Our otaku reporter asks for a haircut that’s “not grounded in reality.”

Looking in the mirror, our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa decided it was time for a haircut. So he picked up the phone and made an appointment with Shea, a hair salon in Tokyo’s Aoyama neighborhood.

Like a lot of hair salons, Shea encourages customers who want to copy a celebrity’s look to bring in a picture of the star for their stylist to work off of. As a matter of fact, that’s what we’d done a couple months back when we asked Shea to turn five members of the SoraNews24 into J-pop boy band SMAP, and so on this day too Seiji picked out a picture of a different famous figure whose hairstyle he wanted for himself.

Arriving at Shea, Seiji got a warm welcome from Koji Sato, his stylist for the day.

“Ah, Seiji, so nice to see you again! So, what’re we doing today?” Sato asked him as he took his seat.

“I’d like to have my hair done like this guy,” Seiji said as he whipped out his reference picture.

▼ “Oh, wait, that’s…”

▼ “… Kyojuro Rengoku, isn’t it?”

Sato recognized the person in the picture right away, but was noticeably startled by the request. See, this time Seiji wasn’t asking for a makeover that would make him look like a pop star or TV drama heartthrob, but as one of the characters from smash-hit anime franchise Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.

That’s also why, instead of a photograph, his reference pictures were from a clear file and pamphlet he’d picked up when he’d gone to see the recently released Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train, in which Kyojuro plays a pivotal role.

Pro that he is, Sato didn’t turn down Seiji’s unusual request. He did mention, though, that it was going to be a particularly challenging project. “Demon Slayer’s main character, Tanjiro, has a hairstyle that’s grounded in reality, but Kyojuro’s isn’t” he explained, but since Seiji had his heart set on Kyojuro’s anime-exotic ‘do, that’s what Sato was going to give him.

Turning into Kyojuro was going to require a full set of hair salon services: cutting, coloring, and styling. First up, not just one, but two rounds of bleaching, to turn Seiji’s hair from black to fiery blond.

This alone took 90 minutes, but since Seiji was attempting to cross over from the 3-D world to the 2-D one, he’d counted on needing a certain measure of patience.

Next came the cutting. Even by anime’s outlandish standards, Kyojuro has an especially complex hairstyle, with layer upon layer of spiky waves evocative of his flame-based martial arts superpowers, so some very intricate scissor work was called for.

As we mentioned above, the first thing Sato did was bleach Seiji’s hair. But if you look closely at Kyojuro’s hair, you’ll notice that it’s not all just one color. Sections at the tips are reddish/orange, and towards the roots there are patches of brown, so this meant even more coloring needed to be done.

Now several hours into the process, Seiji was happy that Shea is one of those classy kind of salons where they serve you drinks.

Then it was on to the final phase: styling and setting, since there was no way Seiji was going to be able to replicate Kyojuro’s coif on his own.

Seiji was a little worried about this hurdle. Though his hair is pretty long in the back, it’s not nearly as long in the front, and he wondered if his modest bangs would be enough for Sato to work with.

As a final touch, since Kyojuro’s character design features unique split eyebrows, Seiji had his shaved into the matching shape.

And now, for the big reveal.

Seiji, whenever you’re ready, turn around!

Of course, he’d need a kimono and katana for the full effect, but we have to say, that’s a pretty impressive real-world rendering of Kyojuro’s hairdo, and any Demon Slayer fan would instantly recognize the look.

It’s good to have hair.

In total, Seiji’s salon trip took five and a half hours, and cost a total of 20,900 yen (US$199) (6,000 yen for the cut and 13,000 yen for each round of bleaching, and the rest for sales tax), so this isn’t a hairstyle for if you’re short on time or on a tight budget. But if you’re a Demon Slayer fan with the time and money to spend, this look will definitely turn heads.

Related: SHEA.aoyama
Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]