Refer to Rule One

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I wrote about Rule One: Never Make the Children Cry. Well, today I was watching a program on Japanese TV and two people clearly didn’t know that rule. They were highlighting Japanese ping pong athletes on the show. The part of the show I watched had a doubles match between Mima Ito (伊藤美誠) and Miu Hirano (平野美宇) on one team and Bobby and Wakki on the other.

Bobby is an African K-1 fighter who, because of his big, round smiley face, is quite popular on Japanese variety shows. Wakki is a really annoying comedian. He likes to convince everyone that he’s the smartest and the most athletic person around. He is quite intelligent and athletic, but certainly is deluded. I watched him go down in a competition where he thought he could beat a leading MLB base-stealer at sprinting and diving for a flag in the sand. So, tonight’s competition was a joy to watch.

Mima-chan is 7 years old and Miu-chan is 5. Can you guess who won? Of course the girls took them down. The men were complaining a lot during the game. Then they resorted to a lot of cheap plays and taunting. A little bit is funny, but Wakki pushed the intimidation thing over the line. Poor little Miu looked like she was going to cry a couple times. After the match, one of her elder teammates was hugging her and encouraging her. I think they also fed her a line for the upcoming question…

An announcer asked her, “How was the match?” and she replied, “It wasn’t even close to a match.” That got a bit of laughter.

Here’s a photo from Mima-chan’s blog from the green room. In her post she says that Wakki was much more proper in person than on TV, but Bobby was the same as he seems on TV. I wonder if that was written before or after they filmed the program.

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2 Responses to “Refer to Rule One”

  1. verbivore Says:

    Poor kids, am very glad they won!

  2. びっくり Says:

    Yeah, I think it can be funny if adults are pretending like they’re trying to intimidate the kids. But, only if the kids are in on it, and the adults don’t take it too far. Wakki always wants to win, even against five-year-olds, and would do anything to make it happen. He looked a little too sincere in his intimidation. The rest of his team was booing him when he was trying to dink it over the net.

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