The FiReal is Japan Technology’s first string trick yoyo that saw a production run. Releasing at the prestigious 44clash contest last year, with this yoyo JT aspires to reclaim the territory lost to bimetal models in the high end section.
The FiReal is nearly identical to the Draupnir in size, but looks slightly wider in person possibly due to the flared out curves.
In order to buffer the string’s pressure exerted on the yoyo during string contact tricks, the 2-stepped curve pushes the tangent point closer to the gap all the while maintaining a smooth transition to 90 degrees, reminiscent of the secondary inverse curve on the rim of the Barracuda. This also makes the yoyo one of the more comfortable to hold among v and h shapes.
The yoyo sports a counterintuitive weight distribution, with no significant thickening on the rim or anywhere at all for that matter. Compared to more typical yoyos, the Fireal only has around 2/3 of their rim weight. There is also a very shallow IGR-like groove under the rim which apparently does not contribute much.
Due to this relatively even weight distribution, the yoyo has a shallow cup and requires a specially defined circle to fingerspin. Being shallower still than the cups of most yoyos and the likes of, say, shutter, a more horizontal throw is needed to land on it.
The response separator has an inclined outer edge, as mentioned specifically in the previous advertisements, in contrast to the typical upright ones frequently seen on YYJ and c3 yoyos. The exact function of this modification is unknown, possibly a compromise to make the yoyo bind tighter than those with upright ones, while still keeping the anti-snagging intent of this structure.
Speed: The Fireal is not only fast, but also ideal to play fast with. Similarly to the Phenom, this yoyo exhibits almost no sideways displacement off the intended path when moving at high speeds, thereby allowing extremely fast string hit sequences effortlessly with minimal conscious control required.
Controllability: The Fireal has the smoothness, cleanliness, flow and float of a western yoyo. Perfectly adapted to flowy tech combos as reflected in Kentaro Mannen’s style, this yoyo is one that rewards the player’s cleanliness with its stability but still plenty forgiving of mistakes. If speed was a tie with the Phenom, this is what now makes it outright a mismatch. It certainly reminds me of an Arctic Circle 2 approached from the other side of the limit, using an Asian yoyo as its starting point.
QC: Although the yoyo looks shiny and all, mine is more vibey than yoyos commonly considered ‘on the verge of being smooth’, for example clyws and yyrs. It could potentially be tuned but I dont have many spare bearings left at the moment. The bearing seat is not tight, which is a good thing, but the tip of the seat is straight with a sharp edge instead of rounded or conical, thus still looking somewhat vulnerable to frequent unscrewing. The bearing comes gritty out of the box, but after cleaning works very well.
Sleep time: For a 57mm yoyo, the spin time is lackluster due to the pyrrhic sacrifice of rim weight in exchange for maximum maneuverability. However, unlike many other yoyos with approximately equal or slightly longer total spin time such as the Phenom and Accelerator, this yoyo holds on to its power and stability much more persistently. Never will this yoyo perform an apparently tight bind but die off halfway up back to your hand, so it is easy to tell how much spin it has left and plan accordingly.
I am, however personally, a huge fan of yoyos that emphasizes displaying the artistry in its design more than stressing its presumed ‘performance’. This is in many ways equivalent to being gullible of appearance, but is also the very quality that made many a collector. Single metal, low rim weight, yet possessing a feel that pleases all styles of yoyoing (that I know of and can replicate to some extent) without resorting to the buzzwords spammed to describe performance. Recycling simple geometric shapes are not what Japan Technology wanted, nor making a yoyo that pleases everyone. As Japan Technology stated, this is a deviating yoyo. Not just innovative but truly deviant; their claim wasnt an outrageous exaggeration after all. What they meant by ‘taking a different direction to surpass the limit of the single metal yoyo’ is clear. If the ultimate goal is to bring together the irreconcilable, then the first step is to understand every aspect it; Japan Technology did it, as they said, with Technology. Yet no one could tell whether this yoyo will go down in history as the harbinger of a new trend, or end up ridiculed for being a cynical tryhard gold plated iphone 6 with every fancy function but making phone calls; either way, it makes a great collector’s item. All the debates of competition, performance, collectability, fun factor, Asia vs. the West, they pale at the very sight of this yoyo, a yoyo that the company with the title of Technology is truly proud of.