Must be Monday. New podcast! Just click on the fancy logo below.
Series: Run For Money Tousouchuu
Run For Money Tousouchuu
is a Japanese Game Show
that has been airing as a series of specials on Fuji TV since 2004. It usually airs one new episode every couple months. As of this writing, the most recent new episode aired on April 14, 2013, bringing the total to 32 episodes. note
It spun off a short-lived US version by the name of Cha$e
on the Syfy
There were a number of spinoffs which were mostly short-lived, the current spinoff was titled Battle For Money Sentouchuu
premiered on May 19, 2012; the newest (fourth) episode aired on April 7, 2013. One week before the recent episode of Tousouchuu.
At the start of each game, contestants are set loose to roam in a set playing area, and must remain inside the area for the duration of the game. The show then releases "Hunters
" into the area, paid agents whose sole goal is to chase down and tag the contestants. If a player is tagged by a Hunter, they are eliminated from the game. Breaking line of sight for a couple seconds will cause them to give up the chase - note, leading them around a pillar does not break line of sight long enough for them to stop. note
Usually one game lengthes 90 to 120 minutes.note
Each episode gives players various "Missions" to complete during the game, each of which carries a reward for successfully completing it in time and/or a penalty for failing to do so. Missions vary widely by episode, although two types of missions are fairly common:
- A part or the whole of the current playing area is set to be closed off. Players are given several minutes advance notice, and must vacate the section before it is closed. Fail to do so resulted a disqualification - either directly disqualified, or tagged out by a large number of hunters released in that areanote .
- Several Hunters is set to be released around the play area (usually in form of Several Boxes, each containing a Hunter). Players are given hints to stop the hunter to be released (e.g. locking the box or setting up blockades). Fail to do so within mission time will release all hunters not locked/blocked.
Rewards for success often include an item which helps the player(s) evade Hunters, expanding game area, increased money amounts, shortening game timenote
, while penalties for failure often include the addition of more Hunters to the game, handicaps that make it easier to be spotted by Hunters, reducing prize money, or outright immediate elimination.
Players earn money for every second they evade the Hunters, but lose it all if they are eliminated from the gamenote
. Unlike the American spin-off, this ticker is actually meaningful - whenever Tousouchuu
offers players a chance to leave the game, the offer is to take the money they have accumulated up to the exact second they accept the offer, as opposed to a small fixed amount. The amount of money earned per second and the total time limit differs from episode to episode; the top prize for lasting the entire game is usually around 1 to 1.5 million yen. Although, for the sake of player's image in real world. Bailout from the game is considered as a last resort by most of the players.
Differences from Cha$e
include a lack of an exit. If you are in the game when the time expires, you win the full prize. Even if you were two meters in front of a hunter about to tag you. All players remaining in the game win the full amount.
Though basically all players are on their own in most of the times, a certain level of teamwork is required at some point in the game. Many missions must be done as a team of 2 or more (sometimes everybody
). Teaming up are not only useful in missions, hunters (generally) can only capture one player at a time. If he's chasing two, the second is likely to escape for the moment. Thus if more people remain in the game,you're more likely to succeed. In worst case, fail to team up with others would essentially cause player's disqualification.
Hunters will be always on moving patrol or chase (through may take a very brief halt for looking around) through the game. They're also unlikely to patrol in areas where an active mission is taking place, especially in the final seconds of missions.
Over time, the show has developed its own plotlines and mythology through cutscenes and occasional materials planted in the game, often simultaneously using them to explain missions. Initially, these plotlines were self-contained in each episode and simply connected together the missions in the episode, but they have since started developing into multi-episode Story Arcs
In Episode 15 a mysterious "Game Master
", which shown as behind the game, was introduced at the end. Though, the overall Myth Arc
would not surface until Episode 22, which that episode revealed the the real identity of Game Master
, backstory of the game, as well as some backstory of previous keywords like Chronos or hunters.WARNING: Folder's content contained spoilers of Background Settings of both Tousouchuu/Sentouchuu Universe!
- The background story is set in A.D.2900. 400 years ago the moon's colonization has started due to the unsuitability of living in the earth. However, the overpopulation problem continues in the moon, as well as conflicts and wars on resources.
- Chronos, which appeared in some episodes (including previous Chronos spinoffs), turned out to be one of the largest enterprise in the moon. There is also a academy under Chronos names "Chronos Creators Plant", training apprentice game-masters.
- The Sunglasses of hunters was specially designed, it recorded every player's appearance before each game started. (There was mission involved hunters wearing normal Sunglasses rather than designed one). When a player is being chased, it not only display locked-on target also displayed targetted player's name(As seen by everyone in the show). As of this writing, it seems locking multiple targets (In Episode 22) or switching a active target to other while chasing (In Episode 32) was possible.
- The Game Master of Tousouchuu is named Satoshi Tsukimura, employed in Entertainment department in Chronos. His primary ambition was succeeding his deceased mother's ambition, to provide enough playarea for children by investing on colonial improvement, which Tousouchuu was designed as of the the profit-maker.
- Hunters are androids invented by Satoshi for the sake of the Tousouchuu. Sentouchuu's Shinobis are more or less the same, but they were invented and developed by someone else.
- Knowing its possible military potential of hunters by many others (which can use to control a human), a lot of people, including the CEO(by then) of Chronos were going after it, which their plan was known as Project Hunter X. To move forward with the plan, they had secretly sabotaged Satoshi since the first gamenote while searching methods to activate the hunters on their own, their plan almost succeed before Entertainment department chief (thus Satoshi's boss) Hanzou revealed the CEO of Chronos was behind it and foiled the plan before get the controlling device. Through, at the end of that game Satoshi was blown up by a bomb set off by the CEO.
- Though Satoshi survived from the blast, he suffered heavy injury which make him unable to host the game for a period. His boss Hanzou , while announced his new game Sentouchuu and hosted it, gave Satoshi a hand, hosted 2 games during recovery. The CEO took her fall, but since she takes all the crimes herself, she let some persons who also involved out of investigation.
- After Satoshi's recovery, he announced Tousouchuu Ultimate, a largest extent of Tousouchuu possible he could organize and started his prepretion, which later the event was held successfully. After that game, two apprentice game-masters trained by Chronos were sent to assist Satoshi. However, one of them was a spy sent from a ex-member or Chronos, now working in rival company Helios, which attempted to heavily militarize the colony. (As events in episode 32 the two apprentices were granted permission in game's mission's involvement)
- All Or Nothing: Unless you take the bailout option.
- Bonus Round: In some episodes, winners who last until the clock runs out can either take the money and quit or opt into an extra round, risking all their winnings for the chance at a significantly larger sum.
- Home Game: Bandai has made a board game version. Also a handheld game version.
- Whammy: Being caught by a Hunter.
- Personnel: Only The Announcer. In an unusual move for a game show, there's no traditional Game Show Host onscreen; the closest the show gets is Game Master Satoshi Tsukimura, who is only occasionally seen and generally does not interact directly with the players.
This show provides examples of:
- Ain't No Rule: There is no rule stating unused items are void if the holder is eliminated (at least in most of the games), especially if a mission failure is unavoidable due to players holding a mission item getting caught (from the producer's view). Which means, it basically doesn't break the rules for active players to ask ousted players for mission items. Kiyohara did this in episode 28, which would end up winning him the game.
- Affectionate Parody: Akan Keisatsu, a Fuji TV-produced comedy featuring popular manzai group Downtown, features "Tousou CHUU", where 5 contestants are trapped in a area, running from steadily increasing numbers of crossdressers, same production graphics and all. Till now, all episodes featured this would end up in all participants get lipstick-kissed out before the end.
- There are 4 players which participated both. JOY, which participated both commented "Tousou CHUU" was nothing more than a horror.
- Arc Words: Often repeated by the announcer: (paraphrased) "For every second, the pot goes up (x) yen. If they survive, (total!) But if they get caught... zero!"
- Blind Alley: One team in episode 29 (August 2012) hides between closely-packed print club machines. It doesn't work. They both randomly get found and eliminated by Hunters that, unfortunately for them, were running their regular patrol routes.
- Chekhov's Gun: In episode 26 (January 2012), one NPC met early on was a fortune-teller who told players to "beware of blue things". A few minutes later, players had to face a Wire Dilemma, where the blue wire was the one that would release an additional Hunter into the game.
- Deadly Training Area: Sort of. The players with the non-alarmed vests in episode 29 at one point need to go into a separated-off area of the game area (the Hunter Zone) with three Hunters in close proximity (the area is 80m x 40m) where they need to retrieve a combination to stop the alarms on their partners' vests from going off whenever they move and attracting all sorts of Hunter trouble. Four go in at once, and only two make it out, but with the combination and saving the rest from becoming Hunter beacons.
- Ultimate one-upped this with the Shinobi Zone, where the eliminated players had a chance to navigate an area filled with the Sentouchuu ninjas, where getting tagged by their attack footballs would permanently eliminate them from the game. Furthermore, the exit is locked outside, which means unless they cannot get out unless active players give them a hand. Even two active eliminated players gave them a hand, but only one player escaped. It was later found out the Shinobis in this episode were used as test-bed for the twin-Shinobi in the following Sentouchuu.
- Difficulty Spike: Many games start out very easy, then sometime after the halfway point comes a Nintendo Hard mission which causes players drop like flies. Particularly common with the "vacate the area before it closes" missions, which usually close off the easiest hiding places, resulting in the elimination of many players who have been trying to camp out in a corner somewhere as they either get caught on their way out or don't make it out in time.
- Even despite this there have only been 5 episodes out of 32 (8 including the 9 epsiode of spinoffs) so far in which no player won nor successfully bailed-out.
- Divide and Conquer: The overarching mechanic at play in episode 30. There's a red area and a blue area. Very early on in the game, the only passage between the two areas is closed off; 5 players end up in the larger (blue) area with two Hunters pursuing them, and 10 players end up in the smaller (red) area with only one Hunter giving chase. There are two levers on each side that can be pulled; the first side to pull both their levers locks the Hunter Box on their side while simultaneously opening the opposite Hunter Box. A second Hunter ends up being released into the red area. And blue further locks down a hunter in later mission. After some times the passage has cleared, and they have a chance to remove their vests, which they were asked to wear it on right after the area has divided. Failing to do so in time will make themselves from being "marked" as criminals by the rival faux-Capulet/Montague fathers, harassed by the townsfolk, and hence attracting the attention of the Hunters. Since it must be removed each other by a red and a blue pair, red team, which have 2 more members than the blue, will have at least two players screwed up by that. And it did, one caught in the middle and one caught as the consequence above.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode had no framing device, no missions, and lasted less than an hour.
- Exact Time to Failure: Mission time limits are enforced to the exact second. Even when the mission is something like "figure out the password to lock the gate before the additional Hunters arrive", players will be told the exact time at which the Hunters will reach the gate, and they will arrive at that exact time down to the second.
- Game Over: We're shown a game over screen at the end if the last activenote player is caught.
- In episode 18, a Game Over occurred in only half a hour as a consequence of a failed mission releasing 30 hunters (making a total of 34) into the game. To avoid a short show, the producers threw together a redemption minigame with the players divided into 4 groups, completion of which allowed all but the last group to finish to reenter the game. Two extra Hunters were added to the patrollers as a penalty.
- Genre Blindness: In Episode 27 (April 2012), the runners were faced with a mission of inflating one of 2 balloons to bursting - one in a red box, the other blue - one balloon contained a switch that would open up an additional area, the other had a Hunter inside. They picked blue.
- A general example: trying to run from a Hunter by going out into a wide-open area. The only way to get them off your back is to break line-of-sight. People have tried to make sudden turns to throw off the Hunters, but they are essentially in peak physical condition and can react to this - you are simply not going to outrun them. Even if they are an active athlete - many of them end up being caught like normal players, through they might able to buy a few more seconds.
- Also, failing to pay attention and not being Properly Paranoid have lead to many eliminations.
- Another general example is the inevitable contestant(s) who just try to find a safe hiding spot and camp out until time runs out. It never works, since they either (a) catch the attention of a passing Hunter, who catches them easily because they've already backed themselves into a corner, or (b) a mandatory mission comes up, and they get caught or run out of time trying to complete it because they had already put themselves at a disadvantage by being in a distant secluded corner somewhere, maximizing the distance they have to travel to complete the mission. They also tend not to realize that if a mission requires players to go to specific location(s), there usually aren't very many Hunters near those places, because the show would be boring if the producers made all the missions impossibly hard. Instead, they just continue to camp out in places where Hunters are more likely to patrol.
- Even all the missions are concluded, camping usually don't work either. Two players did it in episode 23 and episode 29, but both ended up blindsided by hunters in final minutes. Ironically, both were hiding in the bushes.
- Gratuitous English: BOB SAPP of all people invokes this frequently in the Epidode 32(April 2013), though it's usually when he's wondering out loud.
- He did somewhat similar the Episode 4 of Sentouchuu, aired a week ago that episode - It did give lot of pressure to other players (and make it as a big advertising point indeed) but he got eliminated quickly only in 20 minutes when a player decided to pick up on him. History Repeats.
- Hold the Line / Instant-Win Condition: The moment the clock hits 0:00, everybody left in the game wins, even if they're running from a Hunter three meters behind them.
- Averted in Episode 7 and hardcore averted in Ultimate; see below.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: In Episode 32, a player said he had cleared every stage of the video game version. Which he claimed a pathway just patrolled by a hunter was not safe yet and turned back. But reality was, there was another hunter patrolling in the way he was crossing, which spotted him and easily got him in the chase. He could not made himself return the game in the revival minigame either even only one hunter existed there.
- In the Back: Though hunters usually do not ambush players at locations where a mission is active, a few players end up tagged out with no or little chance to run due to lack of attention.
- For example, in episode 15, after a player carried and placed a bonus box on a designated checkpoint, he dealt with the second one nearby (dropped by another player who had to run from a Hunter), but a patrolling Hunter instantly got him in the back just moments after he placed the second bonus box. Ironically he was credited as the sole contributor of the 200,000-yen bonus obtained in the mission, even though one of the two boxes was essentially moved by another player from the beginning.
- In episode 22 a player successfully saved another player from being tagged out by locking down a hunter through item acquired in mission. But another hunter got him at the back when the player just finished unloading that heavy, one-use-only item. Through a third player immediately locked down that hunter too at the back but it is too late.
- Locked in a Freezer: Episode 29's narrative device.
- The Men In Black: The Hunters. Black suit over a white shirt and a black tie with black pants? Check. Sunglasses? Check. No indication of a personality or emotions? Check. They never even say a word, and are only referred to by code names of 2 numbers followed by 2 letters, such as "01KR" and "02NN".
- Mercy Lead: Most games start with an opening mini-game, where a individual, or the whole group, can get a head start if he/she/they win. For example, in episode 30, five players have a chance to buy the runners a 60-second head start by calling out a number of seconds and hitting a button up to but not 1 second over their bet. Success adds that number of seconds to the head start timer, but hitting the button too early or too late starts the game and releases three Hunters from the cage near the plunger, which is no more than 10 meters away. The first three players succeed and build up a head start of 35 seconds, but the fourth player, betting 10 seconds, hits the button just after 11 seconds elapsed, prematurely starting the game and ensuring her doom. Almost all players who fail the starting mini-game get caught quickly, but not always.
- Mystery Box: An overall playing mechanism in Episode 32. A total number of 4 tresure boxes were placed in game time by time. The players are told that boxes might contain a "merit" or "demerit" for whoever finds it. Aya Umeda went for one and takes home with 100,000-yen worth gold piles.note Tanaka went for the other and got a map marked with the location of the playfield expansion device, through not available until the storyline reaches to a certain point.The third box, obviously much bigger then any else, contains a hunter and the player opened it, the hunter was released and the opener was got caught quickly. The last box contains 3 buns, which is essentially a key item for the last mission prevent 5 hunters to be released.
- Used subversively in Ultimate. One of the players in Ultimate stumbles onto a room that says "Entering this room guarantees you a free pass into the next round (the second hour of the game). However, it's risky to use this." He entered and became trapped in the room with his cell phone disabled and two Hunters were released outside the room, creating a Hunter Zone. After the second round started, the other players are given an optional mission to go in and bail him out before the doors auto-open and leave him at the mercy of the Hunters. At this point his cell phone becomes active and he starts frantically calling the other players for help; many, such as Kiyohara, say they'll help but after getting off the phone blow him off. He eventually does get rescued.
- My Greatest Second Chance: In many mission ousted player can be returned to game in some mechanisms. One of the most common format is pausing the main game, and a mini game was held among ousted player themselves - Usually these mission will be Nintendo Hard however - usually at least one player will return to the game to make the show more interesting in producers' view. At least one player has been caught once, but ended up winning the full amount of money.
- Bailed out player are not allowed to take part in such games, nor being brought back into game. As they technically considered has left the game.
- Non-Player Character: Later episodes frequently had hired actors involved in the missions. Some of them are directly involved in mission, not always. In recent episodes, some NPC not mentioned in the mission mail may have a key role in that mission.
- Usually, requests from NPC outside mission period will be given rewards, which may be key items or advantages which will be useful, or even required in following mission (But it is not always the case.There were cases that item obtained in side mission was completely useless in game).
- Obvious Rule Patch: In episode 1, someone climbed up onto a tree. This was immediately outlawed in episode 2 - a valid hiding area must be accessible by foot.
- Opt Out / Screw This, I'm Outta Here: A few players might play in style that making their own safety before bail out as their very first priority and ignoring others. These are unlike players vows to bailout at the beginning (most of them say that due to the fear of hunters, but would rather put other's sake or mission as their higher priority). They just want to take the prize and ignoring everything else. Such players are considered fairly nasty and unsportsmanlike, which Laser-Guided Karma may come after them - outside the show.
- In Episode 15, all players must go to one of the two checkpoints on time in order to remove the 10 roadblocks. Which everyone else immediately heading to the nearest one, a player decide to just stay at his position and ignore the consequences of his act. A player tried to drag him to checkpoint, but failed due to evading a hunter and realizing no time left for her as well and go on herself. Luckily for everyone else, he got caught by another hunter a minute later, avoided the likely mission failure.
- In episode 30. The last mission of the episode featured the players looking for the stolen wealth of the faux-Capulets, which is the narrative device in that episode, to resolve the story happily. As time whittles down looking for the Plot Coupon, Suzuki, mulling over whether or not to bail out, panics when he sees a Hunter in the distance. He immediately makes a break for the gold box to take the bailout value, earning the scorn of the peanut gallery. Fortunately for him, Kasuga finds it with seconds to spare. And Suzuki's Karma came after him in both the real world and next episode, which his fanbase turned against him, forcing him to close the Twitter account. And in Ultimate, he was screwed as a result of other's bailout (see below)
- And instead, Kasuga who resolved that mission, was treated as a heroic character in the Tousouchuu/Sentouchuu Universe, which a statue was build in that village after him refering to that event.
- In Ultimate, in the middle of the last mission before the Ultimate condition becomes active (see There Can Be Only One), Shirota bails out in the middle of a mission where the players need to pair up and scan each other to stop the GPS on their phones from enabling and sending the Hunters right to them, which essentially screwed up a player. Ironically, the one Shirota screwed was Suzuki, who almost screwed up a mission in previous episode, due to his bailout. He tried to bailout again but as everybody expected he was caught before that.
- In early episodes, there was a countermeasure of unnecessary bail out - a hunter box is placed next to the bailout switch, which would be released when a player bailed out. This will unavoidably labeling the bail-out as a traitor.
- Power-Up Food: A mechanism used by NPC in many episodes. Which involve giving food to other person to restore his strength, which the NPC will get rid of hunters or buzzers in return.
- In Episode 27. One player received a bun in a side mission, but he thought that was mere nothing but a normal bun and eat it in place. When the final mission required two NPC to get rid of the buzzers, he get to the place where two NPC are, but when they said they were deplated and need a bun to work for them, he regretted.
- Serious Business / Laser-Guided Karma : Out of universe. The show is popular in Japan, any unsportsmanlike behavior (e.g. unnecessary bailout) in the game can cause a player under heavy fire from fans in the real world.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: A Japanified Romeo and Juliet is Episode 30's narrative device.
- Stalked by the Bell: Some player-specific mission may involve penalty onto player(s) who failed to do it. Ranging from buzzing devices on that player to being locked into a area with large number of Hunters. Through, all these penalties above essentially equals to disqualification unless the mission can still be done after time limit that disadvantage triggered.
- Tag Team: Episode 29 essentially features a team battle - 6 players were awarded two jackets in first mission, and they must give the other jacket to a player (in opposite sex and not already in other team) to form a team. If at least one of the two in a team takes the prize money, his/her teammate will also be awarded in same amount even being disqualifiednote , players who failed to form a team will not be disqualified but will be on his/her own until the end.
- However, everybody was caught in that episode so no one gets the prize.
- There Can Be Only One: Ultimate features an alternate win condition, which isn't disclosed to the players until there are under 15 minutes remaining in the game: once the game clock expires, the game continues to go on until only one player is left standing, who wins a doubled pot. In effect, the players are all on their own and have no more incentive to help each other. To help things along, the game difficulty raises to extreme levels, starting from bringing in buzzers on mopeds who patrol the area and whistle when they spot one of the remaining players, and eventually culminating in every single Hunter previously frozen in the game area becoming active.
- Turn Coat: In episode 27, after considerable confusion is sown about if one of the players is a traitor, they're instructed to send someone up to the top of a nearby tower to learn their identity. The player who gets there discovers there was no traitor to begin with, but is offered to become the traitor for 300,000 yen bonus per player he helps eliminate (but only paid if he win or bailout). He can't bring himself to do it.
- A similar thing has been used in part of the overtime game in Episode 7 note . While in the final 20 minutes, 4 players eliminated players were randomly picked as traitors to share a 500,000 yen consolation prize if all the remaining players got caught in 20 minutes. 2 players were screwed by them (particularly on Manabe, who tried to save other player at the main game. Which even traitor would called out his follow traitor a bastard). As there was still someone standing at the end the traitors lost.
- Timed Mission: Nearly every mission has a time limit which is enforced to the exact second, some of which automatically and immediately eliminate players who don't complete it in time.
- Wire Dilemma: The locking mechanism on the Hunter Boxes in Episode 26. Cut the correct wire and Hunter Box is locked, cut the wrong wire and the box immediately opens to release an additional Hunter into the game, who would almost certainly tag you right away. The player in question cut the incorrect one and was caught despite a valiant effort to get away.
- Up to Eleven: This is what Ultimate is. The biggest playfield of any episode thus far, the biggest contestant pool (30 players), more Hunters in play note than any other episode, and the biggest jackpot paid out for a person in the game's history as a winner must be produced.Among other things, it involved bringing in the ninjas from Sentouchuu, but it was not in any way helpful to the players.
- Zerg Rush: A common scene if a player get stuck in a area filling with a large amount of hunters: Failure to vacate an area that's about to be closed off doesn't always eliminate a player immediately; they're sometimes locked in while a large number of Hunters (up to 100) are released into it, and are nearly always shocked by the blob of Hunters coming after them, then got eliminated by one of the groups very shortly.
- This would brought to dizzying extremes in Ultimate, as they instrumented it differently.