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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.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Magic Bar Review: Cuore (Calvados) ・ クオーレ(カルバドス)

When I was on a business trip to Tokyo a long time ago, I visited several magic bars during the evenings. In Tokyo, one of the most famous entertainment districts is the Kakukicho of the Shinjuku area. There are surprisingly few magic bars there (but apparently a lot of sex industry aimed at English speaking foreigners, judging by the number of annoyingly persistent people trying to get me to go to such places while searching for the place I was going). After some wandering around, I found the magic bar that used to be called Calvados, but that had recently changed name to "Cuore".

東京に出張で行った時に夜に色々なマジックバーにも行った。新宿の歌舞伎町が有名だが歌舞伎町にマジックバーがあまりないみたい。外国人向きの風俗が多そうだけど(英語で寄って来るしつこい客引きの人が多かった)。ちょっと迷子になってから、探していたマジックバーに到着!前にカルバドスという名前だったが今「クオーレ」に変わったみたいだ。

I got there fairly late (after midnight) and there was a stage show going on when I entered. I got to see the last parts of that show, and then some table magic at the counter. First, the owner called Kokoro was doing some parlor magic on a small stage. Then a magician called Mikto did magic at the counter, followed by Kokoro also doing a show at the counter. Then all the other customers left. Mikto then showed me some more magic one-on-one, and we talked about magic for awhile. Later, Kokoro also came back to the counter and talked to me for awhile.

僕が24時過ぎ入った。その時に、ステージマジックというかサロンのマジックショー途中だった。僕がそのショーの後半観れた。その後、カウンターでクローズアップマジックもあった。サロンはオーナーさんの「心」がやっていた。その後、「未来大」というマジシャンがカウンターでマジックを見せたし、心さんも後でカウンターに来てクローズアップのショーもやったし、他のお客さんが帰ってから未来大が僕に他のマジックも見せてくれたし、色々なマジック観れた。未来大さんも心さんも後で話してくれたし。

The interior of Cuore is rather cramped, to make room for the stage area. The counter looks very nice in a kind of S shape. The S shape did however make everything going on behind and below the counter very visible to me at the seat I got, which ruined a lot of the surprises during the close up magic shows since you could see exactly what was going to show up on the counter next, and often you could see exactly when the magician was secretly taking things from below the counter too. The stage also had some angle problems from where I was sitting, and from time to time it was very obvious were for instance a selected and signed card that was supposedly lost in the deck actually was, because it was right in front of my eyes. While we sometimes have even worse angle problems when doing magic at the sofa seats in the magic bar where I perform (completely surrounded in some cases), it is not a problem if you know of it and choose magic that is angle proof, at Cuore it happened quite a bit that the magic performed had some serious problems with the angles the spectators were looking from.

クオーレがまあまあ狭い感じだったが多分ステージがあるから、お客さん席のほうがちょっと狭くなっているね。カウンターがSの形をして、お洒落なんだ。そのSの形のせいで、僕が座ったところから色々なマジックが丸見えで、そこまでマジックにならないこともあった。カウンターの下から次何を出すか、かなり見えるし、たまにサプライズで出てくるものが前からカウンターの中で見えている(取る時にも見えるし)から、サプライズにならない時もあった。真正面のお客さんなら、いいマジックだったんだろけどね。ステージもある時に角度きつかった。サインカードがどこにあるか、トランプの中に入っているはずなのに、僕の目の前にサインカードが見えている時とかがあったね。うちのマジックバーでもっと酷い角度がたまにある(ボックス席なら、100%囲まれている時もある)がそれに合わせて囲まれても大丈夫なマジックを選べば大丈夫だ。クオーレで見せて貰ったマジックでは、たまにそういう角度で見せて欲しくないマジックがあった。

The stage magic that I saw was nice. There was some card going to impossible locations, floating table, a birthday cake produced from a dove pan (very popular at Tokyo magic bars it seems), a paper snow storm, and other effects. I liked a routine where a raw egg was poured into a hat, which as then places on the head of a spectator. And out came a plastic fried egg (and no sign of the raw egg). The rest of the effects were nice, but very common effects. But since most customers probably never saw magic before, showing them common (popular) effects is probably a good choice.

ステージで行われたサロンマジックが全体的に良かった。カードツー不思議なところ・フローティングテーブル・タブパンからケーキ(東京で流行っているみたいね)・紙吹雪、色々なマジックがあった。僕の一番好きだったのが、生卵を帽子に入れて、その帽子をお客さんに被らせて、帽子を取ったら偽物の目玉焼きになっていた。生卵はどこに消えたか、不思議だった、笑。他のマジックも良かったが結構スタンダードなマジックだった(やっている人が多いマジック)。普通のお客さんは多分マジックほとんど見たことがないから、そういうマジックをやったら(皆がやっているマジック=うけがいいマジック)良いと思うね。

Next, magician Mikto did some magic at the counter. He was very good at doing magic with cigarettes. He also did some tricks with Japanese bills (1000 yen and 10000 yen change places in the spectators hand), solved a Rubick's cube blindfolded. Though he did not look that blindfolded, he was still very fast, haha. He was pretty funny, but he also did quite a lot of mistakes (thread got caught somewhere, etc.).

次、未来大さんがカウンターでクローズアップマジックを見せてくれた。タバコのマジックがかなりうまかった。お札のマジック(1000円札と10000円札がお客さんの手の中で入れ替わる)とか、目隠しでルービックキューブとか、色々やった。目隠しで、まだ結構見えるんじゃないかという目隠しだったがそれでも普通に早かった、笑。面白かった。喋りも結構面白かった。ミスがまあまあ多かったけど。

Kokoro then came back and did magic at the counter too. Again, he did a lot of common/popular effects and did them in a pretty standard way. Apart from the angle problems from where I was sitting making some of the effects less magical, the performance was fine though I have seen other people do the same effects funnier/better. For people who have never seen magic before, I would guess it was a very good selection of effects. There was fork bending, a light bulb that started glowing in the hand of the spectator, the "size surprise" card trick that I love (but never performed myself since a colleague does it), some rubber band effects, a hamburger showed up out of a deck of cards, a sticker depicting the selected card of a spectator was stuck under the shirt (on the arm) of a spectator, etc. There were also a lot of wordplay gags in Japanese, not all of which I could catch. Things like saying "shaku ni sawaru" (meaning something annoying you, so "[being fooled again] annoying, isn't it?") and pulling out a ladle (also "shaku" in Japanese, though a different word pronounced the same).

心さんがまたカウンターに来て、心さんもクローズアップを見せてくれた。今回も、人気マジックというか、皆がやっているマジックがほとんどだった。見せ方も、だいたいスタンダードの見せ方だった。角度の問題で前から丸見えだったからマジックにならなかったネタ以外は、良いマジックだと思うが他の人がもっとうまい見せ方やもっと笑える見せ方で同じマジックを見せてくれた。マジックの観たことない人に、ネタの選択が良いと思うけど。フォーク曲げ・お客さんの手の中の電球が光る・サイズサプライズ(僕の大好きなカードマジック、一回もやったことないけど)・輪ゴム・ハンバーグがトランプから出てくる・お客さんの選んだカードのシールがお客さんの腕についている、色々なマジックがあった。オヤジギャグも多かった。「癪に障るね!」って、杓を出すとか。

Finally, after everyone else left, Mikto came and spoke to me for a long while and showed me some more magic. He talked about how he hitchhiked all the way from Tokyo to Sapporo and made a living by doing magic in the streets and other things. He showed me some more cigarette magic and a card trick he used to do in the streets.

その後、他のお客さんが皆帰った。未来大さんが来て、僕と色々な話をした。東京から北海道までヒッチハイクで行った話とか。その時にストリートマジックで食べたそうだ。その時によくやったアンビシャスカードのマジックも見せてくれた。タバコのマジックももっと見せてくれた。タバコ一番感動した。

Finally, something that impressed me was that there were a lot of autographs and photos of famous people visiting Cuore stuck to the walls. I guess in Tokyo there are many famous people!

他に感動したのは、壁に有名人のサインや写真がいっぱい張ってあった。さすが東京だなと思った。有名人多そうだ!

Summary:
Location: Conveniently located in the huge Shinjuku entertainment district Kabukicho, which is worth visiting anyway.
Type of magic: Parlor and close up
Quality of magic: OK
Cost: Around 4500 yen for me, depends on how long you stay
Interior: Beautiful, but causing some angle problems for some of the magic performed.
Staff: Nice, spoke to me about all kinds of things
Overall impression: Nice with parlor magic and close up magic. Lots of popular standard effects.

まとめ:
場所:歌舞伎町だから、他に面白い店も近くにいっぱいありそうだね。
マジックの種類;サロンもクローズアップも
マジックの質:普通
値段:4500円になったと思う。滞在時間による
インテリア:お洒落だがたまに角度がちょっと無理
スタッフ:優しかった。色々な話をした。
全体的な印象:サロンもクローズアップもあるのが良いよね。皆がやるネタがうけが良いネタが多い

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