Adam Rice

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Unbeatable Banzuke

I’ve been working on an ongoing translation project for the past four months. It’s being released in the USA under the title Unbeatable Banzuke on the G4 cable station.

The show was called 筋肉番付 (kinniku banzuke—”Muscle Ranking”) in Japanese, and aired about ten years ago.

Yesterday, I caught just a few minutes of a segment I had translated. From what little I saw, the production company hasn’t tampered much with my translation (as edited by my editor at the translation agency). The American version is kind of weird. They’ve got an American doing completely new voiceover, and his pronunciation of Japanese words is as bad as anyone who doesn’t know a lick of Japanese. The show closes with more completely new content in the form of a signoff by a Japanese-speaking announcer named Kei Kato, who was not a part of the original show. I’m not exactly sure what the point of this extra “local color” is. I’m also a little puzzled that they’d want the local color, but stick with such stridently Americanized pronunciation for Japanese words.

They also seem to have deleted all the original telops, including the many advertising the prize money for each event. This is reasonable, but since the contestants frequently make reference to the money they stand to win, I’m guessing they’ve probably edited those parts out. I’ll need to watch more to find out.

6 Comments

  1. Awesome! UB is my four-year-old’s current favorite show (close second to Ninja Warrior). He pronounces it “a ba ta ba banzuke” for some reason, though.

  2. I love that show! Watching it now, in fact. That and Ninja Warrior are my favorites. I think Kei is a
    little cutie. I don’t know anything about the language so I hadn’t noticed errors on pronunciation. And I love the Japanese’ sence of humor.

  3. Is Kei Kato “Unbeatable Banzuke” and Rome Kanda who is the real Japanese TV game show host of
    “I Survived A Japanese Game Show” the same actor? I say they are and my daughter says no.

  4. Never heard of Rome Kanda before, but judging by the pictures, they look the same.

  5. Rome Kanda IS Kato Kei.

  6. If you want to read about Rome Kanda aka Kei Kato, go to my Rome Kanda fansite ww.webjam.com/rome_kanda_majide and read about this very amazing man.

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