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'I Survived a Japanese Game Show' is Fresh and New

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Rome Kanda, 'I Survived a Japanese Game Show'

Rome Kanda is the host of 'Majide,' the fictional game show at the heart of 'I Survived a Japanese Game Show'

Courtesy ABC

The Bottom Line

I Survived a Japanese Game Show is a game show packaged as a reality show. It's a game within a game, that follows the contestants as they live together, compete together, and let viewers in on what they're thinking and feeling as the show progresses. While the reality TV-like confessionals, rewards, and eliminations let us learn more about the contestants, the highlights of the show are the Japanese-inspired game show clips that feature ridiculous and challenging competitions.


  • The games themselves are really over the top, but also highly competitive and tricky.
  • Rome Kanda (or 'Romu Kandu' as he's know on the show) has enough energy for ten game show hosts.
  • The game show audiences are so enthusiastic, adding a extra layer of entertainment.
  • The footage of Tokyo is breathtaking, and contestants are getting to experience some of the culture.
  • It's new and different, in a world of tired reality formats and recycled game shows.


  • We don't get to see much of Tony Sano, the host of the reality show portion of the show.
  • Some of the contestants don't seem very open to the Japanese customs and way of life.
  • The game show portions should be longer, as these are where most of the entertainment is found.


  • 10 Americans are whisked away to Japan, where they must compete in Japanese game shows.
  • Contestants are split into two teams, The Yellow Penguins and The Green Monkeys.
  • Teams go head to head, with the winners getting a reward and the losers having to eliminate one member.
  • Two members of the losing team then battle it out to see which one will go home.
  • Games are based on crazy Japanese game show styles, and played on the set of fictional game show Majide.
  • Contestants also live together, along with house mother "Mamasan."
  • Tony Sano hosts the reality show segments, while the host of the game show is Rome Kanda.
  • Each week one person is eliminated, with the final contestant standing winning $250,000.

Guide Review - 'I Survived a Japanese Game Show' is Fresh and New

Japanese game shows have long been the subject of online viral videos, clip shows on specialty channels, and late night television shows. They're usually outrageously funny, with ordinary people attempting games that run the gamut from just plain silly to outright ridiculous.

I Survived a Japanese Game Show combines elements of traditional reality TV shows with these wonderful Japanese game shows to create a program that is truly new and different. The American contestants have no idea what they're in for as they're flown across the ocean and arrive in Tokyo. It's only when they are welcomed to the set of Majide, a fictional Japanese game show with all of the real-life essentials of the real deal, that they realize what they're actually involved with.

The reality show segments tend to drag slightly, with lots of confessionals and clips of life in the house as the contestants experience Japanese traditions, food, and culture. There is the usual friction that you'll find on any type of competition show where only one winner will emerge.

What really makes this show fresh and enjoyable, however, are the game show segments. The games themselves are hilarious, and Rome Kanda, the host, exudes energy and fun. The audience gets right into the games, bringing along their own props to use to either cheer on or heckle the contestants. There's a great contrast between the seriousness of the American contestants and the fun-loving excitement of the Japanese audience.

With so many game and reality show formats being reused and recycled, I Survived a Japanese Game Show delivers quirky and fresh entertainment, with lots of laughs sprinkled in for good measure.

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