Favorite Japanese Game Show: “Candy or Not Candy”

This Japanese game show, Candy or Not Candy, is just flat out weird. In fact a lot of games I’ve seen from Japan thus far are just so strange that watching them I’m not sure what to expect or what they’re even doing. Is there a prize for this show if you guess correctly? Or is just something fun to do and possibly watch when there’s nothing else on? I could swear that I’ve seen the guy with the bowl cut on World’s Dumbest Videos, no joke. He was trying to chug a gallon of milk and about a third of the way or maybe halfway through he couldn’t do it and started to vomit milk back up. I’m guessing that that was a game show as well.

As interesting as their culture is their game shows are just bizarre. The Japanese have an obvious sense of humor but it stretches so past cultural norms in the US that some of us might actually be scratching our heads as we try to figure out just what it is that they’re doing. This one is fairly obvious since you can see them wrapping their lips around various objects to find out whether or not they’re candy or real. That’s slightly disturbing but even more so is when you can’t really tell what an object is or what it’s made out of. The leaves were kind of obvious since from their look they didn’t even look natural. But the shoes, the door handle, the bow tie, all of it looks so real that it’s hard to know just what’s going to be real and what’s going to be edible.

And if the contestant gets it wrong it seems like they get a blast of smoke to their face, what fun. Like I said they have a bizarre sense of humor but if it works for them then so be it. I’m not sure a game show like this would be able to be sanctioned in the US, though when you really think about it we have shows that have been far worse than this. Think of Fear Factor, those folks tend to eat things that would make a goat vomit sometimes. I recall an episode in which they had to eat live spiders that were thankfully not poisonous but were about the size of a toddler’s palm and were all legs for the most part. So Japan doesn’t have the market cornered when it comes to wrapping your lips around items that might not be considered as food, but at least theirs has the chance to be something good.

It would be kind of a letdown though to hope for chocolate or something just as good and bite down instead on shoe leather, which would be followed by a blast of air to the face. At least they use fairly common items for this, though I never thought I’d see someone take a bite out of a table leg or a door handle. There’s a first time for everything I suppose.


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