Parents' Guide to

I Survived a Japanese Game Show

By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Cultural differences and silly contests a poor mix.

TV ABC Reality TV 2008
I Survived a Japanese Game Show Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+


Norway is airing their I SURVIVED A JAPANESE GAMESHOW, which was taped in Tokyo during the fall of 2008. The first segment of the show can be seen on this link:… The show is pretty funny, Rome Kanda is the host and is always zany and fantastic. The show, just like the one with American contestants, is meant for entertainment, and should be viewed as such. If you don't enjoy the show, TURN IT OFF! xo. mmickster.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Shortly after arriving in Tokyo, one of the contestants declares that "we are some loud, rowdy Americans." In fact, it seems like the entire cast was selected primarily for their lack of cultural awareness and inability to blend in. Half the time they're proclaiming that Japan is awesome (usually after winning a challenge and receiving some reward), while the rest of the time they're complaining about the cultural differences (cue obligatory shots of people gagging on unfamiliar food and laughing at the hyper-engineered toilets, complete with remote control). These people are stereotypical "ugly Americans," straight from central casting. Consequently, the show borders on insensitive as it plays to the most basic of stereotypes of both America and Japan.

The tables are turned a bit by Rome Kanda, the manic host of Majide, who encourages the contestants to do their best in the wacky events, then makes fun of them in Japanese -- to the great delight of the studio audience. Japanese game shows are famous for their oddball activities, and this one is no exception. In one challenge, the characters wear diapers; in another, they dress as bugs and try to bounce off a trampoline and splat themselves against a giant windshield. Though some of these activities are so silly you can't help but laugh, many of them incorporate an undercurrent of shame, which can be difficult to watch. The reality show trend has become so pervasive that people now seem willing to endure almost anything for a shot a small-screen fame. When Kanda turns to the Japanese audience and slyly notes that "they will do whatever I say," it seems like his comment is directed not just at the 10 contestants on this show, but anyone else who's considered signing on to a reality program.

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