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13th Dec 2016

Watch the most epic (and frightening) game of rock-paper-scissors you will ever see

What the actual f*ck?

Nooruddean Choudry

Now there’s a lot going on here, so bear with us.

What looks like a cross between Gladiators and Battle Royale is in fact an event called ‘AKB48 Group Unit Single Soudatsu Janken Taikai’. To break that down, AKB48 are an ‘idol group’ (think pop collective meets sorority), and the ‘Janken’ event in question involves a rock-paper-scissors tournament – the winner of which takes centre stage in the group’s next song.

(That’s a very crude description, but it’s best we can do without it becoming too weird and confusing…)

Anyway, 98 hopefuls were divided into seven ‘blocks’ to go head-to-head in the luck-based tournament in Japan. Seven winners then progressed to a knock-out stage. Long story short, the grand final saw Tanabe Miku (business suit, tie around head) take on Yumoto Ami (cheerleader outfit, red scrunchy).

As you can see, Tanabe was the eventual winner – plumping for rock to dent Yumoto’s pathetic scissors – but to say she lost her shit is something of an understatement. As the crowd went wild at the (totally random) achievement of being crowned ‘Janken Queen’, Tanabe burst into tears, shook uncontrollably and fell to the floor in disbelieving hysteria.

Amidst all the frankly terrifying pandemonium, our favourite moment is immediately after the final showdown, when the victor stares at her hand in a combination of amazed wonder and terrified awe, as if she can’t fully comprehend the immense power of her right palm.

Once she had fully composed herself, a jubilant Tanabe told the amassed crowd: “Tonight’s drink will taste good!” After careful consideration, we won’t have what she’s drinking…