Rhino Beetle Mania

From Reuters comes this short report on a beetle-wrestling tournament in Tokyo where kids coach (like Burgess Meredith for these bugs) and prod the insect gladiators onward. The Don King of the beetle brawl chimes in that this event is great for kids, getting them out of video games cuz “Rhino Beetles are so analog”. Cute huh? Standard News of the weird material, right? End of story?

As usual, scratch the surface and find there’s much more here than fits the soundbyte.

Firstly the Rhino Beetle (and more specifically the Asian variant, aka Kabutomushi, spoken of here) is the strongest creature based on proportional strength on the planet (sorry, Ant Man).

A little less feel good than the Reuters story is this video (also narrated by a British female, though thankfully in a more modulated voice), a mini nature documentary on the real world sumo habits of the creature. This fighting thing is all about mating, of course.

And secondly, turns out this Beetle Battle meme is already full-on rampant in Japanese pop culture appearing in anime, toy, video / collectible card game, even robot kit forms as well. So this analog version actually follows the heels of multiple media.

Beetle Machine

Though not always noted as such, Bombshell of the Transformers is a Rhino Beetle.


There was even a Fox Kids TV show called Big Bad Beetleborgs so beetle-mania is not strictly Nippon-centric, though that show was made by recycling footage from a Japanese show.

Big Bad Beetleborgs

If that weren’t already too much there’s a frickin crazy Japanese Bug Fights website with all manner of little creatures going intensely um bug-o a bug-o there are 30 of these up now, including the below featuring our friend the rhino beetle

In fact insect fighting is a whole huge world unto itself.

images from ToyboxDX, Wikipedia, toyarchive.com