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Japanese Pop Culture

Posted by Danny Choo On Sun 2010/02/21 19:40 JST In Japanese Pop Culture
 134  377671 ja

The three biggest manufacturers of Japanese Pop Culture merchandise Good Smile Company, COSPA and Bushi Road had a new year get together bash last month where they invited all the folks that they work with. Mirai was one of the few companies who attended that is lucky to be working with all three ^^;

Was introduced to a few anime seiyuu here by the Bushi Road boss. From left to right are Kitta Izumi, Mimori Suzuko and Tokui Sora.

Big Boss Aki Takanori - top guy at Good Smile Company. Did I mention how we met?

Me is a member of the Gotanda Blog Dinner which was established by Drikin many many moons ago - tis a monthly get together of Japanese speaking bloggers. From there I met just about all the top bloggers in Japan. I owe a lot to Gen Kanai who introduced me to the group which then opened up many doors of opportunity.

IT Media was going to launch an English portal site and my name was given to them as the person who should help them. I asked IT Media to introduce me to Good Smile Company as I wanted my first article on the English IT Media portal to be about them.
IT Media set up a meeting with Good Smile Company and we have been collaborating ever since. Our next collaboration is apparently in a factory somewhere in China ^^;

Have been working with Ken Lee on some iPhone applications. I think you can probably guess what we are up to from Ken being at this new years bash ^^;

Ken also have some of his own apps which you an find in the top right corner of his site at

I met the anime merchandise maker COSPA around about last November when OTACOOL 1 came out. At the time, many manufacturers and media folks started to approach me who either wanted to do interviews or work together. The boss of COSPA contacted many of my comrades demanding to meet me as soon as possible ^^;;

Our first collaboration work were the Mirai-chan T-shirts, then it was the COSPA Asia e-commerce site, Tokyo CGM Night 6, OTACOOL 2 Cosplay feature and looks like there could be something else around the corner...

I think I first met up with Bushi Road through comrades at COSPA Asia. Need to get round to bringing out what we talked about in our first meeting.

The new year bash held at Ebisu was the first time that all 3 companies got together to do something like this.

I didn't expect so many people! Also met other folks who we work with including AmiAmi and Digicraft besides others. Was a great opportunity to remind the boss at digicraft that there were a load of people still waiting for the Mirai-chan dakimakura - this is the reason why they are working on it now. New samples should get back from the printers soon.

The one thing in common that Good Smile Company, COSPA and Bushi Road all share - they all license character material from copyright owners in the anime business and today the place was filled with them from Gainax, TBS, you name them and they were there.

In this business, the copyright owners are the boss and doing something to annoy them means that they wont license material to you anymore which could potentially have a big impact on business. For this reason, you may notice that makers are starting to come out with more and more of their original character goods which gives them the freedom to make what they want because they are the copyright owner. Also means they don't need to pay royalties to other copyright owners thus increasing their profit margin. One example of this is the Max Factory eroge Se-Kirara.

The title of this post is "Japanese Pop Culture" which I'm consciously using more and more instead of the term "Subculture." Otaku culture is so popular that I don't think that it can be considered as a "sub" culture anymore.
The term "Otaku" however is still not widespread enough over the world which is why I adopted the use of the term "Japanese Pop Culture" when talking about Otaku culture to a wider audience. I notice Japanese media also using the term "Cool Japan" and "Japanese Pop Culture" when talking about Otaku subjects of late too.

I think I started to use the term after the AFA09 in Singapore where they used the term when promoting the event.

T'was a great night with load of fun n games. Prizes up for grabs was a Good Smile Company branded netbook! @.@

I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of the party while I get back to finish off some other bits n pieces. Just got TV requests from NHK and Brazil ^^;


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