5 Amazing TV Shows That Prove Japan Broke Reality
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?
The 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.
The 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.
Ass Top Driller
The YouTube video of this episode of Gaki No Tsukai began with an ominous lecture about copyright laws. Apparently in Japan you can copyright pain, and the restrictive nature of the Torture Patent System has forced them to evolve ever more complex punishments for contestants who've committed the dire sin of existing on Japanese TV.
And they aren't kidding about copyright protection, either: Every video link I had for this episode is now mysteriously gone, as though one of the contestants died from violent anal hemorrhaging and they began the elaborate cover-up process just as I found it. In any event, I'm sorry, but all I have for you is a GIF. A GIF of the Ass Top Driller:
If it's important to you, I can assure you that the man in question screamed like a cat being strangled by a banshee and certainly behaved as though the spinning metal spike of the top penetrated his anus. However, if that detail was important to you, perhaps you should take a minute now and reevaluate your life. Somebody gave birth to you. They had hopes for you. And these are your priorities.
I hope you're entertained: That poor man will live the rest of his life as the submissive bottom to a literal top. What he's endured counts as rape in Toyland. This is porn so twisted it's only legal in Germany -- and even they feel kind of bad about masturbating to it.
The Chinko Machine
Gaki No Tsukai, which I'm told translates to "Life Hates The Living," makes the list again with the Chinko Machine. You're now 10 percent more racist just for having read the name.
Literally the first thing they ask the contestants is whether they'd prefer playing something called "Ass To Face," which sounds like the Engrish equivalent of the moment I started crying in Requiem For A Dream.
The contestants politely deny a rousing round of face-ass and instead opt for the Chinko Machine: a factory line of testicular demolition.
If at any point a contestant cannot name an obscure side character from Ultraman, they are partially de-wanged by a genital-smashing robot arm.
It sure doesn't look like a gentle tap in the gentleman's lounge. The worst part? You're not disqualified when you lose. You have to keep playing. You don't get to leave with your crotch un-pulped if you get an answer right. It's like an old arcade game; it just keeps going and going until somebody eventually gets one wrong and has deformed children three years later.
Face Your Mortality
American prank shows are all about making strangers feel awkward, embarrassed, or confused. Japanese game shows are about making strangers believe that they are literally going to die and then laughing as they face their own mortality. I'm pretty sure that's the premise of at least two Kafka shorts. In this prank, the show finds a lone pedestrian walking an empty alleyway. When he's about halfway up, a massive and visibly armed gang walks toward him, blocking the entire street.
He turns to run, but another massive, visibly armed gang is coming up from behind.
He tries to hide, or at least find a spot out of the way of the impending violence, but there is nowhere to shelter. If you go frame by frame, you can actually see the exact moment where he makes his peace with death.
His eyes are closed tightly. His face is pulled up. He's not even hoping he survives this anymore; he's just hoping that he can stroke out from fear before he actually feels the stab wounds.
After this prank wrapped up, that guy laughed with relief, I'm sure. But then he went about his day feeling strangely hollow. Jokes didn't work anymore. He couldn't be present in conversations. He got home and drank and stared at the wall. He realized that his whole life until now was just a series of distractions, keeping him from considering his own inevitable death. He'd been treating time like an infinite resource, and was now acutely aware of how quickly his hourglass was emptying.
He quit his job. He sold everything he owned and flew to Nepal. He saw the sunrise over the Himalayas. Then he fell down an ice crevasse because literally nothing he had ever done in his life had prepared him in the slightest for a soul-searching mountain journey. He died, cold and alone.
Or maybe he forgot about it like a week later and went back to playing Nintendo on the train. I don't know; I'm not his fucking biographer.
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