“Elite Yankee” エリートヤンキー三郎 – Not What You’d See in the US.

It’s not as though this is s particularly great show or anything, but Elite Yankee Saburo is, indeed, a very Japanese show.  It’s funny to me how — for all it’s reputation of being a more staid, obsessed-with-protocol, rigid society — Japan can produce some television shows and films that go way beyond what supposedly boisterous Americans would dare try.  It’s an irony, of sorts.  Anyway, last year the show became a movie.  It’s a whole franchise in Japan.

From the Elite Yankee Saburo Official Website

Exhibit A:  Elite Yankee (Saburo) — エリートヤンキー三郎.  From the Wiki:

“Based on the comedy manga by Abe Shuji, “Elite Yankee Saburo” tells the story of Ookochi Saburo (Ishiguro Hideo), a plain and shy boy entering high school. Unfortunately for him, his two older brothers had built a reputation as legendary troublemakers at that school. When Saburo arrives, he is immediately misunderstood and treated as an ‘elite yankee.'” And there’s nudity.  It was not a prime time show, of course.  Aired late at night, but, still, not your typical Bravo Channel or USA Network fare.

Here’s a PG(maybe)-Rated Trailer:

Heh, heh.  Fun, eh?  Not quite as cerebral as U.S. comedies think they are.  Certainly not what I’d want to watch all the time.  I’m the first to note that it’s so much vapid silliness.  But it seems that U.S. networks, writers, producers could occasionally drop some of their pretensions from time to time, to the benefit of their product and to the benefit of the imaginations of their television viewers and film goers.

And the commercials can be pretty surreal, too:

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Another (rather creepy) classic, from almost 20 years ago just below.  A more fulsome context for this “Regain” commercial can be found here.  Yes, the chorus goes:  “Bus’nessman!  Bus’nessman!  JapaneeZU bus’nessman!” This was a product of the peak of Japanese corporate hubris in the last few years of the ’80s and ’90-’91.  Some of that may still linger, but with The Bubble popping in ’91, the “lost decade” of the ’90s and continued economic doldrums of the past 10 years, and the rise of China, few Japanese companies are so publicly full of themselves.

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  1. This is so up my alley. 😆

      • letsjapan
      • August 31st, 2010

      I’m thinking you could fly into Tokyo and within 90 days be a major domo director or executive producer of such shows/films. It’d be second nature to you, eh?


      • If they could stand my being married to an English/Japanese dictionary for a year. 😀

  2. Mine, too, WriteChic. Vapid silliness is on my list of favorite things. Thank you, Rick!

      • letsjapan
      • August 31st, 2010

      Yep. This seemed like something you’d get a charge out of, too, Sarah. Glad you have.


    • No such thing as too campy. 🙂

    • Lois
    • August 31st, 2010

    Hilarious. In a slack-jaw kind of way.

    • Reminds me of a tame Kung Fu Hustle (which was side-splittingly funny!)

    • letsjapan
    • August 31st, 2010

    KFH: A Modern Classic. I’m proud to say that a photographer in Beijing admonished me to see Kung Fu Hustle as we hung out in her apartment, waiting for her boyfriend — Marnix, the installation artist from Rotterdam — to swing by and join our little group for dinner.

    That’s one of those sentences one just enjoys writing.


    • Elizabeth
    • September 7th, 2010

    Nice! Thanks for sending the link to me!

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