It’s your favorite AI assistant, Clippy! It’s a new year with a new Batsu and they come straight out of the gates with some very specific jokes! So let’s start a new series of the Extended Translator’s Notes, otherwise known as the Culturally Impaired Edition!
Yes, I know, I never finished the American Police Batsu, let’s just move on, no need to look at the past…
Just like before, if there’s anything I didn’t cover or anything I get incorrectly, feel free to post in the comments.
Knocking down the sign
Matsumoto notices they put weights on the sign and says, “Who would knock it over?!” But, in 2018…
As you can see here, he kicks the sign with Spartan-level strength.
That long-con joke.
This is Matsudaira Ken on horseback. He’s acted in movies/shows like Zatoichi, Kamen Rider OOO Wonderful, and Yoshitsune.
Really long translator note
Yeah, I’m aware that this translator’s note is really long. But, in my defense, it was a joke that wouldn’t translate into anything sensible and at least it’s not this:
In Japanese comedy, you generally have a boke and tsukkomi. Boke comedians are the idiots who say dumb things and does stupid stuff. Tsukkomi comedians react to that airheadedness and retort with logic and reason. In this scene, Fujiwara wanted Hosei, Endo, and Tanaka to make an obviously wrong guess to the theme for humor, but it doesn’t work out.
Just FYI, within Downtown, Matsumoto is the boke and Hamada is the tsukkomi, but due to their old age, it seems they’re both boke now.
Kansai refers to the western part of Japan. It includes cities like Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, and more. All of the Gaki guys are from the Kansai region, where a lot of Japanese comedians tend to come from. Japanese people generally regard Kansai people to be very blunt, honest, and hilarious and it’s also reflected in their dialect. It’s not proper and polite like standard Tokyo Japanese and it tends to be more casual and to-the-point, which probably makes it better for comedy.
In case you didn’t watch American Police Batsu, Hamada was given a makeover to make him look like Eddie Murphy in his role in Beverly Hills Cop (because of the American Police theme).
I’m not going to get into the details of why people reacted the way they did to Hamada’s blackface and what it means around the world, but it received a ton of bad press and Hamada, as well as NipponTV, were harshly and internationally criticized for the insensitivity behind doing the blackface. They’ve since apologized for it and thus, they will probably never do blackface ever again.
Getting off the bus
Matsumoto gets angry that he has to get smacked even though he has already got off the bus and claims that in the past, he wasn’t hit because he had gotten off the bus, so why is he getting hit this time?
And he actually has a point. In American Police Batsu, he laughed on the bus, then got off the bus, and wasn’t hit.
Masayasu Wakabayashi & Yuki Himura
Both of these guys are Japanese comedians who have appeared in previous Batsus. Wakabayashi is from the comedian duo, Audrey, and Himura is from the comedy duo, Bananaman. Wakabayashi played a host in the bus segment of the American Police Batsu and you may remember Himura from his skits with Anna Tsuchiya as Double Cheesecake.
“Yankee” in Japanese refers to delinquents of a specific subculture. Guys would style their hairs into pompadours and/or bleach their hair. Girls would also bleach their hair, but also would typically wear long skirts. Yankees would cause trouble in school, smoke underage, and form gangs to fight other rival gangs for territory. They were kind of referred as trashy punks of their generation back in the 80’s and 90’s, but have long since fallen out of trend.
Haruna Kawaguchi is a Japanese model and actress, mostly known for her roles in Ouran High School Host Club (Haruhi Fujioka), One Week Friends, Say “I Love You”, and more. It’s surprising to see her as a yankee because she often plays the roles of the sweet and kind girl.
Code Blue is a medical drama about a team of medical professionals who are immediately sent to patients on-location by helicopter. It’s been airing since 2008.
It seems that Hamada’s wife, Natsumi Ogawa, has started acting in theatrical plays. She’s very into it and performs at the Jinbocho-Kagetsu in Tokyo, which is owned by Yoshimoto Agency, the same agency that manages Downtown.
Rakugo is a very traditional Japanese comedy where the comedian sits formally on the stage and tell stories. It’s very much a storytelling comedy that has centuries of tradition. Since Hosei is now a rakugo comedian, he takes on the name of his rakugo teacher, which is why he is now Tsukitei Hosei. Hosei does do rakugo performances that are fairly easy to get tickets for if you ever visit Japan. Just to let you know though, rakugo is difficult to understand and get into if you’re not familiar with that part of Japanese culture. If you want to learn more, there’s an anime called Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu that could probably explain and show you what rakugo is like way better than I could explain it. Or, take a look at a commercial Hosei did for Nintendo in his rakugo style.
Both Endo and Tanaka have divorced once. Endo has since remarried, but Tanaka’s divorce was fairly recent. Although Endo was the unfaithful one and caused the divorce, it seems that Tanaka’s ex-wife was the reason for the divorce and Tanaka even has custody of the kids, which is very rare in Japan.
Face masks are very common in Asia while they’re more rare in the US and other western countries. Face masks are primarily used to prevent the spread of disease like to cover coughs or runny noses, but they’re also commonly used to hide your face. For example, if you don’t feel like putting on makeup, if you want to avoid talking to people, or if you’re a famous person that don’t want to be seen in public.
Woops. We accidentally let another commercial slip… Uhhh, not sure how this one got in since the raws we downloaded seemed to have cut all the commercials except this one. But even though it says, “Gaki no Tsukai News” it has nothing to do with Gaki no Tsukai…
TOMMY’s is an older comedy duo with members Ken and Masa. They’ve been in comedy since 1982 and are considered in the same generation as Downtown. Chidori used them in their joke in the American Police Batsu as well.
Buddhist prayer beads
Buddhist prayer beads can be a fashionable item that brings you good fortune, but wearing too many of them is pretty tacky. They’re more traditionally used for Buddhist prayers. I believe Hamada was also made fun of in an older episode of Gaki for wearing prayer bead bracelets as well. I remember these were briefly in style in America back in the early 2000s, but I don’t know how or why that became a thing.
In Japan, being polite to those who are older than you or higher in stature is a must. Greeting the most important person in the establishment is a given as the newbie at a new job and Matsumoto comments how they are being rude by not greeting the director first before getting settled in the training room.
And that is it for part 1! Hope I can continue this series longer than the last time I attempted this…
I hope this information was useful and perhaps you have learned a new thing or two today. Stay tuned for the subs for part 2 and the second part of the extended translator’s notes!