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Top 10 Ridiculous Japanese Game Show Moments

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Q.V. Hough These are the peculiar and confusing schemes of Japanese television. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Ridiculous Japanese Game Show Moments. For this list, we're showcasing outlandish Japanese game and variety show moments that push the boundaries of what is safe for the contestants and what is appropriate for audiences. Special thanks to our user tandee82 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Ridiculous Japanese Game Show Moments

These are the peculiar and confusing schemes of Japanese television. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Ridiculous Japanese Game Show Moments.

For this list, we’re showcasing outlandish Japanese game and variety show moments that push the boundaries of what is safe for the contestants and what is appropriate for audiences. But first, a little disclaimer: there may be some moments on this countdown that feature segments that aren’t from actual game shows, but rather are staged or scripted sketches or scenes that game show-like.

#10: “Sing What Happens”

Full disclosure: what you are witnessing is not a man contemplating the ultimate karaoke jam, but rather a man receiving an intense handjob. As you may have guessed, the goal of this competition is less about wowing the audience and more about preventing ejaculation. And we’re not making that up, given that is, in fact, the objective. While the physical act itself is shielded from viewers, this show may crush your perceptions of happy-go-lucky Japanese TV, though the possibility that it’s possibly just a segment from an erotic variety show might make you feel a bit more relieved. Regardless, maybe you should be careful what you sign up for during your next excursion to Japan…

#9: “Tore!”

If you’re afraid of tight spaces and small rooms, you might wanna stay away from this game show. But if you’re of the adventurous type, or think you can at least handle living vicariously through the contestants, then “Tore!” will challenge you both physically and mentally! Though there are several games to this show, it’s the Egyptian-inspired challenge that’s really got our attention. Players must correctly answer questions within a certain period of time before they are completely turned into a real-time mummy! But for those that fail, then, it’s a wrap for them!

#8: “Missitsu Nazotoki Variety Dasshutsu Game DERO!” (2010-11)

Most of you are probably familiar with western quiz shows in which contestants agree to answer difficult questions, but in this questionable Japanese program, also known as “Dero!”, contestants actually agree to put their life in danger…all for the sake of live TV – oh, and maybe a few prizes. Case in point, the “Beam Room,” a competition in which these poor bastards attempt to avoid plummeting to certain death. Ok, who really knows what the heck is down there, but it doesn’t look good. Then again, it makes for terrific live television, as everybody loves watching others scramble for their lives.

#7: “Candy or Not Candy”

Are you familiar with Mr. Hankey from “South Park?” Well, imagine if you had to chew on him with the idea that he might actually be tasty candy. The concept of the one-off “Candy or Not Candy” is rather simple, as you might have guessed: celebrity contestants pick out household items, give them a taste and make an educated guess about their true nature. Sure, you may not find some of these phallic scenarios on North American primetime TV, but therein lies the comedy, along with the horrified expressions of the competitors, who actually chose to endure such a fiasco.

#6: “Tonneruzu no Minasan no Okage deshita” (1994-)

In this family-friendly game show, there’s a competition known as “Brain Wall”, "Hole in the Wall" or “Human Tetris.” In this game, contestants seek to earn points by squeezing through tight spaces, even if the actual shapes don’t necessarily seem fit for the human body. Ok, maybe there’s not a whole lot to the concept, but it’s always fun to watch people get destroyed by large Styrofoam blocks, especially when they’re wearing spandex unitards. Hmm…doesn’t that water look a little yellow? Given the YouTube success of “Brain Wall,” America capitalized on the momentum with the 2008 series “Hole in the Wall,” with essentially the same concept and cleaner water.

#5: “Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!” (1989-)

Undoubtedly one of the most enduring and popular Japanese television series, this variety show is yet another program to feature the double-act comedy of Hitoshi Matsumoto and Masatoshi Hamada aka Downtown. “Gake no Tsukai” has become best known for its “batsu games,” as series regulars must endure extensive “punishment,” which usually means containing their laughter through absurd scenarios. In one of the games within a game, a competitor receives punishment in a “Silent Library,” and while the penalties aren’t usually extreme, the show always makes for a bizarre viewing experience.

#4: “Slippery Stairs”

In this wet and wild Japanese game show, which we’re gonna call “Slippery Stairs” to keep things simple, contestants must get to the top of a staircase, but let’s be real – the primary goal is to survive a violent fall down the flight of soapy stairs. There’s really no end to the humiliation in this game, and well, it’s not exactly “safe” given that some competitors wear little more than their birthday suits. It’s not exactly clear how many people have torn their ACLs or broken their ankles on these “Slippery Stairs,” but who really cares, right? A good FAIL is worth everybody’s time, at least according to this game show.

#3: “AKBingo!” (2008-)

You may not be familiar with the Japanese idol group known as AKB48, but with over 100 members, they’ve sold millions upon millions of records and have their own variety show. And let’s just say that “AKBingo!” features a slightly different kind of stage performance. While the girls are seemingly safe within the confines of the studio, and the games are limited to quizzes on sport and news, it’s the visuals that make “AKBingo!” so incredibly peculiar - whether it’s the fashion or witnessing the girls react to what most westerners would consider questionable scenarios.

#2: “Orgasm Wars”

If you thought the karaoke hand-job game show segment was a bit troubling, allow us to introduce “Orgasm Wars,” a competition in which gay men try their hardest to make straight men…happy? Perhaps you’re wondering who agrees to sign up for something like this – and yes, that IS a good question. Well, how about straight porn stars? Despite the show probably being scripted, it’s important to consider the entertainment value of “Orgasm Wars,” since there is no actual nudity. We can try to explain, but we’ll just let the subtitles do the talking.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Kinniku Banzuke” [aka “Unbeatable Banzuke”] (1995-2002)

“Takeshi’s Castle” (1986-90)

“The Team Fight!”

“Hello! Morning” (2000-07)

#1: “Strip the Girl”

Here you go, feminists. A rollicking game show that objectifies women as maniacal male contestants try to unveil their naked bodies for the big win. “Strip the Girl,” or at least that’s the name we’re gonna give it here, would be naturally offensive if the woman was just standing there and waiting for the men to remove her clothes, but the shower aspect of the series reveals something larger about gender roles in televised entertainment. Just as audiences applaud an uninhibited almost naked man slipping and sliding around, they seemingly take the same amount of pleasure in the slow public reveal of an entirely nude woman, smiling away for the camera.
Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite ridiculous Japanese game show? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to


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