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Young manzai performer Manju Daiteikoku has been on the road to becoming a manzai performer through a series of miracles since his days at Ochiken.

2024.5.3

#OTHER

A circle of friends connected by gut touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.

On November 28, Kazuki Takeuchi and Eima Tanaka of the comedy duo Manju Daiteikoku appeared on the show, introduced by Kina Kojima of K-PRO, which organizes and hosts live comedy performances. We asked them about episodes from their Ochiken days and the events that led them to become comedians.

How two guys who used to do only rakugo came to do manzai

Takano (MC): This is the “FIST BUMP” corner.

Celeina (MC): I am pleased to welcome Kazuki Takeuchi and Eima Tanaka of the comedy duo Manju Daiteikoku, introduced by Kina Kojima of K-PRO, which organizes and hosts the comedy live show we welcomed yesterday. Please give them my best regards.

Tanaka: I am Eima Tanaka from Manju Daiteikoku.

Takeuchi: I am Kazuki Takeuchi. Best regards.

Takano: I really like the mid-tempo style of the manzai. I don’t know if “mid-tempo” is right.

Tanaka: I have heard of high-tempo and low-tempo, but I have never heard of mid-tempo.

Takano: It has a middle feel to it.

Tanaka: That’s what I’m going to say from now on.

Takano: Mr. Tanaka doesn’t deny it, but accepts it while performing the manzai. I like that.

Celeina: I feel love there. Sorry, I have a unique sensibility.

Tanaka: Mid-tempo and love.

Takeuchi: I’m glad.

Celeina: I would like to ask you about the roots of the two of you. I understand that you two met in a university rakugo research group, the so-called “Ochiken”.

Takeuchi:Yes, that’s right.

Celeina: Did you perform rakugo?

Tanaka: When I was a student, I only did rakugo for four years with gusto.

Takeuchi:I did nothing but rakugo. So I rarely did comic monologue.

Tanaka: We occasionally performed at school festivals, but we were never involved in the kind of student comedian activities that are common these days.

Takeuchi: We both went to different universities, but we had some interaction with each other. We performed rakugo together at Yose and went out for drinks afterwards.

Tanaka: So you hold rakugo gatherings in order to go drinking.

Takano: That was your main focus. (haha)

Takeuchi: I was more junior than you, but I was included in the group.

Celeina: How did you get into comedy from there?

Tanaka: By coincidence. I had a dream of becoming a comedian for some reason, but Takeuchi was in his fourth year of college and hadn’t even started job hunting, so I thought, “Here’s a guy who thinks life is just fine. We were good friends, and as a last memory of our school days, we decided to do manzai just for fun, and we were participating in live performances that were open to anyone who entered the competition.

Takeuchi: That was K-PRO’s show.

Tanaka: We went to that concert and said, “That was fun”. A few months later, there was a qualifying round for the 2016 M-1 competition, so I said in the same vein, “Why don’t you try out for the M-1 next time?” And we did.

Celeina: Yes.

Tanaka: Everyone doesn’t get a lot of traction in the first round, but we just happened to get a lot of traction. Alco & Peace, who was on the stage behind us, talked about us on the radio. He said, “I saw an amateur called Manju Daieikoku who I don’t know, and he was really laughing right in front of us.” Then they started wondering who those people were.

Takeuchi: It became a topic of conversation in the comedy community.

Tanaka: From there, K-PRO invited us to their live performances, and we thought we were no longer amateurs, so we decided to go for it.

Takeuchi: I just went with the flow.

Celeina: That’s amazing!

Takano: I didn’t know that was possible.

Takeuchi: I started without making any kind of decision.

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