Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ken Shimura: Punisher Takes on Horror Classics

When I found these videos of Ken Shimura, renowned king of all things stupid, lampooning horror films a while back, I crammed them into our overflowing "stuff to subtitle" file. After a long period of procrastination consideration on how to translate the elegantly awful puns within the confines of a line or two on the bottom of the screen, I've come to the decision that it can't be done. Not without confusing everyone even more and leaving a million footnotes in my wake. If you want to know why something is supposed to be funny, ask in the comments.

Everyone who studies Japanese goes through several milestones that allow them to gauge their progress and give them the resolve to torture themselves with even more tedious kanji study. For many, the first comes when they go to video store and are able to read the katakana on the Akira box. Other examples include the first time you dream in Japanese, making it through a conversation without someone telling you how good your Japanese is, being able to order at a restaurant in Japan without pointing at the menu and smiling apologetically, or not having to look at the furigana while reading Ramenman manga.

Despite what anyone tells you, the ultimate affirmation of your Japanese skills is not passing JLPT Level One, but the ability to deliver brutal one-liners to the unsuspecting. Take my word for it; a nicely timed boke or tsukkomi will blow minds WAY more than reciting the onyomi of all 1850 jōyō kanji in order. A good gag shows not only a strong command of vocabulary and grammar, but also that you are hip to the culture (I'm not talking sushi and Mt. Fuji here) and are not a humorless prick. Like me, for suggesting that these skits are anything more than ultra-lame comedy. Enjoy, and let this be the next milestone on your path to owning the Japanese language!

Part One: Friday the 13th, The Exorcist

Part Two: Village of Eight Gravestones, Wolfman, Omen series, Alien

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