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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.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Magic Bar Review: French Drop ・ マジックバーフレンチドロップ

Me holding a (fake) goya and posing with the four French Drop magicians that were there when we visited.
In 2011, I went to Osaka with a friend with one of the goals being to visit some of Osaka's famous magic bars. Our first stop was the magic bar "French Drop", which is co-located with the web shop of the same name that is one of the more famous shops for magic props in Japan.


We went there on a Monday, right at the opening hour. That meant that there were no other customers, just me and my friend so we got a private show. There were however more magicians than normal. Usually there are two magicians each day that will perform for you, but when we were there there
were four magicians and they all decided to do shows for us so we were quite lucky.


French drop has a half moon shaped performance area with several rows of seats available for the spectators. After all the magic shows ended we moved to some seats at the bar counter instead and sat there talking shop for more than an hour.


We got to see Takemiya, Loki, David Chinsuko, and Johnny. At French drop they have a nice sound system and apparently one magician is assigned to do the sound stuff for the performing magician, so they did stuff were they performed magic in sync with music. The performance area was very nice, and it was big enough to do some stage type (or at least parlor) effects too. Mostly they showed us close up magic, though. There were also some juggling type performances, and some fire magic that seemed fairly close to setting the curtains on fire, haha.


Taking the magicians in turn, Johnny did a lot of card flourish style things, for instance a flashy 4 ace production. He also did a funny coin trick with a coin that defied gravity and flew upwards which he explained was possible because it had a huge spring welded to it. Though I am fairly sure that there was no such spring there at first, haha. Also, the spring seemed to be on the wrong side of the coin to actually help with flying. He also impressed us by producing a very large number of Oreo cookies from his mouth.


Loki did some fire magic, some beautiful contact juggling with rings, some magic with hamburger, and did a lot of funny card magic where your expectations were betrayed over and over. He also did the coin muscle pass with a jumbo coin, which was pretty funny. He did a very nice version of the "thumb time" magic trick, some fork bending, and more.


David Chinsuko said he was from Okinawa so he had an Okinawan theme to his magic. This meant producing goya fruits (an Okinawan plant) and wearing goya shaped glasses. He was very funny, with lots of below the belt jokes, and most of his magic were of the "haha, funny" kind. He produced a bottle from inside a balloon, and after producing sliced goya from a handkerchief, the same bottle once again appeared out of the handkerchief. I also liked his production of large amount of sponge balls from his mouth. He also swallowed a huge balloon.


Takemiya did some contact juggling with a crystal ball, snorted a match up his nose and then produced a lot of sparks from the nose, and quite a lot of card magic. There was a trick were the two jokers melted closer and closer to the middle of a deck of cards and finally surrounded only one card, which turned out to be the card only thought of by one of us spectators.


Location: Not near anything else of interest in Osaka except the magic shop French Drop which is in the same building. Not that difficult to get to by subway, though.
Type of magic: Mainly close up, with some parlor and juggling.
Quality of magic: high
Cost: around 5000 yen
Interior: Quite beautiful performance area, cozy interior overall
Staff: Very nice
Of special note: The sound system was good, the use of sound was good, and the music was nice.
Overall impression: Nice magic, very friendly and funny magicians. Fairly cheap too.


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