Comedic Duo Kaminari Reveals Goals After M-1 | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Comedic Duo Kaminari Reveals Goals After M-1

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, “Kaminari Solo Live Tour 2022: Electrocardiogram,” from August to September this year. We asked them about this solo live show and their future strategy as a duo. ( Click here to read the first part.

Manabu (left) and Takumi (right) of “Kaminari,” who are steadily gaining popularity with their energetic, pounding manzai, have just the right balance.

To be honest, there were parts that I didn’t take full advantage of.

–I had not had the image of the two of them talking at length on TV programs, but when I recently listened to the radio program “Kaminari’s All Night Nippon PODCAST,” I thought the atmosphere of just the two of them talking was interesting. I thought that each of their characters came out and that Manabu-san talks quite a bit.

Takumi: I heard that a lot from people who listened to the radio. In my opinion, it is normal for Manabu to talk, but even people who say they are our fans seemed to find it surprising that Manabu talked (laughs). (Laughs.) I’ve learned that people find that unexpectedness interesting, so I’m thinking of a project on YouTube where Manabu can talk passionately to the end.

–I have the impression that Manabu is a bit of an enigma on TV. I don’t really understand his character.

Takumi: Actually, Manabu is very adaptable. His personality and behavior changes depending on the site, the people, and the time of day. Sometimes I think he looks like an A, but he is an A’ (A-dash), and I still don’t know which one is the real one.

Manabu: Depending on the program, there are times when Takumi is the blur and I am the facilitator, and there are times when I can’t do anything and suddenly become clueless, “What are you talking about now?” I can’t do anything, so I suddenly become clueless. The bigger the show, the more likely I am to be used that way.

–Is that something you do consciously? Or does it happen naturally?

Manabu: It comes naturally to me.


–That’s why I don’t know what kind of person you are.

Takumi: But at the core, I am Manabu. So, it’s my fault too, but sometimes I don’t even notice the change. When I was listening to Manabu talking normally, one of the senior members around me said to me, “Takumi-kun, aren’t you going to pick up on that?” I was told, “Oh, now Manabu is talking out of turn.”

I was like, “Oh, Manabu was just making fun of me?” I was like, “Oh, now Manabu is making fun of me?” The comment that was required was, “You don’t talk so much, do you?” But Manabu was not so sure. But Manabu wasn’t trying to invite it, so he didn’t understand that he had to make a comment.

Manabu: Since I didn’t have a set character, I had different kinds of jobs. I would go to a children’s show in the morning, and the next day I would be on location for a vegetable gardening show on NHK, and when I came home in the evening, I would be talking about marijuana with a rapper. It makes me crazy.

Takumi: That’s really true. I’m probably a bit strange for saying that.

Manabu: I think that the current style of manzai is the one that is just barely within the limits of what Takumi can tame me. He would smack me on the head and not say anything unnecessary. So, I think the current style is working well because it is within the limits of what Takumi can handle.

Takumi: So I am very grateful for the current style, but to be honest, I think I have been killing Manabu too much.

I want to do something different.

–Yes, I think that in the current style of Kaminari’s manzai, it’s Takumi’s tsukkomi that gets the crowd going.

Takumi: Yes, that’s right. That’s why I thought of a scene in which Manabu fights back in the middle of a scene. But it still didn’t go over well, and the audience ended up waiting for me to make a comment after that.

Manabu: When you appear on TV as a duo, it is not always easy to be popular only as a blabbermouth. Everyone thinks, “Takumi’s comedy is next.” I think I can be popular as a comedian.

Takumi: That happened a lot. When Manabu made a joke, I would laugh along with the others and say, “Wahaha,” and they would say, “Oh, this is the part where you should make a joke.”


–We were originally classmates and knew each other well, so we saw each other in a completely different way than normal people.

Takumi: Yes, that’s right. That’s why Manabu may be the real thing when we are doing radio. We are talking without cameras.

Manabu: Also, when we do local programs, we are the only two MC’s on the program, so it is more comfortable for us to work together. If there is a large group of people, I might not be able to get the audience to laugh with just my blurts, or I might be made to act like a total clunker. I am going that way on my own.

Takumi: When it is just the two of us, there is no need for me to beat my head every time Manabu makes a joke. In that sense, I can do things on local TV shows and YouTube that have a different flavor from what I can do in Tokyo.


Kaminari is Finite.

–The two of you have a strong image of the Ibaraki-ben manzai you performed at M-1. But in fact, there is a side of you that is closer to culture, such as your background in hip-hop. There is also a gap between your image and that of the other members.

Manabu: That’s right. It’s not that it’s hard to grasp, or that there is nothing easy to understand. But I wanted to be that kind of adult, so that’s fine.

Takumi: More to the point, I guess people have different images of Kaminari itself. The other day, Nori-san (Noritake Kinashi) took me to visit Tokoro-san’s (George Tokoro) Setagaya Base for the first time.

At that time, I asked Tokoro-san a question. I asked him, “Why do you do so many things all the time?” I asked him. He replied, “If you keep doing this and that, people will start to wonder, ‘What is he doing? That’s good. That’s what makes a person great.” I thought, “I see.”

In a good way, Tokoro-san is mysterious, or rather, he is someone you know but don’t know. That is the reason why people cannot take their eyes off him.

Ideally, we would like to be like him, and I think we are in the middle of that process. We are halfway there now, so if we can add more and more of that kind of “what is thunder doing? I think that if we keep adding more and more “what is Kaminari doing” parts, we ourselves will grow.

Manabu: So, Takumi was influenced by that and started fishing, golfing, DIY, houseplants, and has a cat. When Mr. Yashiki (Hiromasa) from New York saw him doing that, he said, “Kaminari is finite.”

Takumi: He said he has already finished in the entertainment industry. We still have a long way to go, but I would like to become a comedian who people think has finesse.

I want to commute from my home in Ibaraki to work.

–I heard that you will be performing in your hometown of Ibaraki on this tour.

Takumi: Of course I do, and it would be a lie if I didn’t do it. But it is a surprisingly high hurdle to be popular in one’s hometown. Once, we were not popular at all at a local concert.

–(Laughs) So you say it is difficult even though it is your home.

Takumi: Yes, it is. I don’t think it’s easy at all because it’s my home.

Manabu: Starting this year, “ROCK IN JAPAN FESTIVAL” (a music festival) is being held in Chiba instead of Hitachinaka in Ibaraki, so I had to make up for that.

Takumi: Various people told us, “It’s not in Mito,” but we were determined to replace it. So we decided on Hitachinaka.

–By the way, what do you think are the characteristics of Ibaraki people? I mean, people like Naomi Watanabe and Yuji Ayabe of Peace, both comedians who went to New York to pursue their career in the world, grew up in Ibaraki. I sense a strong yearning for Tokyo in both of you. Do you think it has something to do with Ibaraki’s prefectural character?

Takumi: Well, I don’t think it has anything to do with it. Tokyo is within easy reach, so it has always been on my mind, hasn’t it? I think this “proximity to the city” may have led me to open up in a good way, saying, “If I go there and it doesn’t work out, I can just come back again.”

Manabu: Yes, I really want to go to Tokyo, but there is a part of me that also wants to go back.

–It’s so close, so you can go back there right away.

Takumi: That’s right. Right now, Manabu’s ideal is to commute to work from his home in Ibaraki. Even if I make a mistake on a show in Tokyo, I can go right back (laughs).

Manabu: That’s the finish line for me.

Also, I would like to follow in Naomi and Ayabe’s footsteps and go to the U.S., too.

Takumi: This is “Service Manabu” now. I don’t think so.

Manabu: That’s not true. I have shown various Manabu in Japan. In other words, I myself have met many variations of Manabu, but I haven’t met American Manabu yet, so I would like to meet him.

Takumi: I bet that’s just “Manabu in America!”

Kaminari Solo Live Tour 2022 EKG Tickets on sale now!

  • Interview and text Larry Toda Photographed by Takeshi Maruyama

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