Sunday, February 06, 2011

Japanese Slats and BJs

My last post about slobber cock in Japan got quite a response on Facebook, so here's a couple more noteworthy examples of poor product name choice in Japan: BJs at Canon, and Japanese Slats for sale in convenience stores nationwide.

The first of these two ads caught my eye more than 10 years ago, when Yoshikawa Hinano, an up and coming Japanese model became the spokesperson to promote BJ printers from Canon. The name BJ was from "Bubble Jet," since the Japanese love to shorten every English word to either letters, or some kind of abbreviation of a few syllables.

Clearly, nobody from any of the international offices took the time to drop an email to the head of the ad department in Japan. Or maybe they did, but the company knew that Hinano, being neither the brightest nor sharpest crayon in the box, would not be aware of the wider implications of her offering up BJs on TV. But I think it's the explosive enthusiasm of Hinano that makes the BJ name choice just so wrong, and yet soooo right.

Here's a still.

And the video. There's no way anybody can deny that Hinano's explosive bucket of BJ clippings was meant to be anything but overtly sexual. You gotta love the poor old lady who has to clean up the mess. Now I know how hotel maids must feel. Anyway, at the end she lets us know that a BJ from Canon is wonderful, which I'm sure nobody would dispute. The video ends with a nice touch of bestiality for a classy finish.

The other ad isn't quite so bad, but is still a bad name choice. It's Asahi's new product, Slat -- a diet alcoholic beverage that is pronounced SLUT. Niiiiice. Let's hope there's some decent cause / effect relationship from drinking the stuff.


And another addition to the Wacky English thread. Just got this in my mail. I'm both impressed that somebody actually knew the abbreviation for Double Income No Kids...DINK...and amused that they are juuuuuust clueless enough to print it on the formal 60X40 cm glossy poster ad they put in my mail.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Deep Frying Cock at Monsoon Cafe in Tokyo

I know that teasing a non-native speaker about spelling is the lowest form of humor, but sometimes you just have to do it in the name of common decency. Particularly when it's a very successful restaurant chain like Monsoon Cafe. C'mon guys -- it would have taken but a minute to ask a foreigner if they were hungry for "slaver cock."

I had dinner with a buddy last night at the Monsoon Cafe in Ginza in Tokyo. It's located in a complex of all the restaurants run by the same group that runs the Monsoon Cafe -- it's known as the "G-Zone." Is it just me, or does that sound suspiciously close to the G-Spot. Then you look at the menu choices...

Your choice of steaming or deep frying cock. Yes, I know a cock also means a male chicken...but really. It's not the best word choice for a menu.

Yeah..."Asian Hormone," "Slaver Cock" and "Broiling Cock" also are not appealing menu choices for the discerning hetero palate.

But they did try to make an English menu. Since "Slaver" was supposed to mean "mouth watering," the waitress told me they'd corrected to the following.

Slobber Chicken. I swear to god, I'm not making this shit up. This is actually their professionally translated English menu.

All kidding aside, Monsoon Cafe has pretty decent SE Asian food for Japan. Japan usually brutalizes foreign cuisine by trying to Japanize it by adding fish eggs or mayonnaise or some other disgusting thing. But Monsoon cafe is at least in the same ballpark as the original flavors. And they have a great atmosphere -- particularly if you can make it to the Ikspiari location just beside Tokyo Disneyland. And, as a treat, on their special Slaver Cock menu they had one of my favorite Thai dishes - BBK pork neck, "Koh muu yang."

Keep up the good work, Monsoon cafe! But get a new translator! :)