Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I'm sure many of you, like myself have had times when you were younger thought that playing by yourself was a lot more fun than playing with others. I know I did... sometimes at least. There were times when I would spend hours playing with my G.I Joes, Ronin Warriors, or some newly built expensive Gundam model that I didn't want to play with, but wanted to anyway cause it looked soooo cool (until the leg snaps off.) Sitting in my room, I would create stories and plots in my mind, choose the heroes and villains, and decided who won, lost, and who got to see life in my next play time session.

At the age of 10, Tomohiro Yasui of Kyoto, Japan was doing the exact same thing - creating a fictional world within his head amongst his toys. Over 20 years, Yasui has created 200+ of these kami-robo fighters ("kami" - paper.) It all began when Yasui grew tired of his Gundams, Macross valkyries, and other robot toys breaking when played with. Initially, Yasui made figures that resembled his favorite animated robots out of wire and moved on to create his own using those paper-thin pieces of cardboard you find in between your newly bought dress shirt.

Unlike model toys, kami-robo are more flexible and allow Yasui to maneuver them into various wrestling moves. Also, since they are made of paper they can be easily repaired if they so happen to fall apart.

Each one of Yasui's creations has their own name and personality. They even fall under different wrestling teams as they do in real professional wrestling.

When I first saw this video run at the Kami-Robo booth at Comic-Con, I just thought it was some guy playing with toys. However, as I kept watching, it reminded me of when I was a kid and did the same. This kind of nostalgia of playing with my toys and making them wrestle quickly made me a new fan. I mean, if you saw a robot pull off a hurracanrana, wouldn't you?!

The wrestling matches last for approximately 15 minutes and come complete with a made wrestling ring, a bell to start and end a match, and even an announcer who calls the moves play-by-play... just like the real thing. The lives of the kami-robo are just like those of real professional wrestlers which may be a reason why some people are fans. Yasui turned a childhood past time and brought it to a whole new level of entertainment.

[image from butterfly-stroke]
Speaking with Enna of MYSWEETLORD Entertainment, the group who presented Kami-Robo at Comic-Con, gave me the low down of this new cult phenomenon.

Apparently, Kami-Robo has only a small following in Japan. Not too many people know of it and are left wondering what it is. With showcases in Japan, London, and most recently at the San Diego Comic-Con, Kami-Robo has created a humble group of fans (including myself) and that's how they want to keep it to prevent any bastardization of Kami-Robo. Why ruin a good thing, right?

Kami-Robo figures will hopefully be sold at very select shops in the U.S starting around next year and the price will range between $8-9. A very nice price I must say. Also in the works are streaming matches on the Kami-Robo website live from Japan. If you're as interested in this as I am, you best be on the look out for it.

Anyway, a post is useless without pictures. Here we go...

The wrestling ring at the Kami-Robo booth. This area kept people wondering... until 3'oclock came by.

The ring INSIDE the ring where Yasui-san worked his magic.

I REALLY wanna see this one in the ring. Maybe see it bite some heads off or something. THAT would be rad.

Yasui-san getting in his element before a match.

Action-shots of one of the 3pm matches. Notice how one of the kami-robo goes no-holds-barred and uses a chain.

A kami-robo reigning in glory after another victory.

The Kami-Robo crew.

Yasui-san, Enna, and ? (SO SORRY! I didn't catch a name. Help?)

Enna was so sweet that she hooked up some friends and I with an exclusive Thunder Tiger figure and some tees. THANKS ENNA! YOU'RE AWESOME! After a match, I was lucky enough to get Yasui to sign my figure. ヤスイさん、ありがとうございます!!


This was by far the most interesting booth throughout my years at Comic-Con. I really hope these folks come back again next year as they were all really cool peeps and the whole idea of this really intrigues me.

I have more Comic-Con 2007 pics and reviews coming so keep your mouse on that reload button!

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