Comedian Akai Plutonium (33) announced that she has changed her stage name, in light of the ongoing accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. From now one, she will be known as “Aka-Puru” (赤プル), which is a shortened version of her previous name (赤いプルトニウム).
She also declared that she is doing charity activities to support the disaster relief efforts, such as her participation in a charity comedy event on March 20. She said that she plans to donate clothing and other goods to the heavily damaged city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi, where her friend lives.
Aka-Puru is originally from Ibaraki, another area that was seriously affected by the tsunami. Fortunately, her family members are safe and her parents’ home in Ibaraki did not suffer any major damage.
In January, Aka-Puru got married to comedian Matsuoka Shingo (41), of the duo Kurage Rider.
Last week the finals of the solo comedian competition R-1 Grand Prix were held in Tokyo on Tuesday. A record 3,539 comedians originally entered the contest, but the winner in the final round of nine contestants was Koji Abe (35), who was vying for the title for the seventh time.
Abe has been in the final round six times. In this year’s contest, he made the top three along with Masahiro Ehara (27) and two-time winner Takeshi Nadagi (39). In the face-off among the three, Abe picked up six of the seven judges’ votes, while Ehara received the remaining one.
Abe received 5 million yen in prize money for his hard-earned victory. This appears to be his last time in the competition, as he jubilantly declared, “I can finally graduate!”