With ‘London MCM Expo’ on the horizon and knowing Ulala’s next outfit has tight red unforgiving spandex trousers I realised I had better get in shape.

I’ve previously been abused by ‘EA Sports Active’ and its rather intensive workout routines and after too many dead legs from its lovely personal trainer (cow) telling me to hold a squat for a minute (which coincided with a sneeze that took my back out of operation), I had to give it up and haven’t been back since.

That was a good 4 months ago…

I really didn’t need that sort of punishment dished out on me again so I decided to spend my time having an energetic boogie with the Playstation 2 version of ‘ParaParaParadise’.


For those of you who don’t know the glorious wonders of the ‘triple P’, it came from a dance invented in areas of Asia in the 80s, made popular in Japan in the 90s called ‘Para Para’ where you perform as a group and use mainly arm movements (waving, pointing, swirly stuff) and stepping side to side to a beat. The music you dance to is fast, cheesy Euro Pop and ear bleeding Techno which is mainly produced in Italy for the Japanese market and each song has its own dance routine. I guess it’s a bit like the pop group ‘Aqua’, but on speed. Fans of ‘Initial D’ should already know the type of music as the same tunes also go hand in hand with ‘ParaParaParadise’ and also no one should be without the knowledge of the god of Eurobeat himself, Dave Rodgers.


Konami took the dance to the arcades with a huge octagonal cabinet for you to stand in. The players must then trigger the sensors by moving their arms through them when the corresponding arrow reaches the target at the top of the screen. It is essentially DDR but with your arms. There is one in the Trocedero in ol’ Laandaaan Taaan, but it’s usually covered in kooky cosplay kids and you can never get a look in.

The PS2 version features a peripheral, which comes with five pink pods each with three little sensors inside. Each pod can then be positioned and calibrated to fit the height and length of the players arms and then the player waves their arms over the sensors when the corresponding arrow reaches the target at the top of their TV screen. A screen which isn’t covered in kooky cosplay kids, although if you live in my house, it may be covered with a cable eating bunny called Cloud.

My best chum Susan had lent me the game to practice my crappy Para Para skills as she has become quite a pro at most of the songs and I had become a pro at two and a half songs. So I got down to training, and now I know, err… 3 songs… (you would think cosplaying someone like Ulala from Space Channel 5, I might do better at the dancing shizzel) but at least I feel healthier and I can totally whoop ass at my favourite ParaParaParadise song ‘Night of Fire’.


Para Para is still quite unknown in the UK, but it has slipped in here and there in a variety of different genres. As well as the Bemani arcade game found in the Trocedero, the dance is recreated in the PS1 game Superstar Dance Club and The Idolm@ster series. The dance appears in Rumble Roses XX and level 2 of Gitaroo Man . Various Eurobeat and Para Para CDs have been put on the market and on iTunes, the film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and also KT Tunstall’s song Hold On featured Para Para dancers in the background.



You can tell Para Para is big in Japan when adverts selling Pokemon food items (which I really want) has Para dancing in and also the popular anime Detective Conan gets a burning desire to Para in the show’s title sequence. Popular Japanese girl group ‘HINOI Team’ Para Para dance in most of their music videos and covered the songs ‘IKE IKE’ and ‘Night of Fire’ from the ParaParaParadise game.

But there are groups of people out trying to promote the love of Para Para in the UK, by holding events for people to come along to, and learn a Para or two.


Roppongi Street is the only Para Para club night outside Japan that gives you an authentic feel of the Para clubs in Japan. The dancers all dance the same routine in a circle and you don’t have to know the routine by heart as often you just need to copy other dancers.
Because of the niche interest in Para Para and Eurobeat, the participants came from all over the UK and Europe. The night included special Para performances from local teams such as Para UK and the UK’s first Gal circle Hibiscgyaru. International teams also performed and we had the great honour of receiving Para Connection from Sweden and Finparanoids from Finland who dazzled the audience with their choreographed routines.

‘Roppongi Street’ is the only Para Para club night in the UK that gives you a real feel of a Japanese Para club. The dancers all dance the same routine in a circle. You don’t need to know the routine off by heart as you could probably copy other dancers, if you can keep up with them, but it’s also just a fun night out with a Eurobeat soundtrack.


Because Para Para and Eurobeat is still in the niche market, people have come from all over the UK and Europe to attend Roppongi Street’s event. At previous nights, special Para performances from local teams such as ‘Para UK’ but also international teams with ‘Para Connection’ from Sweden and ‘Finparanoids’ from Finland who performed awesome choreographed routines to us brits.

The night should also bring TechPara which is a newer, more hard core version of Para Para dance which is danced to some super fast Techno and is guaranteed to have your thighs looking like Chun-Li’s by the end of the night.

As I only know three Para Para routines, and one of which has another variation to the dance other than the ParaParaParadise arcade version, this has prompted me into learning a few more routines. As I do think I have what it takes to be a half decent Paralist and supposedly I have potential as a Para Para dancer I will want to prove myself but I guess we shall see on the night, but if I fail horrendously, at least I know I can sit and enjoy a night of JPop, Techno and Euro-cheese, and have my good friend,  the Mojito pitcher (oh, and Susan) beside me.

So yes, I will be attending this hyper fast dancefest, and anyone interested in Para Para should come along and help me look less like a total Para noob.  Hopefully the TechPara won’t  leave me ParaParaParalysed by the end of the night… but maybe slightly ParaParaParaletic if all else fails.







5 responses to “ParaParaParagon”

  1. Snozzeltoff avatar

    I read Eurobeat, Initial D, Idolm@aster and a picture of Miki Hoshii, awesome!
    I love the music but lack the skills for any para para activity. I’d also love to go to this event but i have a feeling i’ll be out of energy after returning from Japan 😛

  2. Ramsden avatar

    I saw people (read; ridiculously cute Japanese girls with weird outfits) doing this in the street in Japan with billboards trying to sell something. Also seen it done in anime music vids. But I hadn’t twigged to the fact there was a game. I’m not sure why anyone would want to do something that will give them thighs like Chun-Li though, because I’m utterly convinced that girl must have the Devil’s own time of it buying fashionable trousers that actually fit her.

  3. arc14716 avatar

    I once read Initial D until I lost interest in it and then Borders out here stopped carrying any further editions of the manga. I have every volume up to volume 27. I also have the first two seasons of the Initial D anime and the film itself on DVD. Anyhow, the anime DVDs had the Japanese soundtrack on it, which I preferred over the inferior English soundtrack. I was pretty much turned on to the music thanks to DDR and to hearing the arcade soundtrack on the Initial D arcade games we had out here.

    And I also had links to para para websites and some para para videos on my old PC. If I only had some way to access the stuff on that hard drive, I could transfer it the one I’m using now. Darn it!

  4. Max avatar

    Thanks for mentioning our night Fran, really good article! I hope nobody minds, here’s the facebook event page for the Para night:

  5. Duncan avatar

    I can officially vouch that Fran is very good at ParaPara. 🙂

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