Tuesday, March 27, 2012

random mention of Korea in American entertainment media of the day

Not so much of a mention of Korea as an inclusion of Korean text. Hardly a rarity these days, but the thing is that the "monster" (that's what 괴물/koémul means) depicted in this Family Guy episode is supposed to be a Japanese competitive eating champion.

(The badge on his robe also says 꼬치/goch'i, the Korean word for shish kebab.)

Or am I missing some really subtle political statement about the lingering resentment (han, if you will) held by Koreans toward Japanese over numerous brutal transgressions in the first half of the twentieth century, personified by the presumably Korean woman, and then a Caucasian man, holding up signs declaring that the Japanese eating machine is indeed a monster?

Bravo, Family Guy. Bravo.



  1. Most cartoons/anime in both the US and Japan are actually produced/animated in Korea. They could've just been given some creative freedom to insert any word/phrase they wanted here.

  2. Perhaps it's just the Korean animators having fun. Presumably their storyboards for this scene didn't specify what the foreign characters had to be.

  3. Indeed, Anonymous and gwern, I think subterfuge on the part of the Korean animators' is a distinct possibility. Rough Draft Studios and its sister Rough Draft Korea produce Family Guy.

  4. All that is possible or it may well be the result of inside ethnic jokes played by the show's directors or writers. A quick review of Family Guy directors shows a Peter Shin, Julius Wu, Cyndi Tang and, for the episode in question, Joseph Lee. Some of these people are clearly Asian-Americans, not sure of Mr. Lee's ancestry but it's not outside the realms of possibility that he's a Korean-American having a bit fun with the homeland's script.


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