Monday, July 24, 2006

Zenmai Zamurai

My favorite show on Japanese television is called Zenmai Zamurai. It is a short (about 10 minutes) kids show on NHK. Zenmai Zamurai means literaly, "Wind-up Samurai." I had always wondered why he was a windup samurai, and on today's show, it explained. Many years ago (in the show) the character snuck into a dango shop. Dango are these traditional Japanese mochi balls that are then skewered, and a number of various things can then be done to them. I really like them. He eats a couple of the dango, and then picks up what he thinks to be a dango. It turns out to be a mouse, and he gets really scared and runs away. He trips on something, and falls down the well. When he awakes, there is someweird Yellow thing, which I assume to be related to the moon, as you will see why later. They chat for a little bit, and then the samurai finds out that he has died falling down the well! He says he doesn't want to die, and has so many more things he wants to do in life. So, they make a deal, he can come back to life, if he becomes zenmai. What this means is that he is now wind-up powered. Because when he died he was doing bad things (sneaking into dango stores and stealing the dango), to make amends for it, he can only do good things from now on. If he does bad things, the spring will unwind, but if he does good things, the spring will be rewound. In each of the little shows, Zenmai Zamurai does something good, and at the end, a beam comes from the moon (I guess the big yellow thing he made a deal with) and winds him up.

Thats pretty harsh for a kids show!


ps. His secret technique is called "dango-ken" His Katana is a dango skewer, and what he does is this cute little dance and then dango shoot out of his sword and into his opponents mouth, and the taste is so great that the stop their evil ways. The characters associated with this technique are pronounced hisshou (必笑) and mean 'required smile'.


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