__ちょっとッ！[Chotto!] is a mini-series dedicated to the rounds of Japanese culture. The Japanese word, ちょっと, takes on many meanings depending on context and deliverance. In this case, means ‘little’ since this series is made up of short articles. It also means ‘Wait a sec!’ While most things to come out of Japan take on varying forms of awesome, there are a few instances in which the foreigner within quietly ponders, WTF?! In case you have yet to notice, ざっちー [Zatchy] tends to take creative license and slightly exaggerate at times. The fun thing about throwing Japanese culture into the mix is it’s often hard to tell exactly where the exaggerations occur. Please note that these たまご [eggs] are purely based on observation. As ざっちー is basically the equivalent to a small infant in the culture, he makes no claim to have any expertise in any of that which ensues.__
It doesn’t take much テレビ [TV] watching until one starts to take note of a few things about the Japanese media. One of the earliest things you’ll pick up on is the mastery of portraying 食べ物 [food] in a delicate, sensual fashion. Using soft filters and slow panning close-ups, it’s hard not to become slightly turned on. But after that, and the focus of today is, you realize the absolute love of RANKINGS. Everything has been ranked. And I do mean Eh-Ver-EE Thang!
Food, toys, music, talents, text messages— Actually, it’d be easier to list the things not ranked on the ol’ boob-tube… There’s even entire shows dedicated specifically to ranking miscellaneous things, mainly food. I can’t imagine what variety shows would be without the occasional ranking segment.
You may be thinking, ‘There’s nothing strange about that. We have shows about music rankings and the like.’ Japan breaks it down into a finely tuned art form, covering all ends. Not only interested in the top five or ten, special attention seems to be paid (almost more-so than its counterpart) to the bottom dwellers as well. This is perfectly acceptable when ordering the tastes of abstract additions to ラーメン [ramen] dishes. If we’re being honest, who doesn’t want to know where ice cream ramen falls on the charts.
The part that makes the foreign innards shriek, “ちょっとッ！” is when the rankings are in the surrounding realms of say, people’s looks, for example. This in itself is a little iffy, but the media takes it a step further by revealing the bottom placements. It doesn’t stop there. It’s all done with the individuals present. On national television! You get to find out you’re the least attractive/desired person in the group with the world as witness! Talk about a total hatchet to the back of your self-confidence.
I have to give Japanese celebrities props for being able to take that sort of ballyhoo. I’m not curtain I could [but, if things go to plan, we’ll get to find out. ;)]. がんばれ、有名人！
Now, if you’ll excuse me, the keyhole is showing a swimsuit special about my favorite アイドル— Oh, wait, that’s just おにぎり [rice balls]… My body doesn’t know what to think! I’m so confused!!!