The future is like a Japanese Game Show; you have no idea what's going on.
. Wonderful little country that it is, it has given us anime
, and katanas
to name just a fraction of the goodies of the Land of the Rising Sun. None, however, can really compare to an Insane Japanese Gameshow.
The trope has elements stemming back to the Heian period of history which began the Manzai
tradition. The Manzai was comedy surrounding the tsukkomi and boke
. This practice continued throughout the Edo and Meiji Periods. The practices of comedic routines ended during the periods of WWI and WWII, in which militarism was key. The end of the Showa Period and beginning of the Heisei Period ushered in the new wave of technologies that soon took advantage of a society starved for entertainment.
One of the best examples of this new entertainment is an Insane Japanese Gameshow (known as Variety Show in the native country), a Slapstick
program that tests the mettle of contestants in a series of physical challenges that ultimately have no goal and almost no prize. In all, the show must have three properties to qualify for this trope:
- It must be made in Japan or be an import from Japan. Naturally, you would expect a Japanese game show to be made in Japan.
- It must be ridiculous. This is one of the main reasons that the Japanese has come to be seen as lovers of all things insane.
- It must carry some form of embarrassment for contestants. Be it whacked in the balls, getting drenched in tar, having a banana shoved up their ass (after other people did the same thing to the same banana), or being pushed into a pool of water by a giant wall; the game provides a great deal of people laughing at your misfortune (note: all of the examples are real life).
The use of the Insane Japanese Gameshow trope is often used in comedic media as a way to increase the humor of the situation. It allows the audience a chance to laugh at the misfortune of the participants or generally increase the absurdity
of the current scene.
Subtrope of Game Show
. Compare with Calvinball
, Gag Series
, and Widget Series
. Contrast with Serious Business
. However popular they become, Insane Japanese Gameshows should never be taken seriously.
Live Action TV
- Saint's Row The Third contained the side mission "Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax!" (or "S.E.R.C.") Players make their way through an obstacle course of lightning and fire while killing mascots and shooting targets. Make it to the end and you keep all the money that you earned during the run. Don't shoot the pandas as killing them is UNETHICAL!
- A recent DLC was Genkibowl VII, in which the entire city is under Genki's control and the stunts are turned Up to Eleven.
- Robot Chicken used this concept with the skit "Who Poop Last"? Contestants eat a pile of bananas and sit on the toilet. The winner is the contestant that...well, you get the point.
- A famous episode of The Simpsons, "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" had the "The Happy Smile Super Challenge Family Wish Show".