Anime Vice News

ROCK LEE & HIS NINJA PALS #5 - - Special Review

Drunk salary men are hilarious!

It’s a good thing that I wasn’t drinking milk while I watched this - - there’s a very good chance that it all would’ve shot out my nose and all over my laptop after the gag where Lee gets himself dizzy enough to turn into a drunk salaryman. I don’t know if that pop culture whammy was supposed to be in reference to a specific Japanese game show I once saw, but it was close enough to get my mind on that most garish example of TV programming.

See, it’s kind of shame that we haven’t been able to cover other areas of Japanese television on here - - particularly those game shows. Whatever grievances you might have about the bad taste of American reality shows look rather silly when these variety shows of humiliation are brought along into the discussion.

The one I’m specifically thinking of was basically a riff on the “phone a friend” lifeline on WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? that revolved around getting businessman piss drunk on camera and tasking them to call their families on a couple of phone booths on set. Them being “uninhibited” of course meant that a lot of private and embarrassing subjects would slip into discussions for all the nation to listen in on.

Now, that's TV!

ROCK LEE & HIS NINJA PALS has educated me once again, getting me to think that drunken and buffoonish businessmen may a bigger part of Japanese entertainment than I ever realized.

Aside from that, this one as much of a howler as other episodes… and that’s OK. I’ve heard the grievances of you lunatics - - the assertions that this show is really stupid - - and you won’t ever catch me arguing with you. It is stupid. Very stupid… but it’s still a plenty of quaint fun to watch.

Watch this episode, "I'm Going to Teach Konohamaru Kempo/ I Save My Lucky Undies for Physicals" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

zaldaron May 17, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.

See when you get to the point of dumb and dumber stupid (which I am afraid this does) it ceases to be funny to me...

FoxxFireArt moderator on May 17, 2012 at 3:23 p.m.

The Drunken Business Man is a callback to a moment from the manga. Back when Rock Lee first went up against Gaara, he was seriously injured and needed an extremely risky surgery to continue his dream to be a ninja. While he obviously did survive, he wasn't fully recovered as Naruto and others were chasing after Sasuke to stop him from going to the side of villain Orochimaru. Rock Lee arrived just in time to save Naruto from Kimimaro. Before Rock Lee left, he took what he thought was his medicine. He gulped it down before he fought, but what he actually took was a small container of Tsunade's sake. Rock Lee gets instantly drunk, and we learn, through Might Guy, that Rock Lee accidentally drank a bit of sake before and went wild. It turns out that Lee is a natural at the Drunken Fist technique. Just put "Rock Lee Drunken Fist" into YouTube and you can see some clips (or NARUTO Ep. 123 on HULU).

This portion of the story was censored by VIZ in both the manga an anime. I can't remember what the anime called it, but the manga had Lee accidentally drink "private potion" and was a master of the "Potion Punch". At no time giving any context as to what they even meant or why Tsunade would have "private potion". One of the games that had it called it the "Loopy Fist". It never ceases to amaze me how they can have a story built around teens fighting and killing, but God forbid one of them ever drink alcohol accidentally or put a cigarette in their mouth once. This sort of childishness is why the US version of the manga isn't worth the paper it's printed on. If it's appropriate for the Japanese audience, then it's appropriate enough for us.

Yeah, this series is kind of stupid, but so what? Not every show has to be deep with subtext and drama to be entertaining. This is funny, and I enjoy watching it.

I don't like reality TV because it makes horrible people into celebrities that should be reviled by society. Look at the Jersey Shore cast or any of the Kardashians. These people have been made into celebrities based on nothing more than cameras are pointed at them.

takashichea moderator on May 18, 2012 at 2:10 p.m.

I liked some parts of this episode especially with the sexy jutsu scene. Poor Tenten.

FoxxFireArt, I hate to argue with you, but I actually think censoring those drug references is for the best. I don't want my siblings to think smoking cigarettes are cool or drinking alcohol gives you superpowers. Regardless of censorship, I have do my job and tell them not to do drugs.

FoxxFireArt moderator on May 19, 2012 at 1:42 a.m.

@takashichea:

If someone isn't mature enough to understand the consequences of the content, then they shouldn't be reading it. It's not the publisher's job to raise other people's kids. Your siblings also shouldn't be under the impression that you kill fight to resolve issues, but you don't seem to have a problem with that violence.

Rxanaduon May 21, 2012 at 11:53 p.m.
@TomPinchuck said "[...]it’s kind of shame that we haven’t been able to cover other areas of Japanese television on here"
 
I've always wondered why that is, then again with a name such as "Anime Vice", this website's a bit limited in what type of material it can cover.  Websites, such as Japanator and Kotaku, have much more leniency over what material they choose to cover mostly because they don't constrict themselves in such a small area.  This site probably couldn't pull a "Tested" and broaden its borders as easily.  
 
It may be beneficial for this site to get a name change or something along the lines of broadening the material covered on the site.  Anything to get more exposure for the site.  I know you're not a staff member of the site, but you're extremely popular, which could be useful in bringing these sort of ideas to the higher-ups.
takashichea moderator on May 21, 2012 at 11:55 p.m.

@Rxanadu:

Tom is a staff member of Anime Vice.

Dig Deeper into NARUTO Spin-Off: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals

This is a spinoff series of the Naruto franchise that revolves around Rock Lee and his friends.

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