Reviewed by Adeline Ng
Project by Shiro Ishida
Let’s start the review with my opinions on the overall DVD. Contrary to what you might gather from the name, Shiro is not from Japan, but from Taiwan. I’m not sure if he’s of Japanese descent (Google search yielded nothing for me). Because this DVD is produced in Taiwan, and Shiro doesn’t speak English (I presumed), the whole DVD is in Chinese. This is fine for me, since I’m a Chinese and can understand him perfectly well. For the English speaking only part of the world, you will have to catch everything in the subtitles. While most of the translation is fine, there are one or two which is entirely opposite of Shiro is trying to explain. (It’s a world of difference between a CAN and a CAN’T)
I generally do not like how Shiro is in white, performs with white cups, against a white background. It makes things hard to see.
Now to the more specific parts:
Simple effect, with a little clever idea. The performance could have been more apparent; I had no idea what was different about the effect until the explanation part. Shiro should have used darker coloured water for the performance part. But it is interesting, I like this effect.
Another clever idea, I do like the idea. It is essentially a rising card effect, no threads used, and no mechanical parts to the deck. A little different from the usual ways of achieving the effect – not the best rising card in my opinion amongst those I know, but definitely an interesting one.
Good card link, similar to the usual. Great for those who have not done card link before. But do note that you have to use prepared cards. If you like Impromptu versions, i suggest checking out Paul Harris’ Art of Astonishment Vol 2. Harry Loyrane also has an impromptu version as do Andrew Mayne with his Hypercard.
Clever idea, but he doesn’t actually show people how to get into position. Note: you need to wear a coat for this.
A sandwich, colour changing deck and triumph squeezed into one. Just because you can squeeze three effects into one routine, doesn’t mean you should. Period.
Worm Hole Again
WHA is actually a card warp. Not sure why it’s called the worm hole here. Shiro uses a different method from the traditional. Personally I like some parts of it, but not the main effect. The method is different from the usual, but it is actually closer to what audiences would suspect, so to me, it is not a good effect. Also, using this method, one of the strongest points of card warp (which is to be able to show that the card is still the same card) is gone. Not my favourite in the DVD.
This is my favourite for the entire DVD. Very visual, pretty clever. You need paper bills and without tipping the gaff here, I’m going to say that I’m not sure if you can do it in Singapore. My hunch is you could, but it would take a bit of effort.
Courtesy of someone in the office who is very much into ACAAN right now, I got to understand the effect a little better. This ACAAN is not extremely good – couple of reasons why.
- It is obvious he is counting cards
- It is obvious to some people that there’s a restriction of numbers
- Personally, I feel the audience feel forced.
*You might have realized I put an asterisk to two effects (Angry Triumph and ACAAN). The performer did not credit the origins or creators or ideas which appear way to similar to others in the DVD. In Angry Triumph, Shiro utilizes something extremely similar to David Stone’s Tool. In “his” ACAAN, he does not credit Max Maven for his finger number force, nor Barrie Richardson for the use of finger number force in the ACAAN plot. He also did not credit Jamie Allen’s WTF which is a ACAAN plot with similarities to what he performs.
It irks me in particular when magicians who release effects do not credit ideas or original plots or sleights. Although there are some names which Shiro give thanks to, they are not detailed, and some important people (such as above) are left out. I’m familiar with his producer Wu Guan Da (who is very young, I believe he is the same age as me, in his twenties only). I do think that as a producer, this should not have been allowed to happen. Pay credit where it is due! Youth is not an excuse for ignorance, and if he and Shiro were to want to go further in the marketplace, ethics is critical and important.
Overall, there are nice ideas in the DVD. Dragon Thru in particular is very visual and I think that would be the one that most people pick out of the DVD to perform.
3 of 5 stars.