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No.1 student vaudevillians!
WASEDA comedy pair, "Spanner-Pliers"

Mr. Keisuke Nagata / Mr. Ryotetsu Takahashi

A year and several months have passed since they created their partnership. Spanner-Pliers became the winner of "Student Heroes! No.1 Student Comedians Loving Manzai (comic dialog)" gathering 100 teams of student comedians across Japan. "As the event was broadcast on TV, we received messages of celebration from friends and have been talked to on campus," Ryotetsu looks back, beaming. "Nobody talked to me. Even now," Keisuke answers with downcast eyes. "I don't know why, but people give me words of encouragement to Keisuke," Ryotetsu says smiling wryly.

The moment of success. Ryotetsu striking a victory pose, but where is Keisuke?

Spanner-Pliers is a pair formed by Ryotetsu, the straight man, and Keisuke, the fool, when they were in first year. Ryotetsu with sharp responses is an ultra-sociable sportsman. On the contrary, Keisuke who plays a surrealistic fool by taking advantage of his low and heavy voice is hyper-shy. During the interview, Keisuke always keeps his eyes downcast and mutters. He only gives a glance to Ryotetsu from time to time. It is hard to believe that this guy is a comedian, and we can understand why his classmates indirectly give him words of support.

They have very opposite characters even at a glance. Was it difficult to get ideas at first? "More so than getting ideas, it more difficult to have a normal conversation with Keisuke," Ryotetsu says. What? You start with that? "So, I decided first to become able to have a normal conversation with my partner," he continues. What a strange obstacle to creating ideas (laughing). "Now, I can communicate with him when I feel good," Keisuke says with a hint of pride. "Is that true?" Ryotetsu immediately plays the straight man. It seems they make a perfect pair as comedians.

With success in the championship, Spanner-Pliers has started new stage activities with 10 groups that reached the final round, but Ryotetsu says he has recently had trouble with Keisuke. Does this mean you cannot get any ideas? "No, Keisuke doesn't say a word in the dressing room," Ryotetsu says. What? Is this also an obstacle? Why does he not speak?

When the camera facing them, Keisuke continues to use his iPhone, while Ryotetsu smiles making a sign.

"Even if you are shy, unless you get along with other teams, people believe we've become big-headed with the victory!" Ryotetsu says. "I just cannot get used to a university-like atmosphere," retorts Keisuke. It seems that he cannot get on with people with dyed blond hair and people who can socially talk with others. "Even so, don't play with your iPhone in the corner, while other people are talking backstage!" Ryotetsu complains. The two seem to be so different, yet their comedy has gone well since the formation of the team. "Slump, we've never experienced any slump. In fact, we haven't had enough ups to have any slump," says Keisuke who has strange confidence. "When we made the pair, I wrote stories, and tried to do a comic dialogue consisting of rapid-fire nonstop talking like the Untouchables, but it didn't suit Keisuke's character. So Keisuke started to write the stories, and it suited us very well. We have started to get more laughs than ever," says Ryotetsu.

What about the future? Keisuke immediately says, "We'll turn professional," but Ryotetsu scratches his head, saying, "Honestly, I haven't made up my mind." They are always opposite, but for manzai, they say, "We put first priority on doing things completely different from what others do," and "We not only write funny scripts but also we check recordings of our practice to create a good show." For the time being, they will continue to make all-out efforts until December when they will retire from the club. We are sure they will develop a brand-new manzai in the future.

Ryotetsu with his face beaming with smiles, while Keisuke smiles shyly

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Mr. Keisuke Nagata (left)

Born in Tokyo in 1990. Graduated from WASEDA University Senior High School. 3rd year, School of Commerce. Belongs to the comic club "Yose Engeki Kenkyukai." The fool. He joined the club because he thought it was a club in which he wouldn't have to go to a barbecue in the summer. In summer vacation, they go to local hospitals to make people laugh as part of club activities. He didn't belong to any club in junior and senior high school. "When my partner is playing basketball, I feel embarrassed because he is so happy."

Mr. Ryotetsu Takahashi (right)

Born in Tokyo in 1990. Graduated from WASEDA University Senior High School. 3rd year, School of Commerce. Belongs to the comic club "Yose Engeki Kenkyukai." The straight man. He joined the club because it was the largest comic club at the university. Belonged to the basketball club at junior and senior high school. His interests are playing basketball, watching soccer, and movies. "On holidays, I am a coach of mini basketball for elementary school students."