Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BrainFlash! 伝えてピカッチ!

I've been subscribing on and off to TV Japan for a couple of years now. It's expensive - about $20 per month, but it's great for trying to keep up with popular Japanese TV shows and news. The main reason I like to watch it is one show called 「伝えてピカッチ」. The English name is "BrainFlash!"

I'm a fan of Japanese variety and game shows. Back when I lived in a Chiba public dorm while I studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo, I used to catch part of a kanji-themed gameshow sometimes at dinner. There was a TV in the cafeteria that would have it on. I don't remember a lot about it, honestly. In one segment, contestants would try to guess the proper readings of difficult kanji. I think there may have also been drawing segments. In any case, my ability level wasn't high enough to understand most of what was going on, but it was fun to see anyway.

「伝えてピカッチ」takes two teams - usually men versus women, and pits them against one another in creativity and communication-focused events. One frequent segment is called 「粘土でピカッチ」("clay brainflash"), for example. In this round, one member of the team is the guesser and the others must use clay to sculpt whatever the secret word is. So if the word is "dog," each team member has to make a little dog out of clay. The opponents then gets to choose the order in which the guesser gets to see the sculptures, and the team gets more points the quicker he correctly answers. 

There are also games that focus on drawing, describing words, and more. The games themselves are fun to watch and a great way to build vocabulary, but I love seeing the interaction between the contestants. They're usually all Japanese personalities - comedians, musicians, athletes, etc. Generally 4 or 5 of the contestants are regulars, with the others being guests that are invited onto the show.

I've had a difficult time finding photos or videos of the show; I think the Japanese media companies have been really coming down on copyright violators of late. If anyone knows how I can upload episodes from my DVR to my computer, I'd be interested to know...

Oh, as to what the title means - 「伝える」means "to communicate" and 「ピカッチ」(pronounced "pikachi" is the sound of a flash or spark. "Pikachu" is meant to sound like this, too, incidentally. This has also become a catchphrase of sorts on the show. When someone thinks they know the answer, they will often exclaim 「ピカッチ!」 - "Aha!"

So 「伝えてピカッチ」is literally something like "Communicate and understand."

For now, I did find this video that may be taken down at any moment, but it shows a full episode. The guests in this one are all members of the Takarazuka Revue - an all female theater group that's based in Hyogo. Their home theater was actually pretty close to where I used to live, and I went to one of their shows once. High quality stuff.

Update: Well that video was removed pretty snappily.'s a different one!


  1. Kind of cool to watch even for those of us who don't speak the language. =-)