Thursday, June 14, 2007

Muscle Musical in the news マッスルミュージカルのニュース

OK, so I guess the Muscle Musical is well known enough that it can make mainstream news (the first two stories are in Japanese):

The first story is about a Muscle Musical member who is filing for compensation because she was hurt during the filming of an NHK show. The end of this story includes SASUKE and something about how the two shows were created by the same group and both HORRIBLY INJURE PEOPLE. Or maybe not. I could be exaggerating.
Edit: Here it is in English. For some reason, they left out that she was a Muscle Musical member.

This story is a bit old but it's about how three members of the troupe declined to join the Las Vegas troupe and then had their pay slashed and the union that was formed as a result. Here it is in English.

Finally, here is a month old story from the Japan Times Online about the creation of the show, one of the few in English.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dragon Gate in Ube: Results and Pictures! ドラゴンゲート 宇部 

Had a blast at the Dragon Gate show tonight! I was in the fifth row of the 南 (South) side and for some reason, it was the designated "throw the guy into the chairs" area, something which greatly confused the older woman sitting next to me and freaked out the younger lady sitting on the other side of me. The card was slightly changed from what I had posted before due to the injury to Don Fujii.

Before the matches:
宍戸幸之 (Koij Shishido) didn't wrestle but was running the lottery booth. Poor guy.
八木隆行 (Takayuki Yagi) and 菊池直人 (Naoto Kikuchi) came out to warm up the crowd and hip us as to what was going to come tonight. Whipping boy アンソニー・W・森 (Anthony W. Mori) and 横須賀享 (Susumu Yokosuka) came out to teach us how to cheer.

Opening Match:

Muscle Outlaw'z 土井成樹/吉野正人/マグニチュード岸和田 beat Tozawa Juku 戸澤アキラ/新井健一郎/岩佐拓 after マグニチュード岸和田 powerbombed 戸澤アキラ.
Fun match with the Outlaw'z cheating like mad. This was the South sides introduction to people flying into the seats.

Comedy Match:

サイバー・コング beat“ハリウッド”ストーカー市川 after Ichikawa gave up before he got powerbombed.
Ichikawa tried to suck up to the local crowd with a drawing of local "icon" Katta-Kun on his belly. It didn't help. Naturally there was lots of stalling and your standard "I hurt myself more than I hurt you" stuff going on but the crowd was into it.

望月成晃 & K-ness beat ドラゴン・キッド & m.c. KZ after something that I don't remember. My bad.
The first standard wrestling match. KZ was wearing a LaDainian Tomlinson Chargers jersey. This was when I first realized that little kids really really like good guys in masks. Throughout you could hear kids cheering for the Kid. No one really gave a rip about KZ, especially after he blew a top rope move. Oh well. I noticed that you really have to set up a bunch of the Kid's offense and it can get to the point where people are waiting for him to get ready to do something rather obviously. Still, a neat little match.

Muscle Outlaw'z Gamma & 堀口元気 beat 神田裕之 & 超神龍 after someone did something to 超神龍. Look, sorry, I forgot my pen to write stuff down, okay?
At the beginning of this match, the younger lady sitting next to me ran to the back of the area to avoid the whole wrestlers in the chairs thing. At first it seemed like it was for nothing but later...

Horiguchi looks and acts crazy now. Gamma was, to my suprise, very funny. He did mostly comedy spots while Horiguchi went nuts in the stands and suplexed 超神龍 onto a pile of chairs. It was pretty fun. The kids were sad again because the good masked guy lost.

Main Event:
Typhoon A・W・森/斎藤了/横須賀享/CIMA beat New Hazard Jack Evans/YAMATO/B×Bハルク/鷹木信悟 after CIMA pinned the only white guy on the card with something I don't know the name of.
Okay, so I'm not up on my wrestling finishers.
The females in the audience were quite into B x B Hulk during his entrance.

Several calls of カッコイイ could be heard throughout his ring entrance.
The crowd was torn between the two groups and I was confused as to who were the faces and who were the heels. Looking into it now, I guess only Muscle Outlaw'z are true heels and the rest are whatever, although the Typhoon members were acting more heelish than the New Hazard guys. Still, CIMA was quite over with the crowd and when they won, the crowd was solidly behind them. Evans was great tonight, hitting lots of his spots and generally wowing the crowd. Since he was the only white guy, he had to eat the pin. It wasn't going to be Hulk or Takagi so it was either him or YAMATO.
After the match, Typhoon were awarded the world's largest Soyjoy bar and announced that everyone was getting free Soyjoy bars! Woo hoo! I passed.

All in all, it was fun night of wrestling. No bad matches, I got to see most of the current stars of Dragon Gate in action and I almost got hit by several wrestlers flying in my general direction. Fun!

Tonight: Dragon Gate in Ube! ドラゴンゲート 宇部!

From the Dragon Gate website:

1)望月成晃 & ドン・フジイ & K-ness.vs 吉野正人 & 土井成樹 & M岸和田
2)“ハリウッド”ストーカー市川 vs サイバー・コング
3)岩佐拓 & 新井健一郎 vs Dキッド & m.c.KZ.
4)超神龍 & 神田裕之 vs Gamma & 堀口元気
5)A・W・森 & 斎藤了 & 横須賀享 & CIMA vs Jエバンス & YAMATO & B×Bハルク & 鷹木信悟

I was a fan of Toryumon and later Dragon Gate so I'm excited about this tonight! It's rare that the プロレス groups come out here. This is only the second time Dragon Gate has played in Ube since I've been here and only New Japan has come through town during that same time span and that was only once.

More when I get back!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

そんぽ24 ハナコアラ Sonpo24's Hana Koala

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A friend recently directed me to the commercials for insurance company そんぽ24. Their mascot characters are three koalas by the name of ゴロー, センタロー and ライタロー (Goro, Sentaro and Raitaro, sound it out and you'll figure out which is which) known as ハナコアラ Hana Koala and they have the...well, just look at the commercials for yourself (thanks to youtube user DJ774)

Yep, they can take off their noses and use them as mobile phones to contact Sonpo! It's a little bit disturbing but I can't stop watching. Maybe it's the song.

見直そう 見直そう~(そんぽ!)
自動車保険を見直そう そんぽ24で見直そう
さあ 見積もりだ 見積もりだ!

The clip actually contains three different commercials. The third one (the last thirty seconds of the youtube video) is my favorite because of two things.
One is this:
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The other is that one of the koalas realizes that his nose isn't a phone this time but a computer mouse.

They have tons of stuff at the hanakoala site including how to do the dance, the profiles of the characters (I've never seen ハナマドンナ though) and calendars.

A quick google check shows that ハナコアラ has his fans. Behold the ハナコアラ Bento! Apparently this person does this often.

If you really need the song, you can get it on Amazon!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sportsman No. 1 Clips スポーツマンNo.1

Here are some clips of past Sportsman No. 1 (スポーツマンNo.1). The clips run from the late 90s to about 2001. All of them were taken from the video game Muscle Wars 21. All these scenes need to be unlocked by finishing the game with various characters.
Throughout the clips you'll see Kane Kosugi, Naoki Iketani, Kazuo Matsui, Yoshiaki Fujiwara and several other people.
Thanks to youtube user lostinjapan999 (*cough*).

Pro Sportsman No. 1 1st Half

Pro Sportsman No. 1 2nd Half

Geinojin Sportsman No. 1 1st Half

Geinojin Sportsman No. 1 2nd Half