23-year-old Japanese minor celebrity figuratively smashes her competition to become number one in the world.  

If you were in Oulu, Finland on August 24, perhaps you were enjoying a leisurely Friday evening in one of the world’s most populous northerly cities. Perhaps you were even taking in some fine culture at the 23rd annual Air Guitar World Championships, where 23-year-old Nanami Nagura (名倉七海) of Japan was crowned the new champion at the Grand Final.

“Seven Seas,” as she’s known (which comes directly from the meaning of the kanji used to write her first name), ousted two-time reigning champion Matt “Airistotle” Burns of the US to claim the coveted title. She had also previously won the World Championships in 2014 and was this year’s champion at the Japanese national competition held by the Air Guitar Japan Association.

▼ A combination of sheer energy and backwards-bending flexibility helped propel her to the top.

Nagura competed in two rounds in which her talent was judged based on categories of technical merit, mimesmanship, stage presence, and “airness” using a scale of 4.0-6.0. The first round featured her performing to a one-minute music clip of her choice loosely inspired by Cinderella, while the second round featured a one-minute clip common to all contestants and revealed immediately before the competition–“Hopeless Case of a Kid in Denial,” the 2000 single by Swedish rock band Hellacopters. It’s worth noting that the performance forbids competitors from using any real musical instruments or crew, but props are allowed.

▼ Nagura being crowned the champion after she obtained the highest combined score of two rounds

As part of her win, she was even awarded a Flying Finn electric guitar–one that she can physically hold and play if she so desires.

Watch both rounds of her electrifying performance below:

The next clip compares the performances of the top three finishers in the second round. Nagura is in the center, while second-place finisher Matt “Airistotle” Burns is on the left and third-place finisher Dana ”Dana-Saurus Rex” Schiemann of Canada is on the right:

Net users weighed in on Nagura’s win with both excitement and an air of puzzlement that this sort of competition even exists in the first place:

“It was definitely gonna be her.”
“What a championship of madness!”
“I wonder what it’s like for people who really play guitar to watch them.”
“That was way more intense than I was expecting.”
“‘Air Guitar Japan Association’…sounds like the kind of secret organization that would control the government.”

Perhaps our own ill-fated team of Stardust Sato and Fantastic Hatori should learn a move or two from Nagura before they try their hand at the Air Guitar World Championships again!

Source: Sankei News via Otakomu
Featured image: YouTube/Air Guitar World Championships