If you've been on the internet in the past five years, you've seen a trio of Japanese ladies doing aerobics, while chanting, "I have a bad case of diarrhea." The clip, and the other Zuiikin' English footage, are infamous. Those three ladies have earned their place in internet meme history.
Two of them seem to have left show business. But, if you play fighting games, like The Power Rangers or surf nudie pictures, you might be familiar with one of them.
One of actress Rei Saito's first gigs was Zuiikin' English, which debuted on Japan's Fuji TV in 1992. The show aired early in the morning before the morning talk shows kicked into high gear, which is probably why it went largely unnoticed by the entire country. On Japanese television, there are numerous language learning programs (especially English ones) that come and go. What made Zuiikin' English different was that it centered on the concept of connecting language acquisition via voluntary muscle (随意筋 or "zuiikin" in Japanese) movement.
It was an interesting concept, but the whole thing came off as slightly goofy. For Japanese people who rediscover the show now, it reeks of the country's Bubble Economy excess, with its exercise crazes and tight fitting "body con" fashion. Because people doing aerobics to phrases like "I have a bad case of diarrhea" is so unusual, the show inevitably spawned countless internet chuckles.
One of those Zuiikin' Gals, Rei Saito, became far more famous in her native Japan a decade later after appearing in Power Rangers series Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger as the evil Duchess Org Tsuetsue, who was able to turn the evil Orgs into giants. With their color coordinated aerobics outfits, the Zuiikin' Gals were somewhat like early more, English teaching Power Rangers. Her appearance in the mid 1990s Sailor Moon stage shows also provided her with some super sentai cred.
But after Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger ended, Saito released a "full nude" photo book, which was very surprising at the time. These days, it's not uncommon for bikini pin-ups or even well known celebrities to do "hair nude" photo books. Full nude photos still somewhat of a rebellious taboo for mainstream models, and since Power Rangers is a kiddy show, there were raised eyebrows. The book was titled Biyaku (媚薬) or "Aphrodisiac".
Around that same time, Saito started doing voice work for video games, namely SNK games. In 1999, she brought the character of B. Jenet to life in 1999's Garou: Mark of the Wolves and later in The King of Fighters games. She still voices the character, who most recently appeared in The King of Fighters XI and KOF Maximum Impact Regulation "A".
Now in her mid-40s and with her Zuiikin' days long behind her, Saito continues to act, appearing in TV dramas, musicals, and stage plays. Everybody has to start somewhere, and Saito started with a bad case of diarrhea.
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