Welcome back! Sorry we couldn’t give you a round last week, it was the WonFes weekend and we were busy. We thought we’d actually mentioned this but apparently not. We’re also a little late because of the size of this post, we don’t have all week to work on these so it takes us time. Either way, it doesn’t matter because this week we’re going all the way, this week we exorcise all the demons on our list, all the demons but one.
If you’ve been waiting for us to feature you for all this time and your name doesn’t end in ‘Choo’ then tonight is the night. We are genocide, and this is our stage 7.
Since the last round, we haven’t kept up to date with the blogosphere, everything has gone quiet so we’re going to blow a crater in it. But before we do, let’s keep you up to date with something reasonably amusing. Much to our surprise, we don’t actually get too many emails, we thought we’d get a lot of hatemail but it seems people reserve that for the comments. One day however, we recieved a letter from “David Nakamura” a reporter for The Washington Post asking us to answer some questions, we actually did some background checks and it seems that this guy really is “David Nakamura”. That or he’s suffering from a severe identity crisis. Take a peek at the spools, OEG is in red, Nakamura in blue
I’m a reporter for The Washington Post working on a profile of Danny Choo and I found your Web site and Otaku Elimination Game. I would like to interview you about the site (how and why it started, etc…) and about your feelings on Danny Choo. To be fair to everyone, I would most likely have to identify you in the piece if I were to quote you.
Please let me know if you would be willing to discuss the site and Danny. I am currently based in Tokyo and can be reached at this email or at my office at 03.6741.0005.
Remember, David Nakamura is happy to give his office phone number out to strangers, so we’re sure he’d like to hear from you too.
Your offer is interesting, but firstly we’d like a few questions answered, it would be great if you could follow them up.
Do you have a street address for this office?
How would you like to conduct this interview? Email?
How much identification do you need?
What is the purpose in the profile you are writing?
If any of these could be answered, we may further inquire.
LIES! The offer was only interesting because we thought someone was trying to mess around with us, turns out that it wasn’t very interesting.
Hi there —
I am based for the year at the Keidanren Kaikan building in Otemachi at 1-3-2 Otemachi Chiyoda-ku. I have no particular affiliation with the Keidanren; rather, my fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations and Hitachi put me with a host company that provides a desk and phone.
I would be happy to meet you in person, talk on the phone or do by email.
The reason we would need to identify you is that to be fair to Danny Choo, we would have to identify anyone who might be critical of him, his blog, etc…
The profile is interesting because Danny has a large, committed following and his site sort of stands in the nexus of the changes affecting the (forgive me for loosely generalizing here) broader “otaku industry.” In fact, this angle sort of touches on some of the ideas your OEG site has brought up.
Let me know what you think. I am trying to finish by mid-February.
There was no way we were going to wander into his office, we just wanted some more info. There was also no good reason why we should be identified and we didn’t bite.
In terms of identification, we can’t give you real names. Some kind of alias or fake name is our limit. As with anyone, we’re happy to answer questions via email. whether or not you choose to use them is another matter and it’s entirely up to you. We pride ourselves upon being anonymous, we don’t hide behind it. It’s more of a collaberation of thoughts and ideas from the underground than a simple lynch mob.
It’s true, we’re not a lynch mob, more of a hit squad.
Well, policy-wise, we can’t use fake names. Perhaps you could answer these few questions. I might not be able to quote directly from your responses with no name attached, but it would help me understand your perspective as I go about the rest of my reporting.
1. I have read your blog and its “about” page. On that page, you mention Danny Choo by name. What is your beef with him in particular?
2. Do you think Choo is hurting the traditional otaku scene with his popularity and self-promotion? If so, how so?
3. Do you think Choo could/should be classified as an “otaku” himself or is he more of a businessman/capitalist/
celebrity masquerading as an otaku?
4. Depending on your answer to the above questions, I wonder how you would respond to those who might say you and others who criticize Choo saying you are merely envious or jealous of his following/success?
5. You mention the Western or American otaku scene. I assume you are based in the States?
1. Originally, we had a beef with Danny Choo calling himself ‘otaku’ when it was plain to see he was not otaku at all. This annoyed us because he was the most famous example, and was giving the OK to his followers to use that word in the wrong context. As someone living in Japan, he should know better and that angered us. We continued the game, and we noticed that particularly in the western anime scene that the use of ‘otaku’ was more than just a wrongly applied label, and the things that annoyed us kept coming back to him.
When we started the game, we knew we were to going to feature him but we thought we’d give him the benefit of the doubt in our post. Now, we’ve progressed and we’ve seen the knock on effect he’s had, and it made us more angry and showed us that he’s responsible for a lot more than we had originally thought. It’s sad, we didn’t want it to turn out this way but we refuse to stand back as if it isn’t happening.
2. Yes. We don’t want to seem like we are trying to cling on to the traditional otaku scene, but on the same token we’re not prepared to let it be destroyed either. Somebody on another blog made a very good analogy when they said:
“The most basic problem (among many others) with Hard Gay as an (even tongue-in-cheek) gay archetype is that, well, he’s not gay. I’m not an avid Danny Choo follower, but he seems to have at least the same basic problem as far as being an otaku archetype. I understand why he would be so grating to the OEG guys.”
As we’ll come to explain, Danny Choo uses ‘otaku’ as a gimmick, he’s not otaku at all. This is encouraging hundreds of bloggers to think the same way, and it seems to turn the scene into something that it isn’t. We explained in a post previously that Danny Choo is very selective of the merchandise and companies he features on his blog, and the international interest for those companies is inevitably causing them to expand. Unfortunately as a result of this we’re seeing smaller shops in akihabara having to close down under the pressures of the larger ones, just for the sake of having the room to display a few more figures which were mass produced as quickly as possible and rushed off the production line. Any creativity or care has been stifled under the overwhelming demand for more.
3. No, he should never be considered otaku. We researched Danny a lot, and as you may know as a child he was a big fan of Australian celebrity Kylie Minogue. There is (or there was, if it’s been removed) a picture of his room from when he was a fan of her, and there is no doubt in our mind that he was a Kylie otaku, had he known of the word then. We seem him now, and his anime interests, do not even come close to the interest he had in Kylie.
Danny Choo uses his ‘otaku’ image as not just a gimmick but also a cheap hook to make people buy the products he wants them to buy, and many many shops have followed suit. He’s not otaku, he can’t tell you much (if anything) about the anime/manga/eroge of which the figures he promotes are from. He doesn’t watch anime, he doesn’t even buy his figures, they’re just handouts. He’s cheap and far from otaku. We’re sure there’s an interest in anime present in Danny Choo, but it’s minimal.
Simply stated, Danny Choo has not earned the right to call himself otaku, he is a casual fan at best. The word otaku is still frowned upon, and we don’t have a problem with that. It’s a badge of honour you earn from being a truely dedicated fan with lots of passion, not something you can apply to yourself just because you have business links with figure manufacturers and shops.
We could go on forever about this point.
4. People that claim we’re jealous are those that simply don’t have a relevant response to us and are generally looking for a fast way to get the last word. This kind of behaviour is also provocative, passive-aggressive and childish, so we never expect much intelligence from people who say such things.
We’re considered infamous, if we wanted fame we would stop writing and start trying to reach that level. But we don’t; another reason we don’t give our names out. Success is different among people, Danny’s idea of success might be monopolising Akihabara, whereas ours is getting a figurine or doujinshi we queued for days to obtain. That’s another reason why Danny Choo will never be otaku, he cares more about seeing his name in lights than he does about his hobby.
5. No. We’re a handful of people from all across the world, predominantly Japanese, with a few ex-patriates in Japan handling translation & writing and some members from USA, Singapore and the UK doing research because of the large divide in culture and the fact that internet jokes can be difficult to understand without a full insight into the context of their use.
Anyone who knows Yamada will be taking a sharp inhale through their teeth right now, why? Because Yamada is disabled (Possibly). We think it was something to do with his eyes but we honestly can’t remember and refuse to go back to figure.fm to check. This of course set us up for a number of jokes depending on how awful his blog was appearance-wise. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly standard. In fact we’ve seen much worse from people who don’t have a disability excuse. It really must put things into perspective when your design skills are worse than a guy who requires medical attention for his eyesite alone. Shame on you.
Unfortunately Yamada, we can’t pass you. You’re not otaku but at least you don’t seem so full of yourself and your ideals that you can’t learn from your mistakes.
Bruneian Otaku no Sekai by Yamada – ELIMINATED
It’s the same deal as above really, only with less excuses and more unfunny stories (See: Alafista) Lightningsabre also didn’t pass, he can’t understand what ‘otaku’ means, and his yonkoma is horrible. It’s been going a year now, and nobody has stopped him. ‘sabre also has another blog; “The Melancholy of Saber Lily” no, we didn’t want to touch it either.
Get out, stop your stupid comic, learn how to make a banner without JPEG artefacts, stop misusing otaku and then come back.
Lightningsabre by Lightningsabre – ELIMINATED
Hah! This was a laugh, Akiba-ch is supposed to be a blog-come-professional-website setup by Koji. We remember not being very impressed by it, but when we came back to give it a look over it was down. Unfortunately, we don’t pass people by default, we can only eliminate them, but if you feel you care enough, come back when you can actually maintain a website and we’ll happily go through it for you.
Akiba-ch by Koji – ELIMINATED
We could have a lot to say about Cleartranquil, but unfortunately he hasn’t returned to his blog in months and we can officially declaire it dead. The outcome would have been clear, however. We clicked the big ‘Otaku’ tab and were presented with a lot of cosplay articles and so on. Okay, so if we’re being fair it really wasn’t as bad as a lot of ‘Otaku’ categories we’ve seen on blogs, but it missed the mark somewhat. Either way we’d have to eliminate him for leaving it dead, we did warn about this earlier.
Cleartranquil:Blog by Cleartranquil – ELIMINATED
Seinime, poor seinime. First you did a pre-emptive strike and then you got drama from SiRiRu. We can’t help but like Seinime; it’s like he’s gone through so much and even then he manages to retain his sanity and continue writing a good blog. Especially as one who heeded our warnings, we feel bad that we couldn’t give you an elimination worthy of your expectations. But hey, there’s always phase 2.
Ganbatte Forever! by Seinime – APPROVED
We’re not sure about you, but the name ‘Reikon’ sounds like one of those awful names that don’t seem to really mean anything (Akin to Alafista). We were however, pleasantly surprised when we found that Reikon was a harmless, modest eroge blogger. We have a few things to say, but they fall more into ‘constructive criticism’ and are better suited for phase two. Sit tight reikon, you passed this one.
Nn..mou…asa? by Reikon – APPROVED
Another eroge blogger. Generally we like most of these guys because they make our job much easier, we’ve seen some stupid ones, but the good seems to outweigh the bad in most cases. Accany’s VN Dump seems a bit empty, and we’re pretty sure that the “Wakoopa” widget on the right is the most retarded waste of space we’ve seen in a long time, but either way we can’t fail this place.
Accany’s VN Dump by Accany – APPROVED
After a long run of reds we’re seeing the green. Memories of Eternity (MoE) did mention us at one point in a positive (we think) light. Another laid back blogger, making our job super easy once again.
Memories of Eternity by Eternal – APPROVED
Stop. Stop right there. If you saw the title of the blog and thought “No idea who this is, skip” let us tell you. Do you know Cyberchaos? He’s the guy on DC.com with the black and white L avatar. That’s right, him. He comments on virtually everything that Danny has to say with his self-depricating bullshit over and over again. His blog is ridiculous and full of “Poor me” posts along with mindless drivel about his car. Aside from misusing otaku too many times to count on various comments, we also eliminate Cyberchaos on the grounds of being the least interesting person on the fucking planet.
Blue Gravy by Cyberchaos – ELIMINATED
Taikutsu Remedy is a blog from Snark. Snark. Snark…that name sounds familiar but we can’t place it. Either way, an easy pass here really. Comics that are at least partway amusing (even if they do revolve around pedophiles most of the time) thank god there are no fucking nendoroids.
Taikutsu Rememdy by Snark – APPROVED
zzeroparticle…another name that we feel we should remember from somewhere but can’t remember if it was in a good or a bad way. This is what happens when you take a week out from blogging, everyone forgets, things have to be learned over again and again.
All in all, no misuse seen, maybe we could pick some holes, but we won’t go into that until phase 2.
Anime Instrumentality Blog by zzeroparticle – APPROVED
How can we hate this place?! If we had the Wednesday awards still going, we would have had to feature this place for it’s sheer confidence regarding any “questionable” content. Images and videos that we can only describe as a lolicon’s dream are strewn across the front page with no shame. We can’t help but take a step back and admire the head-on approach ‘Onii-chan’ took with this blog. Enough NSFW material to make Sankaku Complex look tame, and with none of the bullshit sensationalism either, a real winner.
Onii-chanのＨ！ by Onii-chan – APPROVED
Almost a shame really, a fairly standard blog ruined by the tagline ‘An in depth look into American otaku culture.’ Sorry but what we’ve seen of it so far is just a lot of pirating, leeching, fashion labelling and more pleasure from blogging than actually watching anime. Maybe if you concentrated on those areas your tagline might be a bit closer to the truth. Gone.
The Anime Almanac by Scott Von Schilling – ELIMINATED
Ghostlightning must be a popular guy because his blog doesn’t really seem to contain anything worth reading you couldn’t find elsewhere. We weren’t really taken by it, yet despite some edgy use of ‘otaku’ we were kind and decided we’d let you pass. After all, we’re gonna need some cannonfodder come phase 2.
We Remember Love by Ghostlightning – APPROVED
We left this round late, after dragging our feet about rating blogs we didn’t want to rate, a post by blur came to our attention and we perked up immediately. Yes, anyone who has been to NaNeee?! lately will know what’s coming. As of late, Danny Choo’s antics have left us so angry that we refuse to even visit that shithole of a ‘blog’. ..And then we heard about otacool 2.
Otacool 1 sucked, we told you that. There was nothing there you couldn’t find on figure.fm, in fact at least figure.fm updates. Otacool 1 was just an excuse for Danny to kill some trees and earn some cash. We thought Otacool 2 would just be a load of bullshit too but we found something more juicy. Because blur can explain it better than we can:
In short, Danny isn’t a cosplayer and should get the fuck off the book. Also Danny and Kotobukiya are going to help themselves to what they like and fuck the people who deserve credit anywhere down the line. We hate to say “Told you so” but this is where things get taken too far. We’ll let the rest kick off on it’s own.
We can’t fail blur for a post like that. Fight the power.
NaNeee?! by blur – APPROVED
drmchsr0 is an active reader of the OEG, and we never really had much of a problem with him until his latest retarded antics. He said that we lied about the sales of ‘Otacool’. Now, given the context of how this was written, we couldn’t draw a conclusion as to whether or not he was serious or being sarcastic, but either way you’re losing points here.
We were there, the stall was a stone’s throw from Akihabara station right outside the (relatively)new Kotobukiya store, we can’t remember what time it was but it wasn’t too early, we saw Danny sitting at a desk with a monitor and a pile of Otacool books with a poor female cosplaying as his mascot. We’re not sure how much was sold at AFA or what the ‘net profits’ were, but if it was enough of a hit in Akihabara like Danny makes out, we would have heard much more of it than we did. We didn’t.
Either way, we can’t fail you for a simple argument, you do seem to have your head screwed on the right way.
orz by drmchsr0 – APPROVED
A difficult one for us, this. gundamjehutykai really does throw ‘Otaku’ around, and that annoys us. However, his creativity and passion for plamos is something we haven’t seen much if at all so far, especially this far into the game. We have a hard decision on our hands, so this time it’s up to you. For once, we’re throwing a question to the crowds. So remember, give reasons why we should or shouldn’t approve or eliminate gundamjehutykai. We’ll vote on the best reason, not the number of reasons. It’s in your hands, you’ve got until friday morning! (2010/02/19). We’ll update the post when we’ve decided, so keep watching!
Through the Looking Glass by gundamjehutykai – VOTE NOW!
Let’s make this short and sweet, a dull blog but it doesn’t piss us off or misuse ‘otaku’ enough to eliminate you.
Bluemist anime Blog by Bluemist – APPROVED
Okay 7, there’s only one reason you’re here really. Remember when we said something about having ‘Amazing Google Skills’ ? Well we were being sarcastic of course but some blogger took it literally. You replied with “Look at my name, try and get my blog through that” (Or something to that effect). What you failed to realise was that you linked to your blog in that very comment because you filled out the “URL” field.
Oh well, your blog isn’t too bad. Come along with us to phase 2. The more the merrier.
Exce7ion by 7 – APPROVED
And so we have finished phase one, it took us time, effort, patience…but we got there. We are now ready to move on to phase 2, where new frontiers await us, and a much more fun game begins. We…
…Hold on a moment, we’re forgetting someone.
That’s right, the long awaited trial of Danny Choo under the court of the OEG band of REAL OTAKU is coming soon, very soon. Round 13, the boss stage we will finally find out if Danny Choo is an enemy that we can topple, yes. We will say it in stone now: If we cannot eliminate Danny Choo, we will end the game, there will be no phase 2 and the OEG will die. We stand by our words, but who will prevail? What does Danny Choo have up his sleeve? Watch this space and find out soon, the true form of the OEG…