When it comes to televised variety shows, Japan really takes the cake with their eccentric topics. There is nothing too crazy for them, and their shows have been noticed worldwide because of this. Some are silly, some are quirky, some terrifying and some downright disturbing. Check them out if you like. Or rather, if you dare?
1) Gaki no Tsukai
Gaki no Tsukai has been entertaining the people of Japan since 1989, making it the longest running program on this list. The show is segmented and the most popular episodes deal with “batsu games”, which have cast members subjected to various scenarios and challenges, resulting in a punishment if they fail. One such game is the “No Laughing” Game, which is depicted in the video below.
2) Candy or Not Candy
It’s about as straightforward as it gets with this show, where celebrities are given a taste of any random object like a shoe, picture frame or a door knob, and have to guess if it is indeed made out of candy, or is just the object. Hilarity ensues of course, just seeing people bite into everyday household objects is pretty hilarious, whether or not it is made out of candy.
3) Human Tetris
Alternative names include Brain Wall, or Nokabe. This game captured the hearts of people all over the world, who have tried to replicate it with their own versions. Still, many feel nothing beats the original, as there is something so charming about how the Japanese people react to the game that’s missing in versions from other countries. In terms of explaining the game, well, it’s better if you see for yourself!
Being knowledgeable on certain topics is all well and good, but you’re going to need more than your brainpower if you’re on this Japanese game show. If that’s not enough to give you pre-show jitters, you will also need some athleticism, the ability to climb walls, and absolutely no fear of being mummified. Yes, that’s an actual punishment given on the show to those who fail to answer questions correctly. Claustrophobics, stay away!
5) Kiss My Ass
Young ones, avert your eyes. This show is DEFINITELY NSFW. In fact, it’s actually pretty disturbing. Contestants are literally made to kiss someone’s unclothed behind, for whatever reason. One belongs to a male, and one female, and the contestants themselves are male. The point behind this show is a mystery, although the contestants and audience members sure seem to get a kick out of this concept.
Fans of Japanese pop outfit AKB48 should be familiar with this show, where the group is put in interesting (that’s putting it nicely) situations that no sane human being would want to be involved in. It sure makes having a popstar’s job seem less glamorous, especially when we’re sure Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez don’t play cicada blowing games with one another, like these girls. We hope you have a strong gag reflex.
7) Let’s Go To The End of the World
Oh, this must be a super fun travel show! It is, if hanging out with ferocious wild animals is your idea of fun. Travel is a key aspect on this show, but unlike shows like The Amazing Race, which has a solid purpose, this seems to be purely for shock value. Which often means close encounters with a bear that is not Winnie the Pooh. Shockingly, despite the obvious safety hazards inherent in this show, it is still running and successful in Japan.
Perhaps Dero inspired the room escape games we have in real life today. In this show, contestants have to essentially escape a building that’s full of booby traps like a bottomless pit or a descending ceiling. It’s fun, but it’s also a little terrifying – which makes for great television! And winners really luck out, as there’s prize money involved for all that trauma you may have to endure.