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Utsukushii Review

Official Review

December 31st, 2014 7:30am
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
After having read through this booklet about 3 dozen times (literally - no exaggeration), I am still not entirely convinced that this is the most effective way to go about doing this type of effect. Yes, I actually felt I had to read the book that many times to fully understand the text and after all of that, I still feel that there is something missing though it is hard to say just what that 'something' is. It is kind of frustrating.

The first problem I had with it was the way it was written. It is not so much a grammar/spelling issue as it is the word choice/order - it was at time simply hard to understand what was being read - confusing for lack of better term.

At the end of the day, does the method work? Yes and it 'can' be 100% if you do not forget to make any necessary adjustments to the math parts and the spectator understands your instructions clearly and does what you say. It does involve calculation - nothing terribly difficult as far as that goes but some performers (and laypeople) are not comfortable doing any sort of maths in their heads during performance - and this has potentially three or four points where you will have to do that. You have to be sure that a spectator thinks in a certain way in order for this to work and that they can do basic math in their heads. There is nothing wrong with them using a calculator, per-se, but that essentially detracts from the "nothing written down" aspect of this method, in the minds of some.

This whole idea is similar to the Springboard Principle that was put out by Michael Murray (who is mentioned and credited along with Peter Turner), and an extra idea is given for a PIN reveal based on their ideas.

The major issue I have with the idea in this book is that the methods are basically glossed over (again, even though it is not inherently difficult but it is tricky) and if you do not present it correctly, it will seem as if you are merely fishing for information. There were a couple of "essential" scripting lines given, but there should have been a more in-depth discussion on them.

Properly scripted and presented, it could be an interesting piece to throw into a mentalism set or even a non-mentalism set.

The ad copy is contradictory - ..."a sure fire way to guess a single digit number..." The very term 'sure-fire' implies that no chance is involved and you will be successful 100% of the time. The word 'guess' implies that there is a chance you will be wrong. With Utsukushii, guesswork is actually part of the method and it is not a guaranteed 100% success - there is a 1-in-10 chance of guessing the first number correctly, then from there you use a number chart (which will change from year to year) to apparently "divine" the second number of their age. Again, as I said before, if you do not script this puppy correctly, it will all come across as exactly that - guesswork.

The booklet is nicely produced however it is WAY (WAY!) overpriced for what it is. There needed to be a lot more information to ensure that the reader has all of the tools to make this work they way it should and not just glossing over the whole process. The wording could use an overhaul too.

If you want to do something like this, I would suggest getting Springboard by Michael Murray or the PIN divination work by Peter Turner.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Utsukushii

Author: Parker, Fraser
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $40.50
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Manufacturer's Description:

Utsukushii, the billet-less pin reveal, is a sure fire way to guess a single digit number someone is only thinking of, without anything having to be written down or props of any kind. It can then be used to work out other numbers such as pin codes, phone locks and entire phone numbers. If you would like to be able to reveal the pin numbers of strangers you meet or guess numbers which only exist as thoughts in a person's mind, using only words, then this method is for you. NO dual reality is used. NO stooges or instant stooges. It can be used close up or on stage with a 100% success rate. It's elegant, it's clean and it's direct.

Key Points: It can be used anytime, anywhere! It's a prop-less effect. No stooges are used. It's easy to perform. It's a solid method.
Pages: 15 - A5 size - saddle-stitch binding, full-gloss colour cover

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