TV

Japan Celebrates Premiere of Game of Thrones with Ice Castle Theater — in the Worst Location Possible

Some of you in the English-speaking world have probably heard of a little fantasy TV series called Game of Thrones. It’s won a few awards here and there, has a fairly enthusiastic fan base, and — let’s face it — is all around a huge freakin’ deal.

While America and the rest of the world fill their goblets with mead in anticipation of the March 31 premiere of season 3, Japan is finally getting their first taste of the series when season 1 airs on January 27 — and they’re promoting it by holding free screenings of the first episode in a castle built from actual blocks of ice.

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Why Don’t People Like the New Iron Chef? Was it the Fish Semen?

Back in the 90s, I was a huge fan of the Iron Chef when it got imported to North American television.  Although I was normally uninterested in cooking programs, something about the drama and pageantry that went on in Kitchen Stadium struck a chord.

The show was even imported to western countries who tuned it to suit their own tastes, and a lot of others around the world got into those weekly culinary competitions.

So when Fuji TV announced the return of Iron Chef to primetime television, a lot of buzz was generated. However, their two-hour debut claimed just a 10% share of the ratings, half of what the original program regularly held. It got worse from there as later episodes slunk to around 7%.

So what happened to our beloved Iron Chef? Everyone’s got an opinion and so do we.

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TV Blunder Labels Japan’s Potential Next Prime Minister a Pervert

Running for election in Japan isn’t easy. But when your face is shown alongside titles like “pervert” and “molester,” it’s probably a lot harder than it ought to be.

Japan’s political system is a mess right now and, despite having seen six prime ministers come and go in as many years, the country is headed for an election next month, with one-time PM Shinzo Abe putting himself forward to be re-elected.

The politician was made a laughing-stock earlier this week, however, when the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) early morning TV show Asazuba accidentally displayed Mr. Abe’s photo alongside a news report about a sex offender’s arrest.

Despite having no relation to the incident whatsoever, Mr. Abe’s face filled viewers’ screens along with the shocking titles, prompting the nation to spit out its corn flakes, or at the very least dribble a bit of natto onto the table.

Suffice to say, the politician was not pleased, and, suspecting this to be part of a “campaign of negativity”, took to his public Facebook page to tear TBS a new one…

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It’s Not Like on TV: “80% of Korean Men Without a Car and Home of Their Own Never Find Love”

As Korean culture becomes ever more popular throughout the world, with Korean romantic dramas in particular finding millions of fans in Asia, it may come as a shock to some that “cars and property” are listed by many Korean women as two of the most important factors when looking for love.

During a “Korean Drama special” version of a popular dating show that aired in China last week, fans of Korea’s heartwarming love stories had their dreams smashed by Korean men and women who gave their honest opinions of the state of love and romance in their homeland. Rather than handsome young men in suits plucking plain-faced girls from the crowd or rogueish artists finding love with the understanding girl next-door, cash, cars and cribs factored into the equation for more than Chinese audiences had been led to believe, filling the studio with gasps and the sound of broken dreams scattering across the floor...

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French Commentator’s “Radiation” Joke Angers Japanese Government

Following Japan’s 1-0 victory over France in the friendly football (soccer to our North American readers) match last week, a French variety show host made a joke that has touched a nerve here in Japan.

Alluding to Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima’s impressive skills on the field, the show presented an edited image of the player, showing him with four arms.

The show’s presenter then suggested that Kawashima’s additional limbs might be the result of “the Fukushima effect” and that they had grown after exposure to radiation leaked from the nuclear plant damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. While the joke went down well during the show, many Japanese are understandably very upset…

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