It can be hard to keep track of all the fun (and not so fun) shows that make it to the Japanese Variety scene. 3 years ago I told you what excited me on TV. It’s time for an update.
7. 10万円でできるかな (Is 100,000 Yen Enough?)
While this feels a bit like a YouTube show (and a lot of things are copied from what popular YouTubers do these days), it has a fun charm to it. With 100,000 yen (around $1000), what can you do?
The early episodes focused on playing different lottery games (the national lottery, scratch cards etc.) And this sounds boring. Why would you enjoy watching some Johnny’s members spend a thousand dollars on scratch cards and see how much money they win? But somehow it is enjoyable and addictive. And having Sandwichman (the most beloved comedy pair of 2018) as the hosts adds to the pleasure of this show.
This show eventually changed into whether you could recoup or exceed the initial 100,000 spent. So if you win over 100,000 by spending 100,000, that is considered a victory.
The themes are pretty random:
- Carnival games at Universal Studios Japan
- House cleanup projects
- Creating new farmland
- Post card raffle give aways
- 1000 yen vending machines
It’ll make you also start to think “hey maybe I’ll spend 100,000 yen on that too!”
6. アメージパング (Amazing Japan)
This is one of those “let’s display foreigners doing crazy stuff and having wild experiences in Japan” shows. It’s also a super B show, despite having V6 (an older Johnny’s group) as the talent.
This is a show you’d think would be stupid. Like watching a super macho foreigner speak in wrestling style Japanese trying to get accepted into restaurants that require invitation only. Or watching the hosts try to guess which Japanese husbands and foreign wives are a pair. Or going out to places in the middle of nowhere that for some reason are popular with foreigners.
However, the low production values lead to a raw, less refined feel, which is surprisingly refreshing.
5. それって実際どうなの課 (I Wonder What it’s Really Like)
This is a brand new show that just recently got “Regular” status. It presents simple questions about current popular things in society and whether they are really what they appear to be. For example:
- Can someone unattractive really easily get a date on a dating app?
- Can an average person with no experience make money using a stock trading app?
- Can you actually make money as an inexperienced Youtuber?
- Is a part time job advertised at 7,000 yen/hour with no experience required for real?
- Are motorcycles and cars advertised for sale for only 200 yen real?
They send out people to investigate. What really adds to this program for me is that the “Dragon Ball Entertainers” that I talked about last year are regulars on the show and have participated in a few of these research tasks, bringing a unique edge to the answers they seek.
4. 出川哲朗の充電させてもらえませんか (Degawa’s “Will you Charge Me Up?”)
Okay, I’m kind of cheating on this one – I wrote an entire post about this one last last year dedicated to why you should be watching it. But it continues to be great. Shows like this make it so even if you aren’t living in Japan, you still get to stay up to date with what life is like there.
3. 出川とＷＨＹガール (Degawa and the Why Girls)
Degawa has some big “why”s in his life. He needs answers. Him and his “why girls” will seek out answers to life’s most important questions. Like:
- Why do people get into rope bondage (completely unrelated to any sexual fetish)?
- Why is this new “sickly cute” idol so popular?
- Why do people like to show off their bodies on SNS?
2. オータケ・サンタマリアの100まで生きるつもりです (Otake and Santamaria are Determined to Live Till 100)
Comedian Otake (from さま～ず) and actor Santamaria watch the lifestyles and strategies of older Japanese people that have found a way to live happily and healthy into their 80s, 90s, or even 100s. A story is told and a scientific explanation of why this helps them live so long is introduced. Then the two hosts have to decide if they can (or want to) use the new techniques in their lives to help them live to 100.
Learn about the exercise, diets, unique habits, and other crazy rituals that will help them live to 100! Maybe you can do it to.
ひたすら１万回 (Simply 10,000 Times)
Doing something 10,000 times is hard. Doing something 10,000 times in a row is harder. But can you imagine what type of fantastic results await? That’s what this program wants to show you.
- Swinging a baseball bat 10,000 times
- Practicing the same phrase of Japanese calligraphy 10,000 times
- Stirring natto 10,000 times
- Hammering mochi 10,000 times
Strange at times, but oddly motivating. Maye you’ll practice writing kanji 10,000 times?
What are you watching?
Have you seen any of the above shows? What are your opinions of them? Have any others to add to this list?