Saturday, May 09, 2009

Blue Badger IRL

Just a random déja vu thing that happened to me during our recent trip to Japan - twice. I like a certain series of handheld video games about cartoon lawyers. A typical case will revolve around bringing to light, through a long process of investigation and examining evidence, that the accused is left-handed when the murder weapon was a right-handed golf club. Or whatever.

Sounds stupid, and often is, but the gameplay is very similar to old-school point-and-click adventure games, and the dialogue can be surprisingly funny. The games are clearly set in Japan but, at least in the English translation, take place in fictional locations.

I’ve played through four games in this series now, and a couple of them make jokes about the police department having a silly-looking mascot - the “Blue Badger”. Here he is, in front of the police building, in the background from one of the games.

Well, the other week in Ginza I strolled past what seemed to be the police museum (fun for the whole family, right?), and it... er... just look:

Not hard to see where the video game designers’ grand inspiration came from. Here’s that pantsless police creature’s website, complete with theme song. Ah, Japan.

Then the same thing happened the next day. Strange-looking stadium from the game:

Real stadium:

Now, I have no illusions that I’ve discovered something new here. I’m sure that Pipo-kun the haunting police beast and that strenuously architecture-y stadium are as familiar to Japanese people as an igloo to an Eskimo, and that’s why they were parodied in these games. It just makes me wonder how many other caricatured landmarks, celebrities, myths etc. from foreign cultures I’ve been exposed to for years without having the slightest clue. And somehow I feel slightly let down that the Blue Badger turned out to be biting real-world satire and not just a strange, random figment of someone’s imagination.

I guess most works of art are like that - you can always deepen your understanding of them by studying more about the context they were created in, but that knowledge can end up tainting your enthusiasm for the artwork in the first place.

Like how taking a good, close look at Jon Voight’s face explains so, so much about Angelina Jolie, but also utterly destroys her hotness.


ed said...

Beyond the fact that this post lacks any kind of pep whatsoever and is about as fucking boring as reading a goddam travel brochure, this is shitty grammar. Which is highly surprising from the self-proclaimed asshole grammarian who thinks he's hot shit. Jesus fucking Christ, where do we start, you yutz?

First, there's no need for a fucking dash in the first sentence. "Deja vu thing?" Deja vu here is a noun, you pinhead. There's no need for the amateurish "thing."

"A typical case will revolve around bringing to light?" Incomprehensible phrasing. Learn how to use verbs, you fucking idiot. A case will either "revolve around" or "bring to light."

The gameplay IS similar and the dialogue CAN BE surprisingly funny? You can't even match your fucking tense in the same sentence.

Games are not "them." Because games aren't fucking people.

No fucking colon after games?

Real stadium is a crappy sentence frag.

The Blue Badger is biting satire? Learn how to place your modifiers right. It's a verb in that context.

Beginning a sentence with "like how?" Who the fuck are you? A 1980s Valley Girl?

You are a fucking embarrassment to writing. I'm shocked that you are actually butchering Bangkok tongues on a professional basis.

albtraum said...

Ed! Welcome. It's nice that we're getting to know each other better.

You bring up some interesting points. I won't go into them in detail except for the first one. "deja vu" is sometimes used as a noun in English. However, since it means "already seen" in French and is therefore an adjective phrase and not, in fact, a noun, I feel justified in my choice.

For someone who ostentatiously used four or five French words in your last post, I'm surprised you forgot that. Or are you... posing ...? as if you know French? Could you possibly exemplify another French concept, the "poseur"? Oh but that's uncharitable of me. Never mind, old friend. I sometimes say silly things. I hope you won't take offense.

Looking forward to our next chat!