, it’s called the JeJeJe challenge because they’ll be playing the biting bulldog game. You know, the game wherein you need to get a specific number of bones, depending on what’s on the card you’ve drawn from the pile, and make sure that you don’t startle the dog because once dog gets activated (and yes, dito nakuha yung jejeje ng JeJeJe challenge, onomatopoeia folks.), you don’t only lose but Yachang and Angel had pies ready and you guessed it, the losers get to have pies in their faces. Classic.

The challenge, unlike the previous episode’s, was a studio challenge with the bulldog game and the pies at hand and it reminds me of Channel Awesome’s Pop Quiz Hotshot challenge wherein Brad Jones, The Cinema Snob, had contestants catch fish…in a fishing game but unlike the $90,000 disaster that is Pop Quiz Hotshot, this is fine as it’s not a giant game show, it’s just there to fill out time as Amachan is only 15 minutes long and in this challenge, instead of getting a sole winner, we have two losers, namely Mae and Monica, so there’s that.

May tumutulo sa damit mo – Angel Pancho. Also, Alice gets a pass

Somebody forgot to check the acoustics on where they recorded the Angel promos for this episode because dear god, the audio just echoes all throughout the place but what they screwed up in the audio, they made it up with the attention to detail in the promo prize as they explicitly told us that this time, we’re getting a free taxi ride from Ryo Aki taxi (yeah, HalloHallo is this giant conglomerate nobody knows).

Auschwitz, colorized, 1943

The episode ends with Mae and Monica getting more pies in their face. Classic.

The second outing gets a two out of five for me. The high points with this one are the attention to detail with the promos and the Hallo Hallo Box pies in your face segment. Low points are how simple the challenge is compared to the uni beach challenge and the acoustics on Angel’s promos.

It’s time for me to detoxify myself from all of this stuff here. See you next week as we watch two more episodes of this show. See ya then!

To Be Continued

2 thoughts on “Hallo Hallo Café Review: Episodes 1-2

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