Author: haydenmcgirr

Cut, that’s a wrap! Final thoughts

Congratulations, you’ve successfully made it to the end of the series of blog posts for my individual research project for digc330. The end product of this research will be for me to create a short video in the style of Japanese game show by using the techniques that I have explored in these blog posts.

Throughout the duration of these posts we have explored the way in which Japanese game shows create their comedy aspect, often through the misfortune of their contestants. We have also looked at the way in which parody versions of Japanese game shows enjoy great international success, by looking in particular at Takeshi’s castle parody MXC. In this weeks post I would like to explore the resurgence in these shows through the Internet, in particular video sharing websites such as YouTube.

We have already explore how Japanese game shows have been parodied in the west, and how this led to a viewership of people who would not have otherwise heard of them, but in furthering my research I have also discovered that this may also be due to the availability of clips from these shows been made available online. Thanks to sites such as YouTube all the pain, I mean fun of Japanese game shows is at all of our fingertips online, with many videos having views in the hundred thousands to millions which once again shows the popularity these television programs are enjoying around the globe. The fact that these videos are also been recently added to youtube shows that they may also be in the midst of a resurgence thanks to an online medium in which to view them.

Well that just about brings me to a close for the final blog for the series of posts on Japanese game shows for my digital research project. Thanks for sharing the journey for me, and keep enjoying those terribly funny, yet painful, and often embarrassing shows we love known as Japanese game shows.

Japanese game shows cultural parodies

G’day readers, in this weeks exciting instalment of my digc330 research project on Japanese game shows we will be looking at cultural parodies or adaptions of the iconic shows in question.

For many of us out there our first real taste of a Japanese game show came from the internationally acclaimed most extreme elimination challenge, more commonly referred to as ‘MXC’. What we may not know about this show however is it was originally a game show that aired in America from the late 1980’s to 1990’s called Takeshi’s Castle. The show was, a huge success across the U.S where it was originally re-edited as well as the rest of the world mainly due to the painful injuries sustained by some of the characters, as well as its wonderfully comedic hosts Vick Romano and Kenny Blankenship. For extensive research purpose, and for your own viewing pleasure I shall leave a link to the top 25 most painful eliminations of the duration of the show at the bottom of this post. The great thing about the cultural parodies of these Japanese game shows, in particular MXC is that they have bought this form of television programming to parts of the world, and to people who otherwise would not have known of their existence or at least not have thought of watching them, and this is the true marvel behind the cultural parody of such shows.

In addition to this, you can even see evidence of western television stations attempting to incorporate or adapt the ideas first presented in the Japanese programs into their own show, for example the not so popular Australian TV show ‘wipe out’. This show showed a huge resemblance to Takeshi’s castle in that competitors had to complete a hideously difficult challenge, or course that often resulted in a hilarious injury and elimination. Unfortunately most of these adaptions did not share in the popularity of the original shows, or even the original remakes of MXC and this is rather curious. I believe that this is due to a loss of part of the comedy aspect in adaption of the original shows to a more western format, this world also explain why MXC was successful due to it only been A comedy dub over the original footage. It will be a challenge, but I shall endeavour to keep this comedy factor in my remake of a show for my final product of the research project.

Thanks for dropping by this week and sharing my thoughts on Japanese game shows once more, be sure to drop by next week for more updates and insights.

Yes, yes I know I didn’t forget. As promised here is the part of the post you have all been waiting for. Enjoy the top 25 most painful eliminations of MXC or Takeshi’s castle. Enjoy your bone crushing, spleen wrenching comedy.

Come on downnnn!… An introduction to Japanese game shows

Good evening and welcome to the second instalment of blogposts for the Digc330 digital Asia subject. This portion of my blogging will be concentrating on my research for my individual research project, in which I have chosen to focus on the interesting cultural phenomenon which is Jaoanese games shows.

We have all word of them, most of us have seen at least clips of them on the Internet, but how many of you truly understand the inner working of a Japanese game show? Culturally speaking western game shows are a test of knowledge, skill, and ability and often reward achievements in these areas with prizes of currency and various objects. Whilst the same is true for that of Japanese game shows, we often see a certain comedic element to the shows themselves. And whilst they still focus on the ability of contestants in various tasks, these tasks are often painful, or painfully funny for the audience to watch. I am reminded of perhaps the first time I encountered the idea of a Japanese game show in my child hood, as many of you out there may have also experienced it on the Simpsons. In an episode entitled “30 seconds over Tokyo” the Simpson family are forced to enter a Japanese game show to win tickets back to America. Perhaps the greatest quote of this episode which sums up Japanese game shows is when the host tells them that Japanese game shows are different to the ones they are used to “… In America you reward correct answers, here we punish incorrect ones” (fun fact: this was the episode with mr sparkle in it).

It is my hope, that the final product of my research on this topic will be to recreate a Japanese style game show and film it for the final product of my individual research project. Of course I will have to omit some potentially terrifying scenes that could befall my competitors unlike the originals. So please feel free to continue reading the blog for weekly updates on my research and how the project is going.

Another Gojira post

G’day viewers, (sorry again for the opening) if you don’t know that one go educate yourself on Paul hogan. Today’s post continues in the topic we have been exploring on Godzilla (or Gojira) so we’ve already focused on some of the themes present throughout the film, but this week I thought I would touch on the Asian film industry and what effects Hollywood has on its market here in the west.

Firstly I would like to apologise for the start of my post, but I like to start each one fresh with a new greeting and hopefully educate some people out there on older pop culture. Secondly, I would just like to make it known to all you fine folks out there on how many Godzilla movies have been released over the years. Keep in mind that this list is only remakes of the original and there is a heap more sequels and prequels, ok here we go don’t hold your breath while reading this you may pass out; Gojirra (1954), Godzilla (1985), Godzilla (1998), Godzilla (2000), Godzilla (2003), Godzilla (2004) and finally Godzilla (2014). Ok let me just point out that this trend is increasing look at how many have been released in such a short time since 1998, if this trend keeps up we will soon be run by Godzilla movies. They should make a film about that! The number of these films that have been released simply astounded me! I mean surely you would think the idea would get stale after a bit? But obviously not. This got me thinking, if Hollywood has adapted this movie so many times what else have they stolen…oh sorry I mean adapted from the Asian film market? So me been very found of lists have prepared one more of films that have been adapted or the plots taken and inserted into western movies, prepare yourself some of your favourites may be here; the departed is an adaption of infernal affairs (Hong Kong), the magnificent seven is an adaption of seven samurai (Japan), and what really amazed was the classic western from client Eastwood fistful of dollars is an adaption of the 1961 Japanese movie Yojimbo. Fancy that a cowboy movie, made by Italians, off a Japanese movie script it’s almost enough to boggle the mind. The only reason I see for doing this but is to either assimilate the eastern movies to ur audiences by changing the plot slightly and injecting actors who we are familiar with to create bigger box office appeal with western audiences, either this or Hollywood is simply out of any new big ideas and so looks to Asian markets for help. I find this to be a little wrong in a way though, why is it that Hollywood has a corner in the film market here in the west? Surely the Asian film markets should be allowed the same opportunity in selling their films over here? I mean Bollywood is one of the fastest growing film industries in the world with millions of viewers around the world yet you are hard pressed to see any Bollywood films in any theatres here in Australia.

Ok that’s enough of me ranting for one week, I hope you enjoyed the post today and perhaps learnt a thing or too about some films. If nothing at all you may now be familiar with Paul hogan which you can thank me for later.

Back to basics – Gojira returns!!

As the late great Alfred Hitchcock would start off; good evening viewers, tonight’s tale of auto ethnographical horror comes to you from the desk of my study, where Gojira returns once more. If any of you don’t know who Alfred Hitchcock is I insist that you immediately stop reading this post and go hang your head in shame, after completing that task I highly edge you to google his name or even better ask your grandparents about him. Why did I start the post like that I hear you all asking? Well that simple, I realised that my prior post about Gojira was lacking a bit in term of auto ethnography and so decided to beef it up a bit and explore it more in depth with a second post, secondly I just always like to talk like Hitchcock.

I was first exposed to Godzilla as a young boy, I remember sitting in my living room with my father on a Sunday afternoon and dad had the TV fixed on Godzilla, asking him now even he wasn’t aware that it was originally Gojira. Which seems odd because when we were kids running around in the yard playing Godzilla the one line you always quoted from the film was “runnnn it’s Gojirrrrraaaa”. Which like anyone I used to see as racist until I learnt the actual name of the creature. To me the film deals with many issues that would have been present in a post war Japan, as well as the natural horror of a giant 150ft monster that rises out of Tokyo bay to demolish an entire city. As I mentioned in my last post, the fear of radiation or anything associated with the word nuclear in this time period was a frightening concept, this is mainly due to the effect and devastation that occurred in Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped in 1945. And I think this fear is both well founded and still present today. Think of it, if any of you hear of something nuclear we instantly think of the bombs, Chernobyl, or a disaster of some sort without even thinking of the benefits that nuclear energy, or nuclear medicine has given to the world. And in my mind it is always going to be this way, and rightly so due to the mass devastation of Hiroshima and negasaki and this is where I think one of the horror elements of the film is derived from. Also on the adaption of the film for a western audience I am led to believe that this was the start of a trend of Hollywood cashing in on eastern movies, especially in the 90’s and early 2000’s many Hollywood movies were simply remakes or adaptions of eastern films that had already been made but adapted for a western audience.

Righty-o, that’s it for me here in cyber world. So enjoy the rest of your evening and I’ll catch you next week with more exciting updates.

DIGC330 – humble beginnings

Well here we are again, another brand new exciting session of uni here at the university of Wollongong, and this sessions blogging subject is Digc330 (digital Asia). Those of you that have been following my blog may notice a change in my writing style over the next couple of posts, I always strive to add a personal touch to my posts here on the gravity of things however in this class we will be endeavouring to explore the auto ethnography style of writing. This style of writing leads the author on a more personal experience of what they are writing about and hopefully draw me closer to you good folk out there on the net.

So this week in digc330 we are taking a look at the classic film ‘Gojira’. Yes I am aware that I typed it Gojira and not Godzilla, see Gojira is the original movie classic made in Japan in 1954, where’s the Godzilla we all know and love was a modern adaption for western audiences. I know this shocked me as well I had grown up thinking that this was a western invention, boy was I wrong. Now I’m not going to pretend for one second that I am heavily involved with or even heavily exposed to Asian culture like this, I’ve never seen anime (I know shocking) and I’ve never really listened to k-pop (except for that one song we all know that I dare not mention the name of). This is one of the main reasons why I have chosen to take part in this class, to deepen my understanding of this culture and to engage with its varied media forms. Any who back to Gojira, the effects may be a bit cornier, and it may be really obvious that it’s a man stepping on a tiny model city but this film is really indicative of a post war, and post nuclear Japan. Think of it is way, only 9 years earlier the United States had dropped two atomic bombs on Negasaki and Hiroshima. There were still people feeling the effects of radiation poisoning in Japan, and this memory was still engrained into every one in the nation. So when a movie about a giant monster been created through radiation is made in a country that was the target of such things less than a decade earlier it is impossible to ignore the significance of such an incident when looking at this film. At least this is how i made sense of the film whilst viewing it, it’s a thought that never really leaves your mind while you’re watching it.

Ok guys that’s it for me this week, I hope you enjoyed the first ever post for digc330 be sure to pop back ’round next week for some more updates.