Recently, music biz veteran Eric Alper posted a tweet that read simply, “When you’re overqualified for the job,” and included a video featuring some person in a big red Japanese anime costume playing drums at what seems to be, judging from the music, some sort of children’s concert. (It’s hard to tell because the camera never leaves the drummer, but the music sounds like something you’d hear on the Japanese version of Barney & Friends.) Then, about 45 seconds into it, things take an unexpected turn. See for yourself:

Needless to say, we had to know more. Some commenters on Alper’s Twitter post (which has been retweeted over 70,000 times, as any Japanese anime character playing drums like Dave Lombardo rightly should be) said the character was part of a band called Charamel. Futher digging, with the help of Google translator and revealed that the character itself is called Nyango Star, and it’s been making the rounds for about three years, releasing drum cover videos like this insane pass at Japanese kawaii metal darlings Babymetal’s “Akatsuki.”

Nyango Star even has his/her/its own website, which includes an origin story that explains the character is a hybrid cat/apple — the reincarnated spirit of a dead cat buried in an apple orchard who was told by the spirit of an apple tree that only by going to Hollywood and becoming famous could it return to its original cat form. So it decided to become a famous drummer. See? It all makes perfect sense.

Somewhere along the way, Nyango Star teamed up with three other costumed characters to form the rock group Charamel. I could find almost no information about Charamel in English beyond their character names — besides Nyango, there’s Funassyi (the lead singer, who I think is supposed to be a canary, or a pear, or maybe a canary/pear hybrid), Akkuma (the guitar-playing bear) and Kapal (the bass-playing turtle). [Update: Our readers inform me that Kapal is definitely not a turtle but a “water goblin,” and Funassyi is a “pear fairy.” They’re also all examples of Japanese “yuru-chara” mascots, which are like American sports mascots except they tend to be cuter and more surreal and can represent anything from cities to corporations to public transit systems.] I think they formed sometime in early 2017 and debuted with this music video, which is probably my favorite thing to come out of Japan since the aforementioned Babymetal. (Give it about 23 seconds; much like Nyango Star’s drumming at the children’s show, it takes an extremely abrupt turn for the awesome.)

I’m sure we’ll learn more about Charamel very soon, as nothing from Japan this amazing stays under the radar for long. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this video of Charamel in concert — the sound quality sucks, but it’s worth watching just to see a glowstick-waving Japanese crowd go apeshit for this stuff. Also, Funassyi’s got some sick moves.



9 thoughts on “Charamel

  1. Nyanchococinnaharu(Noriko Kato)

    AKKUMA has You tube channel with his sister ↓

    Kapal is a member of “GCB 47” too.
    GCB is abrdgement “Gotouchi Character Band”.
    “Gotouchi” is meaning “Local”

    Please search of You tube Japanese
    “ふなっしー” “アックマ” or “アックマ様” “カパル” “にゃんごすた―”

    sorry my poor English.

  2. Maru

    They have to rest ten mins for every 3 songs due to the extreme physical demand particularly for drummer he have to switch to other stand-by character in the middle! They are playing on stage for real!!

  3. PavyJPN

    So to be clear. Charamel is Funassyi’s band. He’s a Pear fairy from Funabashi (east of Tokyo). This is not a meme or hype or whatever… They are playing several gigs for 2 years now. FYI Funassyi filled the Tokyo Budokan in 2016 for a live show. 12,000 people …. mind you.

  4. gaplanto

    ok, fine. It’s a forced meme, a viral marketing thing, and it’s copying videos from 5 or more years ago. It’s using EXACTLY the same words and camera angle as two other viral videos, but without any kind of knowing wink to let you know that THEY know.. that YOU know…
    I’ve been seeing more and more of these “viral”-style marketing campaigns, where they mimic an extremely dank and played out meme, but do NOT draw any attention to the fact that it is just another instance of an old thing. I think the point is to look hip for the internet nerds, without losing the chance to seem original for the people who don’t know the meme.

    But ok i admit that its still pretty funny 😛 For some reason the squishy awkward costume being forced into a drummer’s posture makes it that much funnier…..

    I guess I’m just a little touchy about how it seems less truly weird and more some calculated baka-kawai marketing concept, because I’m afraid of “weird” style marketing drowning out and discouraging actual weirdos- the ones that do what they do for their own reasons, and worry about everything else later…

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