Tag Archives: GRAND TOUR

SALARYMEN

While James May was in Japan, he came across an interesting group of people in Tokyo called Salarymen. Salarymen are white-collar workers who practice a very specific pattern of behavior. They devote themselves to the company they work at above all else. While they are working, they adopt diplomatic behavior with both their superiors and colleagues. Even if they hated their boss, they had to display absolute loyalty to the company especially if their boss was older than them (senpai). When their shift was over, the Salarymen would go party with their colleagues. Their activities range from drinking, karaoke, and so on. During this time, the Salarymen get to relax and be completely honest about their true feelings about everything even their relationship with their boss. When morning comes, they start the whole thing all over again. During James May’s visit to Tokyo, he got to play karaoke with some Salarymen, who were more than eager to party after a hard day’s work. Among the Salarymen James partied with were two employees from a mergers and acquisitions company and a banker. James May had a surprisingly good karaoke singing voice as well.

THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN!!!

It is finally happening! After over a year of waiting, the Top Gear boys return with a new episode of the Grand Tour. It looks like they will be doing a treasure hunt challenge in Madagascar. I have been waiting for a new episode for a long time and it has been a painful wait. Because I am such a huge fan of the Top Gear boys, I was eager to see new material. Now, I just have to wait one more month until this new episode arrives. Welcome back, boys!

JAMES MAY IS ULTRAMAN!!!

I remember another one of James May’s funny antics during his visit to Japan. While he was in Osaka, James got to dress up as Ultraman and drive around in a go-cart. Apparently, this is a common activity in Japan’s metropolitan areas like Osaka and Tokyo. People would dress up as their favorite anime character and drive around in go-carts as though they were in a Nintendo game. At the end of this scene, James made an interesting point. Japan’s obsession with anime characters, superheroes, and monsters is not just something they imagined. It has become a deeply ingrained part of their culture. Due to this, you can find anime characters everywhere in Japan from sign posts, to appliance manuals, bedrooms, stores, you name it. With this in mind, James wondered if this concept can be seen as a modern interpretation of Shintoism, which talks about many gods and everything being inhabited by a spirit. These anime characters, superheroes, and monsters could be representations of these entities.

JAMES MAY OTAKU

During James May’s trip to Japan, he made a number of interesting discoveries and encounters. While looking through the stores of Tokyo, he discovered a number of gadgets that were designed to solve problems that no one else thought of. Among those gadgets were self-cleaning toilets. I always knew Japan was a technological superpower, but I never thought their usage of technology would be this diverse.

Then James’s day in Tokyo got even better when he met a couple of otaku or “super geeks”. The interesting thing about otaku is that while geeks would be shunned by Western society, geeks in Japan are welcomed as an essential part of the social fabric. Otaku interests can range from anything from manga to video games. The otaku James met were a special breed of otaku known as train spotters and they knew everything about trains. They could imitate the sounds of trains, they would take photographs of trains in stations, they enjoyed listening to train station music, and they could imitate train station announcements.

As a super geek myself, I could easily relate to these two otaku. The moment I saw their quirky mannerisms and the passion of their interests, I knew they were like me. Since geeks are embraced as part of the social fabric in Japan, I think I would feel right at home there.

THE GRAND TOUR: ANGRY MEN

The Top Gear boys have had plenty of instances when they get angry and yell at each other. While in Columbia, the trio were exposed to the tropical heat, which also made their tempers hot as well. Not only did they shout and curse at each other, they also threw rocks at each other. I hear that none of this was scripted or staged because they genuinely were in a bad mood on set. As usual, the Top Gear boys did this with their unique charm. It goes to show that there is nothing more funny than watching three angry men in the jungle together.

“BIM, GUESS WHAT?”

 

I discovered that one of my favorite television hosts, James May, has a new television show where he travels across Japan. While he was in Kyoto, James tested a prototype robot called Robohon, which is equipped with information about all the locations in Japan. To use Robohon, James had to type in a nickname on the robot’s back and that was the name the robot addressed him. He tried to type in “Jim”, but accidentally typed in “Bim.” So for the remainder of the trip, Robohon called James “Bim” and proceeded to malfunction in hilarious fashion, much to James’s amusement. This scene was super funny and it showed just how funny James can be when he is by himself without Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. James’s interaction with Robohon was just one of countless funny encounters he had when he traversed Japan.

THE GRAND TOUR: POND BUG

In The Grand Tour, the boys try to break a water speed record by building a fast amphibious car that they called the Pond Bug. James May and Richard Hammond were in charge of building the car while Jeremy Clarkson was the driver. However, James and Hammond ended up making the car’s controls mind-bogglingly complicated. Later, it was revealed that James and Hammond purposely made the Pond Bug a death trap and it failed to kill Jeremy. The boys get a lot of things wrong and they can’t even get a death trap right.

GRAND TOUR: STALIN’S HOUSE

One of my favorite episodes of Season 3 of The Grand Tour is when the boys drive from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. Along the way, they visited the birth place of Joseph Stalin, Gori in Georgia. In the town was a Stalin museum, which included Stalin’s childhood house. While looking through the house, James May (the slowest man in the world) accidentally broke Stalin’s house and thought he was going to the Gulag.

JEREMY CLARKSON’S RV

This week, The Grand Tour had a new episode in which Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond went on one of their epic road trips. In this episode, they went to Nevada in RVs they had customized to fit their needs. I have watched the boys since they were on Top Gear and I was always a fan of two of their antics: road trips and customizing cars. As usual, everything went wrong with their modifications. With Jeremy’s RV, the engine was so overheated that it superheated the ignition key. He even made the director shut the engine off to keep his fingers from burning, burning the director’s fingers instead. Once the engine was off, the exhaust sputtered with flame and almost lit the cameraman on fire. Immediately afterwards, the engine gushed fluids. Later in the episode, the suspension on the left side of the RV collapsed and the brakes failed. I have seen the Top Gear boys make some outrageous vehicles over the years, but this RV was easily one of the biggest pieces of crud I have ever seen and it was super funny.