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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Magic bar review: Half Moon, Tokyo, Japan

Most of the times I have been to magic bars outside of Sapporo, I have been with a friend from Sapporo who also does magic as a hobby. 2011-04-18 was no exception, and we went to magic bar Half Moon, in Ginza (Tokyo, Japan). We had planned to go there in February but the magician of Half Moon got the flu so the visit was canceled. In return, this time we got to go there for free!

札幌以外のマジックバーに行く時は普段札幌のマジックマニアの友達と行く。2011年4月18日もそうだった。銀座にある「ハーフムーン」という店に行った。2月に行く予定だったが当日にハーフムーンのマジシャンがインフルエンザを引いたので、ドタキャンになった。代わりに今回招待された(無料ってこと)けど!

The list of shops in the building, with Half Moon being somewhat anonymous (only the picture of the half moon)
Half Moon is located in Ginza, close to the Sinbashi station. There are many magic bars in this area (one being "23 seconds by walking" away according to Google Maps :-) Half Moon is a little bit hard to find if you do not know what you are looking for, and even the sign indicating all the shops in the building does not have the name written there, only a stylished crescent. Tokyo is expensive, and Ginza is one of the most expensive parts of Tokyo, so the rent there is probably very very high. This means that Half Moon is not cheap, but the 8000 yen normal price includes unlimited drinks for 90 minutes and a superb magic show so in my opinion it is completely worth it.

ハーフムーンが銀座、新橋駅の近くにある。周りに他のマジックバーも沢山ある。1件がGoogleMapsによれば「歩いて23秒」の距離だそうだ。細かいね、Google。店がそこまで分かり易くもない。ビルの下の看板とかでも名前書いてない。半月の絵だけ。


東京は高いし、銀座は東京の中でも高い方なので、家賃高そうだね。ハーフムーンの値段が8000円で、マジックバーとして高い方だ。90分飲み放題も付いているし、マジックショーが本当に素晴らしいなので、出しても全然良いと思うけど。

The interior was pretty dark, but quite nice. Very blue. The main area is the counter and magician Hide did his magic show standing inside the counter and the two of us and seven other guests sat at the counter and watched.

インテリアは割と暗かった。青かった。カウンターがメインで、マジシャンヒデさんがカウンターの中で全部で9人のお客さんにマジックを見せてくれた。

The quite blue interior, with a TV that is also used for magic

The magic was superb. Possibly the best magic show I have seen so far. There were magic tricks that were very impressive in themselves, like signed cards ending up in sealed water bottles, or back in a factory sealed card box, some mental magic effects, and much more. There were also tricks that are fairly standard but were shown in very nice ways, like a sponge ball trick, a levitating tissue paper, card to pocket routine, etc. The TV seen in the photo is also used in some tricks (things shown on the screen disappear from there and appear in the real world, and go back again). The most impressive things are the way the magic is combined with the music used, and the personality/character of Hide-san. It would be hard not to just sit back and enjoy the show (my normal way of watching magic) with a magician that nice, even if you hate magic or normally try really hard to figure out how things are done. The closing prediction effect is also very very nice. A very long paper that has been hanging in view the whole time turns out to contain a very very long story created by one of the spectators. Also, a pair of "shocking pink" panties made a surprise appearance. As a magician, I also thought the force used a few times was very very impressive.

My friend U~san, me, and the Half Moon magician Hide
マジックが凄かった!今まで観たマジックショーの中で1番良かったかもしれない。レベル高いマジックも勿論あったし(一般人から見たら、新品のペットボトルにサインカードが入った・サインカードが突然新品の状態になったトランプと箱の中に戻った・メンタルのネタとか)、結構スタンダードなマジックも色々あって、見せ方がオリジナルで凄く良かったし(スポンジボールのマジック・ティッシュが浮くマジック・カードがポケットに入るマジックとか)、バーのテレビを使ったマジックもあったし(テレビで映っているものが突然テレビから消えて本物が出てくるとか)し、色々あった。音楽に良いように合わせてマジックショーをやるのが凄く良かった。ヒデさんのキャラや人柄が一番良いかもしれない。こういうキャラのマジシャンにむかつくや見破ろうとする人がいないだろうなぁ。純粋に楽しむだけ。最後の予言のマジックも凄いね。ずっと前から置いてあった半端ないくらい長い紙にお客さんと一緒に作った長~い話が全部書いてある。本物の「ショッキングピンク」のパンツも現れたし。マジシャンから見たら、何回か使っていたフォースも凄かった。


Summary:
Location: Good (Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, not far from subway or train)
Type of magic: Close up magic
Quality of magic: extremely high (skilled, but most of all funny/nice presentation, very original)
Comment: The presentation of the magic is original and the strongest selling point, and it is very very good, and hard to describe in words. Best understood by experiencing it yourself.
Cost: 8000 yen
Interior: nice
Staff: super nice
Food and drinks: snacks included, usual selection of drinks
Overall impression: Possibly the best magic bar I have been to. Cannot recommend highly enough!

まとめ
場所:便利(銀座、東京)
マジックの種類:クローズアップマジック
マジックの質:素晴らしい(上手だがそれより見せ方が本当に半端ない)
コメント:マジックの見せ方が一番良いが言葉で説明しづらい(伝わらない)。自分で観た方がいいと思う。
値段:8000円
インテリア:きれい
スタッフ:凄く良い
食べ物・飲み物:スナック菓子・飲み物が普通だ
全体的な印象:今まで一番良かったかもしれない!マジック好きだったら、ハーフムーンのだけの為に東京まで行ってもいいくらい。

Magician Hide said he also sells bento ("lunch boxes", lunch meals) during daytime. These also looked good.

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