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Japan: Grumpy Jiisan on Nico Nico Douga

Categories: East Asia, North America, Japan, U.S.A., Arts & Culture, Humor

The latest hit at Nico Nico Douga [1], Japan's hugely popular video sharing service, is a retired man from Arizona calling himself “Grumpy Jiisan [2]” [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 [3] [ja], users having added subtitles to many of them [4] [ja]. Many users remarked on how well he knows his stuff, expressing amazement [5] [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 [6] at Tokyotronic on how to do this.)

Blogger Takekuma writes about the popularity of Grumpy Jiisan [7]:


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.


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.


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 [8] on “moe”. ]

The latest Grumpy Jiisan video on YouTube.


The lineup is more than just “Hirare”, including everything he can lay his hands on, [titles such as] “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [9],” “Paprika [10],” “Zipang [11]“, and “5 Centimeters Per Second [12]“. 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 [13] 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 [14] for the suggestion to translate this blog post.