Hey everyone! Colin here this time with a recap on the popular 44FESTA contest in Japan, volume 27 of the event to be specific.
44FESTA is ran by the same organizers who run 44FESTIVAL, however 44FESTA is a 2 minute contest that happens every few months. The turnout is always solid, as it hosts players from all over the Eastern Japan region. Some big names that are often crowned champions are Yamato Murata & Hajime Miura of sOMEThING by YoYoAddict, and Daiki Tanaka of MOWL.
This event's winner is a rising talent in 2A, superstar Yamato Fujiawara of the C3yoyodesign Rising Force team. Yamato's style has developed amazing well over the past 2 years, becoming a very fast paced and calculated looping competitor. I also loved the little Shu-influenced movement at 1:11 :) Yamato used C3 Initiators which you can purchase at YoYoExpert here!
I love this guy's yoyoing. Daiki Tanaka is currently one of the most unique players in the competitive scene, and 2017 has been a huge year for him in terms of accomplishments, including placing 7th at the Japan National and Asia Pacific contests. Daiki's yo-yoing gives me a vibe of something like a hip-hop dance battle (shoutout to keiran's 1A dreams) with his bangers and flashy elements. Although his freestyles are often not too clean, I still am always impressed and captivated with Daiki's yo-yoing. Daiki used his signature yo-yo from MOWL, the Surveillance.
Shota Saga is also one of my favorite yo-yo players currently. He has a very unique style as well, however his style is completely different from Daiki's. Shota's style is extremely relaxed, casual, and flowy. However, his tricks are still very technical and complex in theory, and this was probably his best performance yet. Shota used the Vacation by Recess Intl, available on YoYoExpert here.
Am I really going to talk about how unique a player is 3 freestyles in a row? Of course. Ayumu is no stranger to the competitive scene, as well as is no stranger to having creative, artistic, and elegant tricks. Ayumu put out a ton of new ideas in this freestyle, and I've noticed he's starting to branch out more into using the space around him. I'm stoked to see what he has planned for next year. Yoyo used is the Chief by CLYW.
In 5th place was Kaoru Nakamura, who is a new face to the competitive circuit. Although he has only participated in FESTA/FESTIVAL to my knowledge, he is extremely skilled at 4A with one string, two strings, and soloham! I was really shocked at how he was able to hit difficult tricks in two-string 4A and soloham in this routine. Check it out. Kaoru used the Flawless by C3.
I highly encourage you to look through the rest of the freestyles from this event as well. There's a ton of talent at these contests, and you should subscribe to the 44FESTA Youtube here so you don't miss out on these great freestyles in the future!