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What’s Going On, Here?

I don’t generally want to link to things that have already been on Memepool, since I presume a lot of you read it already, but when Rat Fink meets Engrish-speaking samurai on a pulp novel cover, it’s really not something you pass up. It’s an unrivalled experiment in style, nostalgia, and cultural crossover…

Does anyone else wonder if some Japanese folks have gotten around to exploiting American amusement at their legendary enthusiastic misuse of English? Or that, um, other Americans are trying to cash in on the popularity of Engrish and faking it? How did other folks here feel about Banzai? Mostly I thought it was stupid, but it had its moments… it’s one of those tricky things where genre experiments border on racism. I don’t imagine anyone writing the show actually believed all Asians or Asian-Americans talk or act like the Asian-TV-stereotypes on the show, but apparently some of its viewers did… and of course there’s always issues of representation (were there Asian folks involved in making the show?)

Perhaps further investigation of our enjoyment of Engrish and Japanese pop culture is in order. I personally maintain that I enjoy seeing my language mangled anywhere and don’t hold it against whoever does it; I also like to make fun of my own miserable Spanish. And Japanese TV is just *better* than American TV. Admit it. What is it about Japanese demographics that allow the long-term production of something like Iron Chef which would probably last less than a season as an original show (as opposed to an imported syndicated cable show) here? What’s wrong with *us*?

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