“And another day takes place in Lord Takeshi’s palace. Even today, he must stop the invaders trying to attack his palace.” Well, and who knows? That’s right, always with these words speaker Armin Berger greeted German viewers on DSF (today Sport1) in 1999 for a total of 133 episodes of the Japanese game show “Takeshi’s Castle”. I was about eight years old, came home from school, threw my Scout bag in the corner and hid in front of the TV. The world was still good and in Fig. 4:3. And there’s one thing you need to know about this time around the turn of the millennium: German private television was in Japanese hands at the time.
So my afternoon included a good dose of anime shows on RTL2 every day: Pokémon, Digimon, Dragonball and Sailor Moon are just the tip of the iceberg. There were also: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Ranma , Shin Chan, Jin – the Kamikaze Thief, One Piece, Monster Rancher, Inuyasha, Duel Masters, Flint Hammerhead, Hamtaro, The Kickers, Detective Conan and Beyblade. Other than this…. No, I’m sorry. This huge group of Japanese entertainers not only secured the jobs of German dubbing actors over the years, but it also had a lasting impact on the media consumption behavior of millennials and continues to do so today.
Takeshi’s Castle – Season 1 – Episode 1 (DSF Version)
“Only a wet candidate is a good candidate!”
So while you can treat yourself to full anime broadside on RTL2, the sports and soft-porn channel DSF, the game show “Takeshi’s Castle” gets a few “P+” button presses. In it, 90 to 150 candidates, led by General Hayati Tani, must enter Lord Takeshi’s palace and overcome some easy, but sometimes difficult, to nearly impossible game stages. These games are often based on the jump’n’run route known from games such as Super Mario: sometimes candidates have to climb a wall, sometimes jump over a row of stones in a river, but among them Some are loose. In general, as soon as one gets into the water, he/she gets out. This is why every episode quotes Lord Takeshi’s favorite saying: “Only a wet candidate is a good candidate!”.
Those who manage to master all the stages (usually not very many) compete in an epic battle against Takeshi and his henchmen in the finale: the slow ones in chariots slamming water on each other. key pistol until the cardboard sign appears. Mounted on the opponent’s car, soaked. Later, water guns were replaced by lasers and shields by sensors, complete with bad explosions and cheap laser animations. But no matter what the candidates shot, Takeshi was overwhelming. In only nine out of 133 finals, the victors managed to win. Finals became a trend and after each defeat, General Hayati Tani vowed to come back stronger next time.
Is this all just a show?
And so the sometimes absurd (and most absurdly difficult) stages were always in the foreground. Take for example the “flying toadstool”: a giant rotating toadstool passed over a pit of water, which manages to stick to it for the entire journey, is ahead. Or human bowling, in which contestants were dressed in bowling pin suits and had to dodge a giant ball by tying their feet together. Or the nearly impossible labyrinth of doors, in which not only three of the four exits ended directly in the moat, but in which were hidden two of the prince’s creepy henchmen, who regularly snatched up poor, ignorant candidates. And so people fell and fell and slipped and got lost until they could no longer move. So you could say that only “Takeshi’s Castle” had to offer audiences that were encouraging.
Takeshi’s Castle – The Best
Maybe that’s right. But maybe there is something more to it. Namely various German football professionals “Clean your mouth, go ahead!” DESCRIPTION: If you fall in life, you get up and try again. And if you can’t do it yourself, maybe others can do it for you. However, most of the time this is not enough. But he did so in nine out of 133 attempts.
No “Hunger Games” and no “Squid Game” without “Takeshi’s Castle”
So the message is as simple as it is popular: There must be a reason the show has thrilled large audiences over the years and is set to be relaunched in 2023 by streaming giant Amazon. In early 2007, RTL2 repeated the show, which incidentally had already been recorded in Japan in the late 1980s. In 2018, Comedy Central again showed all episodes, even the Thai remake of “Takeshi’s Palace: Thailand”.
The (pop) cultural influence of the show is as spectacular as one or two belly claps by the candidates. Because: He founded the Battle Royale principle: A group of people starts a game, decreasing the number of participants in each round until one or more winners are determined at the end. Not only is the Japanese cult film “Battle Royale” based on it, in which a group of students* fight for survival on an island and in which Takeshi actor Takeshi Kitano plays the lead, but also the successful “Hunger Games” series. “Takeshi’s Castle” is a prime example of simplification in cinematic storytelling. More recently, the Korean series “Squid Game” borrowed the theory and turned it into a brutal fight to the death. Result: It became the most successful series of all time.
But the influence of “Takeshi’s Castle” in the video game also cannot be ignored: the battle royale shooter “Fortnite”, how could it be otherwise, is the second most successful game of all time. After Tetris. And the big game series “Call of Duty” now has a multimillion-dollar battle royale offshoot with “Warzone.” None of this would have happened if a few hundred brave Japanese men and women had not stumbled upon a few stones in the late 1980s.