Despite whatever else you might say about them, Japanese variety shows certainly try to live up to their reputation. Though you may argue about their success, one thing the shows do well is hidden camera/surprise segments. From aliens bursting out of walls to random Godzilla attacks, damasareta (“fooled” or “tricked”) gags can get almost anyone laughing–Japanese or otherwise.

And when you have a guest as spectacular as the hyperactive Funnashi, you’re almost guaranteed to dig up some comedic gold! Especially if explosions are involved.

Funasshi, the beloved yurakyara/mascot pear whose meteoric rise to popularity remains unabated, was featured on this week’s episode of Uwa! Damasareta Taishou!, a sporadically-broadcast variety show specializing in tricking guests. With spots featuring everything from the AKB 48 girls falling through broken chairs to a fat Spider-man falling through the ceiling to spray webbing on a bored actress, the show is known for its humorous-but-bizarre stunts. However, Funasshi’s appearance may be the most explosive one yet–and we were lucky enough to find a version uploaded to YouTube!

▼ “2 seconds until the giant explosion”


In the video, we see Funasshi standing blithely near a group of large balloons and a host of other mascots off to the side while a couple of crew members perform preparations. It’s all goes normally enough for a few moments before…Boom! A large box just off to the side explodes! As flames erupt into the sky, Funasshi jerks around to catch sight of the fire. But the fun has only just begun!


The first explosion, though massive, is just the catalyst–a fuse is set off, popping and cracking as the flames race towards the balloons. Funasshi, not being a foolish pear, takes off, jogging away from the balloons, but not nearly fast enough! Moments later, the gas canisters and balloons themselves are spewing flames into the sky. Funasshi, not quite the cool pear that we thought, looks back at the explosion before starting to run.

▼ Maybe cool pears look at explosions?


And this is when the real fun/horror show really begins. The colorful mascot breaks into a sprint, dashing directly up a dirt path stretching through the middle of the grass field as even more explosions burst out of the ground! Funasshi, running faster than we ever thought possible for an anthropomorphic piece of fruit, is essentially chased by the explosions! As smoke and enormous balls of fire fill the air, Funasshi screams at the top of its lungs–but never breaks character!

▼ “Holycrapholycrapholycrap…nasshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”


▼ Like Apocalypse Now, but without 20 different versions.


▼ Eat your heart out, Chuck Norris!


▼ Well, that’s one way to inspire kids to exercise, we suppose.


▼ We wonder if the other mascots did this in an attempt to eliminate the competition…


▼ Funasshi for John McClane in Die Hard 6!


After collapsing at the end of the path, the other mascots gather around and congratulate Funasshi on escaping with its life, at which point they reveal that, yes, they knew about it all beforehand. We’re no experts on mascot culture…but we think it might be time for Funasshi to get some new friends! Still, the pear mascot wasn’t completely fooled, as it explains, saying, “I knew I was going to get tricked–I just didn’t know how or by whom!”

In the post-explosion interview with the show’s crew, Funasshi explained its thoughts while shrieking in terror and scurrying for dear life, adding in its trademark cries of “nashiii” for punctuation. “The heat and wind when I was running was terrifying nasshii! And besides that, I thought I was going to get turned into…a pear tart nasshiiiiiii!” The mascot then went into one of its patented headbanging fits, proving that it was either entirely unscarred by the event or suffering from a PTSD-induced stroke.

Obviously you should not try this at home, but we have to admit that it was one of the funniest videos we’ve seen in a long time! And, while it was no doubt absolutely terrifying, Funasshi stated in a later interview that when invited on the show, it was asked about its size for ordering safety equipment, so it knew something was going to happen.

Be sure to watch the video below.

Japanese netizens were conflicted about the segment:

That was so cool! It was like Rambo or something!

Aw. It would have been great if it’d caught fire and released some pear sap.

I saw this last night, but it seemed like a fake “surprise.”

Well, the way the flames and explosions went after Funasshi only, what else could it have been but faked?

Whether it was fake or not, there was a risk that it could have caught fire. And for a mascot to be able to run that fast is just amazing!

While this is pretty clearly not a totally “real” surprise, we can’t help agreeing with the last guy. It was pretty amazing!

Hmmm…maybe we should do our own damasareta taisho. We’re sure Mr. Sato wouldn’t mind being the target! (Shhhh! Don’t tell him!)

Source/images: Hachima Kikou, YouTube