Supreme Skills! Miracle Tops: May They Spin Forever!
December 29, 2015 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Supreme Skills is a show on the NHK, presented here dubbed well into English, in which two groups of Japanese engineers who compete to meet the challenge of exceptionally strict production standards according to their talents and natural biases. Eight additional shows are linked inside.
In Supreme Skills! Miracle Tops: May They Spin Forever! [24:47] A group of young satellite engineers and a group of wizened craftsmen compete to produce a top that will spin the longest in an understated drama of rapidly rotating dreams. It showcases the design focuses and production process of both teams as well as the engineering and physics concepts they demonstrate supreme mastery over as we watch the tops spin and the engineers grow increasingly nervous.
posted by Blasdelb (34 comments total) 103 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man! Just discovered this show the other day & it is amazeballs. I’d been hoping to assemble a post but wasn’t able to scare up all the videos. Great job! Will watch all. It is the best, & NHK World as a whole remains a consistent source of weird joy in a grim world.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:48 PM on December 29, 2015 [5 favorites]

This makes me nostalgic for "Junkyard Wars".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:52 PM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

"Nowadays, joining dissimilar materials has become a hot topic!"
posted by slater at 6:20 PM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

That was a huge load for the ball to bear, no wonder the tip heated up
posted by rebent at 6:49 PM on December 29, 2015

Best of the web!
posted by cosmac at 7:13 PM on December 29, 2015

This is upsetting, in that I had never really thought about high-performance tops, and now I am thinking of them.

They are not cheap.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 7:21 PM on December 29, 2015

This is some impossible child of four of youtube's deepest holes, How It's Made videos, popsci amazement vlogs, Japanese craftsmanship videos, and Japanese gameshows. I'm thankful only nine are linked.
posted by lucidium at 7:29 PM on December 29, 2015 [8 favorites]

I've been watching this program all year and it's great. It reminds me of the best parts of Iron Chef. The bridge building and "miracle paper plane" episodes are especially good. It's a shame the "Superstrong Paper Carton" and "Ultimate Dolly" episodes don't appear to be on YouTube. Those were my favorites.

One thing I'll say is enjoy these on YouTube while they last. Unless there's a dedicated cabal starting new accounts and uploading the episodes more or less continuously like there is for Begin Japanology or Document 72 Hours, the NHK catches up with them in a couple of months.

Supreme Skills isn't one of the programs they put on the NHK On Demand website either. I wish they'd just get with the program and use YouTube to archive the programs or put them on Hulu or something.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:34 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

You know, they’ve got to find something to replace Mythbusters
posted by Going To Maine at 7:40 PM on December 29, 2015

I desperately want to see some rematch episodes, or a "former rivals working together" sorts of thing. The couple that I've watched so far seem like both teams discover clear avenues for improvement during the final showdown.
posted by lucidium at 8:02 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm going to really enjoy this, but can someone slowly kill the announcer that intros the show?
posted by boilermonster at 9:04 PM on December 29, 2015

There should be an Olympics of machining.
posted by humanfont at 10:22 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

boilermonster: "Two teams! One, a group of anonymous torturers on secondment from the CIA and FSB! The other, a group of criminal sociopaths! We'll see who has the supreme skill in killing me, the announcer in... uh... guys? Are we like really doing this? I mean, it's usually technology related isn't it?... NO THE FACT THAT POWER TOOLS WILL PROBABLY BE INVOLVED IS NOT REASSURING!"
posted by Grimgrin at 10:48 PM on December 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

I love this show (although oheso.SO is less impressed). This is the first time I've watched it with dubbing, which I found irritating overall.

Typically they pit academics vs industry, so this one is a bit of an odd-ball (almost like the Mitsubishi team were the academics).

In any case, the results were nothing short of spectacular. Worth noting that the loser's top performed as expected: it kept going two minutes after it began wobbling.
posted by oheso at 2:34 AM on December 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

can someone slowly kill the announcer that intros the show?

What I was saying about irritating, boilermonster. It's not the best in Japanese, either, but at least it's a whole lot more laid back and lets the teams' accomplishments speak for them.
posted by oheso at 2:38 AM on December 30, 2015

Seconding ob1quixote on the bridge and paper airplane challenges.
posted by oheso at 2:42 AM on December 30, 2015

Chihara Junior one of the host, is also known as Chihara Koji and used to act in dark yakuza films, notably he played a young psychopath in the prequel to Ichi the Killer, 1-Ichi.
It's kinda weird seeing him hosting that show...
posted by SageLeVoid at 3:57 AM on December 30, 2015

I think a team named 'Microfabulous Couple' should have capes and masks ...
posted by oheso at 4:45 AM on December 30, 2015

I'm already crying out loud watching the spinning top episode. I just booked a restaurant for my wife and kids tonight. Home alone and watching the paper plane showdown together with my friend, the sixpack. This is going to be the best goddamn night of the Xmas break. Can I favorite this at least ten times?
posted by ouke at 6:59 AM on December 30, 2015

This show is awesome. I catch it every once in a while as NHK is broadcast over the air in L.A. There's a few gems to be found there. And a few goofy shows, too. The English language narration for many shows gets really sing-song sometimes.
posted by 2N2222 at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2015

The contrast to roughly similar shows in the US astounds me.

Instead of a tight deadlines that Junkyard wars, similar 'build' shows seemed to have (Monster Garage, American Chopper, etc) which was measured in hours, the teams are given a full month to build.

Additionally, while the competition has winners and losers (well, Knock the Disk ended in a tie), the teams' idea of 'trash talk' is to find something to complement the other team, on which is quite pleasant.
posted by fragmede at 12:35 PM on December 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

"They took advantage of the properties of metals! SUPREME SKILL!"
posted by Itaxpica at 1:27 PM on December 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

Noooo, _(」∠ 、ン、)_ Ideal Rope Pt 2.
posted by lucidium at 5:31 PM on December 30, 2015

posted by Wolfdog at 5:32 PM on December 30, 2015

posted by Wolfdog at 5:34 PM on December 30, 2015

These are amazing!!

For the needle one, I was a little surprised that the criteria was least force. I would have thought the more natural tie-breaker would be the number of times the needle could punch through before failing.
posted by mhum at 6:04 PM on December 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: Eliminates micro-bumps and depressions...

from: Supreme Skills! Screws vs Brazing part 2
posted by Sprocket at 11:41 PM on December 30, 2015

I am struck by how well gauged and well-designed most of the challenges are. Whoever's designing them must know the state of the art very well in order to gauge what will be suitably difficult but achievable.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:55 PM on January 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ideal Rope part 2 is here (for now).

I felt bad for poor Mr. Kikugawa of Team Wire Rope, who had to endure at least two fat jokes (not sure if the gangster movie reference was also one) — hardly in line with the professional tone of all the others!
posted by mubba at 7:26 AM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Almost all taken down now. Alas!
posted by Shmuel510 at 6:26 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's a shame really. It seems like the NHK is so hidebound that they can't see that they'll never win against the uploaders. I know they want their license fee, but they can't collect it from overseas viewers anyway.

Here in the 21st century, the only way is to offer the shows people want to watch in an easy to use format. Otherwise they'll find another way. People might go to the NHK World website to watch the programs, but they have to be available. Right now there is only the last episode or two of about 20 programs on NHK's video-on-demand site.

Popular programs, like BEGIN Japanology and Tokyo Eye 2020 have groups of people uploading them. Somebody in Hawaii rips the over-the-air shows there, uploads them, and these bands download those rips. Then, once the NHK takes down the first batch, they cut a second or two here or there, or maybe drop sound in a couple of places — to screw up the automatic fingerprinting I presume — and re-upload them. Hell it might even be automated. They use burner accounts and just create new ones when they finally get banned.

The craziest part is the NHK should be trying to disseminate NHK World programs as widely as possible. That's how you get people interesting in learning about Japanese language and culture. Isn't that the point?

Anyway, like I said, I wish the NHK would get with the program and either establish an official YouTube archive or put the shows on Hulu. That way they can make a little money, and people won't bother to upload their programs anymore.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:22 AM on January 13, 2016

More tops!
posted by Wolfdog at 5:40 PM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Did anybody happen to grab these before they were gone, and could maybe point me in the direction of where to find them again? I put off looking at all these until it was too late, and now I'm dying to see the brazing vs screws video (or really all of them).
posted by hackwolf at 4:37 PM on January 15, 2016

Follow the link right above you, hackwolf. There are 9 or 10 episodes there at the moment. You should be able to find the find the other (earlier) episode about the tops there - take in the earlier one before watching that one, I think.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:13 PM on January 15, 2016

« Older Reality check on realty   |   “You will never walk again. But you will fly.” Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments