I think pretty much everyone reading this knows that Japan is the home of some of the world’s oddest game shows. The odder ones are usually variety shows whose contestants tend to be comedians and other celebrities, advancing their careers via public humiliation.
That’s beside the point. What this post is, is asking anyone with access to a Japanese TV schedule to look at Monday night, 7PM in Kyoto–alas, we never saw a station identification that we recognized–to see if you can tell us what the game show we caught part of was all about.
We were at a local donburi place (I had katsudon–pork cutlet and egg over rice, while Toby had gyudon–sliced cooked beef over rice) and the show was on the TV with the sound off.
It had two teams of five members each–one of them made mostly of sumo wrestlers–and they took turns. First, the team members were seated and watching some sort of video snippet while a 30-second timer counted down. They each wrote something down on an electronic board in front of them, and after the time was up, much like Final Jeopardy, their answers were revealed, each answer a single character, and they got it right or wrong. The right answers didn’t appear to be identical.
One of the video clips we watched was someone preparing a chicken by stuffing it and boiling it. Another was clips of paintings of Washington Crossing the Delaware, the Signing of the Constitution, and a portrait of George Washington.
The second part of the show involved one team “driving” a car via the magic of greenscreen down an animated road where they were confronted by a computer-generated samurai and had to defeat him by writing a couple of characters on an electronic board. After that they confronted an animated woman in a kitchen and defeated her the same way.
And at that point we finished dinner and got up to pay the check, so stopped watching the show.
I have a guess that the first part, where they watch the clips, may involve trying to guess a word or concept illustrated by the clip, but I can’t be sure. The second part brought back memories of Typing of the Dead* to both of us, but only in a general sense. 🙂
* if you don,t know what this is, you missed out. It’s a typing tutorial/video game in which you fight zombies by typing the words that float above their heads as they attack you.