Anyhow… I have discovered that in order to do this, the best thing to do is - before I write, I come up with the one thing I want to say.
So… while I admittedly forgot to do that with this blog and so must start anew, the one thing I want to convey is that the Japanese are a bunch of fugging weird people sometimes.
And that is great!
Meet Taitsukun… which is a bastardized katakana-English way of saying "Tights-kun"… 'Tights' as in spandex or bodysuit… kun as in… it's tough to translate words… but near as I can figure, kun is a way for men to describe themselves in a soft, cute way… just like women will use 'chan'… for example, I am An-do-ryu-kun, and a woman could be Jackie-chan. Okay… bad example… Noboko-chan. The word 'kun' is pronounced 'coon', and I have no idea why being called a coon gets me all hot and bothered, but it does.
It becomes a softer way of saying a person's name… but when Noboko called me that, it had the opposite effect of softening anything.
Taitsukun - what the hell?
Meet Pierre (yellow tights) and Jonathon (orange tights), who are the brainchild of Sui Sui, Ltd… who produce the Taitsukun phenomenon.
Takahashi Jun (surname first) is the artist and Matsuoka Hiroyuki (surname first) is the writer (and Sui Sui president).
When Taitsukun first appeared in 2002, it was on something called Reiko cards... postcard-like things... that offer, if we were to translate 'Reiko' to English, "strictly enforcing the rules" cards.
Unfortunately for Pierre and Jonathan (Taitsukun), these guys are not very good at saying the politically correct thing, and seem to do a better job utilizing body language…
Okay… don't you believe that! Their actions are every bit as weird as their words! Stranger even!
But that is what makes it all so effing weird that makes you stand up and scream WTF!?
What are the Taitsukun like? Well, according to the Sui Sui website: Pierre (in yellow) is fickle and lacks patience. Jonathan is meticulous and never loses his cool. But really, I think that's all crap. What's important is that these guys are funny!
|Main the Taitsukun characters Jonathan (left) and Pierre.|
Taitsukun have been a phenomenon in Japan since their inception in 2002… and yet, all I know of them is for some truly weird Japanese packaging.
That would be strange enough, of course, but packaging is where we must start.
I was scouring the Internet for weird Japanese things, and came across a bag of Doritos corn chips with these two guys on the bag.
One (Jonathan) is spinning the other around in an airplane spin... but the guy holding on and doing the spinning has his foot buried deep in the other's crotch making it ultra painful to look at it.
Here's that bag of Doritos:
I had no idea what the hell I was looking at. I thought that Doritos was spoofing wrestling... and had created wrestling chips for a market that would only make sense to the Japanese who (like us North Americans - me) like 'professional' wresting entertainment.
Okay... I used to like wrestling... and haven't really watched anything in about 10 years.
So I published that blog with the wacky Japanese packaging HERE. It contained little information on what exactly the bag was - just a few questions from me...
So... a few days ago, I was again scouring the Internet (oh the things I do to try and amuse you all - and me!), and came across another bag of 'wresting' Doritos. WTF?! It was different from the last one.
Now... this bag - the one at the very top - did not appear to offer a wrestling theme, but these guys were wearing a wrestling unitard. Were they wrestlers?
No. They are not. They like wearing the spandex suits, however. I have no idea why... and since they are not wrestlers, for anyone to wear something like that, well... it gives them a distinctly creepy look and feel to them... like they just don't belong in regular society.
Apparently I 'got it' without knowing what the hell I was looking at.
So... with help from work buddy Michael Power who translated the writing on the wall of the bag, I was able to get further into this whole taitsukun phenomenon. Michael was the one who told me what the hell these guys were called.
He also noted that Doritos had an "Adult Doritos Line"... especially made, I assume, for these characters back in June of 2006.
I assume it's 2012 or 2017 as I edit this story for the first time since it was published... so this is not a new thing to report on. But it's new to me.
So... I actually found the original Reiko card for the artwork on the bag of Doritos where one has his foot in the other. It says underneath the artwork:
"Don't we have any other way to motivate our workers?"
Brilliant! Sui Sui and Taitsukun's actions have perfectly depicted the way the average joe suzuki (and possibly you and I) probably feels their workplace is like.
Although I love my job, it sometimes feels like the only way we are motivated is by a foot in the crotch and violent airplane spin.
So why Doritos? (Doritos is a brand owned by Frito-Lay, which is owned by PepsiCo. A line on Pepsi shortly.)
I have no idea what the hell Doritos was thinking.
An adult line of corn chips? Initially I thought that inside the bags, the chips were shaped like a penis or boobs or something… but no… the only adult-thing were the actions of Pierre and Jonathan, who act adult-like in a childish way.
Which is why the damn things are hilarious.
On the bag of chips at the VERY TOP of this blog, where it looks like they are about to hump one another, written in Japanese is Hiza Chikara... 'Knee Power'… thinks Michael (and I agree, because my translation skills are worse than even I believe).
Knee Power? It really does lose something in the translation.
And what flavor do we have? Well, on THIS bag, we have Chili Tacos - wood smoked… I think. My pal Michael and I were trying to figure it out… Okay, Michael was. I just nodded my head politely.
So... what's up with the Doritos chips themselves? Well, for ¥124 (US $1.13), you had your choice of two flavors: something called Electric Anma (maybe Black Pepper & Salt) that I have no idea of what it really is, and the aforementioned Spicy Chili Taco Piriri.
While the official Sui Sui website (HERE) says that there were only four package varieties (four cartoons), I've found evidence of at least eight - issued in two series of four.
First Doritos Series of Four released on June 26, 2006 (all discontinued):
|Original Caption Left: Don't we have any other way to motivate our workers?; Original Caption Right: Nothing to eat? Well... I think I can find something.|
|Original Caption: I could not find them. Sorry.|
|Original Caption: I could not find these either.|
|Original Caption Left: Couldn't find it; Right: The majority will shoot you down in flames every time!|
As for Pepsi... they like to create special edition Pepsi-Cola drinks... collector's beverages specifically for the Japanese market. See HERE and HERE and even HERE.