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Ichiro Suzuki (Japanese: 鈴木一朗, Suzuki Ichiro) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the New York Yankees, who became quite famous for his fast-paced and immaculately precise throws dubbed by fans as the Ichiro Laser Beam (イチロー レーザービーム), as well as his 2009 TV interview response “I was almost coming” (ほぼイきかけました hobo ikikake mashita). This was seen by many as both inappropriate and suggestive, making it exploitable for broadcasting.
Because of these phrases, the Japanese baseball superstar became the target of online parodies, including a series of MAD videos.
The source footage seen in these two videos below show some of the most frequently used bits for the MAD series.
Ichiro Laser Beam
Said by announcer, Rick Rizz, on April 11, 2001, and used again in PBS’ documentary, The Tenth Inning, the phrase, “Ichiro laser beam!” became quite popular; frequently replayed in Japan. This created some minor controversy in American media, doubting whither Ichiro lived up to his hype.
I was Almost Coming
The interview which Ichiro says, “I was almost coming” (ほぼイきかけました hobo ikikake mashita) aired after WBC’s victory ceremony on March 24, 2009. Regardless of the context in dialogue, it was nevertheless seen as an unacceptable expression for broadcasting. Eventually, Ichiro released a public apology by saying “Sāsen”, an easy pronounciation of “Sumimasen” (lit. “I’m sorry.”):
The notorious soundbite is used in many MADs and praised as 4th in Japanese Internet Vogue’s Word Award of 2009. Another phrase appearing in the same interview is “Azāssu” (アザーッス), an easy pronunciation of “Arigatou Gozaimasu (lit. “Thank you very much.”).
Excerpts from the Wikipedia entry:
Ichiro Suzuki (鈴木 一朗 Suzuki Ichirō?), usually known simply as Ichiro (イチロー Ichirō?) (born October 22, 1973), is a Japanese professional baseball right fielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. Ichiro was traded from the Seattle Mariners on July 23, 2012. He played 12 seasons in Seattle, after coming to the US originally from Japan. Ichiro has established a number of batting records, including the sport’s single-season record for hits with 262. He had ten consecutive 200-hit seasons, the longest streak by any player, surpassing Wee Willie Keeler’s streak of eight.
This video seen below was originally titled on the popular Japanese hubsite Nico Nico Douga (NND) as “Doom by Ichiro’s Laser Beam” (イチローのレーザービームで人類滅亡, Ichirō no rēzābīmu de jinrui metsubou), which was posted to NND on August 8thm 2007. The zany BGM heard in this video is Bon Mawari (盆周り), and is well-known for being featured on the popular Japanese comedy show in the 70’s. This was also the origin of the popular MAD series on NND, known as the "Doom series.
Meanwhile, “I was almost coming” started to be introduced to many MAD videos on the same day of Japan’s WBC victory. For example, this video below, “Ichro’s Gourmet Race”, a derivative of Kirby's Gourmet Race Remixes, had been watched over 1million times.
Hidamari Sketch OP Parody
Perfume’s Song “Laser Beam”
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