Japanese Game Shows
Formal and Shy. These are some of the words often used to describe the stereotypical Japanese.
This seems particularly incongruent with Japanese game shows. Japanese game shows are incomparable to America’s Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, and Jeopardy! or Britain’s classics Have I Got News For You and Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
Crazy, weird, insane and totally unbelievable are fitting descriptors!
Lets take a look at these totally entertaining shows.
Candy of Not Candy
Let’s start with the most famous show! This real game show lets contestants eat unidentifiable food off the floor. In this delightful and hilarious show, celebrity players must figure which of the few inanimate, lifeless objects are candy and which are not candy. These players then take a huge, voracious bite off the objects they think are candy, finishing up with a yummy hunk of sugary goodness or a mortifying sizable chunk of whatever irregular thing that really is. The candies are made from Japanese “sokkuri sweets” that can be formed into any shapes.
This is a game show where contestants are given puzzles to solve, questions to answer, or mental challenges they need to complete. The catch? They have to do these in the middle of stressful situations, like submerging in rice grains or balancing on narrow planks as the floor retracts into the wall.
This hit game show is simple. Players have to answer 7 questions or riddles to win the prize. The twist? Being pushed off of a cliff while you’re answering the questions… You have to be good at thinking quickly!
You guessed it right! This game show is basically the human version of of the classic computer game Tetris where you stack blocks accurately as they fall. Contestants must jump and position their bodies to form the shapes on the moving gaps in the wall. Most of these gaps are irregularly shaped which makes the game challenging and fun. A pool of dirty water is waiting for the contestant who fails to maneuver into the right shape.
Sounds kind of fun right?! Contestants are launched at gigantic bowling pins in inner tubes and pushed down a nice sloped lane. “The Amazing Race 23”, a U.S. reality show, featured the sport during the finale. It’s so cool!
Marshmallow Rubber Band
Marshmallow Rubber Band is a Japanese game show where players’ heads are attached to a rubber band as they try to catch marshmallows using their mouths! This game show has been bringing pain, humiliation and extreme amusement since 1989. Of all the shows we feature on this blog, this one is Janelle’s favorite – it has her laughing out loud every time.
After its original debut in Japan this show gained international popularity when it began to be aired in America. The objective of the game is doing embarrassing and degrading stunts while inside the library without making any sounds. This is obvious, right?! RIGHT?! …It’s a library! Students are studying, librarian are prowling. It is all good fun!
Let’s Go To The End of The World
A game show where people wander around the world, live their dreams, and hang out with a… bear. Yes, a big and angry bear. Entertaining, ‘educational’ and totally engaging!
AKBingo! brought TV game shows to a whole new, and strange, level! A hilarious game where contestants compete to blow dead bugs into each other’s mouths through a tube!
These are just a few of the crazy, creative, entertaining, and often inappropriate Japanese game shows that have no peers anywhere else in the world.
Thinking of visiting Japan? We are heading there next year! Check it out!