Ninjaman Japan @ Japan Expo

 

Live House
Japan Expo 2013
Villepinte Exhibition Centre
Paris, France
6th July 2013
Written by Rachel Yarwood



Theme of Ninjaman Japan
Fly Away
Hanamuke
Rambling Sky
KAGE
Action~Raijin
Onmitsu-Dancers
Battle Force

Performing in London last November, 'Ninjaman Japan' have travelled to Europe once again to perform at Japan Expo in Paris. This time the five piece are scheduled to perform for an hours long set, showcasing more of their material, a new routine and a new member for the hungry audience in the live house. 

Our attention is first grasped by cloaked and masked figures on stage. Sneakily trying to convince us that they have taken over the show, mortal enemies the "Black Satan Devils" attempt to trick and deceive, but this is soon quashed as the members of Ninjaman Japan rush on stage to take control. 
Opening with "Theme of Ninjaman Japan", the five of them put forward a very well staged introductory fight scene before taking us into the first full length performance of "Fly Away". It was clear from the cheers, the moving arms, and the calls of "Ninja!" that suggests the band are no strangers to many in the audience today and "Fly Away" proved to be a good song to begin with. With both the fast pace and catchy melodies of the chorus it easily brought the atmosphere of the mornings' audience in the hall to one of enthusiasm and pure enjoyment. 

"Hanamuke" followed, started by a short guitar battle between Daishi and Lida, Ninjaman Japan's newest single release which brought the pace up a couple of notches with an unmistakable metal tone now resonating through the hall. With the speed and skill of fingers running up and down the necks of guitars, the deep bass lines from Metal and the unrelenting pounding on Dewey's drums, all together made for a chain reaction of fists punching the air plus the first few rows of the crowd to break out in a headbang to imitate that of vocalist Sarino. 
 
The sound quality this morning is pretty good, although because of the backing tracks between acting scenes, the rhythm of the changes from backing to microphone was not quite up to scratch. However not once did this seem to faze the band or the audience. The showmanship onstage, especially from Sarino and Daishi, was to be commended as we all received warm smiles, laughs, playfulness (which the band received back) and a handful of a songs performed exceptionally well despite a few hiccups along the way. 
 
Compared to Hyper Japan last year, the show today did seem more planned and more natural. Of course there were two screens instead of one, more time allowed, and more stage space to work with. So it was no surprise really when we were treated to not only another playful (and lengthy!) guitar battle between Daishi and Lida, but also the notorious Black Satan Devils returned for another bash at taking over the show, before once again being defeated and Ninjaman Japan in triumph followed with their next song "Onmitsu-Dancers". 
 
The band finished their set with "Battle Force" and the hour this morning spent with the Visual Kei Ninja's from Japan ended with huge appreciation from both the band and the audience. It was obvious early on that the band were pleasantly surprised at the reaction from the crowd, but as a metal band with a gimmick, they brought with them a bit of light-hearted action combined with music. This was all greatly received by all who came to watch them and Ninjaman Japan certainly played their parts well.