How is it that Japanese folks are always so ahead of us all the freaking time? Toyota, Sushi, Octopus porn, and now this? Gaki is Japan's answer to America's jackass, except more demented and with subtitles! It's Johnny Knoxville meets Mr. Miyagi. The game is 24 hour tag. The assignment is simple. Stay in a confined gymnasium with four other contestants/teammates and survive. A black costumed super villain "it" or "chaser" appears sporadically from random hiding places armed with weapons in tow and basically starts chasing the contestants and attacking them once they're caught. It's no painless beating either. He really rails on them in true villain fashion with moves like the "scorpion death lock, fly swatter, and thai kick," and only stops when a bell is sound. The bell ringer apparently decides when the victims have have been sufficiently ass kicked. These guys are freaked out and rolling on the floor squirming in pain. I'm in disbelief. It's only been 3 minutes. How are we going to survive the next 23.9 hours?
Not even 5 minutes into the show, and these contestants are already deeply regretting signing up for this one night of terror inducing tag. 2 hours later, some of these guys are crying and sacrificing each other, "lord of the flies" style. One uses his teammate as a human shield. It's awful and hilarious at the same time. You can't help but empathize with both the shield and the shielder, because honestly, you would do the same. The funniest parts are when the guys are freaking out in anticipation of the black villain "it", so they're all incredibly jumpy and keep on making false starts to start running for their lives. This occurs throughout the entire duration of the show, which kept me laughing the entire duration, because its quite evident that these players sare incapable of relaxing, not even when they're eating... They discuss how they must eat with their shoes on, just in case they have to run from the "chaser".
Every so often, a shirtless policeman named Hashimoto comes out with food and comic messages for the young gents, as well as some cruel punishments. For instance, he wouldn't give them dinner until they all admitted that they were "pieces of scum."
The real entertainment is listening to these guys banter while waiting for the black masked devils. And their strategies of defense are equally entertaining, as they each try to shirk responsibility and put each other in harm's way--- of course-- politely. It still is Japan after all. And when no one volunteers to be the sacrificial lamb, a game of rock, paper, scissors does the trick.
Gaki producer Mr. Otomo gloats:
"For the crew, 24 hour TAG series is really a 48-hour series. By the end of the shoot, the crew is completely exhausted and can't even remember how they have gotten home."
I can't even imagine how they survive the day, let alone, get home.
Gaki features tons of other wildly entertaining exploits of human cruelty and weirdness as well. With names like Golf Club Assault Battle, Chili Bean Paste Smearing Battle, and the beautifully choreographed Champagne Ass Catch Battle, you're sure to never be BORED when tuned onto this show. What is it about guys getting beat up in costumes that is so alluring to our senses? Whatever it is, the brilliant producers at Gaki keep on hitting the amusing jackpot. And the violence is real, folks... it's none of the Hollywood green screen crap. You know how I know? Because when you really get hurt, things get ugly. Your face writhes in pain. Real tears do not not resemble Natalie Portman's on screen tears. There's a doctor on duty too, just in case things get a bit too rowdy.
So folks, it's about time to stop reading about Gaki, and actually check it out. Thankfully, you don't have to be japanese to enjoy sadism of the hilarious 20-minute sort, just click here, and drop me an "arigato" some time. If you do, you might just score some cool swag that I've been informed is for our massive readership! So if you're interested in acquiring FREE things other than air, heartbreak, and a bad case of diarrhea, let us know!
Note: There are subtitles, if you're one of those people who actually want to understand what's happening on screen. If you go to hulu.com/gaki can click on cc: you can select English and that will set you up to watch.