5 most bizarre Japanese arcade games

Yesterday’s story about the Japanese Whac-A-(Pants-)Mole game got me thinking – what’s weirder than that? Okay, so nothing is weirder than that, maybe, but these come close.

Sub Marine Catcher

I’m sure we’ve all been drunk enough at some point to try our hands at one of those claw-operated games outside the local Spar, only to be disappointed after pumping in R200 for retries and finally getting a crap prize like a neon orange teddy bear with no eyes. This game’s prizes are way more posh.

Sub Marine Catcher

I hope there’s a Sub Marine Cooker machine next to it.

THE [email protected]

Featuring a massive neon-lit cabinet with surround sound and faux fur seating, [email protected] puts you in total control of a prospective teen pop star’s career. You tell her what to do, you choose what she wears, you read her mail, you pose her in front of cameras, you wipe melted ice-cream off her, that sort of thing. It’s totally not creepy at all.

The Idolm@ster

Don’t make me get the hose, missy.

Boong-Ga, Boong-Ga

Also known as Spank ‘Em, this is a game about – look at you, genius! – spanking. Or, more technically, anal probing. According to the game’s Wikipedia entry, it’s “the first arcade game to simulate kancho, a children’s prank popular in Japan where the victim is poked with two fingers in the anal region while distracted”. That’s not even the best part (so to speak) – you, the prober, get to choose from a bunch of different probees, including an ex-girlfriend, a prostitute, and a child molester. The machine also dispenses plastic trophies in the shape of a heap of turds.

Boong-Ga, Boong-Ga

I’m sure the only real difference between “kancho” and “sexual assault” is the spelling.

Cho Aniki

This side-scrolling shmup puts you against a bunch of alien bad guys… because you’re the Great Galaxy Bodybuilding champ and you’re out of protein bars. The only solution (obviously) is to invade other planets to exploit their natural protein resources. Or something. There are so many sweaty, half-naked muscle-men in spandex it’s hard to keep track of the plot.

Cho Aniki

Do you even lift, bro?

I’m Sorry

One part political commentary and fifty parts totally crazy, I’m Sorry stars a rather unflattering caricature of corrupt former Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka rushing around a maze grabbing gold bars. Tanaka was implicated in several major bribery scandals during his term in office, so that makes some sort of sense. So far, so okaaaaaay, but the game’s enemies include Madonna, Michael Jackson, Japanese comedian Kazuyoshi “Tamori” Morita, and American track and field Olympics gold medallist Carl Lewis. Which makes no sense whatsoever.

I'm Sorry / Gonbē no Aimusōrī

You know I’m bad, I’m bad, you know it. Okay, maybe that makes a bit of sense.

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5 most bizarre Japanese arcade games

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