Eight-episode documentary series to premiere February 24 on Hulu
TOKYOPOP, the leading manga-lifestyle entertainment company, is pleased to announce that the first episode of its weekly documentary series, America’s Greatest Otaku, will debut on Hulu February 24, 2011.
America’s Greatest Otaku is a revealing documentary series that searches the United States for the number one American otaku. The term “otaku” refers to any uber-passionate fan of anime, manga, games, and Japanese pop culture for whom it is less of a hobby, and more of a lifestyle.
Each of the eight episodes will follow TOKYOPOP founder, entrepreneur, and filmmaker Stu Levy and his apprentices, the Otaku Six (six college students that are self-proclaimed die-hard otaku) as they travel across the country, searching for the one person who personifies what it means to be an otaku. The twenty-city nationwide search covers, in order of travel, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Phoenix, San Diego, Oklahoma, Nashville, Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Louisville, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Chicago.
America’s Greatest Otaku features nineteen “contenders” who compete for the grand prize of a trip to otaku Mecca--Tokyo, Japan. In the season finale, America’s Greatest Otaku will be revealed, and the winner’s exciting trip to Japan will be spotlighted.
“My goal with America’s Greatest Otaku is to pay tribute to an amazing sub-culture that many people may not be aware of,” says Levy. “ There are otaku living in every city and town, attending conventions of all sizes. These are fans that are entirely devoted to their passion. With this show I hope to prove that otaku are incredibly intelligent and creative fans, who are also themselves true characters.”
Contenders will be judged based on six “core qualities”--pride, personality, passion, participation, expertise, and imagination. From cosplay costume designers, to manga artists, to custom anime toy designers, contenders express their otaku love in many fascinating and entertaining ways. In the season finale, four prominent industry judges vote for the winner--but fans will also be able to vote for a “Fan Favorite” winner on www.americasgreatestotaku.com after Episode Seven airs.
During the nationwide search for America’s Greatest Otaku contenders, Levy and the Otaku Six visit over thirty “Otaku Spots”--locations that are rich with otaku style and appeal. Included in these Spots are: an innovative “maid café”; a hotel inspired by Japanese pop culture; a recreation of a 17th century Japanese house and garden; a ninja-themed restaurant; a bento box specialty shop; an Alice in Wonderland themed café; and many, many more.
In addition, Levy and the Otaku Six interview notable people influencing otaku culture, such as J-Pop idol Erina Mano, Three Rings games CEO Daniel James, anime voice actor and Director Eric Vale (Fruits Basket, Dragon Ball Z), FUNimation Director of Production Justin Ryan Cook, and Japanese hip-hop band and anime song writers (Bleach, Naruto) Home Made Kazoku.
Host: Stu Levy
Otaku Six: Andre Jeanjacques, Diana Hsu, Dominique Kruse, Meera Jogani,
Stephan Cho, William Sullivan Brown
Executive Producer & Director: Stu Levy
Co-Producer: Daisuke Kinouchi
Director of Photography: Daisuke Kinouchi
Videographers: Daisuke Kinouchi, Stu Levy, Stephan Cho
Editors: Daisuke Kinouchi, Scott Shaver, Kathria Tizon
Junior Editors: Alice Park, Christina Wong
Motion Graphics: Jason Milligan, Raymond Cinemato, Andrew Guiyangco
Sound Designer: Ben Chan
Field Audio Mixers: Diana Hsu, William Sullivan Brown
Production Associates: Kasia Piekarz, Laura Benefiel, Christina Wong
Production Coordinators: Dominique Kruse, Meera Jogani, Stevie Wegrzyn
Production Assistants: Andrew Guiyangco, Erinn Conlon, Kathryn Cwynar, Lily Chau, Tida Jursudakul, Victor Luo, Jordan Julio Acosta
Production Management: John Parker, Marco Pavia
Brand Manager: Troy Lewter
Founded in 1997 by international media entrepreneur Stu Levy, TOKYOPOP established the market for manga in North America, introducing the term to the English language in the process. Over its history, TOKYOPOP has published over 3000 books, distributed anime and Asian films on home video and television, licensed merchandise to consumer goods companies, created graphic novels of major brands such as Warcraft, Star Trek, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Hannah Montana, and led the way digitally in social media, e-commerce and user-generated content. TOKYOPOP’s brand expanded internationally with offices in Europe and Japan and a network of over 160 partners in more than 50 countries and 30 languages. Taking its Manga Revolution beyond the page, TOKYOPOP has begun producing live-action and animated film and television content based on its extensive intellectual property library, including Priest, Van Von Hunter, and another 20 projects currently in development, along with America’s Greatest Otaku, an 8-episode reality show filmed during its 2010 summer-long, 28-city national tour. For more information, visit www.TOKYOPOP.com as well as www.twitter.com/tokyopop and www.facebook.com/tokyopop.