Recently, I talked about an up-and-coming entertainer named アイデンティティ田島(Identity Tajima). He dresses up like the 80 year old voice actor who plays Goku from Dragonball, and mimics her voice to near-perfection with amazing comedic results. I didn’t realize he is only a small piece of what is known as the “Dragon Ball Entertainer” community. A number of Japanese entertainers who dress up like Dragon Ball characters and do their comedy channeling these characters’ souls.
I know, this sounds silly and stupid (and it often is). But I recently uncovered an amazing gem of a variety show that I find myself looking forward to every week.
まろに☆え～るTV～とちぎの旅！ワクワクすっぞ！ is new variety show which is so ridiculously “Only in Japan. Only in Japan. Only in JAPAN!!!” that I am absolutely in love.
What is it? Well…
- It’s a local Tochigi prefecture variety show. For those who are only used to major Japanese variety shows, a local show is like a B-movie variety show. It is a lot more raw, crazy and cheaply made. But when done in the right way this adds to its appeal.
- It takes the most popular Dragon Ball Entertainers, and has them walking around together like a typical travel variety show. They see the sights, they eat the local food, and they interact with the local Tochigi community.
This may sound boring. But if you are a fan of Dragon Ball, it is a gold mine of nostalgia and comedy combined into one satisfying package. You also get to learn more about Tochigi, which is a pretty interesting, but not often covered, area.
What makes the show special is that all of the entertainers are way too knowledgeable about everything Dragon Ball. They know every minor detail you probably never thought twice about. Not only do they sound like the characters, they know what the characters would say, in every possible situation. This allows the show to feel like the anime Dragon Ball characters were transported to the real world, in Tochigi, and were on a travel variety show. Hilarity ensues.
It’s easy to get lost in the mayhem. It’s one clever Dragon Ball joke after another.
In the intro, there are three local Tochigi idol hosts that briefly introduce the day’s episode, and add in some miscellaneous and overly cute commentary. The three main DB entertainers that appear in each episode are Goku, Vegeta, and Frieza, and they are the best in terms of quality. They bring in one special DB entertainer guest each episode, and continually explore Tochigi through mini “Dragon Ball episodes.”
This show is completely free, hosted by the Tochigi YouTube channel, to promote tourism in the prefecture.
Here are the first 2 episodes:
There are currently 8 episodes, and you can see the rest on their channel here.