NINJAMAN JAPAN at Takadanobaba CLUB PHASE

live report - 11.02.2012 20:01

The visual-metal band Ninjaman Japan treated their fans to a spectacular show on October 12th

On a warm October evening, fans of the eccentric visual kei band, NINJAMAN JAPAN, consisting of vocalist Sarino (Annie's Black, ex-Shelly Trip Realize), guitarists Lida (Dacco, ex-Psycho le Cemu) and Daishi ([MU:], ex-Amaterasu), bassist Metal and drummer Pinky (PLUNKLOCK, ex-hucci), had come to Takadanobaba CLUB PHASE to view the band's long-awaited one-man show.

As lights in the venue dimmed, NINJAMAN JAPAN’s live kicked in like a storm. “Let’s have fun!” The band theme ignited the show with upbeat and positive melodies of the opening theme, to which the crowd danced along with smiling back-up dancers on stage. As the song ended, Pinky hopped from behind the drum set, handing out coffee to the other members, as if they had just finished their rehearsal, thus starting the band’s sketch time.

Having heard that he used his ninja powers to get the coffee from campaign girls at the station, the members first scolded him—but then one by one they tried to sneak out to meet the cute girls themselves. Restraining each other, the members turned their talk towards the enemies that they encountered at their last one-man and decided to test their ninja powers, which they received from birth as signified by the marks on their wrists. (The marks can be seen in the Fly Away PV). Metal chanted a spell and one by one, the members put their hands forward with cries: “Fire! Earth! Water! Wind! Metal!” However, since nothing happened, they tried over and over with different spells and hand positions, eventually coming to conclusion that the X jump would be the effective method to summon their powers. However how do you do an X jump with five people? The members started suspecting that there was a sixth member needed for their powers to be released, and Sarino came forward towards the crowd, opening his arms, saying that surely the fans supporting them would be the missing link...upon which the members pulled him back, noting that that would be a bit too many 6th members and NINJAMAN JAPAN would be turning into an orchestra.

As the members prepared to go home, they received a letter that invited them for a meeting in a nearby park, signed by “The Sixth Member”. Suspecting a trap, the members nevertheless went to the park to meet a mysterious man called Sunao, and there they tried to figure out whether he was friend or foe using different techniques, such as Daishi inviting him to a group date. The members soon discovered that he had no mark on his hand and simply wanted to be friends with them—though he was a bit of a stalker, following the band around for their rehearsals. Disappointed, the band walked off towards the station to have a meal and finally meet the cute campaign girls, leaving Sarino left together with Sunao. Suddenly the two were surprised by an attack by NINJAMAN JAPAN’s evil enemies, two mysterious men. Immobilized and helpless, Sarino called out to the other members. They jumped to his aid immediately, prompting the evil enemies to reveal their names. The two proudly announced that they were the “Black Satan Devils”, to the laughter of the audience. A spectacular fight ensued, in which NINJAMAN JAPAN celebrated their victory. Sarino announced that from thereon begins the second chapter for NINJAMAN JAPAN, who cannot rest and must continue fighting to protect world peace.

With these words, the band picked up their instruments and jumped straight into Romanstorm. Sarino’s clear voice had a charming vibrato that resonated with the heavy, speedy sounds of the song. Head banging broke out to Fly Away, and the temperature in the hall rose to the heavy, saturated riffs of the catchy song. In a comic MC, Sarino could not hide his excitement, and this was met with a warm reaction from the fans.

A melodic guitar intro led into Shinobi Soldier, the melodies of which resembled a fusion of Western metal and old Japanese movie theme songs, a peculiar combination of such sounds that reappears consistently throughout the band’s repertoire. Emotions boiled further in Senkou, where fans pumped their fists to Pinky’s rhythmic drumming, whose beat did not leaving anyone motionless, and Lida’s and Sarino’s voices intertwined in a duo, another characteristic feature of a number of NINJAMAN JAPAN songs. Epic metal instrumentals introduced the positive and melodic Never Give Up!, a song whose mood is very consistent with its title, with the members rocking out on stage as the crowd jumped energetically. As Lida performed another one of his virtuoso solos, Metal, Daishi and Sarino joined him at the center of the stage, moving their bass, guitar and air guitar respectively in a choreographed manner, bringing out more smiles in the audience.

Sarino thanked the crowd for their enthusiasm and talked about their recent release, the Fly away single, which came out in August this year. He then announced the next song as the only middle-tempo song of the band and then asked the fans to listen to it with their hearts. With its calmer, cinematographic atmosphere, RAMBLING SKY brought to the foreground Sarino’s moving, strong vocals, supported by an elaborate, solid guitar base. A fast transition to the old-school metal sounds of Hi no tori brought the crowd back into movement, and KAGE, which started with an impressive twin guitar duo and fast, machine gun drums, had the audience go crazy to its irregular, changing pace of musical patterns. Then about midway through the song came the members’ introduction, allowing each member to step up with a solo and bathe in the audience’s loud cheers.

After another MC, the show continued with the rhythmic, upbeat melodies of Onmitsu Dancers, reminiscent of “Kamen Rider” and similar old-school super hero movies. As Lida rapped energetically, the fans jumped with excitement together with the dancers who came back on stage to urge the crowd on and show them the para-para like movements, a fun feature that make the lives of NINJAMAN JAPAN even more entertaining and unique. The crowd’s voices united with Pinky’s drumming to the dark, yet very dynamic sounds of SHINOBI, and moshing broke out as Daishi and Lida came forward with a solo battle, interacting with the crowd and urging them to move. Shouting out “Your Fists!” Sarino choreographed the movements of the boiling crowd to another speedy, stirring song: Ninja netsu girari!. Daishi’s characteristic guitar ignited BATTLE FORCE, giving the song a more pop-rock feel, thus stimulating the crowd into moshing once again. Pinky almost jumped up behind the drum set as if wishing to join the audience, with his typical energetic and very charming drumming style. As the hall exploded with a storm of happy voices, Sarino announced their last song. He spoke of the path of NINJAMAN JAPAN, who started in 2009 and went through member changes, but kept moving forward. He stressed that what is important is to wish, to believe and to have a dream—even if things do not go as expected, it is good to walk forward with a dream—and asked the fans to listen to the next song with these feelings. The positive, fast melodies of Dreamer inflamed the venue, the confidence in Sarino’s voice persuaded the listener, lifting one’s spirit, and the band and the hall united in this happy culmination. Smiling, the band left the stage.

Calls for an encore soon summoned the band back out, and having thanked the crowd, Sarino noted that the next day was Pinky’s birthday. As the fans sang “Happy Birthday” together with the members, Pinky thanked them and said that he wanted to make this song his ringtone. After the members spoke of their wishes to give birth to more songs, to play more concerts and involve more people, they asked fans for their continuous support. Finally, Lida noted that Sarino also had his birthday a couple of weeks earlier, so a cake was brought out by one of the dancers, who then was surprised by another cake since he himself also had his birthday recently; thus, the “Happy Birthday” singing continued. The band concluded their MC by thanking the staff, the dancers and the crowd for all their support.

The temperature skyrocketed anew the moment the band started another round with Romanstorm, a song from their recently released single, with its heavy bass and drum beats and moving, changing rhythms. In another MC, they announced that their next one-man will be on March 10th at Ikebukuro Edge, and this was met with excited cheers in the crowd. Sarino noted that while there is a short time left for the live, what is important is the strength of emotions. Thus, the band plunged into Fly Away together again with the fans. Its rocky, upbeat melodies were bound to become an ear-worm and haunt everyone who heard them. The energetic BATTLE FORCE provoked even more movement, as the band came forward urging on the fans and enjoying their hot reactions—fist pumping, moshing and screaming filled the entire venue.

“Thanks to you we were able to create this beautiful treasure”, Sarino said, expressed his gratitude to the crowd, and the members lined up at the front to take their final pose: “We are NINJAMAN JAPAN”. Staying behind, the members smiled and hugged each other, and took their time to thank the audience and give out high-fives to the fans who did not seem to want to let the band go.

NINJAMAN JAPAN is not a band like any other. They are unique in their styles, mixing traditional Japanese and modern themes, in their sound, combining metal and theme song flavours, and their artistic performance, balancing comic role-play with strong musical expression. No matter what kind of music one likes, NINJAMAN JAPAN is definitely a sight that one may want to see, so do not miss the chance if the ninja from Japan happens to be passing through your city.


Set List:

Op NINJAMAN JAPAN Theme

-play-

01. Romanstorm
02. Fly away
-MC-
03. Shinobi soldier
04. Senkou
05. Never Give Up!
-MC-
06. RAMBLING SKY
07. Hi no tori
08. KAGE~member introduction~
-MC-
09. Onmitsu Dancers
10. SHINOBI
11. Ninja netsu girari!
12. BATTLE FORCE
13. Dreamer

Encore
01. Romanstorm
-MC-
02. Fly away
03. BATTLE FORCE
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