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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, April 30, 2013

Magic Bar Review: Red King

A week or so ago, I went to the newly opened magic bar "Magic bar Red King" here in Sapporo with a friend. When we entered, there were no other customers there but an hour or so later a young woman also showed up. The bar is quite small, with a counter that seats around 6 people, and a few sofas and tables. The interior is quite nice, and they had decorated with a lot of figurines from Ultra Man or some other Japanese series.


When we arrived, the magician Akitsugi Domoto was there and he showed us some card magic. He did  find our selected card, did some color changes, a "sloppy shuffle" triumph where the red and black cards ended up separated too, and a card with the corner torn off disappearing and showing up in an impossible location (his pocket). After that, we talked about magic and other things for a while. We thought the magic show was a bit short for a magic bar and asked for some more magic. Then he did a mental effect where he predicted the color of the cards in a part of a deck that was slightly shuffled by a spectator, and made the name of a chosen card show up on a receipt from the convenience nearby.


My friend likes coin magic so we also asked to see some coin tricks. There were some simple coin vanishes and reappearances, the muscle pass, and in the end the selected coin ended up on the back of my friends hand after disappearing. When the young girl had arrived too, we were also shown a mental card trick were a mentally selected card ended up being the only card in the card box that had been on the table since before the trick started (and for some reason the card was also folded). When another friend of mine was shown this trick it was incredibly clean, but when we were there the card selection procedure was quite long and convoluted. The girl said she had seen this trick five times but still had no idea how it was done, though.


Magician Domoto was quite nice to talk to too, and for about 30 minutes or so the other guy on the poster they have outside also came in and talked to us (he runs one more bar in the same building so Red King is mainly run by Domoto they said). He happens to be a former class mate of two of my friends, so we had met before. He has a lot of experience running bars, and he was very funny to talk to. He told us funny stories about all kinds of things, including some famous Japanese magicians. We asked if he too would show us some magic but he said is not really a magician (though he does know a few tricks since I have seen him perform card magic for some girls in another of his bars).

堂本さんの話も面白かった。30分間くらい、Red Kingのポスターの2人目の人も店に入って来て、話してくれた。僕のマジシャン友達2人の同級生だから前にも会ったことがある。同じビルにもう1つのバーもやっているからその店2つに行ったり来たりするみたい。飲み屋の仕事に慣れてて、話が上手だ。色々な面白い話、例えば有名な日本人のマジシャンの話をしてくれた。マジックも見せてくれませんか?って聞いてみたがマジシャンではないと言われた。別の店でトランプマジックを女の子に見せることは見たことがあるから、出来ないことはないと思うけどね、笑。

All in all, we had a good time. Though for high quality magic (and fun conversation) in Sapporo I would still recommend one of the Twister magic bars instead (though I may be biased, haha).


Location: On the outskirts of the entertainment district Susukino.
Type of magic: Close up.
Quality of magic: So-so.
Cost: 3,000 yen for nomihoudai, or 1,500 yen charge plus about 500 yen per drink.
Interior: Nice.
Staff: Friendly.
Of special note: Unusually large selection of teas,which is nice for people not drinking alcohol.
Overall impression: The magic show was a bit short, and some of the magic would probably have been seen through by non-magicians too, but we had a nice time.


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