Thursday, May 15, 2008


The other day I was reading the paper while I ate my lunch and got to the comic strip Liō, which the Washington Post picked up fairly recently. I already didn't like it much, but now I also think it's dumb. Here, read the strip in question and come back.

I'm assuming the artist wanted the samurai to be saying "Banzai!" which, well, I don't think samurai really yelled that, but it would make sense for the joke. But guess what that word actually is?

Yep, the samurai is yelling "Dwarf tree!" Not quite as threatening, is it? Newsflash: those characters aren't just pretty little stick drawings. They actually have meaning. Compare: Banzai - 万歳; Bonsai - 盆栽.


grrrbear said...

OMG remember when they made that same joke in Karate Kid?! When Mr. Miyagi got drunk and was yelling Banzai and Daniel thought he was toasting "to baby trees"!?!

Oh Daniel, will you ever bridge the culture divide between Okinawa and Reseda?...

Coloradan said...

So picky! See, the kid thinks he's using a high-tech gadget, but really there's a little samurai in there shredding all the paper! Funny!

[In all seriousness, why are comic strips so depressingly un-funny 80% of the time?]

towwas said...

Grrrbear, can you believe I've never seen Karate Kid? (Yes, I think you can.) If the artist was actually making an obscure reference to that, then I take what I said about stupidity.

Coloradan, hyeah, it's a depressing state of affairs. I only glance at Lio on the page because it's new - usually I stick to Get Fuzzy and a few other select comic strips.