Turning Japanese by The Vapors – One Hit Wonderland

Todd is turning Japanese, he really thinks so!

About Todd in the Shadows


  1. The beginning actually did fool me at first. LOL. ^.^ Are you sure that the Japanese riff at the beginning isn’t just based off of traditional Japanese music or something? Well, sometimes things work out for the better. 🙂

  2. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    I love how at that very coincidentally moment the patreon sent you a different request just as you didn’t wanna review that you’re beautiful(and who could blame ya sounds depressing as hell and it is a pretty depressing song). Still love the video though and this is one as many as up to the cinemadonna of swept away that i saw before they hit the site but still love ya!

  3. I always thought he meant he was turning Japanese because he has “no sex, no drugs, no wine, no women” in his life and is under the impression that Japanese men don’t have those things either, being so disciplined and conservative that they just spend all their time working or asleep.
    As you said, the general image of Japan was a bit different in the 80s.

    • That’s still pretty much the stereotype of Japan; The wild behavior is seen as repressed emotions breaking out.

      I get the impression that there is some basis in fact there: The behavior that is still expected of Japanese people is to be strong, silent, and unquestioningly respectful; Read the stories about how Japanese companies operate.

      Obviously, though, as with any stereotype, this is not truth for everyone and there are many shades of grey for those who do see something of themselves in it.

  4. That initial riff almost sounds like the first melody in that old children’s song “Skip to My Lou”

  5. I think I read somewhere that turning Japanese was a metaphor for teenage angst, I forget why though.

  6. This songs awesome! I actually started learning it on guitar after watching this episode on youtube, thanks for reminding me of it!

  7. The opening riff of Turning Japanese is, according to Wikipedia, is the Oriental Riff dating back as far as the Aladdin Quick Step from a stage show called ‘The Grand Chinese Spectacle of Aladdin’ or ‘The Magic Lamp’ and has been in Asian related music ever since like ‘China Girl’, ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ and ‘Passage to Bankok as well as a couple of video games.

    I had never heard of what the song was supposed to mean or that other hit: good grief!!!!

    I hope you can deal with ‘You’re Beautiful’ soon: it has gone to long unpunished

    By the way, as someone who knows a bit about 2000’s music, there is this song that I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard of: I don;t know what is it’s name, artist or lyrics but I remember the music video: it’s about the artist (a dark haired young lady) being chased by goons. It starts with her burning her ID documents and ends with her getting a backpack and going to a hotel room

    Not much to go on but I’d really appreciate it if you could let me know if you think of something

    • I kind of like “You’re Beautiful” in a way. It’s rare to hear a stalker song where the person ends up realizing they have no chance.

      • I admire you’re pluck for saying that, sir. Disagree of course but am still impressed.

        Also I had never thought of it that way: a lot more stalker songs should end this way (Animals cough cough)

  8. they english and are japense from tea to footballl even fish and curry motor sports

  9. My God. He’s back!?!?!? He’s back!!!!!

    • He never left; he just posted on YouTube only for a while. Why? I dunno. But he started recently again: his review of Watch me Whip or whatever went up on this site recently

      • It’s because Maker Studios was SUPPOSED to get him and his Chez Apocalypse buddies a shiny new website and transfer their videos to the rebranded Maker video player (basically Blip 2.0; the Yogscast uses it on their website if you’re curious what it’s like), but they never did. Todd got sick of waiting.

        • Let me see if I understand this: after the crash of Blip, Maker was supposed to get the Chez Apocalypse crowd a new site with a new player which Maker would upload their videos to, only they never did?
          I did not here about that.
          Is that why we’ve heard nothing of Chez Apocalypse coming back?
          Because I have been really puzzling over that one.

  10. Hey, Todd, just thought of yet another suggestion for a future One-Hit Wonderland episode: “What I Am” by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians.

  11. I love your show Todd, I’ve been watching for years now, literally. But I have to be honest and say this episode kinda bugged me, you said you were a big fan of The Jam but labeled them as post-punk or new wave, post-punk is the sound that includes Joy Division, Gang of Four, New Order, This Heat, The Raincoats, The Slits, Public Image Ltd etc. New Wave is The Waitresses, The Go Gos, The Tourists, The Quick. The Jam were a Mod Revival band, much in the vein of early The Who (who they covered on several occasions), The Animals, The Kinks, but with punk infusion like The Lambrettas or The Chords, In The City contains of Slow Down in the style of The Who rather than the original Mitch Ryder sound. The Vapors were the bricklayers of what was Pop Punk then, in the footsteps of The Undertones. Also, you said you read the biography of The Vapors, then did you not find one of the SEVERAL interviews where Fenton explains that Turning Japanese is about identity crisis, becoming something you’re not. He has stated multiple times since 1980 that Japanese was not a metaphor but rather apart of a culture he was personally fascinated with at the time, further referenced in the songs America, Letter from Hiro, and Sixty Second Interval on their debut album New Clear Days. Fenton himself said that “it could’ve been replaced by Lebanese or Cantonese” and that the lyric about “A doctor to take your picture so I can look at you from inside as well” is referencing wanting to see the “inside of her” as in her personality, the doctor is supposed to be a psychiatrist not a gynecologist. The lyrics detail a teenager, in a conservative environment, falling in love with a girl and becoming infatuated to the point of altering his personality to the point of being unrecognizable or “Japanese”, the comparison is a red herring, but not ridiculous. The song’s not really silly at all, like many of their songs it deals with serious subject manner in a misleading, even light-hearted way, with their music mostly being melodic and catchy. None of their songs are silly, just some catchier and more upbeat than others.

  12. The first song you were doing song was a good one
    This second one is a funny one
    There songs are good

  13. Hmm in Europe I doubt Blunt is anywhere near being just a OHW.

  14. This is actually about an orgasm face lol.

    • Oh wait.. I guess that was a rumor they said it was this:

      Turning Japanese is all the clichĂ©s about angst and youth and turning into something you didn’t expect to.” It was inspired by Fenton’s relationship problems.

  15. The oriental riff sampled here is actually not asian but it’s western made.

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