Let the games begin!
When you think of Japan, what comes to mind? The once-mysterious island nation is famous for its massive cities, stunning natural beauty, mouth-watering cuisine, and major influence on pop culture. And among its many—indeed, countless—contributions to modern society and entertainment are the infamous Japanese game shows.
Japan is well known for its absurd, comical, and over the top game shows that thrill and shock both players, hosts, and in studio- and at home audiences alike. Notorious for their physical humor, innuendo (or outright erotic nature), seemingly dangerous challenges, and brutal punishments, these programs took traditional calm game shows and flipped them on their head. This started a revolution around the world where other countries started replicating the concepts and ideas from the original Japanese shows in order to try and attract similar followings and ratings.
Of course, at least when it comes to the United States and the many laws and restrictions we have for what can appear on broadcast television, these imitation shows are nowhere near as good as the originals. Even with short-lived attempts like Hole in the Wall, I Survived a Japanese Game Show, and Silent Library or bigger hits like Wipeout and American Ninja Warrior, the level of absurdity is much more tame.
Though we may never have ridiculous game shows in the U.S.A. like they have in Japan, it doesn’t mean we can’t love them! Check out some of the wildest game shows ever to come out of Japan!
This high-stress game show forces individuals and teams to solve a variety of challenging problems and puzzles… sounds pretty standard, right?
The catch here is that contestants are forced to answer these various questions in extremely high-stress scenarios, such as while standing over a seemingly-bottomless pit on a shrinking platform, or while in a room that is rapidly flooding.
Could you handle the pressure? The puzzles and problems these people are forced to attempt to solve in these scenarios don’t look like they’re very easy, either. I feel like my brain would shut off in these situations! I could never survive a Japanese game show…
This show doesn’t leave much to the imagination in more ways than one. Based on the title, you’ve probably figured out by now exactly what conspires in this deceivingly-difficult Japanese game show: A person must successfully cross over a long line of other people while trying not to fall off.
The fun part is that the line of people are actually a bunch of bikini-clad women covered in oil. To add to that, the contestant is usually a middle-aged man because hey, why not? While it seems like a fun and silly game, we have to wonder how much fun this show would still be after a while. Do they switch things up to make it more challenging or more ridiculous? Guess I’ll have to watch more clips to find out…
Would you sign up to play this game?
“Gaki no Tuskai” – The A$$ Game
Affectionately known as “The A$$ Game,” this ridiculous show has various forms of play, but it mainly consists of two players in the center of the stage competing to answer the most questions correctly. Of course, failure to answer these questions results in a series of horrible penalties, which is a theme many of these Japanese game shows have in common! One of the most unique penalties of all, the losing player will have either a teammate or stranger—whose rear end is partially or entirely exposed—move closer with each wrong answer until—you guessed it—their butt ends up in their face!
Do you think this game is funny, or does it leave a bad taste in your mouth? You might never look at your friend the same way again if you went on as teammates and walked out losers…