Hypnotist by Showa Kato

October 31, 2011

Speculation echoed through the audience.

“Surely only the inducer himself can reverse a hypnotic trance.”

From his chicken like state, the induced in question was clearly unable to grasp the weight of the situation. He simply stood on the stage flapping his arms whilst staring down at the fallen hypnotist. A heart attack had spelled premature death for Gordon, the so-called top-class hypnotist. However Robert the human chicken remained. And this was causing major problems.

“There’s no way a grown man can go on like that for ever,” said a nearby psychiatrist as he tried in vain to reverse the trance.

The consensus was that the task of reversing Robert’s trance should be left to those who knew best and before long, expert hypnotists had flocked to the site to have a go. However, at the end of the day Gordon’s trances were top-class and the task of reversing the human chicken proved impossible.

Just as it was looking like a life of feathers for Robert, two men appeared before the experts.

“I’ve heard a rumour. This man can surely reverse Robert’s trance,” said the less familiar man.

“Doctor Jupiter!” exclaimed one of the experts, recognising the second man straight away. Jupiter was well-known as the world’s number-one hypnotist. The other man was his manager.

The experts shook their heads. “We’ve experimented with a good amount trances in our time, but this challenge is surely impossible. Without Gordon himself, there seems to be no way of helping poor Robert,” they explained.

But Jupiter’s manager seemed more confident. “Of course we’ve also worked that into our plans. For the time being, let Jupiter weave his magic. I’m confident that he will succeed.”

The experts decided that there was nothing to lose and guided the two men to the hospital room where they found Robert, still flapping around. He welcomed them with an impressive “bwwaaaaaakkkk!”

“Now let’s leave Jupiter alone with Robert and wait outside,” said the manager.

The experts retreated reluctantly and a mood of deep intrigue filled the room outside as they waited in silence wondering what technique Jupiter might apply to reverse the trance.

Suddenly the door opened and Robert came out of the room. “Sorry to have troubled you all! I’ve safely returned to my normal self,” he said.

“Of course only the world’s number-one hypnotist could reverse such a trance in such a short time,” said the manager. The experts’ gaze transferred to Jupiter, who soon returned from the room.

“So Jupiter, how on earth did you reverse the trance?”

“What are you talking about? I’m not Jupiter, I’m Gordon,” said Jupiter, invoking mass surprise among the experts.

The manager proceeded to explain the situation. “Let me reveal the truth behind Jupiter’s magic. It’s certainly true that only the inducer can reverse a trance. So Jupiter hypnotised himself beforehand in order to become Gordon. After becoming Gordon, he was able to reverse the trance put on Robert. So yes, this is how it’s ended up.”

“I see. That method is evidently possible then,” remarked one of the experts.

“But not just anyone can employ this technique. Gordon was a top-class hypnotist, so someone without his prowess would never be able to hypnotise himself into Gordon. It’s only because Jupiter is number-one, with a level of hypnotism exceeding that of Gordon’s that he was able to achieve such a task,” explained the manager.

Before long, all the experts had fixed their eyes on Doctor Jupiter.

“But I’m not Jupiter. I’m Gordon!”

The manager laughed. “Right now, you are one-hundred per cent Gordon. But your role is already over. You can return to your normal self. Reverse the trance you induced on yourself at once.”

“I’m not quite sure what’s going on, but for the time being all I have to do is reverse a trance and everything will be alright. Here we go…” said Jupiter, as he began to try to reverse the trance he induced on himself. However, it was proving rather difficult.

It was the manager who was first to realise the new weight of the situation. “The trance can only be reversed by the inducer himself. When he hypnotised himself, he was Jupiter. But now he’s Gordon. There’s no way he can…” He turned pale and the room fell deadly quiet.

A rather serious looking expert was first to break the silence.

“What’s the big problem? A man was about to spend the rest of his life as a chicken. Under the circumstances, a hypnotist going from number-one to top-class is merely a drop in the ocean!”


2 Responses to “Hypnotist by Showa Kato”

  1. i get the feeling, especially from the last line, that this is all some kind of allegory for an aspect of Japanese culture… please fill me in…

    why the names Robert and Gordon anyway?!

    thanks for the translation!

  2. nikzback Says:

    yo mike. the names are translated directly from the original. seemed he wanted to use western names in the story. guess it adds to the stupidity of the characters from a japanese point of view. i don’t think there’s any hidden meaning or cultural insigh to be had, just a simple ironic tale about some stupid hypnotists baton touching about in a kinda catch 22 situation.

    interestingly this story reminded me of the magic words in japanese. it’s not ‘hocus pocus’ over here, it’s ‘Lucas Marcus’. I should ask someone why!

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