Friday, April 22, 2011

Around the World in 30 Days: 30 Minutes Over Tokyo

Today we take a look at when the Simpsons traveled to Japan. One of the reasons why the Simpsons went to Japan is because three of the cast members (Nancy, Harry, and Hank) starred in Godzilla and the staff wanted to do something because of it (I really wish I had the exact wording down in front of me I'm just paraphrasing it from memory). This episode is a rather interesting one, it's not really a great episode, it has moments that are decent, and moments that require facepalms. I'll admit, it's not one of my favorites (I could probably list 100 better, but I digress) but it is one I'd watch again. So, without further delay, let's take a look at some of the aspects of this episode.

Why it's all right:
  •  The cyber cafe
    • Around this time, the writers had an obsession with including computer and internet based themes in their episodes. I put this here as a negative because while it did capture some of the feelings of late 90's computing, it has not aged well at all.
  • Mega-Savings seminar
    • I put this as another negative against the episode for a few reasons. First off, I really didn't like the idea of Homer stealing from Ned at night, as much as he hates Ned, I can't envision Homer flat out robbing Ned while he sleeps, it just seems wrong. Second, it just pads out the episode further, I probably wouldn't mind this so much, but the jokes it provides aren't really all that funny, they're decent, but not worth the time they took.
  • Japan itself
    • This part's okay in my opinion, it's not great, but it's not bad either. The jokes here are okay too and the game show part was pretty funny and in the end it was a rather decent episode.
The internet; It will always be around

What They Got Right
  •  Seizure-episode
    • I couldn't really think of how to categorize this, but since they did reference an actual event I decided to put it here. The infamous episode of Pokemon influenced this scene as the family all get seizures from
  • Japanese Traditions
    • To my knowledge, there was very little that they screwed up in terms of tradition (I'm not including the jail, that was not meant to be taken seriously).
  • Game Show
    • I know this was meant to be a satire on how Japanese game shows are different from American game shows (Although they stated it in the episode) but it's not that far off from some of the things I've found online. Yeah I understand that those are not the best representation of Japanese game shows, but if it exists, it counts (But the lightning thing probably would never exist).
Yeah I get seizures from old cartoons as well

What They Got Wrong:
  • Treatment of the emperor
    • When I think of this episode, that scene immediately jumps to my mind. I only list it here because it was very disrespectful to a Japanese tradition and has prevented this episode from airing in syndication in Japan.
  • Local locations
    • I know I nitpick about this, but there were a few instances where the family could see attractions what were not close enough together to see 
  • Osaka
    • I'm more curious about this one rather than "It's wrong". Osaka is about 520 km from Tokyo and at best takes about 3.5 hours. Considering how they lost all their money before going to Osaka, I'm just curious how they seemed to get there within a day or so.
If you replace "Sumo thongs" with "Panties" that's Bill in there instead

Final words: This episode is okay, not spectacular or very memorable, but okay. I'd say if you're bored, watch it, if you're Japanese and respect the emperor, skip it.

No comments:

Post a Comment