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Funny Japanese Game Shows Created by Maniacs

Updated on March 26, 2015

North Americans can’t help but be fascinated by the crazy, cartoon-like reality of Japanese game shows. Little introduction is needed for things best experienced, so let’s get to it.

Human Tetris

At first the video game originally designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov doesn’t seem like a good basis for a game show. Of course the madmen creators of Human Tetris: The Grand Master (originally called Brain Wall) found a way to make it outrageously hilarious by adding the human element. In this game, contestants must contort their body to fit into a puzzle shaped hole in a fast approaching wall. Failure to pass the test lands the player is a pool of puke-green liquid that resembles Gatorade. The great part is there are several solutions that will work and millions that won’t. The player must be quick witted, nimble, creative and rational to avoid the goo and score one for their team.

Rope Swing

Westerners may remember the show American Gladiators, the tough-guy version of an obstacle course. Here we have a scaled-down version with a nice dose of Japanese wackiness. Well, not really, perhaps I was dying to pull that reference out. This game looks deceptively simple and yet it’s extremely difficult. The beauty of it is the wide variety of ways in which players fail and end up in the water. The first obstacle, a foam covered red cylinder, is no joke to get past. The only viable solution seems to be to use it to ones advantage, skipping along the surface, in hopes of landing on a dinky floating blow-up at the end. If there is footage of someone pulling it off successfully, please post a link to the video in the comment section.

Quiet Library

This is the ultimate thrill ride for college humor pranksters. The action takes place in a library where players fight to remain quiet or at least keep the level of their laughter down. A page is selected from the chart which later becomes the prank that will be played on the loser. Cards are drawn at a table intended for study, leaving one contestant to endure a gag that is either painful or disgusting. In this episode two players have particularly bad luck, much to the amusement of the others. Surrounding readers let out the random “shhhhhh” to add to the ridiculousness of the proceedings.

Treadmill Snacks

One theme that is carried throughout funny Japanese game shows is extreme difficulty. Treadmills have traditionally taken a few people out and led to some funny spills. It is taken to a whole new level with this game. Contestants are required to keep up ever increasing speed while hitting checkpoint where they have to either eat or drink. Liquid and recently swallowed food does not sit well during rigorous exercise to we can only imagine just how uncomfortable it is to engage in this activity. The guy that actually managed to pass this test in the video is unquestionably a strong athlete and outstanding runner.

Nut Shots

Getting kicked in the nether regions is something any sane man wholeheartedly avoids. Although people are generally entertained by the pain of others, some minor injuries get all the laughs while others bring in “ows and ahs”. Here we have the funny twist. No contestant escapes the torture of the nutcracker in this game, fittingly called “Nut Shots”. Each player is successively pummeled by a strange contraption. Their only real option is how dramatically they display their pain to the live audience. To many guys, this is a nightmare caught on video. Comically the character on the far right tries to run away from his station after seeing the agony of another. The host manages to get him back in position and as expected he gives the most dramatic performance of all.

Human Bowling

The comedic gag of taking a short person or sometimes a midget and tossing them at bowling pins is probably something you have seen on television before. This game takes it to epic proportions. The lanes are fitted with a mat similar to Crocodile Mile or Slip ‘n Slide and doused with water. The player slides along in swimming gear and a white helmet in hopes of knocking down all the pins. In this footage, the contestant manages to knock down every bowling pin with the exception of one. With a massive number of pins to plow through this is not as easy as it may look. Picking up serious velocity is a necessity.

So there you have it. If you know of other funny Japanese game shows feel free to comment in the most unspammy way possible.


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