Hyper Japan/ NINJAMAN JAPAN

 
Earls Court Exhibition Centre
London
23rd-25th November 2012
Written by Rachel Yarwood
Photography by Lorna Ransome

Ninjaman Japan Setlist


Theme of Ninjaman Japan
KAGE
Onmitsu- Dancers
Romanstorm
Fly Away

Christmas at Hyper Japan… as soon as you step into the rather spacious building that is Earls Court Exhibition Centre, there is a buzz of excitement, colour and fascination. Not only are there stalls set up such as the usual anime, gaming and manga, but there is also the antique and the pop culture fashions, along with various foods, travel, literature and art to name just a few of the many bursting with culture from the far East of Japan. 
 
The main stage too promises to gather a decent crowd as Hyper Japan have invited four rather prestige musical talents to give talks and perform over the course of the weekend; Tomoca, Tomoyasu Hotei, THE MICRO HEAD 4Ns and Ninjaman Japan.  
 
Friday sees the legend that is Tomoyasu Hotei making a special appearance for his fans in the wake of a one off gig at The Roundhouse later next month. Not only does he give a short performance amongst KAMUI but ends his visit to Hyper Japan with an interview session too.
 
THE MICRO HEAD 4Ns followed this with their own interview session shortly after in which the crowd also had a chance to ask either Ricky, Shun or Zero a question before a meet and greet session. Tomoca too, gave her fans the opportunity to meet with her over the weekend in a similar meet and greet, before her performance on the Sunday afternoon, which closed Hyper Japan for another year. 
 
Ninjaman Japan, after their short demonstrations on Friday in the 'Activity Area' (perhaps as a final preparation), gather on stage promptly at 7 o'clock on the Saturday night to begin their live performance. 
 
Standing in line, the band open with a drama in which they introduce themselves to the audience, before a fight sequence to the background song of "Theme of Ninjaman Japan" stealing everybody's attention away from anything else happening in the exhibition hall. 
Each member has their own little part to act out, and as one finishes to take up their instrument, another follows. Sarino, on vocals, is the last and finishes his final move right on cue to face the audience and begin the chorus. 
 
"KAGE" opens with an impressively heavy sound, a rapid guitar duo from Daishi and Lida causing a widespread movement of hands to raise in the air amongst the audience, some even head banging to Metal's deep bass rhythms or the fast and almost machine-gun drumming from Pinky who himself finds it impossible to sit still behind his drum-kit.
Sarino himself motivates the crowd, although the first few rows need no more encouragement from him, as he beckons us to join in dancing and throwing our fists in the air at all the appropriate moments. 
 
The show continues with "Onmistu - Dancers" and by this point you are completely in awe at the amount of energy there is onstage. The atmosphere is brilliant as the crowd jump along in excitement together with the band, who continue to entertain with their music and actions, to this rhythmic and melodic song. 
 
There is a short break after this and the band take it in turns to greet the fans and onlookers which is smoothly interrupted by the opposition, once again the 'evil enemies', who of course challenge Ninjaman Japan to another fight. 
This time they are backed by the introduction to "Romanstorm", the second track on their "Fly Away" single release in August, and again we see each of them having their own parts to play and Sarino leading effortlessly into the chorus of the song. 
 
Ninjaman Japan finish their set with their song "Fly Away" whilst the promotional video plays on the backdrop behind the band as they perform. 
As the song ends, the band regroups and give words of gratitude to everyone who came to see them, finishing with a little bit of banter about the merchandise ("over there... where we will sign our CD for you") which is followed quickly by laughter from both Ninjaman Japan and the audience. 
 
Ninjaman Japan really is quite an extraordinary band to watch live. Combining role-play and music, with both a catchy rock and theme-song style, their performance here at Hyper Japan alone truly was something unique, entertaining and totally unforgettable.