Maybe it’s just me, but…
6. 5. 2011
Connoisseurs might be thinking “Why review this? It’s just an Ozora.” In the normal course of things, I would agree: what a waste of time. But is it just me, or is the metallic blue different from the others?
The first thing that jumped out at me is that it’s conspicuously lighter. I weighed it and my pink Ozora (yes, pink, so what?) and there is a difference. The weight difference aside, my next thought was: “Niiiice!” Oh, yes, it looks nice. Very nice. So I took it for a walk…
I usually like to warm up with the not-world-famous trick, Around Tunbridge Wells, which involves switching between cups and spike in a combination with more than 50 moves. I should add that I’ve never run through it (it’s stupendously challenging), but it feels good to practise parts of it. So I took the metallic blue around Tunbridge Wells for a while. I was shocked to discover that without much effort, I’d chipped tiny bits of paint off. Moreover, dents appeared in the ball, making me think it was much softer than a regular Ozora. I’d had the thing less than an hour and already it was looking weeks old. It didn’t take many more clicks to see that the paint flaked off easily, especially from around the hole. However, the main body of it stayed intact; it wasn’t like it fell off in great chunks.
Now you’re probably thinking “No way am I trying that,” but don’t quit on it yet. I decided to try out my favourite style of tricks: suicides and string-wraps. And oh, it felt good. Better even than my pink Ozora. The string on mine is slightly longer (although that varies from kendama to kendama) and the metallic blue just seems to glide through the air much easier. It was light to the catch and easier to control. I tend to favour it over all others for suicides.
I quickly learned that any tricks involving landing the ken on the ball (lighthouse, lunars) were much more difficult. The paint is slippery and so nothing like a regular Ozora. So instead I switched to tricks I seldom like to try: secret grip tricks. One of the milestone tricks you’ll do as you progress is called slip grip special. I always found it a challenge (although less so after watching the First Clicks to Pro Tricks DVD), but it seemed to come easily with the metallic blue. I was landing slip grip special and even clifftop with far greater regularity than with any other kendama I’d tried. I found that I could even make the ball hop from one to the other, which feels good if you can land it.
Finally, in a moment of inspiration, I tried not only making the ball hop from the slip grip to the clifftop, but doing an earth turn (flipping the ball through 360°) between the two. And it worked. As of this writing, I’ve only done it twice, but I know I can do it again.
I’m pretty much hooked on the metallic blue Ozora. I feel I can push my tricking abilities further with one of them in my hand. Seriously, check it out. The metallic blue Ozora seems to be one of a kind. Maybe it is just me, but my modest collection would feel incomplete without one.