Saturday, July 22, 2006

Japanese children's TV is fantastic

More specifically, the stuff on NHK 3, the rough equivalent of BBC 2, is fab.

G. loves it, but I'm finding that it is becoming my favourite goggle too. Perhaps I'm losing my marbles (more on marbles below). Titles like Nihongo de Asobou, Pitagora Suichi, Karada de Asobou, and Zenmai Samurai all have really high production values. Dry humour, surrealism, slapstick and originality abounds.

Most of the examples I can find on the web are of Pitagora Suichi. The "pitagora" means "Pythagoras" and it has a broad science/technology focus.

Two dances, Arugorizumu Koushin and Arugorizumu Taisou, are repeated every day. The two comedians who do them pull in various adults to add a bit of variation. Here, we have the bus attendants and the gym instructors doing the Arugorizumu Taisou and the Chinese chefs doing the Arugorizumu Koushin. (Arugorizumu means Algorithm, by the way).

Another favourite is the title sequence. Almost everyday they have a new mechanism, using lots of marbles and ingenuity: 1,2,3,4,5,6.

It is a pity I can't find much on the web to give a flavour of some of the other titles. We are not just talking funny gimmicks but, rather, really well thought out children's programming. Nihongo de Asobou is particularly striking, using classic poetry, traditional drama and sayings to pursue its Japanese language theme. Here are a couple of examples of dances from the program - 1, 2 - but it is the less dramatic features playing with language and poetry that really make the programme. These closing title sequences - 1, 2 - could be accused of being over-kawaii (cute) but I like them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can see you have been trying a bit of escapism from the revision. Those two suited guys have a certain likeness to Ant and Dec...though they take life a bit more seriously!