Feb 4 2008, 2:39pm

Japanese kids somehow manage to offload the shittiest bits of their pop culture on to us while keeping the best stuff for themselves. While we're stuck playing Pokémon cards, they've only gone and invented the best game in playground history. It's called bug fights and it's such a huge craze that certain beetle species are becoming endangered because of it. Our friend Kyle Benzle has taken the radness of bug fights and poured awesome all over it. His website, Japanese Bug Fights, pits powerful, exotic insects against each other in a terrarium. Turns out watching a praying mantis trying to kill a giant hornet is one of the most compelling things you will ever see. We asked Kyle to tell us a bit more about insect cage-rage...

What made you start the website?
Beetle fighting is incredibly popular with kids in Japan right now. I didn't know of anyone else doing other insects so it just seemed like the next thing to do. We wanted to try something new. 

Who is your favourite?
The hornet is by far my favourite fighter. Always has been.

Who is the champ?

The locust is the ultimate champion. No one can beat the locust. He is the only one to never lose.

Are you saying a swarm of locusts is more deadly than an army of scorpions?
One locust would be more powerful than an army of scorpions. The locust, even though it is my least favorite, is the true champion for a very good reason. From the beginning of the agricultural revolution through to the Judeo-Christian Biblical stories, the locust struck the fear of God into all who listened. The locust is feared and hated. The locust is a deadly and unmerciful killer. The locust has no remorse and only one desire: the desire for destruction and to continue the endless march of entropy into the future.

That sounds rad.

I love it. It's just very interesting to see these insects up so close and to be doing what they do best; doing what they have evolved to do over millions of years.

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