Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Maon Kurosaki, Masami Obari & 2 NJPW Champions in A Wrestling Ring


You may know her as a singer of many anisong hits but do you know that Maon Kurosaki is also a self-professed huge wrestling fan?

The 27 year-old, famous for singing theme songs to animes High School of the Dead and A Certain Magical Index, joined animation director/mechanic designer Masami Obari, together with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) wrestlers Togi Makabe and Hirooki Goto in the ring for a special Sunday morning talk show at new anime, comics and games (ACG) convention CharaExpo in Singapore on 21st June.


Sunday's NJPW Talk Show at CharaExpo featured reigning champions Hirooki Goto and Togi Makabe

The talk show started off with Makabe, the current NEVER Openweight Champion and Goto, the current IWGP Intercontinental Champion, both in their second reigns, entering the ring to share their views on Singapore and wrestling. Acting as translator was Michael Nakazawa, the Japanese wrestler featured in Saturday's Singapore Pro Wrestling match.

"I love chicken rice"

Togi Makabe declared his love for chicken rice to the audience and was happy that he could visit Singapore's famous landmark, the Merlion.

Hirooki Goto makes his entrance

Togi Makabe storms onto the stage

They gave the same advice which Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jushin Thunder Liger (Saturday's talk show wrestlers) gave to young budding wrestlers who are aspiring to become superstars. There are gruelling trials in place to profile if a candidate is suitable for wrestling. If they pass, they are placed in wrestling developmental schools and trained to become professional wrestlers.

"I'm looking at you..."

Throughout the interview, Goto recalled a funny experience when Makabe tried to order a strawberry-flavoured drink in Singapore but got a peculiar rainbow-coloured one instead due to the language barrier.


Animation director Masami Obari and anisong singer Maon Kurosaki take the stage in the NJPW ring

The second-half of the talk show saw Maon Kurosaki and Masami Obari joining the wrestlers in the ring. They introduced themselves as self-professed wrestling fans. Kurosaki cheerfully exclaimed "I like New Japan Pro-Wrestling!" in English and Obari declaring "Of all professional sports, I like New Japan Pro-Wrestling the most!" Both personalities were greeted with loud applause from Makabe and Goto.

Maon Kurosaki brandishes her Shinsuke Nakamura towel

However, when asked who was her favourite NJPW wrestler, Makabe's expression took a 180-degree turn as Kurosaki's replied "Shinsuke Nakamura!" She brandished the merchandise towel she had brought along to loud, resounding cheers from fans all around.

Goto flashed a wry smile as Obari revealed his personal favourite was the Rainmaker Kazuchika Okada."Shall we go home, Makabe-san?" quipped Goto comically.

Maon Kurosaki fell in love with wrestling after watching a match at the Tokyo Game Show

When questioned about what made them fall in love with wrestling, Maon recalled her experience attending Tokyo Game Show 2012 where NJPW matches were also held. She got to perform the opening theme of Bushiroad game 「神狩デモンズトリガー」 (Kamikari Demons Trigger) by chance atop the ring as NJPW is owned by Bushiroad. She confessed that ever since the first match she watched, wrestling has had an unbreakable grip on her heart.

If Obari wasn't designing mechas, those muscles of his would've been used in wrestling

On the other hand, Masami Obari said that he had been following wrestling from a very young age. He remarked that if he wasn't a content creator, he would've been a wrestler.

"本物だよ!They're the real thing!"

As the talk show drew to a close, Nakagawa asked if Togi Makabe's chains were real. Makabe invited Obari and Kurosaki to touch them and they were the real thing indeed. Kurosaki then jokingly asked if Hiroki Goto's muscles were real, which prompted Goto to approach her and invite her to feel them, eliciting squeals of laughter all around. The segment concluded with an official photo-taking session of all the guests.


At noon, it was time for another NJPW autograph session. Kurosaki's favourite Shinsuke Nakamura and Kazuchika Okada were signing this time around. Here's our writer's experience:

"Although they have their bad guy in-ring personas, they are genuinely quite amiable and courteous in person. I'm glad to finally have their autographs!"

Maon Kurosaki enjoying the NJPW Wrestling Match featuring Toru Yano on Day 2

That wraps up our coverage of the NJPW Talk Show in Singapore on Day 2 of CharaExpo. Like our Facebook page and check back for more updates on the wrestling matches and our interview with Kurosaki Maon in the days ahead!

Article by Nakitty and XDantheManX Online
Pictures by Nakitty Channel and CharaExpo 2015

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