Ranjyatai’s Decision to Participate in “THE SECOND” – “I am looking forward to it because it is full of monsters! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Ranjyatai’s Decision to Participate in “THE SECOND” – “I am looking forward to it because it is full of monsters!

Ranjyatai, a duo with a unique presence and original material, talks about their passion for "THE SECOND" in their 17th year together.

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(Left) Koji Ito is in charge of comedy. (Right) Kazuya Kunisaki, a bokeh.

The curtain opened on “THE SECOND – Manzai Tournament,” an awards race in which manzai comedians who have been together for more than 16 years compete against each other.

Ranjyatai, who was eliminated from the quarterfinals of last year’s “M-1 Grand Prix,” his last challenge, expressed his positive enthusiasm in this interview held immediately after the “THE SECOND” selection round.

One person who showed a particularly upbeat attitude was blurpers Kazuya Kunisaki (35).

Both of them smiled as they talked about their thoughts on the new award race “THE SECOND.

Kunisaki said, “About a year ago, there was a rumor among comedians that a new award race might be held. When it was announced, we were like, ‘Oh, I knew it. As soon as the decision was made, I was like, “Yes, I’m in! I was like, “Yes, I’m leaving! The last selection meeting was a lot of fun!

Koji Ito (37), a comedian, also expressed his regret for the “M-1 Grand Prix” as he continued, “I was so happy to be selected for the “M-1 Grand Prix” in 2021.

Ito: “We came in last place in the “M-1 Grand Prix” in 2021, and last year we were eliminated in the quarterfinals. I was extremely happy when it was announced that “THE SECOND” would be held just then. I am looking forward to being able to do manzai again in the awards race.

Of all the award shows, including East and West, “M-1” attracts the most attention. It has a strong image as a stage for capturing the “comedian dream,” where a comedian’s life is transformed in a spectacular way in a single night, but it is also known as a competition that slowly erodes the spirit of comedians with each successive challenge. Kunisaki, however, even though he no longer qualifies for the competition, says in a lighthearted tone, “I would like to participate if I could.

Kunisaki: “I’m still trying to get in if I can (laughs). (laughs) “We would like to participate, so please remove the condition that the duo must have been together for 15 years or less. My feeling is that “M-1” is like a cultural festival (laughs). It was really fun to joke around in a competition where everyone was being serious.

Ito shakes his head and says, “I don’t think of it as a cultural festival,” but his underlying feelings remain the same.

Ito: “I’ve never thought, ‘I hate the M-1. Rather, when the time for the preliminary rounds approached, I was like, ‘Finally, it’s here! I was like, “Finally, it’s here! I want to participate in M-1 as much as you do. If it’s possible, I hope that somehow we can make it this year.”

This year, 133 teams, including veteran comedians, entered the tournament. 32 teams that passed the selection committee advanced to the main tournament round, where they will battle it out in a one-on-one battle. The 32 groups that have passed the selection committee will advance to the main tournament round, where they will battle one-on-one in a one-on-one battle format. 16 groups will be selected for the first round, 8 for the second round, and the last manzai performer to survive to the final tournament in May will be crowned the champion.

Kunisaki said, “I’m really looking forward to it, because it’s a one-on-one competition. If you are in the second round, you can tease the first round’s material at some point. The opposite is also true, but it’s a lot more exciting. I can do all kinds of things, such as putting the opponent’s material in somewhere (laughs). In that sense, the atmosphere is a bit like a theater.

Ito: “It’s full of monsters, so I’m just looking forward to it. When we arrived at the venue for the selection committee, “Harikenz” was doing a manzai performance. The two of them had been MCs during the M-1 qualifying rounds, so I was impressed once again and thought, “Wow, this is a great competition! I was impressed once again. At that moment, I realized that this is a competition where the best and the brightest gather.

Rivals I am aware of: “The one I fear is Jaljal.

Tendara”, “Tokyo Dynamite”, “Speedwagon”, “Super Maradona”, “Time Machine No. 3”, and “Time Machine No. 3” (……) Of the many fierce competitors in this year’s tournament, Ito is most aware of the duo that has been together for 20 years. Ito is most aware of Jarujaru, a duo that has been together for 20 years. He feels threatened by the two storytellers, who frequently update their videos on YouTube and boast the ability to make it to the finals of M-1 four times and become the “King of Conte 2020” champion.

Ito: “Jaljal-san is scary, after all. This is a one-on-one tournament, so if we hit each other, it’s over. If we bump into each other during the tournament, we probably won’t make it to the finals. I think everyone wants to avoid that, not just us. Nevertheless, I’m going to give it my all, and I’m going to borrow from my seniors.

Ranjyatai poses for a photo. He took time out of his busy schedule to give us an interview.

Ranjyatai never breaks his own pace. Their spirits are rising with each passing day as they prepare for the competition in which the legends will be competing.

Veteran comedians are engaged in a heated battle for the title of champion in “THE SECOND”.

In addition to the interview in this article, the FRIDAY subscriber also spoke at length about his feelings on the “manzai or not manzai controversy” and the “future of Ranjyatai” he sees beyond winning the awards race.

Click here to read the full interview.

Kunisaki’s first book of essays, “Hennano” (Ota Publishing), is now on sale!

Koji Ito (photo left) was born on November 18, 1985 in Tottori Prefecture, Japan. Kazuya Kunisaki (pictured right) was born on September 3, 1987 in Toyama Prefecture. They met in 2006 as classmates of the 12th term of NSC Tokyo and formed a duo the following year. They reached the final of “M-1” the year before last and the quarterfinals last year.

  • Interview and text Asahi Suzuki PHOTO Sugizo

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