• J-pop group Arashi take on contestants on TV game show 'Vs Arashi'. (SBS On Demand)Source: SBS On Demand
Stupid stunts! Papier-mâché heads! Bodily fluids! Mummified contestants! Welcome to the crazy world of the Japanese game show.
29 Mar 2017 - 10:46 AM  UPDATED 31 Mar 2017 - 3:18 PM

As the members of superstar J-pop group Arashi do battle with guest teams on their own TV game show, Vs Arashi, now screening on SBS VICELAND, the candy-coloured lunacy would make Grant Denyer’s brain explode. He should be thankful he doesn’t present any of the following programs - the craziest Japanese game shows to have ever graced the small screen…

Takashi's Castle

Playing like It’s a Knockout on acid, each episode featured over 100 contestants, who were put through a series of typically bonkers physical challenges, fighting to win the right to storm actor Takashi "Beat" Kitano’s Castle. In between the often-bruising tests, there were a series of increasingly bizarre and weird comedy skits. 

When Kitano was banned from television for violent conduct, a stand-in wore a giant papier-mâché version of the legendary Japanese actor’s head. Versions were redubbed and re-edited all over the globe. In the UK, Red Dwarf's Craig Charles narrated, while Australia got two Big Brother contestants and a cross-dressing geisha girl named Beryl.

Human Slip 'n Slide

On a sunny afternoon, there’s nothing more Australian than rolling out the slip ‘n slide in the backyard. It’s the same in Japan. Except they use a line-up of 20 oiled-up bikini clad beauties to slide on. In Human Slip ‘n Slide, the contestant - usually a middle-aged man - is lubed up before he takes a run at the scantily clad human runway. He slides over the young ladies, coping a feel as he slithers. 

It’s all a bit weird and a tad distasteful - but that’s not all. The contestant then, along with a newly introduced younger competitor, must face the indignity of having his shorts stuffed full of rubber balls by the young ladies and have a fight with his more sprightly opponent. Then the girls jump back in for a tickle fight!


AKBINGO! is a Japanese variety show featuring Japanese girl group AKB48. One part of the show is an all-girl game of dodgeball. If you get hit, you are out, as per standard dodgeball rules. Where it changes? Those who are hit are also punished and have to take part in increasingly wacky and disturbing games conjured up by the comedy duo hosts. In one task, two young girls have to blow down either end of a tube with all their might to force a cicada to scamper down their opponent’s windpipe.


A multi-level game show where contestants are tested by a series of puzzles and questions. So far so normal. But being a Japanese game show, it isn’t. On one level, the contestant has to answer seven questions in 60 seconds while they are mummified by a spinning bandage machine. If they fail, they are then sealed up in a tomb for good measure. One hopes they are let out after the show!

Sing What Happens

A karaoke show with a difference - contestants have to sing while being distracted. Did we mention the singers are all male? And that distraction is caused by a young lady, often dressed in a suitably coquettish outfit, who gives the crooner a hand job. If they can finish the song without, erm… finishing, the sweet taste of victory will be theirs. While the "action" is hidden, the facial expressions will forever be scorched in your brain. Cum on, feel the noize!

Candy Or Not Candy

Do you want to see a man eating a shoe? Does the sight of someone licking a coffee table make you smile? What about a man swallowing a door knob? If you answered yes, you need to watch Candy Or Not Candy. The does-what-it-says-on-the-tin show has a simple premise. The grinning host hands a group of celebrities household items and they must ascertain whether they are real, or made from candy and chocolate that has been moulded into an edible imitation. Hilarity and potential diabetes ensue.


Earning an entry in The Guinness Book of World Records for "Most Extreme Game Show", Endurance made its contestants endure a series of horrific challenges that would defeat all but the hardiest. They are buried, tormented and abused. In one horrifying contest, under the hot climes of Egypt, contestants are strapped to reflective shields and left hanging upside down in the scorching sun while the grinning host uses a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays on the poor contestant’s nipples!

Orgasm Wars

Definitely NSFW, Orgasm Wars features a gay guy trying to make a straight chap ejaculate. In front of a live TV audience…

Oh, and then there’s the game show called Battle Of The Blow Jobs, another where scantily clad young ladies catch coins in their cleavage, and another when they try and recognise people by only looking at their bums.

I’ll get my coat…

Watch Vs Arashi on SBS VICELAND on Sundays at 6pm.


More on the Guide
Japan’s pop stars are more than just idle idols
Step inside the brave new world that is J-pop’s idol industry.
12 of the most inspiring times IYATO contestants used food to describe their emotions
If You Are The One contestants are a delicacy all on their own.