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Japan: Grumpy Jiisan on Nico Nico Douga

The latest hit at Nico Nico Douga, Japan's hugely popular video sharing service, is a retired man from Arizona calling himself “Grumpy Jiisan” [Grumpy Old Man], who shoots videos in which he comments on his favorite Japanese anime against a backdrop of sand dunes and caves. Grumpy Jiisan's videos at Nico Nico Douga are so popular that they have drawn thousands of comments [ja], users having added subtitles to many of them [ja]. Many users remarked on how well he knows his stuff, expressing amazement [ja] that an American man of his age would be so interested in Japanese anime.

Grumpy Jiisan on Nico Nico Douga
Grumpy Jiisan on Nico Nico Douga

(Note: to see Nico Nico Douga movies, you need to log in to the site first. Getting a login is free but you have to register through a Japanese-language interface. See this post at Tokyotronic on how to do this.)

Blogger Takekuma writes about the popularity of Grumpy Jiisan:

ネットで話題の「アリゾナの老人」を早速見てきました。YOUTUBEにディープなアニメ批評をアップしているアリゾナ在住の「グランピーじいさん」というのがその人で、日本アニメの大ファンらしく、YOUTUBEにもう50本くらいのアニメDVDの感想をアップしているのです。

I saw “Arizona no Rojin” [old person from Arizona], the guy who is all the talk on the Internet. This “Grumpy Jiisan”, a resident of Arizona who uploads reviews of anime and who is apparently a huge fan of anime, has uploaded to YouTube around 50 videos of his thoughts on anime DVDs.


“Grumpy Jiisan chuckles at the brigade” is one of the biggest hits at Nico Nico Douga.

見ると、毎回アリゾナの荒れ果てた砂漠にビデオカメラが設置されていて、向こうから白髪にヒゲモジャのじいさんがやってきて、「今日は涼宮ハルヒだ」とつぶやきながらDVDデッキにソフトを入れる。そして映像を眺めながら淡々とアニメのストーリーや、見所、自分の感想を語り出すのです。

In the video, a camera is set up in the inhospitable desert, and from the other side an old man with a white beard mutters “Today is Haruhi Suzumiya” while slipping the DVD into the player.He then talks in a matter-of-fact way about his impressions of the anime's story while watching the video.

たとえばハルヒのことは「バカげた内容のアニメだが、私は笑った。星4つだ」とニコリともしないで評価を下すのです。ニコニコ動画のほうに日本語字幕つきがアップされていました。そっちを見ても本当に最後まで作品を見て評価しているようで、技術的な解説を含めたコメントが的確なので、ネットには「アメリカの氷川竜介だ」「このおじいさん、萌える」と大人気になってます。

About Haruhi, for example, offered his assessment, without even a smile: “It's a silly anime, but I laughed. 4 stars.” Japanese subtitles have been added and uploaded to Nico Nico Douga. If you look there as well, you'll see that he evaluates the anime after watching it to the very end, and all of the comments he makes, including his technical explanations, are accurate. Because of this he is hugely popular on the Internet, [where people have commented that] “he is America's Ryusuke Hikawa”, and “This old guy, moeru.” [Note: see the Wikipedia entry on “moe”. ]


The latest Grumpy Jiisan video on YouTube.

ラインナップも「ハルヒ」だけではなくて「時をかける少女」や「パプリカ」、「ジパング」「秒速5センチメートル」など手当たり次第。そして最後に星5つで採点するのですが、今タイトル出した作品は軒並み高評価で、ネットを見た日米のオタクからも「cool!」「なかなかわかってらっしゃる」とかなりの好評。まるで大学で鉱物学を教えているかのようなファッションと、やはり学者然とした冷静な語り口には、俺も萌えました。

The lineup is more than just “Hirare”, including everything he can lay his hands on, [titles such as] “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “Paprika,” “Zipang“, and “5 Centimeters Per Second“. At the end [of the videos] he gives his grade out of 5 stars, and for all these titles he gave highest marks, an assessment that went over very well with all the Japanese-American otaku who saw [his video] on the Internet and commented “cool!”, and “He really understands.” With the style of someone who was teaching mineralogy at university, and his way of telling a story like a scholar, [I felt the same way].

Thanks to Taku Nakajima for the suggestion to translate this blog post.

2 comments

  • My favourite EVER EVER and FOREVER Japanese anima is The Adventures of Kum Kum, which apparently not too many people in the whole world knows about at ALL! There is only one website in the whole google who mentions it, and in Brazil only a local TV from the place I lived as a child, Bahia, broadcast it, so we have an unique generation of fans there, who for long time thought suffered from a collective hallucination.

    I wonder if “Grumpy Jiisan” would know anything about it.

    http://www.thechestnut.com/kumkum.htm

  • Matt Y.

    Can’t believe that he watches Haruhi! I sometimes even consider myself too old for “Naruto”… But Kishimoto has some twists so that’s OK:-)

    My favourites are… Eh… Gintama(such an evil title…), Naruto, Jigoku Shoujo, and Darker than Black. And when I was young I watched heaps of Doraemon, haha.

    It is quite amazing that a guy of his age, from the US, would get serious about commenting animes.

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