Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

What is Going On?

Posted by ccpadfield on November 9, 2016

My friends and I went through a phase over the summer where we could not stop watching Japanese game shows. We had relied on YouTube as our sole source of entertainment for a good two months. Often times, if there were not subtitles, we would have to pretty much guess what was going on. If you have not seen a Japanese game show in general, then you probably do not understand how difficult this task is. There are girls in bikinis, old men in sumo suits and lots of sexual innuendos. We had never tried to look anywhere other than YouTube to find these videos, but if we had we probably would have been shocked to find so many videos, even ones with subtitles if the article written by Li depicts what is really out there.

I love that this is such a uniqueness way for media to spread. Not only does it help language learners to brush up on their skills (translation is a daunting task) but it also helps broaden the audience for Japanese game shows. For all I know, some of the videos my friends and I watched over the summer could have very well been ripped from media share websites.

I also think it is really cool that Japanese game show creators would be so open to taking feedback even though their content was distributed through these often frowned upon mediums. I am surprised it is not like the United States where everything has a copyright claim stamped on it.


4 Responses to “What is Going On?”

  1. jennnymarks said

    Japanese game shows are a very random thing to watch, but more power to ya. I think it’s awesome that there’s a bigger audience to these shows than you’d think. It just goes to show how much the world can get intertwined & how much people are interested in other cultures.

  2. alexmalone1729 said

    The original subbed runs of Ninja Warrior and Unbeatable Banzuke were basically the only reason I watched cable for a few years before G4 went to the dogs. I don’t really think that the appeal of these two shows in particular were dependent on the subtitles; you can definitely infer enough of what’s going on to enjoy the show from the announcer’s tone of voice alone.

    I think that’s kind of an important point – there’s not a ton of plot to follow in the first place. The whole point of the reality TV epidemic is to inject a dramatic narrative into something that doesn’t really admit one. Game shows, on the other hand, are just pure, dumb, bite-size entertainment.

  3. tarynmitchell95 said

    That is so interesting. I remember when I was little and I would always see spanish soap operas on tv and would always wonder what they were taking about. I would just sit and watch it and wonder what they were saying. I always found the soap operas exciting because they seemed so dramatic.

  4. I must say that on the topic of language learning, I don’t think anyone has ever accomplished this. I’ve seen people watching things in different languages but never has one of those people read the entire script of the movie to me in that foreign language. Absurd.

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