As you all know, Japan’s been having kind of a rough time lately. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. And, to a lesser extent, the long-threatened American adaptation of Akira. Obviously, the U.S. Akira is far less grave than the other two, but it does seem a bit like adding insult to injury when the Hollywood trade mags talk about having Robert Pattinson and Justin Timberlake stars as Tetsuo and Kaneda while Japan is still in the process of rebuilding. Not cool, guys.
When I talked about the potential casting, I had mentioned that I think Akira is so tied to a specific time and place — ’80s Tokyo — that it can’t possibly be transferred without losing most of what makes it special. And when I was trying to think of something that of ours — i.e., Western culture — that Japan could ruin in revenge, best I could come up with was a version of Watchmen where everyone was a sailor-suit wearing schoolgirl. Which actually sounds a little awesome.
In this weekend’s contest, it will be your job to think of something better. That is, think of a beloved Western property — TV series, movie, comic book, book, whatever — that Japan could make a horrible adaptation of in revenge for Akira. It will be tough. The best entries will have to figure out a property that means as much to us as Akira means to their pop culture. And you’ll have to actually comes up with a Japanese take that ruins that property, and not accidentally makes it awesome, like I did with Sailor Watchmen.
So that’s it. One entry per person. Try to keep it to 200 words max (I figure you’ll need a little room for this one). The contest ends at 12:01 am EST on Monday, March 27th. Have a great weekend, but remember — beware the rape Yoshis. Stay with a friend. And don’t go near any strange eggs.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.