[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Adeline Ng” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left”][vc_column_text]AQUARIUM is a very interesting effect. Most magicians I know do some version of the ambitious card routine. It is a staple and a classic. AQUARIUM provides an alternative ending to the traditionally strong ACR routine (eg. Omni Deck). AQUARIUM on the surface seems to be a combination of Omni deck with an additional kicker. I think it however is a different effect, and you have to understand exactly what it is you want to bring across to your spectator. More on that in a bit.
Purchasing this effect gets you the gimmick, plus passwords to the instructional videos for the effect. The primary effect is somewhat similar to Omni Deck. However, AQUARIUM also has a few other additional routines that are totally different from the omni deck style.
Firstly on the gimmick.
My biggest complaint about the gimmick is in the cap. The cap does not fit well on the deck. In fact, it’s about 1cm off. The usual way that the routine is done includes putting the gimmick in the audience’s hand (ala omni deck). Some audiences are quite perceptive and can feel slight differences. With the cap on the gimmick so off, it just isn’t quite good enough.
Second thing I’d like to mention is the sides of the gimmick. Because it is so close to an Omni Deck, I use that as a comparison. The sides cannot be compared. The Omni Deck sides actually look like a deck, whereas AQUARIUM provides you with a sticker to stick on the sides if you find that the sides are not good enough. Personally, the fact that most audiences won’t notice is not a good enough excuse to not make a perfect (or as close as possible) gimmick.
On the bright side, the gimmick does at least do its work and not leak.
Now onto the routine.
The main premise of the effect lies in the deck transforming into a clear aquarium block with a goldfish in it. At the very onset, it sounds a little similar to the Omni Deck. However, in considering the audience psychology, I feel it is quite different. While both are transformation, the addition of a live animal does make a difference.
However, I personally struggle with finding a reason for the fish appearance. Of course, magic doesn’t always need reason (there’s no real reason for appearing 12 parasols in a row after all, unless it’s raining cats & dogs). However, particularly in close-up magic, anything way too prop-y always seems a little off to me. And that is what AQUARIUM strikes me as.
Another little point of consideration: I’m not sure how the animal lovers will react towards this act.
You may remember that in the not too long ago past, there was a big hoo-ha raised in China over a magician’s act with goldfish. This was because the method was seen as something that was harmful to the goldfish. Although AQUARIUM does not harm the goldfish in any way, I’m not sure if animal lovers might have something to say about the little fish being squished in a small little acrylic box and the box being handled for a whole night.
Other routines taught in the video include predictions (revelation with the gimmick) & coin penetration. I personally do find the revelation & coin penetration quite interesting and clever. However, the same issue of it being somewhat “prop-y” bothers me. It strikes me as something cool and fun but not something I’d use.
The video production value was not very high. However, all the videos were clear enough to understand. Even though it was obvious English is not the first language, everything was easy enough to understand.
I did not like the fact that the videos were not labelled sequentially properly. While a minor thing, it does add to my slight confusion trying to watch the videos in order. (Yes I have OCD that way).
All in all, this is an innovative and interesting idea. The effect (with the fish) will be much stronger with a rationale for the production. This is something I would buy to play just for the heck of it, but not something I’d use in my commercial work.
I would have given a much higher rating, but it suffers from a poor gimmick.
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