Tokyopop have revealed the teaser trailer for their new show debuting on Hulu in December. You can watch the trailer here on YouTube. The show features Tokyopop’s Stu Levy and his team of interns (the Otaku 6) criss-crossing the USA, visiting anime events and trying to find greatest Otaku. What is an Otaku?
Deb Aoki interviewed Stu Levy about the show a few months ago, and they discussed this very question.
Stu Levy: [...] they can be creating their own cosplay, drawing manga, singing karaoke or writing. We delve into creative activity, as well as just loving the culture and being a huge fan. There have been a couple people out there with amazing collections but these people also tend to be designers. It’s kind of amazing that the more otaku somebody is, the more they actually do things in the field, too.
Q: You’re on this tour looking for America’s greatest otaku… so “greatest” means… what? What kind of qualities are you looking for?
Stu Levy: One of the things we’re doing in the show – we’ve come up with something called “six core qualities.” The essence of otaku. We’re learning lessons along the way as we meet otaku. And so those will be the qualities that determine who the greatest otaku are, but they’re kind of abstract concepts.
Perhaps most interesting is Levy’s statement about the inclusion of Tokyopop in the show itself.
Stu Levy: However, we’re not featuring TokyoPop at all. It’s totally, completely neutral. When you watch the show, it could have been produced by anybody. TokyoPop is not even there.
Q: Oh, so you’re not promoting TokyoPop books or products or anything like that?
Stu Levy: It’s kind of an interesting duality, because the tour itself – the bus is TokyoPop, and we’re doing manga events, so we’ll be at Borders and comic conventions, but the show we’re making about otaku. When it’s broadcast later on Hulu, other than the initial TokyoPop logo showing that the we’re the production company, nothing in the show directly TokyoPop-related.
I initially thought this had “car crash” written all over it, but after reading that interview I’m ready to be proven wrong.
Here’s Tokyopop’s info about the show.
The upcoming 8-episode documentary/reality series from TOKYOPOP travels across America – to 20 cities across 12,000 miles – searching for OTAKU CULTURE and America’s Greatest Otaku.
For 7 weeks in summer 2010, Stu Levy, along with road warrior cameraman Dice Kinouchi, and the “Otaku 6″ (college students) Dre, Diana, Dominique, Meera, Stephan & Sully, visited all kinds of cool “otaku spots” in each city, and of course interview Greatest Otaku candidates. This was all filmed and documented and will now be presented on Hulu, beginning December 2010.
This is a serious but fun look at America’s otaku culture – made by otakus for otakus.
You can check out www.tokyopoptour.com for more info.