Weird Japan: Pom Poko, or the Tanuki Testicles

“We’ve got the biggest balls of them all.” – Bon Scott, AC/DC
Sorry, Bon. These raccoons have got you and Angus beat.

My friend and cohort Johnny wanted to see the classic animated film Pom Poko after seeing a video mashup with footage from it, and the classic rock song “Big Balls” by AC/DC. Now why would a children’s movie, one released in the U.S. by Disney no less, fit with a song filled with such double entendre? Permit me to demonstrate.

The clip that gave Johnny the girly-giggles.

Tanuki look like raccoons, but they are technically called raccoon dogs and live in Japan and Siberia.

This is what they look like. Note: no gigantic balls.

According to the wikipedia, tanuki have “unusually large testicles, a feature that has inspired humorous exaggeration in artistic depictions of the creature. Tanuki may be shown with their testicles flung over their backs like travellers’ packs, or using them as drums.” Maybe the tail is hiding something, but I don’t see any signs of elephantiasis. Then again, in Japan maybe they have a different idea of what big balls are. We’re all “Big” in Japan if you know what I mean.

When I went to Japan, I saw this statue of a tanuki outside of a restaurant, where they bring good luck and prosperity. Sort of like how every Chinese restaurant has red and some 8’s somewhere. It’s like the hidden Superman in every Seinfeld episode, look for it.
Look how cute! Then look more carefully. Keep looking. What the hell? Does that thing have wangmeat? Why yes it does. Hmm, how come it doesn’t have any legs? Mother of God. Its BALLS are covering its feet. Do I want to eat at this establishment? What if they serve me giant raccoon balls?

Nothing is funnier than Engrish.
Blob? Okay if big balls make you lucky with money, Italians would be winning the Powerball (pun definitely intended) instead of toothless trailer trash. Trust me. They need to make bigger pants for us. I just had mine let out so the boys could have some room. I may invest in a kilt. But enough about my balls, or as I like to call them, Mutt and Jeff.

The movie itself is actually very cute, and is about a group of raccoons living near the city during a housing boom. Their habitat will soon become condos. If Ralph Bakshi made this movie, they’d be crows, if you remember Fritz the Cat and its caricatures. “Sheee-itt! I hate this genchrication!” But enough gratuitous racism, back to the story. It’s a simple story. The raccoons fight the construction workers and the businessmen. They learn how to transform into people, which animals have always been able to do in Japanese folklore. The film jokes that all the fat Japanese who eat lots of candy and energy drinks are actually tanuki in disguise. Which made Johnny call me Tom Poko. So I hit him with my balls.

When tanuki party, they go balls out.

The do everything to harry and foil the construction crew except light a bag of poop on fire and ring the doorbell, which believe me, would fit right in to this movie. They enlist the help of the Tanuki Elders whose balls are the size of large trampolines, and one of them looks like Wilford Brimley.

Do you have the Diabetus?

The elders try to scare the humans away with a parade of creepy spirits running through town, but everyone enjoys it, and thinks it was put on by the local amusement park. See, we’re all so enthralled with our new-fangled technology that we can’t recognize the magic of nature and the spirits of the past! Apparently the raccoons were stoners, which makes sense because they sit around eating all day with their balls out for easy scratching.

More proof that tanuki are stoners.
Freaky-Ass Shit.
Bad trip, man.

This does exactly jack shit to stop the construction, as you can imagine. It becomes time for the Final Countdown, the big battle. Some want peace, others want war, and some of us want the animals to WEAR SOME FUCKING PANTS. Either way, we lose.
The war faction ready their balls for battle, and the peaceful ones actually hug the fucking trees.

There’s a joke here somewhere.

But you came to see flying raccoons with biggie-size nutsacks, and I will not disappoint. I warn you, the nature of the next images is extremely graphic. Well duh, they’re graphics. I never understood that stupid TV warning. Images are graphic. So let me say that the images are of a Nutley nature.

How to Attack With Your Balls

1. Get blue balls.
2. First you stretch your scrotum into a trampoline.
3. Have your friends jump on your scrotrampoline and become airborne.
4. Shock & Awe Paratroopers inflate ballsack (not Balzac, that’s a French author)
5. Use your scrote as a parachute and glide toward enemy targets. Yes, really.
6. Kick yourself in the nuts until you look like you’re riding a Space Hopper Ball.
7. Land with great fury!
Let’s take a short break to remember Space Hopper balls or Hippity Hoppers.

8. Swing your balls like a sack full of doorknobs.
9. Or just smother the riot police with your mighty scrote.
10. Don’t let the cops hit your nuts with their batons.
Note the veins. Sticklers for details, those fellows over at Ghibli studios. Yes, this was made by the same folks who did Princess Mononucleosis and Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s actually a quite funny and beautifully animated story that will make children think about nature, and probably get rabies from a raccoon. Just imagine the playfights they’ll get into using beanbag chairs. I can’t wait to have kids and mess their heads up with this stuff.

Proof that this nuttiness is nothing new.

In the end, the raccoon dogs learn to live alongside the city in smaller numbers, stealing from garbage cans and not assaulting people with their testicles unless the sanctity of their home is threatened. A delightful film to scar children with or laugh yourself silly with, once properly inebriated. 3 stars or 2 giant tanuki balls.

Are you done swinging your nuts around?

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Weird Japan: Pom Poko, or the Tanuki Testicles

  1. Rob L.

    Dude,
    Tanuki are the coolest. There’s a 7-foot high tanuki statue on St. Marks Place in Manhattan now, which seals the neighborhood as Little Japan now.

    Mario the Plumber even has his own Tanuki suit. http://tinyurl.com/2nd8n2

  2. Tommy Salami

    I think the picture of the guy with the tanuki Mario on the back of his neck was sadder than a whole roomful of those crying clowns.
    Next time I’m on the Lower East I’ll have to get a photo of that giant tanuki. I shudder to imagine the proportions.