Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wipeout vs Takeshi's Castle (MXC)

When Wipeout hit the air waves I about went crazy. I was pissed. How could they do this?! Format a show as a direct and blatant copy and not give any credit. It still drives me crazy every time I see a facebook post saying something along the line of "OMG I love Wipe Out. Greatest show ever." I get totally steamed. If you really want to roll on the floor laughing, watch MXC.

Wipe Out is an American game show series in which contestants compete in what is billed as the "world's largest obstacle course" (I beg to differ). The series premiered on June 24, 2008 on ABC. During an episode, contestants compete through four rounds of competition until a final winner is chosen. The first round features 24 contestants, while only the top four will make it to the final round called the Wipeout Zone, where the winner earns the title of Wipeout Champion and a $50,000 grand prize.

Apparently, I'm not the only one worked up over the hit copycat.
The concept and style of the show are taken directly from several Japanese game shows, most notably Takeshi's Castle and Sasuke. This was brought to the attention of the Japanese broadcaster Tokyo Broadcasting System, who filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against ABC, charging that Wipeout is a "blatant Copycat" of several of it's classic Japanese competition game shows. Among the charges are that ABC brought up search terms such as MXC (an Americanized version of Takeshi's Castle) on Google to help drive traffic to the official Wipeout page, and that specific obstacles in Wipeout were knock-offs of challenges in those Japanese game shows. Wipeout creator and executive producer Matt Kunitz, aka Douchy McGee, states that Wipeout is "90% Fear Factor-inspired, 10% Japanese game show.
Lies! Lies and slander!
The lawsuit went forward earlier this year.

 Wipeout doesn't hold a candle to Takeshi's Castle (MXC) and Sasuke (Ninja Warrior).
 Takeshi's Castle: 
風雲!たけし城 Fūun! Takeshi-jō, literally Turbulence! Takeshi Castle was a Japanese game show that aired from 1986 to 1989 on the Tokyo Broadcasting System. It featured the Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano as a count who owns a castle and sets up impossible challenges for players (or a volunteer army) to get to him. The show has become a cult television hit around the world (also known as Beat Takeshi).
It is a silly game show on which contestants are painfully eliminated through barely possible stunts and events, most taking place above pools of mud. 

Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (later known as MXC) is a re-edit of the footage from Takeshi's castle with rather hilarious dubbings that aired on Spike TV for several years. MXC is both property of Tokyo Broadcasting System and RC entertainment.
The dubbing over the Japanese voices is absolutley classic! In the dubbing they have completely changed what contestants are saying, and it is hilarious. Before a try at each round contestants pose for the camera and shout out the most random of absurdities (i.e. "I swallowed a comb!", "Yeah, I'm lactose intolerant!", "This is for all my homies in Battle Creek!") in whatever strange costume or uniform they have thrown on.
The contestants are ridiculous in how far they will go. Seeing them run into doors head-on, fall face first into rolling logs, try and catch balls flying at incredible speeds, violently spin and swing from enormous mushrooms, and try to survive through the general mayhem is great. This show is definitely a must see for anyone who is looking for a laugh. 

 How could Wipeout possibly beat obstacles like Sinkers and Floaters, Rotating Surfboard of Death, Boulder Dash, Brass Balls, Dope on a Rope and Eat Shitake, to name a few. The dubbed version splits contestants into teams (i.e. Team USA vs the World, Meat Handlers vs Voice Actors, Organ Donors vs Recovering Addicts, Superheroes vs Myspace). And sets them against one another trying to earn points as they successfully pass through the obstacles, which is rare.  
Narrated by Vic Romano (Takeshi) and Kenny Blankenship (Takeshi's assistant) and accompanied by a variety of characters like Guy Ladouche, Captain Tenneal, Skanky, em on em, and more, MXC is sinfully funny!

To think that ABC was stupid enough to believe that no one would even notice. I'm surprised it took so long for someone to even point the accusatory finger. 
Copycatting is a usual thing on american tv. Networks make shows just like other shows that people already like, just hoping to bank on it. But the similarities between Wipeout and its Japanese Counterparts is so obvious that ABC is going to get their asses handed to them. 
 And don't forget! You can now pick up your very own copies of MXC on DVD!
Hit the link to watch a little MXC!

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