Our society has collapsed and fallen into a leisurely dystopia, where the only thing us commoners can do is distract ourselves with entertainment until we are inevitably culled from the herd. But if we're going to be trapped in this media hellscape, the least we can do is make it a little more The Running Man and a little less The Amazing Race. Once again, Japan is ahead of us in everything: robots, boning, boning robots -- and now TV suitable for the collapse of society. Let's have a look, shall we?
5The Mummy Wrapping Game
It's never a good sign when the thumbnails for episodes of your game show look like somebody paused torture porn right after they finished and the shame set in.
That grim collage of the last expressions those people ever made is from TORE!, a game show dedicated to answering trivia questions while avoiding booby traps. And that's actually a fun idea -- no more existentially scarring than late-night reruns of Double Dare. That is, until they start mummifying contestants alive. This is the Mummy Machine.
It is the single most horrifying thing I have ever seen, and I am both a horror fan and a prolific user of the Internet. Those two giant arms spin around you, binding you ever tighter, slowly mummifying you from the feet up. Oh, but there's something you can do about it! Answer the questions correctly, and you can pause the machine ... which makes it all so very much worse. It fosters the illusion that you have some control over your fate, all the while cursing the feeble brain that cannot recite the lyrics from the theme song of the Japanese version of Three's Company to save its own life.
And yet, if this all happened to a schoolgirl, I promise you somebody would be masturbating to it right now.
Oh ... I ... I guess you're welcome.
4The Komodo Dragon Meat Race
This is Ayako Imoto.
This is Ayako Imoto tying meat to herself.
This is Ayako Imoto trying to outrun a hungry Komodo dragon.
Objectively, I know this is no crazier than some of the stunts that the guys on Jackass have pulled, so it's probably pretty hypocritical of me to write about how bizarre it is. But that's OK, because somewhere in Japan, there's a comedy writer who's just discovered America's Funniest Home Videos and is currently typing up a piece about how those crazy Americans are constantly ramping their Rascal Scooters into above-ground pools.
But there are a few things that separate this from Jackass fare: First, it's being done by a woman. We applaud you, Japan, for breaking the gender barrier in the field of hilariously preventable deaths. Second, Komodo dragons are how the planet lets us know that it hates us. They are giant, sprinting lizards with terrifying Sarlacc mouths full of de-coagulating venom. And third, Ayako did it all while wearing a Kimono. To a Komodo dragon, that's like the little tab you pull to open a box of Hot Pockets.
It should also be noted that I accidentally typed "kimono dragon" about 30 times while writing this, and now I have the image of a sexy dragon lounging with one leg dangling, exposed -- a sultry question whose answer can only be found in its darkened den. So I guess I'm into banging dragons now. I'll see you all at the convention I'm sure they have for that. Probably in Cleveland.