I’ve been watching the Oppai sub of Chou Kuse ni Narisou–just finished episode 6, and I have 10 more to watch–and I must say, it is teh funnay. It spoofs on both shoujo and martial arts anime. The main character, Nagisa, is a girl who is heir to a failing judo dojo. She gets scouted by some record producers who think she should be an idol singer, and so she goes along with it so she can go to the “city” with them and find some students for the dojo.
However, the idol life is trying, and so she decides to attend junior high school as a boy so she can enjoy a “normal” life. Of course, her school, run by gangs of bullies, is far from your typical anime Japanese school. The teachers command zero respect, and are typically just standing in the classroom talking to themselves. (Why the students even bother to show up is a good question; maybe they do it for laughs. Nagisa and her gang cut school on numerous occasions when they’ve found something better to do.)
One of the first things to happen was Nagisa proving she could kick everyone else’s ass, so while Tsunoda is still technically the “boss” of the gang, Nagisa is the true muscle and will get her way when she wants to. The second thing was Nagisa falling for the leader of a rival school’s gang. The love affair was complicated by the fact that he was in love with Nagisa’s idol alter-ego…but he figured out rather quickly that boy-Nagisa and idol-Nagisa were one and the same. (None of this dallying for long, torturous episodes!) Now the biggest complications to their love are the disapproval of their fathers–who both run competing dojos–and the bizarre interruptions of a woman called Momoko, who, with her sidekick Kumioka, perform bizarre skits in the middle of an episode for no particular reason. (She claims she is the greatest idol ever, and in keeping with such, stages these performances.)
It was the skit in episode 6 that inspired me to write. As Nagisa’s new friend Aoi-chan is about to be attacked by ninja from her old school, Hanazono, she protests, “I’m just a passerby!”
Then, Momoko shows up:
“There is only Death for escapees,” she says. “You haven’t forgotten that, have you?”
Aoi has enough time to react with a “holy shit, how did you know I was an escapee?” face before Momoko suddenly yells 「そこだ！」 and start hurling shuriken in the opposite direction.
Kamioka appears from behind a cloth he’s been using to camoflage himself on a rock wall, and deflects the shuriken with his sword.
“Master,” he acknowledges Momoko, crouching to prepare for her attack.
“Kamioka,” Momoko responds. “I expected that this day would come.”
She begins spinning a bolo over her head. “This is war!” she shouts, and hurls it at Kamioka.
…and is caught.
At this point he yells something that isn’t translated. I can’t quite make it out, but the last part sounds like no hengen, and when he drops to the ground…
…it’s not him anymore. He’s used the replacement technique!
Momoko gloats, “I’ve added another one, Kamioka,” which is her standard phrase upon completion of a cool scene. “It’s time to begin your lesson.” Then, she…
…blows fire at Kamioka’s discarded camoflage…
…and he pops out from under it, with his pants on fire.
She then proceeds to chase him around, shooting fire at him and shrieking and laughing about the “lessons”.
This anime came out in 1994 (two years after Sailor Moon–I’d spotted a Sailor Moon joke in an earlier episode, and Nagisa’s love interest looks a lot like Mamoru, but this is a total digression). So, apparently, these ninja techniques, as seen in Naruto, have been part of the ninja culture for many years. I found this really interesting.
I’m no connoisseur of martial arts anime/TV, but I had suspected that the techniques in Naruto weren’t created by Kishimoto Masashi. It’s not that he isn’t a great writer, but that there is a trend in Japanese entertainment to build on past works, to make references to predecessors, etc. They not only accept that nothing is completely original, but they thrive on the fact that there is such a wealth of knowledge to work with. I believe something similar happens in the west as far as science fiction and fantasy novels go. Certain ideas get used so often that they become staples of the genre. I also believe that the Harry Potter series is so successful partly because the robust world of the books is based on centuries of real history and legend.
In any case, this was a very interesting step on my quest to learn more about Japanese culture.
Chou Kuse ni Narisou is hilarious, and I recommend it to all :)