Thursday, July 12, 2007

Skits, Rounds 3 and 4

So yesterday I did two more rounds of skits. The teacher I was teaching with this time is one of my favourites; he always seems to come up with good additions and suggestions to my classes.

Well, it turned out that this time, he had raised the skit stakes by telling the class that they could get up to 5 extra points in their English classes through their skit presentations (which, since my class is officially worth nothing, were otherwise also officially worth nothing). So that raised the motivation and desire to do well. Each group was given a marking sheet, where they assigned marks to each of the other groups based on a variety of factors (memorization, use of English, volume, action, etc.).

The results meant the skits were better than the skits from Rounds 1 and 2, though, in a few cases, only moderately so.

Anyway, without further ado, here is Round 3:

Peach Boys - Another modern telling of Momotaro. A boy is born from a peach. Later, he sets off to save his village from a terrible demon, this time with a volleyball (rather than kibidango, a traditional Japanese sweet). He makes two friends (who, coincidentally, are also peach-born boys) along the way, and they go together. The "demon" turns out to be the man who raised Peach Boy. He can't fight and kill his own father, so they play janken (rock, paper, scissors) instead. The old man loses and promises to stop terrorising the countryside.

Unlucky Person - An original drama written by a group of girls about one girl who is very unlucky. She bicycles to school and has an accident - her wheel is broken. Her mother has forgotten to put chopsticks in her lunch. The drink vending machine runs out of her favourite drink right before she gets there. You get the picture. It wasn't very interesting, but I appreciated the effort they had obviously put into it.

CM collection -- Love and hemorrhoids - Truly, I don't make these titles up! This was two guys watching infomercials on TV, so the rest of the group acted out a few scenarios. It was very strange. There were commercials for an energy drink that is popular with airline pilots, a card game called "Life Card" that is well-known here, and, as the title suggests, the obligatory advertisement for medicine to get rid of your hemorrhoids.

Urashima Hanako - Urashimataro is a traditional Japanese fairy tale about a boy who saves a turtle from being bullied by other boys, and in gratitude, the turtle takes him to the Kingdom Under the Sea, where he is wined and dined by princesses. Well, this time, a turtle saves a girl named Urashima Hanako from bullying, and then invites her (the girl) over for dinner. The only problem is, Hanako is going to be the main course! Needless to say, the story does not conclude happily. At least, not for poor Hanako.

Yamauchi School - About a boy named Yamauchi who attends a school also called Yamauchi. Twist is, Yamauchi is a magician, and so is able to stop the terrible bullying of his classmates by others that is going on.

Pirates of Okhotsk - World End - A swashbuckling pirate (dressed in a red T-shirt, jean shorts and a straw hat) saves an unassuming sailor from being mugged. He then demands money. Sailor is shocked that Pirate is not helping others simply out of the goodness of his heart. Pirate shrugs and says, "Them's the breaks." (Or something to that effect.) FYI, Okhotsk is the name of the sea between northern Hokkaido and the (disputed) Russian Kuril islands.

Intel & Life Card - A story about a boy who wants to become an entrepreneur and start a business that will make lots of money. Or, as one of the actors put it, "Shall we success from scratch?" Yes, let's.

TV Shopping - Another infomercial. This time, the exciting item for sale was an electronic dictionary. They lacked energy, but they had the patter down quite well: "I don't believe it! You can look up words fast? But this must be very very expensive." "Actually, it is just $199.99!" "Really?" "No way!" "Wow! That's incredible!"

Most Memorable Scene : Yamauchi the Magician points dramatically at his classmate and, in a loud voice, incants the magic words, "Mountain fire!" There is a pause. The boy upon whom a spell has been cast starts to giggle and makes urgent pointing motions toward one of the other boys. Yamauchi is momentarily confused, but then recovers and says, "Oh, uh, Mountain FIRE!" while pointing at the boy he was supposed to cast the spell on (the bullier, not the bullied). The class erupts into laughter.

And, Round 4:

Anpanman - Anpanman is a popular cartoon character, and I've written about him before. He is a superhero who is actually bread with bean jam (anko) in the middle (quite tasty, too). Today, Anpanman was called upon to save none other than ME (played quite convincingly by one of the girls) from the evil clutches of Mr. Miyagawa, the English teacher for that class (also played quite well by one of the other girls). It was just hilarious.

Goku vs Majin Boo - I don't pretend to understand this one, because I didn't, but it was obviously something all the students are familiar with. An epic battle between Goku and Majin Boo. This skit wins the Prize for Best Use of Chalkboard Visuals - one of the boys' main jobs in the skit was to draw the laser beams and magic and so on that was flying back and forth between the two foes.

Hally Potter [sic]- These guys were originally going to do Star Wars, but changed their minds when it turned out another group was doing Star Wars. They did the scene from one of the Harry Potter books where they are practicing the "Experience" spell. Which, in this case, caused the person upon whom the spell has been cast to launch into a mean tap-dance routine. It wasn't very well-prepared, there was a lot of fevered whispering back and forth in Japanese, but the dancing was great!

Big Eater Alice : Kuishinbou Alice - Alice can't stop eating, and when she sees a white rabbit, she decides she wants to eat it, too! The rabbit convinces her to eat some cookies instead. Turns out the cookies belonged to the Queen, and as you can imagine, the Queen is not amused.

Super Police Billy - About a police officer, Billy, who is obsessed with his muscles. He goes off to check a problem at a pet shop, where he meets a man with even better muscles. This man goes to boot camp every day. They decide, then and there, to start their own boot camp. But they must also learn English, so they forcibly enroll Mr. Miyagawa and me in the boot camp as well. The strangest shuffle-dance I have ever done then ensued.*

The 3 Little Pigs - After the 3 little pigs' mama dies, they must make their own way in the world. But #1 is lazy, and builds a straw house. #2 is shy and afraid, so she goes to live at a friend's house and never leaves home. #3 builds a house made of sweets. The big bad wolf comes by and is hungry. He blows the straw house done and pig #1 runs away. He delivers a pizza to the friend's house, and that is the only reason why pig #2 opens the door. She runs away. But at house #3, the wolf gets distracted from thoughts of pig by the sweets smorgasbord that this house provides, and starts eating it. The wolf gets a toothache. Pig #3 gives him some medicine that makes him feel better, and out of gratitude, he vows to never eat pigs again. They all live happily ever after.

A Peach Girl - A strange take on Momotaro. Peach Girl is born the usual way, and sets off to kill a demon. On the way, she meets a giraffe. She feeds the giraffe parsley, and they set off together to Onigashima (where the demon lives). (Oni means ogre, actually, but only rarely do the students seem to use/know this word). When they get to the demon's lair, they decide - surprise, surprise - to janken. In recognition of her loss, the demon presents Peach Girl and the giraffe with a giant box of parsley. Peach Girl claims it is not as good as her own "home-grown" parsley, so the three set off again to do a taste-test.

Kasazizou - Jizou are the small stone statues that you often see along roadsides, just outside cemeteries, etc., in Japan. This is a traditional tale about an umbrella maker who doesn't sell any umbrellas that day in town (other times, the story is about a scarf maker). Saddened, he (she, actually, in this case) sets out for home. He passes some jizou on his way and thinking they look cold and wet, puts an umbrella over each one. That night, he hears noises outside - it is the jizou who have come to say thank you.

Star Wars Episode 7 - Darth Vader somehow manages to be resurrected in order to fight Luke Skywalker, the "Champion of Justice, and Soldier of Jedi", one last time. Best Use of Weaponry: Automatically-extending umbrellas in place of lightsabers.

Best Blooper of the Class: Following in the footsteps of Yamauchi from the earlier class, when Peach Girl challenged the demon to playing janken in order to determine the outcome of the battle between them, the demon played rock, smashing Peach Girl's scissors. Oops. Giggles and a rematch ensued.

Cast of Anpanman
The cast of Anpanman!

* I have since learned, in one of my 1st-year classes today, in fact, that "Billy's Boot Camp", upon which this skit seems to have been loosely based, is a series of weight- and strength-training DVDs. Who knew?


Waterlily said...

"Shall we success from scratch?" I love it.

julie said...

LOL - You should come teach English in Japan - there's many more manglings of the English language that go on that are weirder, stranger, and cuter than that! :)