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Tuesday
May082012

Namazufights - talkin' bout catfish

I've had some fun ideas for this week's whale battle, and am ambling towards a finished writeup - in the meantime, tonight I'll be posting the results of another long-awaited matchup in order to tide you over.

But that's a secret for the time being.

Right now, I want to share with you some completely balling prints from 19th Century Japan depicting an earthquake in the form of big goddamn catfish.

I am determined to directly or indirectly reference these Namazu-e (literally Catfish Pictures) in a future zoofight, and I think that big old bastard in the first picture has got Contender written all over him. (Big Thunder Rumblefish, anyone?)

Funnily enough, an amazon catfish nearly made it into zoofights IV, before I got worried that I was overdoing the fish-with-robot-legs thing and put in Snake Preview as the amazonian contender instead. Things could have been very different.

Specifically, it was going to be a Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps, which has the distinction of being one of my favourite aquarium fish and one of the more fun things I have eaten (I never thought anything that only ate algae off rocks could be so meaty). The recipe is pretty simple, so long as you have access to a small amazon tributary, fifty feet of net and a machete. 

Setting the net across the mouth of the creek, you wait til an hour or two after dusk when they are moving out into the larger channel to feed, and then pull in the net. When I tried it, I took about 12 and threw back everything shorter than a foot.

Amazingly, they managed to survive all night in a half inch of muddy water in the footwell of the dugout, and were still gulping air at breakfast time. This sounds rather cruel, but it’s very difficult to mercy-kill something that is mostly bone armour, and even harder to keep it fresh through the muggy amazon night.

Come dawn, it was simply a matter of gutting them (again, tough given the armour) and hurling them into a load of boiling water with chicken bones, tiny pea-sized chilis and shitloads of lemon juice. When boiled, the articulated bone plates just fell apart with thick, white flakes of meat clinging to their underside. Even better, this was the right time of year for the females to be carrying big clusters of roe like pork-flavoured wax blackberries. 

Here's to the noble catfish, Sports Fans.

 

Reader Comments (4)

Although I don't want another Zoofight won by a sea creature, there are just too many oceanic critters that would be great for fighting! An earthquake causing catfish would be interesting, but I think the algae eater has more potential. He could suck on his opponent's head!

May 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJumpropeman

I first learned about the "catfish cause earthquakes" Japanese myth by virtue of the catfish Pokemon, Whiscash, which has similar stories attributed to it in-universe plus the ability to use the Earthquake and Fissure attacks. Japan loves sneaking bits of their culture into places you wouldn't expect.

May 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGooper Blooper

Gezora can't stop drooling. Gezora needs another bucket quick before the drool starts eating through the counter-top. Gezora goes through too many counters as it is!

May 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGezora

Ah, the noble catfish. Catfish are pretty much the best fish because of how downright silly they look.

From the same giant catfish article, this picture:(http://pinktentacle.com/images/11/namazue_19.jpg) makes me think of a giant catfish Zoofighter doubling as a Shinto priest, which could lead to somewhat of a Japanese version of Kali's progression; Giant catfish, 1990's Japanese businessman during the economic downturn, Shinto Priest and so on. It's certainly not original, but it's just something I thought about.

Or fuck knowing you it'll turn out to be a giant catfish princess from the moon with luscious locks of golden hair. Eagerly awaiting Princess Minikui of the Moon Kingdom

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaberwulf

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