Hiromu Takahashi answers all of your questions. Seriously, all of them.
He might be on the shelf, but Hiromu Takahashi has resolved to be as active as possible throughout his downtime due to a pectoral tear and subsequent surgery. He’s YouTubing up a storm, showing up to host Sakura Genesis in Ryogoku, and much more besides, including taking on the insane task of hundreds of fan questions. Below are just the first 67(!) in an even longer series. Strap in…
–So, then. We actually have a grand total of 134 questions to deal with…
Hiromu: Huh, I thought there’d be more, actually.
–How is the rehab doing?
Hiromu: Really well! It’s going great.
–Can you put a percentage mark on it all?
Hiromu: We-ell, if 100 percent means what I feel it should, then honestly it would be 2% right now. To me being 100 percent means being able to do what I set out to do, win championships, make dreams happen. It’s not enough just to get back in there. So with that in mind, yeah, two percent.
–You’ve been determined to not shy away during your time off, and you’ve been doing a lot of publicity work. How has that been?
Hiromu: I’m just getting started. I’ve only been out a month, and I’m only just out of this sling now. I want to be everywhere! I want people to be really surprised at the places I show up over the next few months.
–Have you been keeping tabs on the junior heavyweight division since you’ve been off?
Hiromu: It’s been all Desperado in my book. He just shot off on a rocket.
–Are you jealous that he managed to become a double IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion before you, however briefly?
Hiromu: Insanely. Obviously he made the most of the opportunities that I left behind, and it could easily have been me having both belts and wrestling that Budokan main event… I don’t know for sure, obviously, but you can’t help but feel that way. Still, he definitely deserves everything he’s gotten.
–Desperado had some quite encouraging words for you. He said that this wasn’t something to be negative about.
Hiromu: Well, he’s been through the injury thing himself. Honestly the news really crushed me, but I couldn’t let that stand, so I had to do what I could with this new twist on a usual injury absence.
–You had to keep looking up.
Hiromu: Right. What’s done is done. I’m looking forward, and I’m watching a lot of wrestling as well, junior and heavyweight.
–Well, let’s get to all these fan questions!
1) From ‘Mackey’
You wake up and realise you’ve been transformed into Tetsuya Naito. WYD?
Hiromu: Hospital. Fast.
2) From ‘Aniyama’
How best do you think you could help shape the future of the junior division?
Hiromu: Maybe I could sponsor some sort of junior heavyweight specific tryouts?
3) From ‘Pitami’
You have been transformed into Mr. Belt for a day. How do you spend the time?
Hiromu: Hastily organise some sort of talk panel and discuss all the people that have held me.
4) From ‘Isaki’
If you didn’t have red highlights in your hair, what colour would you go with?
Hiromu: White! But I gather that’s a hard colour to deal with.
5) From ‘8sun’
If you were able to wrestle a mirror match with yourself, what move would you like to take and what would you definitely not want to?
Hiromu: I’d kinda like to see what Time Bomb 1 and 2 are like to take for myself. The sunset flip powerbomb on the floor though? Yeah, no thanks.
6) From ‘Momojiri’
Why do you colour your hair red?
Hiromu: It’s really a carry over from the red hair that I used on my mask when I wrestled as Kamaitachi in Mexico. I wanted to bring that forward.
7) From ‘Oko’
Do you watch any other promotions apart from NJPW, and are there wrestlers that stand out to you?
Hiromu: Big Japan and FREEDOMS! I like to watch deathmatch wrestling. But as far as wrestlers that stick out, nobody in particular.
8) From ‘D’
A Time Bomb History question. Is there a particular moment that really sparked your rivalry with Ryu Lee?
Hiromu: The first match we had. We’re both very stubborn in our own ways, and that came through in the match. The fans in Mexico ate it up.
9) From ‘Momo’
This isn’t much of a question, but even though I’m married, I have a huge crush on you. Do you mind if fans use pet names for you? I like to call you Mu-chan.
Hiromu: I’m very flattered! Make sure you have enough room in your life for your husband and good ol’ side crush Hiromu!
10) From ‘Yuri’
Of all the arenas you’ve wrestled in, is there a particular venue that’s important to you, or that you have special memories in? I really want to see you wrestle in your home town of Hachioji when you’re healed up!
Hiromu: I don’t have a particular venue that springs to mind, but I love any place where the fans are close to the ring! You really get to feel their energy that way.
11) From ‘Yu-chin’
Do you believe in ghosts? Something definitely was walking around my bed at night, but there was nobody there and now nobody will believe me.
Hiromu: Believe them or not, they’re there!
12) From ‘Hima Hiromu’
I know you like Chage & Asuka’s music. Best tracks? Except for ‘Big Tree’.
Hiromu: Ahh, a bunch! Top three, I am ‘Music’, ‘No Doubt’ and ‘Knock’ in that order.
13) From ‘Nichito’
Why did you go with the nickname Time Bomb?
Hiromu: It’s explosive, it’s two syllables and it suits me!
14) From ‘Kanippe’
If you took ‘Hiromu World’ to its logical conclusion and started your own country, who would you want as its first citizen, and what kind of place would it be?
Hiromu: Anybody would be fine with me. My country will be free of greed and anger, and tipping will be compulsory.
15) From ‘Yuko’
What’s your drink of choice?
Hiromu: I’m not a huge drinker, but when I do drink, it’s a ZIMA (winks). Or highballs.
16) From Misaki ~amaemon~
What’s your go to dish when cooking? Is there anything you’d like to try and make?
Hiromu: I can make a mean stew, and I’d like to be good with Indian food, so I’m trying my hand at curry a bunch!
17) From ‘Rikiribure’
I knew you did track in high school. What was the toughest drill they put you through?
Hiromu: Five sets of ‘3+2+1+1+2+3’. If you know, you know.
18) From ‘Hiru’
Did you ever have part time jobs? If you had to take one now, what would you do?
Hiromu: Honestly I’ve never received a pay check from anywhere but NJPW! But if I had to, I’d like to work in a concert space or a ramen place.
19) From ‘Ota Michiya’
Does your diet change from being active in the ring and rehabbing your injury?
Hiromu: Nope! Plus I can’t move too much now, so I’m getting fat!
20) From ‘Kazumin’
What’s the best side at BUSHI’s chicken place, Marubushi?
Hiromu: The fried cartilage! I actually got some today, so I’m pretty stoked!
21) From ‘Tojinmo’
When you get up on the corner, on an entrance, how much of the crowd can you see, normally?
Hiromu: Depends on the building, but I do have 20-20 vision, so I can see any Hiromu shirts and towels you guys might have!
22) From ‘Yuu’
If you could master the different breathing techniques from ‘Demon Slayer’ what would you use?
Hiromu: The chubby pig one! Cute!
23) From ‘Shomon Shufuku’
You’ve said you wanted to try your hand at voice acting. If you had to voice someone in the Jujutsu Kaisen anime, who would it be?
Hiromu: It’d have to be Ryomen Sukuna! Give me a call, you guys!
24) From ‘Hori’
What do you like most about each of the other LIJ members?
Hiromu: Hmmmmm. We’ve been together for years and I still don’t know the answer to that one. We’re a weird bunch!
25) From ‘The Yoshi’
If you could go back in time, what NJPW wrestler from the past would you want to face?
Hiromu: Junior heavyweight era Tatsumi Fujinami!
26) From ‘Tomoko’
What do you recommend to first time visitors of your home town Hachioji?
Hiromu: I’d definitely suggest you climb up Mount Takao first thing in the morning!
27) From ‘T.K. feat Takkyu’
What’s the biggest difference between lucha libre and NJPW?
Hiromu: To put it very broadly in one word- ‘spacing’. Oh, and how hard that ring is!
28) From ‘Nobitasoba’
What should one say to the mythical Tsuchinoko beast if we see one?
Hiromu: They’re shy creatures! Nothing deep. Just say hello. And definitely no photographs!
29) From ‘Kotowari’
What are you into the most recently?
Hiromu: Magic the Gathering: Arena, and the delicate art of cooking chicken breasts perfectly.
30) From ‘Yuu’
If you were in a position where you were dating the members of LIJ, what would you do?
Hiromu: If genders and sexuality aligned, I don’t think I would be dating any of the members of LIJ. In their own ways, I don’t think any of them would be right for me…
31) From ‘Otoha’
Hiromu: I don’t eat them much, but I could murder a good potato chip. Plus, really super sour Japanese plums hit different with honey!
32) From ‘Tsubasa 63’
What is this whole questions for Hiromu deal? I don’t get it.
Hiromu: This is it, man!
33) From ‘Akami’
What UMA (Unidentified Mysterious Animal) would you like to see, catch or fight?
Hiromu: I want to say hi to a kappa!
34) From ‘Nochan’
Hiromu Bomb! Was a massive hit. Do you have plans to release another photobook?
Hiromu: Petition your local book publisher!
35) From ‘Karukan’
Any stories to share from your time as a high school track athlete?
Hiromu: All I remember were the boys and girls really not getting along with one another. Maybe that was just hormones I guess.
36) From ‘Yoko’
Favourite Dragon Ball character?
37) From ‘Koba’
We know you want to face Tetsuya Naito one on one, but what about the other LIJ heavyweights? Do you want to take on SANADA or Shingo Takagi?
Hiromu: Someday, absolutely!
38) From ‘Daisy’
Do you have a driver’s license?
Hiromu: I only ever had a bike license, but when I was injured before I decided to go out and get my driver’s license at last! I’m a super safe driver!
39) From ‘TWM’
Thoughts on the new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?
Hiromu: Nothing lasts forever, I think!
40) From ‘Ono’
Tetsuya Naito enjoys seeing different venues, Shingo Takagi is a big fan of temples and shrines. What kind of place do you like visiting?
Hiromu: Hmm, see I’m quite an indoors-y type. But I do like being around nature from time to time.
41) From ‘DIABLO’
If you were able to put your dream in action of winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship while holding the junior title, who would you like to defend against and why?
Hiromu: Finn Balor. When I was a Young Lion, he was the toughest guy at the time!
42) From ‘Kumi’
I hear you play quite a lot of Fortnite. Are there any other games you’re into?
Hiromu: I’ve been playing a lot of Days Gone. Saving the world from zombies is my jam!
43) From ‘Naomi’
If you could be reincarnated, would you want to be a woman or a man? What job would you want, and who would you want to date?
Hiromu: I’d like to be reincarnated as something other than a human, but with all the memories of being human! I’d like to stay a male though.
44) From ‘Takuya’
What’s Daryl Jr. up to at the moment?
Hiromu: The global situation threw a few spanners in the works, but he’s still working hard in America!
45) From ‘name withdrawn’
What emoji do you use most often?
Hiromu: The guy that’s bowing down in apology.
46) From ‘PuniPuni’
I’d really like to have a Hiromu DVD. Do you think you could make one?
Hiromu: Actually we had plans last year, because it was my ten year anniversary. We had five months of plans around DVDs and events in Hachioji, and then here comes that COVID guy.
47) From ‘R, president of the Hiromu supporters club’
After the radio drama called ‘Hiromu’s turn’, what kind of TV drama would you put together? You should put it on your YouTube!
Hiromu: I actually, genuinely want to do this, and we’re talking about it! Give us time, but I’ve got a lot of ideas!
48) From ‘Ore@rarirureru’
Would you be interested in streaming some Fortnite?
Hiromu: I’d like to, but I get pretty foul mouthed when I play games. I don’t want all those four letter words going out in public.
49) From ‘Suzuki Mai’
How do you bring your colourful costumes from town to town?
Hiromu: I take it all myself! I don’t have an attendant or anything.
50) From ‘Okupado de dorumiru’
Give me a believable April Fool.
Hiromu: Ah, this came in too early! It’s mid- April now, so you’ll have to wait ’til next year!
51) From ‘Chisato’
Since you have such a great voice, any plans for a recording debut?
Hiromu: Oof. I would if I could, but I’m pretty tone deaf…
52) From ‘193’
Hiromu: A simple Mont Blanc!
53) From ‘Kurisu Shinria’
When you come back, are you going to go straight for rival El Desperado?
Hiromu: Yeah. He says he won’t wear that belt around his waist until he beats me, so I want to beat him and make sure that doesn’t happen.
54) From ‘LYP’
I hear Naito’s nickname for you is Gabby. Why?
Hiromu: He says it’s because I gabber on a bunch. But I don’t!
55) From ‘Woku’
What made you a fan of Ayaya (singer Aya Matsuura)?
Hiromu: I only realised what an awesome performer she was after I saw her on YouTube a couple of years ago. I wish I’d realised sooner!
56) From ‘Hiromi’
NJPW wrestlers have appeared on stage with Southern All-Stars in the past. Would you like to be a part of a musician’s show? Who would it be?
Hiromu: It would have to be either Maximum the Hormone or Chage and Asuka! I’d just be worried about whether their fans would buy into how big of a fan I am of them.
57) From ‘Yuya’
I’m a high school student, and I want to wrestle for New Japan someday. Don’t I have to be really tall?
Hiromu: Well, I happen to be a NJPW wrestler. I’m 171 cm tall. Hope that helps.
58) From ‘Ponkotsu’
What products do you use on your hair?
Hiromu: You’ll have to check out my stylebook Hiromu Bomb for all the secrets!
59) From ‘PomPom Lion’
You’re always so colourful! What’s your favourite colour?
60) From ‘Momo☆SSS’
You seem to have all these really cute turns of speech. Does it annoy you when people think you’re cute?
Hiromu: Not at all! Can’t help being cute!
61) From ‘Torisaya Agimaru’
If you could travel back in time and wrestle anyone at their peak, who would it be?
62) From ‘Yuri-bear’
If you could become a different creature and transport yourself to anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you do?
Hiromu: I’d go straight for the Earth’s core.
63) From ‘Miruco’
The whole pandemic gets a lot of people down, and it’s hard not being able to easily go out and meet friends. What do you do to keep positive and enjoy yourself?
Hiromu: I’m an indoors-y guy so I have no problem with staying home. But everyone feeling gloomy? I want to turn all those clouds into a cheese souffle and eat it all for you!
64) From ‘Ni no Oshi ni Kawata Hito’
I do long distance running at school. Any advice to deal with sore legs?
Hiromu: The younger you are, the easier it is, but stretching is super important whatever your age.
65) From ‘Hotarosu’
I hear you were a super shy child until you were a good way into elementary school. What changed things for you?
Hiromu: I discovered the late, great comedian Ken Shimura. He taught me there’s no need to be embarrassed about *anything*. He was huge for me.
66) From ‘Matsujun’
What YouTubers would you like to collaborate with?
Hiromu: Umajiro Video, Orange-kun, Pupuru Family, Kira Kira USA, SUSURU TV, Animaruzu, Bannoke.. a bunch!
67) From Shimanao
I’m about to go into surgery myself, and with COVID, I can’t have visitors in hospital. How can I get over my anxiety?
Hiromu: If you have a Switch, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and an NJPW World sub, you should be good for time killing! Plus it helps to envisage where you want to go and what you want to eat the second you get away from hospital food. Hang in there!
More in part 2!