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Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Fall of Retsupurae

By RAWKHAWK2010 - Et tu, 'purae?

Sometimes, you have to laugh, to keep from crying. That's what Attorney Don West said in his opening statement of the Zimmerman Trial before laying down his killer (sorry) knock-knock joke, and it's a quote that's resonated with me ever since.

We at KoopaTV consider humor to be a very sacred thing. I dunno the stories of the other staff members, but from a very early age my pappy taught me the importance of riffing on not just ideas, but other human beings too. He knew grasping the science of it all would make me better understand it when it happened to me; that not every snicker is a stamp of cruel, hate-filled disapproval towards something (we at KoopaTV would know, there's honestly probably nothing wrong with half the things we laugh at), but just that some things are, well, funny!

But as should be news to no one, an increasingly-large contingent of peoples are taking issue with humor in all its forms. Maybe it's because they just far too often find themselves on the receiving end. Maybe it's because they know laughing at things will make them look content with the world and then Nintendo will be more likely to keep Tomodachi Life de-gayed. Or maybe instead of receiving the proper counsel and guidance from their parents ala mine, theirs instead dropped them on their heads so they never had a developed sense of it to begin with. Whatever the case, this rapidly-infectious intolerance of all things funny seems to be...getting to people. People who once helped define what the word "humor" even meant. And it's all very sad.

Linked above are two videos by retsupurae, a YouTube channel run by dudes from the SomethingAwful forums where, historically, they would do Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque riffs over Let's Plays (kind of like KoopaTV's "Live Reaction" articles except with a Let's Player instead of Iwata/Obama) and it was always a riot. The player's skill, their method of recording, their voice...everything was a target for these no-holds-barred comedic jousts. But even as filterless as it was, slowbeef and diabetus would still reassure everyone (or at least try) that their antics were all in good fun, and even had mutual buddy-buddy relationships with some of their more frequent specimens. Some that took delight in being retsupurae'd because it got them them views! Like BillyMC and Lime Popsicle:

It appeared these guys were only becoming more shrewdly entertaining with time. But in the past two or so years, traditional retsupuraes have gradually slowed to a halt, following an executive decision by slowbeef and diabetus to stop riffing on Let's Players altogether. This has resulted in their channel becoming mostly just straightforward Let's Plays and Let's Watches, and while those are still good and funny, it nevertheless marks the end of an art form that these guys pioneered and made their own (and in my opinion, were the only ones who could even pull it off).

As for why they pulled the plug? Well, in addition to always needing to tow the line to avoid being YouTube Struck (as well as holding themselves partially-liable for those who would track down the retsupurae'd and barrage them with harassment), slowbeef is also a newly-minted dad and I suppose he might not want his kid to be exposed to such...uh..."negative" humor. And a few years ago in 2012 (long before doomsday, but still when the path to it was being paved), diabetus had this to say:

"More than 4 years ago we posted this RP of a guy playing a Wario game that I had since completely forgotten about until I saw a few choice bits of a transcript. Basically I made a few jokes inferring that the guy was transgendered and also used a lot of lazy gay jokes. 
I guess I've never really appreciated how 2012 Betus is a bit different, better informed, and much more socially aware (and hopefully more mature but that's obviously debatable) than 2008 Betus. Maybe the social culture was a bit different then and less supportive of these folks than today, or maybe I was just more the product of my southern environment which was and still is not at the top of the game when it comes to social issues. Or hell maybe I was just a shittier person back then. Either way I didn't appreciate the tastelessness and anti-funny of what I said in that video (I certainly didn't at the time) until I got reminded of it today."

A product of one's Southern environment? Well doesn't that sound familiar! Anyway,

"So getting reminded of what was said in that video made me more than a little ashamed and shattered that illusion a bit. It was an unfunny and offensive thing to say and the only excuse I have is that I was younger, brasher and less aware of the magnitude of these sorts of social issues than I am today. I hope anybody who saw that video and is reading this now can accept this as an apology from me. And as shitty as that was, I do feel like RP's humor in general has gone through a very positive arc from 2008 to now. While I still consider RP a fun hobby and I don't mean to treat it as such a serious Internet thing, our audience has grown considerably from 4 years ago, and I want to do right by everyone and not give our viewers a valid reason to leave."

Can a wheelchair person joke in 2015 get you YouTube Struck? Serious question.
(Note: We at KoopaTV strongly value the wheelchair-bound community and we hope they can value us too.)

Ah yes, "inclusiveness" -- an acid currently eating away at all kinds of once-passionate pursuits with no respite. But even with that said...maybe retsupurae can't last forever regardless of what its operators want? It could be that in this past half-decade, Let's Players have evolved in such a way (via natural selection) that finding hilariously weird Let's Plays is just way more difficult. Or alternatively, maybe the time for classic retsupurae (and Let's Play in general?) has just kind of passed. (Plenty of art loses its novelty, you know. ...Even if I'm personally still a fan.) Still, no matter how "good" retsupurae comes across in terms of followers and money, the YouTube channel that was once first in a village is now second in a city, and that's nothing if not tragic.

But if there's one glimmer of hope in this sea of modern-day internet darkness, it's KoopaTV. We're focused on keeping you entertained during even the worst of times, so believe me when I say that silly things like "inclusiveness" won't have their way with us. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever! HA-CHAH!

And if I'm wrong...then may we fall like Rome did.

When in KoopaTV, do as Koopas do...and share us with all your friends! Also, Rawk once sent this to retsupurae hoping they'd take interest. (Good thing they didn't.)


  1. That awkward momo when you boom snap but then they clap boom snape clap *sliiide* and Ü relize dey bout dat life

  2. Who ever wrote this article needs to go to chruch lol

    1. Yeah, he does. I've been trying to tell him that for years.

  3. Going to pretend this post was satire.

    Love it when pissbabies like this cry about people's decisions to shift their comedy in ways that don't alienate as many people. Ironically this ends up offending people who want a free pass at being an asshole.

    I wish you luck with... Whatever koopatv is.

  4. wow what a buncha crackers these gamers are !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Retsupurae has been garbage for a few years now but I understand why they stopped roasting LP'ers. We still got the old videos.

    1. Maybe BillyMC and Lime Popsicle can one day take up the mantle.

      (Then they can retsupurae Retsupurae. Poetic justice!)

  6. Sigh, disappointing to see the lack of Retsupuraes was because of this 'social climate' stuff. Really liked watching those when they did them, along with the bad Kickstarter riff videos they made after that.

    Hope someone else starts up a channel like this in future.

    1. I'd be interested in how that'd be adapted to the modern age.


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