“Geekly beloved, we are gathered here in the eyes of me, king of the cameos, Stan Lee…”
Ohayo gozaimasu addicterinos! Well, it’s more like afternoon or evening where some of you are so please insert a humble konnichiwa or konbanwa as appropriate. Also insert a bowing Wookiee if this makes you happy… somewhere around here there’s a picture of me in a kimono but I digress…
Wow… another week here at Addicts and hopefully your week is starting in as good a spirits as mine. Why am I so happy? Well… I’m alive for another week of adventure but really, it all comes down to a silly little episode about four fingered yellow characters. (Happy Mom? I used your correct verbiage for the Best. Show. Ever.)
How cool was Married to the Blob? I’m well aware that there are folks out there who thought this episode was mediocre or meh but I guess I just have to separate myself from all of them and say I loved it. What’s there not to like about cameos from Stan Lee, Harlan Ellison, Krusty in carbonite AND a tribute to Hayao Miyazaki?
Ok… it’s safe to say I had a nerdgasm during this episode. From the little hidden geek gems in the Android’s Dungeon to a storyline that actually gives my favorite character a wife, this one hit me at every level. My family seriously thought I had lost it I was laughing so much. As an added bonus, it even gave me a chance to bond with my teenager.
Bond you say? Well, yes. For anyone who at least had the chance to see clips from the episode (I posted two last Saturday) or read one of the many blogs out there in the “sphere”, you would have seen that this episode had a tribute to Hiyao Miyazuka in it. While I have definitely seen Ponyo, I wasn’t familiar with all his amazing Studio Ghibli work. My daughter on the other hand is. Watching her fan girl over the sequence brought me immense joy. She tried to point it all out to me but that’s where a DVR comes in handy my friends.
Going back and re-watching it with her pointing out all the little touches was great. Here’s the ones I quickly typed out after sharing a nice little moment with the kiddo.
– Ghosts in Japanese Springfield from Spirited Away
– Otto as the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro
– Ralph as Ponyo
– Patty & Selma looking like Kiki the Witch from Kiki’s Delivery Service
– Kwik-E-Mart automaton which is a reference from Howl’s Moving Castle
I had her read the list and she pointed out I’d missed a lot. Well jeesh kiddo, this is kind of your thing… I’m just ogling the amazing animation and proud I got the Ponyo reference. It didn’t take us long on the interweb to find a great video that highlighted all the references for any of you who want to see them all. Here’s the link to slate.com. My little Ewok would also like to point out that all of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli stuff is cray cray adorbs and worth watching. Married to the Blob is now her favorite episode. I sense a daughter-requested mandatory marathon approaching.
If that was the only thing that made me happy, I’d walk away from the episode and have a good week but there was more. I’ve said before that I had the privilege of living in Okinawa, Japan for 6 years. Just this week I rapped about it in my Swanky Fish post and got to pass back and forth a couple comments with reader Heliox. Gotta admit he took me down memory lane by mentioning Habu sake. Imagine my joy to watch the episode and see it immortalized in my beloved cartoon? Habu sake is literally Okinawan rice wine with an entire Habu snake inside it.
The goal is for it to be completely venomless but it’s sort of like eating blowfish. Mistakes can happen. Having had a shot of this liquor (my initiation ritual upon first arriving on island), I can say it does have a kick to it but (unfortunately?) I didn’t have any weird hallucinations like Homer and Mr. Nakamura.
NERD NOTE: If you’re looking for snake wine with a cobra in it, you need to go to Vietnam or some parts of China.
The end of the episode with poor Milhouse still being stuck as an ugly duckling because of continued snake wine indulgence made me shake my head at first. You’re riding the razor’s edge Homer! Despite the danger, it was well worth it for the Nerd Justice of Milhouse’s baby duckling incinerating the bullies. EXCELSIOR!
Homer speaking the exact Japanese from the Mr. Sparkle commercial was amazing. He also knows more than just that and I love any chance I actually understand a foreign language (although I’m getting rusty). This isn’t the first time Homer has done this either. Check out Season 10, Episode 23: Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo for both Homer AND Bart speaking fluently.
NERD NOTE: Kumiko Nakamura’s name is actually common. Kumiko is a very popular Japanese girl’s name and Nakumura is one of the most common last names in Osaka, Japan. Basically, think of her as being named Jennifer Smith. As a true geek though, I like to think she’s related to Hiro Nakamura from Heroes.
Of course I mentioned all the nerd references. Krusty in carbonite was my favorite but I also loved the Jar Jar Binks jab (that’s two concurrent episodes of The Simpsons making fun of Episode I by the way), the manga stuff (CBG’s is nonpornographic) and so much more. Did anyone notice the Atomic Discombobulator under the shelf? What was your favorite little slice of Nerdicana?
Harlan Ellison ranting at the beginning of the episode made me laugh really hard. If you don’t know who this guy is, do an Oogle search. He’s a really interesting man AND writes some dang good fiction too. Anyone who once marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., got in a tussle with Frank Sinatra and argued with Gene Roddenberry about the first episode of Star Trek is worth reading about IMHO. CBG may like to rant but this guy was doing it before most of us where even twinkles in someone’s eye.
To keep this ramble from going way too long, I’ll just say that Stan Lee IS THE MAN. I agree that he’s 90 and can do what he wants. CBG should be proud to have been called “trim, friendly and quite a catch”. I know I paid attention to Stan Lee’s comments in the teaser video when he said The Simpsons is “the greatest show in the world”. Take that everything else!
This episode rocked for me and the fact that Kumiko marries CBG AND is in TSTO is very cool. I agree with a lot of folks that his “go on a date with Agnes quest” is going to be awkward now but only time will tell if things will get TSTO weird. Hopefully their marriage is addressed in the game. For now, I’m just happy knowing his kawaii (lovable/cute/adorable) wifey is around. “American nerd snark is the finest in the world” and it makes my heart happy to see CBG get his comeuppance. Speaking of, I think it’s time to let CBG “work” at the Android’s Dungeon and Kumiko ogle some nerd candy for a while. I know they’ll both probably be in the basement but I think CBG has earned it. I just hope Stan Lee is “watching”.
TTFN… Wookiee out!
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All Screen Shots of Game Graphics & Dialogue and Game Graphics from files ™ and © EA, Gracie Films and FOX