It’s everyone’s favorite assistant, Clippy! I’m here to share with you a series of posts that Team Gaki will provide to you for the American Police Batsu of Extended Translator’s Notes, or as we affectionately call it, the Culturally Impaired Edition! Today, I have detailed information for our first volume which corresponds to part 1 of this year’s Batsu.
If you want more information on Japanese culture, language, etc that are referenced in the American Police Batsu, you’ve come to the right place. Hopefully I can answer any questions you may have regarding some of the specific references. If not, feel free to ask in the comments.
It’s all going according to Keikaku.
T/N: “Keikaku” means plan.
“Kouhaku Utagassen” translates to “The Red and White Song Festival” and 2017 was its 68th broadcast. Kouhaku is a special Japanese musical program that is shown on New Years Eve on NHK. It is common Japanese News Years Eve tradition to stay at home and watch the Kouhaku, although now it competes with other famous New Years Eve television programming like the 24 Hour Batsu Game, so the Kouhaku’s popularity and prevalence is much like the Super Bowl in America. Broadcast started in 1953 in the form of a radio show, but now it is a huge TV event with top Japanese celebrities and musicians of all kinds of genres from pop to folk to enka (traditional Japanese music), though limited to those that are popular in Japan. The show is set-up as a competition between the white team and red team, which make up the colors of the Japanese flag and are significant to Japanese culture. The white team is composed of male singers/musicians and the red team is composed of female singers/musicians. In the case that it’s a co-ed group, their team alliance usually depends on the gender of the main vocalist. Only the top musicians are invited to perform at Kouhaku, so it is considered a high honor to perform so costumes, lighting, makeup, dancing, etc are also taken to the extreme in order to earn points for your team. A panel of judges and the audience vote on the performances and they’re all tallied up at the very end to announce the winning team for that year.
Teruyoshi Uchimura is considered one of the most influential people of Japanese comedy. He’s the tsukkomi half of the Ucchan Nanchan comedy duo and you may recognize his partner, Kiyotaka Nanbara, from the viral music video, YATTA! by the Happatai.
In Japanese, there are many levels of formality based on the way you present the words. It’s very important to talk to others based on your social standing compared to their social standing and change your wording according to that hierarchy. Although it’s no longer as incredibly strict as it used to, it’s still considered rude to talk to people above you in a casual manner. Signs are generally written in a polite manner, but the sign says, “Wait here!!” and Matsumoto is annoyed at how nonchalant and careless it’s phrased.
For some reason, Emmanuel Lewis was known as a singer in Japan and has released 2 singles that ranked high on the Japanese Oricon (music ranking) charts. I honestly cannot really comment on why he was popular in Japan back in the 80’s. Check out his hit song, City Connection, in Japanese.
Akiyama is one of the members of the comedy trio, Robert. He’s also acted in a few shows and movies, including voicing for the Pokemon movie, Rise of Darkrai and Chromartie High School: The Movie.
Okina is a singer and actress. You may recognize her from the original Japanese production of The Grudge. Her J-Pop debut was in 1995.
You probably recognize him from several Batsu games like Hotel, where Tatsuo played as Adrian from Rocky, or Airport, where Tatsuo sang and played guitar with Amemiya. Interestingly, his wife, Claudia Umemiya, has actually made more Batsu appearances due to her bad acting skills. Their daughter is Anna Umemiya, who is a model. Back to Tatsuo though, he’s a veteran actor who has acted in several dramas and movies, as well as appeared on variety shows.
Wakabayashi is a comedian and actor. He is the tsukkomi of the comedy duo, Audrey, with his boke partner, Toshiaki Kasuga.
Host clubs are the male counterpart to hostess clubs. It’s an establishment where you drink, talk, and hang out with flashy and handsome young men. It is not a sexual business as it is supposed to purely be for companionship. Usually the items on a host club menu are super expensive and the hosts will butter you up to make you spend more money like buying bottles of Dom Perignon or fancy fruit platters. Weird urban legends pop up in the industry sometimes, like in the case with this scene where a kiss from a certain woman means certain death. (That set-up is based on the Todome no Kiss drama, starring the guy in the purple suit, Kento Yamazaki, and the lady, Mugi Kadowaki.)
Japanese people in general can be pretty superstitious. Power spots refer to areas of concentrated spiritual energy. People visit power spots for healing any ailments, good fortune, improving their career, etc. They tend to be connected to areas of cultural spiritual importance like shrines, mountains, lakes, etc.
Just want to confirm that Daigo just says random jibberish.
So some of us subbers were wondering if we should leave in the honorifics in the subs or not and we decided to leave it in and explain it in the extended translator’s notes. You may notice that in the Japanese language, people add suffixes like -san, -chan, -sama, etc. These are suffixes that are added to the end of someone’s name based on hierarchy. -san is used like miss or mister and is used for people who you respect or people above you in social standing. It is polite and a safe suffix to go with in case you’re unsure of how you compare to them. Since Chidori is younger and less experienced than Tommys, Ken and Masa get a -san suffix at the end of their names.
[EDIT]: Made a few mistakes because I’m just a paperclip. Thanks to Conjyak for corrections on Uchimura and Kouhaku and thanks to our commenter, Average Moe, for more details on Todome no Kiss!
And that is it for today! If you’re wondering about that quick reference Matsumoto made about Project X, it will be explained in the next part.
Look forward to more Extended Translation Notes: Culturally Impaired Edition!