A Banquet of Merrymaking and Song at Akasaka BLITZ! Nama Ham and Yaki Udon Live Report
Self-produced idol duo Nama Ham and Yaki Udon (生ハムと焼うどん) served up a feast of hilarious skits and infectious music during their second one-man live “〜Sei to Shi〜” (生と死, Live and Death) at Akasaka BLITZ on March 2, 2016.
More than tripling the numbers from their sold out first one-man live “〜Anata wa Honto ni Shiawase Desuka?〜” (〜あなたは本当に幸せですか？〜, Are You Really Happy?) at Shinjuku Marz (capacity: 300) on October 25, 2015, Marina Nishii and Lisa Higashi announced that they would be aiming to triple again for their third one-man live to be held at a yet unnamed music hall with a capacity of 3,000!
A short video showing Nishi and Higashi as world famous superstars who had fallen from grace and ended up homeless in the streets of Shinjuku served as an hors d’oeuvre before the feast began for the 1,000+ kuishinbo (食いしん坊, literally “gourmand”, Nama Ham and Yaki Udon name for fans) packed into Akasaka BLITZ. Kicking things up with a hearty serving of “Shinjuku wa Shinyou Dekinai!” (新宿は信用できない！, I Can’t Trust Shinjuku!), their ode to the concrete jungle in the heart of Tokyo that had the kuishinbo jumping and clapping away. Taking things through Kabukicho, Higashi pretended to be a pick-up artist targeting Nishii acting as a naïve country girl. The music intensified, hand waving and fists pumping as the song ended and Nama Ham and Yaki Udon disappeared back into the darkness.
After mocking the differences between the ways idols act in front of fans and behind the scenes, the story of the evening was introduced with Nishii and Higashi gossiping about the handsome transfer student “James-kun” and overanalyzing everything he did as a sign that he was their soul mate. The second course was served up shortly after in the form of the perky electropop number “Nyun Nyun” (にゅんにゅん). Up next was the rollicking piano tune “Tsui-tale”, (ツイテール) Nama Ham and Yaki Udon hopping across the stage and flexing their biceps as the kuishinbo clapped and raised their voices, Nishii leading them in a loud “Azuma” call before Higashi angrily corrected them as usual (the character for “Higashi” 東 can also be read as “Azuma”).
The “James-kun” story continued, Nishii being discovered as a former “fart diva” by Higashi, who wanted her to “sing” again. Known for bringing audience members on stage, the duo scanned the venue and pulled 3 kuishinbo on stage for an audition, Discovering the “fart president”, Nishii and Higashi decided they had to impress him by farting the Mickey Mouse theme song.
With the fart song competition ending in a stalemate, Nishii and Higashi swayed on imaginary train straps and the kuishinbo shook the floor as they jumped along to heavy rock rhythms of “Narcissist Shoukougun” (ナルシスト症候群, Narcissist Syndrome) before the scene shifted to a selfie competition boasting a 1-million-yen prize. Things started off mildly with some cute poses but began to boil over as the pictures grew more and more absurd.
As if it wasn’t enough that Nama Ham and Yaki Udon had a “fart competition”, there was even a song titled “Unchi no Uta” (うんちの歌, Poop Song) where they wore brown bodysuits with fake poop strapped to their heads!
After the song ended, Higashi took off her costume while searching for Nishii, who had “disappeared”. Hilarity ensued as Higashi began panicking and calling out for her and several young kuishinbo kept pointing out that Nishii’s head was sticking out of the window at the back of the stage. Wondering if their friendship had been a hallucination, Higashi sang the sorrowful “Dappou Drug wa Yatteimasen” (脱法ドラッグはやっていません, I’m Not Taking Drugs) before resolving to never trust anyone again with “OTONA” (大人, Grown-ups).
Nishii reappeared and explained that Higashi was the imaginary one but before they could discuss the matter further, “James-kun” returned to the stage, revealing that it was all part of his evil plan to divide them! In a frantic attempt to overpower their nemesis with song, Nishii and Higashi urged the kuishinbo to sing Seiko Matsuda’s “Nagisa no Balcony” along with them before suggesting Arashi’s “A・RA・SHI” which was not effective. Remembering that “James-kun” was weak against green items, tactics were switched and a “cucumber” chant was started, growing in strength and leading into the song of the same name. Specially made 1 million yen bills with drawings of Higashi and Nishii on them fluttered down from the balcony in celebration. With the JKs (joshi-koukousei, 女子高校生high school girls) having triumphed over the evil JK (“James-kun”), Nama Ham to Yaki Udon celebrated with their prize money before closing the performance out with “JK~James tte Kakkoii” (JK～ジェームズってかっこいい～, James is Good-Looking).
After a rousing “okawari” (お代わり, second helping) encore call, Nishii and Higashi returned to the stage in school uniforms with cardigans and tartan skirts to perform “Kirakira Seiza Monogatari” (キラキラ星座物語, Sparkling Star Story).
Just as Higashi was about to thank the kuishinbo and take her final bow, Nishii interrupted with, “I have another song I would like to sing!” leading everyone in singing “Happy Birthday” to her (Higashi’s birthday is March 1st) while waving blue cyalumes. A cake was brought to the stage and when Higashi blew out the candles, the cyalumes were lowered, making it look like she had blown out all the lights in Akasaka BLITZ. Higashi received a giant bouquet of flowers and a photo album of all the loyal kuishinbo that she and Nishii had reached during their whirlwind year of activity. Not to be left out, Nishii also was given a bouquet.
Not completely satisfied, the kuishinbo started another “okawari” encore call, which was cut short with a hand illustrated video chronicling Nama Ham to Yaki Udon’s unbelievable jump from selling out Shinjuku Marz to challenging Akasaka BLITZ so early in their career. It was announced that their third one-man live would be held on October 21st at a music hall with a capacity of 3,000 people! Right before the screen went black, the words “from high school girls to defiance of conventional wisdom” appeared on the screen. It makes more sense in Japanese since it meant that even though they were graduating from being JK (joshi-koukousei, 女子高校生high school girls), they would continue to JK (Joushiki wo Kutsugaesu, 常識を覆す, defy conventional wisdom). While the name of the venue was not revealed that night, they hinted that it was someplace that Babyraids JAPAN had performed at and it would have seats.
Saving the best for last, Nama Ham and Yaki Udon’s unbelievable second one-man live came to a conclusion with the kuishinbo favorite “Tamago Kake Gohan” (たまごかけごはん, Raw Egg on Rice). Cheerfully shouting their customary “Adios”, Marina Nishii and Lisa Higashi walked off the stage of their last live as high school students. Gochisousama deshita Nama Ham and Yaki Udon! Everyone is waiting to see what they will cook up next!
Photos by Nathan Gey
01 Shinjuku wa Shinyou Dekinai! (新宿は信用できない！, I Can’t Trust Shinjuku)
02 Nyun Nyun (にゅんにゅん)
03 Tsui-tale (ツイテール)
04 Narcissist Shoukougun (ナルシスト症候群, Narcissist Syndrome)
05 Hyaku Percent (ひゃくぱーせんと, 100 Percent)
06 Unchi no Uta (うんちの歌, Poop Song)
07 Dappou Drug wa Yatteimasen (脱法ドラッグはやっていません, I’m Not Taking Drugs)
08 OTONA (大人, Grown-ups)
10 JK~James tte Kakkoii (JK～ジェームズってかっこいい～, James is Good-Looking)
E1 Kirakira Seiza Monogatari (キラキラ星座物語, Sparkling Star Story)
E2 Tamago Kake Gohan (たまごかけごはん, Raw Egg on Rice)
Nama Ham and Yaki Udon Official site: http://namaudon.tokyo/
Nama Ham and Yaki Udon Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/namaudon_kawaii
Nama Ham and Yaki Udon Official blog: http://ameblo.jp/namaudon-kawaii/
Nama Ham and Yaki Udon YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3TsGT3fpvAxtxu2Kfg4ZlA
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