Giant Trouble in Tiny China – The Beginning – Chapter 2, Strip 195

When your movie script is to incorporate Asian elements, it is absolutely imperative that you as a scriptwriter have a profound understanding of the various Asian cultures in their differences and commonalities, with all of their history, philosophy and traditions. Or, if it’s a B-movie script, you can make do with the following as a primer in Asian cultures: -Read “The World of Suzie Wong”* -Watch “Drunken Master” -Watch a couple episodes of “Naruto”

For properly distinguishing Chinese, Koreans and Japanese, the following guidelines generally suffice for a B-movie: -Chinese always come in groups, and they always dress the same within a group: either plain, grey, baggy clothing, or Ming period costume. -Japanese carry swords and grow more perverted with age. -Koreans have three-part names: 1st name, 2nd name and “Kim”. If in doubt, just label things for the benefit of the audience. An average audience will find it very plausible that, since Asians are foreigners, they tend to put the name of their country on all the stuff they own. Another surefire way to enable your audience to pick up an Asian character’s specific nationality quickly is using the faces of their national representatives, for example on a picture somewhere in the background. Those representatives are, respectively: -China: Mao Zedong -Korea: Kim Jong Iil -Japan: Naruto (As far as Korea is concerned, Kim Jong IIl isn’t acutally really representing the *whole* country, but, come on – it’s a B-movie, not some documentary.)

As an exception to the Chinese group rule, a single Chinese person of either gender and very old age can be employed in a role similar to the Gypsy hag. Like the Gypsy hag, the Chinese wise man/woman will supply important, invaluable, clairvoyant advise, which will be shrouded in obscure metaphors to such a degree that it will be understandable only with the benefit (or malefit) of hindsight. Important rule: Said obscure methaphors have to always include dragons in some form.

As far as Asian terminology is concerned, using a few authentic Asian words can add a lot of regional flavour to your movie. No need to get fancy, though – just string together random words from any Asian language. Most of your audience won’t be able to tell the difference, anyway, and the rest will already have been offended beyond redemption by all of the other stuff. Use lots and lots of it, though – the audience expects Asian expressions for everyday objects to be unreasonably long.

With this episode, the filler finally merges back into the main storyline, which will recommence in earnest on Thursday. Unfortunately, this also means the episodes will go back to mostly grayscale for a while, since these episodes are actually older than those updated in the last few weeks. Hope nobody minds terribly. New voting incentive is up, as well.

*For a complete rape of Chinese culture, have a character actually named Suzie Wong. I still can’t believe they did that on Digimon….

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