An Increased Use of Host Names in the Weekly Shonen Jump Gains Popularity | FRIDAY DIGITAL

An Increased Use of Host Names in the Weekly Shonen Jump Gains Popularity

1.Interview with Koji Asai, a 600 million yen player

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Ryoma Echizen, Kaede Nagarekawa, Junpei Manaka, and Tsuki Yagami. These are the names of the main (top-level) characters in Weekly Shonen Jump, but they are also the names of the actual host’s source. In the past, hostnames such as Seiya and Ryusei were chosen for their host-like nuances, but nowadays, the number of names borrowed from video games, manga characters, and even celebrities is rapidly increasing.

Koji Asai of Aravan Lilian What are the origins and merits of these names, what do they think of them, and what kind of people are they? We interviewed Mr. Koji Abarai, a host who has made 160 million yen a year at his host club “Aravan Lilian” in Ikebukuro, Tokyo.

 It may be unnecessary to explain again, but Koji Abarai is a major character in Kubo Taito’s “Bleach,” which was serialized until 2016. He borrowed the name as a source name and is currently working as a producer (head of operations) while continuing to work as a host. This year he also made his debut as a manga artist in KADOKAWA’s ComicWalker magazine, demonstrating his multiple talents.

Mr. Asai started hosting four years ago at the age of 22. He says that his name has remained the same since he first joined the company, but the inspiration for the name came to him on a spur-of-the-moment idea.

 “When I was in high school, there was a TV show called ‘Guess how much a grandfather knows about his grandson’s hobbies,'” he says. “One of the grandfathers guessed his grandson’s favorite character and said, ‘Koji Asai!” I have never been able to forget it.

 Isn’t it interesting to hear an amateur grandfather suddenly answer, “Koiji Asai! Isn’t it interesting that an amateur old man suddenly answers, “Koizi Asai! Just thinking back on it makes me laugh. It’s such a memorable name that it’s easy for customers to remember it, and since I was an anime and manga geek myself, I thought it had something in common with them, so I took on the name.

 I hear that there are many hosts with jump names in Kabukicho as well. I am not sure where each of you comes from. Since it is no longer unusual, I am not particularly conscious of it anymore. By the way, one of our hosts also has a source name, Yonezu Genshi.”

It seems that hosts who like anime and manga are nowadays players with more than 100 million yen, but he says, “To be honest, I’m not extremely familiar with ‘BLEACH’.”

 However, the name, Koji Asai is very useful for serving customers. Even if I meet a customer for the first time, if he or she responds, “It’s Koiji Asai!” I can tell they are from the same generation that read Jump magazine.

 From there, I can draw a picture of an anime character or talk about the manga series. If there is no response at all, you can switch to another subject. It’s a convenient way to find out what kind of interests your customers have.

The first advantage of the Jump Name is that it is easy to remember, and the second advantage is that you can gauge how much the customers are interested in the topic of anime and manga. Incidentally, Mr. Asai was once presented with a replica of a zanpakuto (sword used by the characters) by Kubo Taito’s staff. It seems that it has become the official name of the character.

 There is another reason why Mr. Asai has become a famous host in Wide TV. Before becoming a host, he attended a correspondence college, and the type of business he wanted to pursue was far removed from the mizu-shobai business.

 After voluntarily dropping out of high school, I attended a correspondence university. When I was a student, I worked part-time for the president of a design company that I had connected with through my Nico Live broadcasts, and later I worked for a major cosmetics company designing cosmetics.

 However, none of these companies lasted long, so I looked for a place where I could earn money and ended up working in-house at a delicatessen. It just so happened that one of my seniors at work was working as a hostess at Aravan Lilian, and through his introduction, I was able to join the company.

 This is how Mr. Asai became a host, and he quickly became one of the most popular hosts. The month after he joined the restaurant, he became the number 5 host, and six months later he achieved the number 1 position. In addition, he currently has just under 40,000 followers on Twitter, one of the highest numbers of followers among active hosts.

In the summer of 2008, his comments on a wide-ranging TV show about corona infection became the talk of the town.
The background of his rise to prominence was related to his corona infection. Around June 2008, I was interviewed by a wide TV show as the first host in Ikebukuro to be infected with corona. But when I thought about it, I realized that if it was reported that a host with the name Koji Asai had contracted corona. It would be considered inappropriate and would cause a firestorm, so I thought, ‘I’m sorry, Dr. Kubo I felt that it would be inappropriate and would cause a firestorm.’

 However, when it was reported, it unexpectedly became a topic of conversation. At the time, I happened to have Precure as my Twitter background image, and I was asked, “Your name is Koji Asai, and you like Precure, are you on our side? My name appeared in hashtags on Twitter and Yahoo, and was even featured on a compilation site.

 The response was so great at the time that I started posting my comic strip on Twitter about my rise to a 100 million yen player after starting as a host. The cartoon got a lot of attention, and I became more popular.

From there, Asai’s life as a host has been full of ups and downs. Some nights he got into trouble with customers, and on other nights he left an unprecedented legend in Ikebukuro, selling 53 million yen in a single night. 

 In fact, in March 2009, I was burglarized and had 20 million yen stolen from me. It’s quite a shock to have your hard-earned money stolen. After that. I realized that if I asked for too much money or appealed to the rich like driving a luxury car, someone might be jealous or resent me, so I gradually became less attached to money.

 I think that no matter how many sales you make, it is momentary and endless to just be famous for a moment in the nightlife. I want to be on the side of producing stores and various things, not as a player.

 Mr. Asai is determined to get off the front lines of hosting. When we asked him what his next passionate goal is, he replied, “Pokemon cards.

 I’m into card games such as Pokémon cards, and I’m spending my salary on expensive cards. Oh, look at this. This Lizardon cost about a million yen. It’s like I’m fulfilling my childhood dream with money.

 Also, my goal is to compete in the Pokémon Card Game World Championships in London in August! I want to take the girls there.

 I hear that some host clubs have a stoic policy, instructing staff to turn off games and apps, but it is best to take both hobbies and work seriously. If you like games, you should share them with the girls.


Taken at a host club before opening. The other hosts preparing for the opening were also in a friendly atmosphere. I often play Pokemon cards with my host colleagues and juniors after hours. It’s like a Pokemon gym.

By the way, what do you want most right now?

 I want a Magic the Gathering “Black Lotus. It is said to be worth more than 30 million yen.

Mr. Asai’s rare card collection. I have a favorite card store, but I can’t tell you where it is because I’m a frequent customer!
  • Interview and text Hayahide Sato

    Born in 1995. After graduating from university, he worked for a horse racing editorial department and became a freelance journalist around 2021. Hobbies include drinking, horse racing, and reading.

  • Photographs Shinya Nishizaki

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