Saturday, May 06, 2006

Eccentric Young Boy

This is a stage show. With an eccentric boy. And a guy in a silver bird suit. And a cowboy. On TV. In Japan.

Note: Pay attention to the subtitles. They definitely matter.

Lingerie Models Compete for Third Degree Burns

This is how you take a bath. In scalding hot water. For as long as you can. In front of a studio audience. On TV. In Japan.

Writer Sucker Punches Director at Awards

This is how you settle creative differences. On TV. In Japan.

Birdman Sings

This is a man. Dressed as a pigeon. Flapping on about something. On TV. In Japan.

Shrimp Pizza Commercial

This is how you sell pizza. With piles of shrimp. And a lot of shouting. On TV. In Japan.

The Baseball Ballet

This is baseball. With a leg for a bat. And a head for the ball. On TV. In Japan.

The Japanese Tupac Shakur

This is gangsta rap. Wifebeater and hydraulics included. On TV. In Japan.

Question: Does the fact that he sports tatoos connect him (at least in theory) to the Yakuza? Or, in other words, are gansta rappers in Japan essentially Yakuza-rappers?


This is how you sell beer. With action cracking chopsticks. And lots of smoke effects. On TV. In Japan.

Oiled Fat Man Tortures Others For Laughs

Here I was thinking that last post was pretty weird.

Then, I found something even stranger.

Something relatively disturbing. Something involving a chubby semi-naked man with lots of oil torturing another semi-naked man all for the enjoyment of a live audience. Who all seem to think this is the funniest thing they've ever seen.

Prepare yourself for a moment. And then watch this.

Don't Laugh Part Two - Even More Beatings For Laughs

Okay, we're onto a trend of sorts.

I now believe that there may be an entire portion of Japanese television dedicated to trying to get people to laugh and then beating them for doing so.

Following up on my earlier clip about the students who were forced to watch the bad english speaker, comes this awesome clip:

Anyone want to shed some light on this whole beating for laughs thing for me? Is this something you see a lot of in Japan? Is it a take on the respect issue?

Whatever it is, I'll take more.

Crazy Westerner Gets Inside A Giant Balloon On Japanese TV

This is a bald western comedian. Really representing. Inside a balloon. On TV. In Japan.

Friday, May 05, 2006

When Things Get Weird in the Booth

These are sportscasters. With unexpected guests. Who bring props. Oh, and fire extinguishers. On TV. In Japan.

Boxer Wins Fight Then Does Karaoke

This is Rocky. With musical accompaniment. On TV. In Japan.

How to Lose Pounds in 30 Seconds AKA the Fat Loss Morphing Technique

This is a weightloss program. With morphing. On TV. In Japan.

Will Smith On Japanese TV

This is the Fresh Prince. Sitting down for a meal. And getting poked in the butt. On TV. In Japan.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Collection of Japanese Fanta Commercials

This is how you sell Fanta. With teachers in costume. On TV. In Japan.

Men in Body Paint Slap Fighting

These are actors. In body paint. Engaging in a slap fight. To the death. On TV. In Japan.

Thanks to Pacific Dreams for pointing me in the right direction. I'll have a more detailed post on this soon.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Maybe The Single Weirdest Japanese TV Yet

Okay, I'm breaking form for this one. It's just too strange not to write about.

As far as I can tell, this is a game show where students are forced to watch a video of a non-English speaker struggling with trying to sound out English phrases.

The basic idea is not to laugh. Or course, this is hard because watching someone struggle with language skills is almost always cause for hilarity. Especially when you're forced to hold it in.

Unfortunately, there's a slight twist. If the student's do laugh, they are caned by masked men. Yes, full on the ground, butt in the air, painful-as-they-come, caning.

As the game goes on, the students try so very hard not to laugh. Unfortunately, they do not succeed.

You, however, are free to laugh at will.

The Not So Powerful Power Rangers

These are the Power Rangers. With some flaws. And hanging beer guts. On TV. In Japan.

Neo of the Yo-Yo

This is the Matrix. Live on stage. With yo-yos. On TV. In Japan.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Otaku From USA

I first heard the word 'Otaku' a couple years back when I first visited Tokyo for the the Tokyo Game Show. I was there covering the convention and the video game scene for my (still current) day job as TV producer.

One of our translators was translating a question I had asked a Japanese gamer in a small retro video game store in Akihabara (the electronics district of Tokyo). I think the question was something about how 'geeked out' he was to have found a store like the one we were in. He smiled slightly, gave me a pretty good answer and walked away.

After we left the shoot, the translator revealed to me that he was having some trouble figuring out how to translate 'geeked out' but then he remembered the connection to 'Otaku' and it fell into place.

Of course later I found out it's not exactly a term of endearment in Japan and felt really bad about asking that question.

Essentially, Otaku is Japanese for 'geek' or 'nerd', specifcally someone deeply versed/obsessed in the worlds of Anime (Japanese Animation) or Manga (Japanese Comic Books). Mostly, Otaku are seen as being so obsessed with their made-up worlds that they can't live in the real one. Kind of like people I know stuck in World of Warcraft. The term even spawned an awesome TV show that I'll blog about some point in the future called Densha Otoko.

In a strange twist of events, the term has caught on here in the States as a label of pride for geeks of all types, specifically those into Japanese culture.

So why the hell should you care about all of this?

Well, check out this Google Video 'Otaku From USA'. It's a Japanese TV program that chronicled a group of American 'Otaku' on a group tour of a Anime Festival in Japan.

It's basically a nature video about nerds. Totally awesome.

Penguins Sell Super Hard Hair Gel

This is a pengiun. Selling hair gel. Super Hard hair gel. On TV. In Japan.

Snoboarding Chihuahua

This is a dog. Born with the adventure gene. On TV. In Japan.

Godzilla Plays Ball With Kids

This is how kids play baseball. With monsters. On TV. In Japan.

Thanks to Sushimatic for the link and the line!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Entire First Episode of Japanese Spiderman

For those of you who are sick of the mecha-spiderman by now, I apologize.

For those of you who want more of the man/arachnid/machine, feast your eyes upon this:

Check the checklist:

Japanese Spiderman? Check.
Crazy Doctor Doom knock off? Check.
Badass motorcycle stunts? Check.
Awesomely bad editing? Check.
Mechalizards with pickaxe arms? Check.

This may be the best thing ever put to videotape.

The Japanese Tradition - More from the 'Rahmens'

You may (or may not) have seen the video floating around the net titled 'The Japanese Tradition: Sushi' which claims to show viewers proper sushi etiquette and is filled with all sorts of very funny bits.

If you've haven't seen it, go check it out and then come right back.

That video was the work the 'Rahmens' two very out there Japanese comedians. A lot of what they do obviously plays into the western interpretation of Japanese culture but (as far as I can tell) it is originally created for a Japanese audience.

Well, it looks like the Rahmens have created another video, this one about what to do when 'you have troubled somebody'. It gives detailed descriptions of exactly how to express your sorrow at upsetting another's feelings.


NOTE: Google Video went down. YouTube to the rescue.

Thanks to What Tian Has Learned and WFMU's Beware of the Blog for the backstory.

Of course, I need more info on these guys. If you have it, let me know.

Tasteless Yet Very Funny Competition of Large Breasted Japanese Women

This is the SI Swimsuit TV Special. With stretching exercises. And gratutious bikini shots. On TV. In Japan.

Slight warning: While this clip is technically SFW, it does feature a lot of close-ups of breasts in bikinis. Therefore, it could be considered quite tasteless by the more delicate members of the TV in Japan audience.

Tasteless or not, it sure is funny.

Toyota's Human Touch Commerical

This is a Toyota. With extra accessories. And dudes that you sit on. On TV. In Japan.

Power Puff Girls Anime

This is the Power Puff Girls. Put through an anime grinder. On TV. In Japan.

Via the always awesome Waxy.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Salaryman Sings The Blues

This is American Idol. With sweaty middle-aged men. Who forget lyrics. On TV. In Japan.

From a real life Japanese version of TV in Japan.

Carlos Bernard from 24 on Japanese Spoof

This is 24. With Carlos Bernard. Featuring Agent on Agent spanking. On TV. In Japan.

Japanese Match Game With Extra Surprise

This is a game show. With one supremely awesome host. And an unexpected guest. On TV. In Japan.

No Apprentice in Japan - Sorry Donald

Actual TV in Japan news from the LA Times:

It seems that there will be no local version of the Apprentice in Japan. Why?

Well, for one, Donald's catchphrase translates roughtly to "Off with your head!" which is just slightly different from "You're fired!"

But the main reason is that now of the Japanese CEOs were willing to bring attention to themselves in the way that Mr. Trump does.

"Capitalism red in tooth and claw is not how Japan wants to behave."
I say bring in Spider-Man. Let him deal with the Salarymen once in a while.

Via: Reality Blurred

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