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ANIME EXPO WELCOMES BACK DANNY CHOO AS MASTER OF CEREMONIES FOR AX2013

March 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Danny

LOS ANGELES, CA, March 8th, 2013 – Anime Expo, North America’s largest anime and Japanese pop culture convention, announces Danny Choo as Master of Ceremonies for AX2013! Danny Choo resides in Tokyo, and is the founder of media production company Mirai Inc., which focuses on sharing Japanese lifestyle with the world though web, TV, mobile, print, products and conferences.

Danny is also the Director and Presenter for Culture Japan, broadcast weekly on Tokyo MX TV in Japan, across the whole of Asia on the Animax Network, and in the United States on MNET America. Danny also presents on a morning TV show in Japan called Check Time and Star Worlds Japan Mode.

Danny speaks at conferences and universities worldwide on Japanese Pop Culture and Consumer Generated Media and his activities are regularly featured in web, print and media worldwide such as CNN, BBC, NHK and G4TV. He was appointed as Creative Director by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for the project Mazer in 2012. Danny also consults for METI on the Cool Japan Project.

Danny is also the creator of  Mirai Suenaga – the mascot character of Culture Japan who has made appearances in various anime titles such as King Records Mayo Chiki, Kadokawa’s Twin Angel and the Nitroplus game Sonicomi.

Anime Expo is delighted to welcome back Danny Choo as Master of Ceremonies for AX2013!
About Anime Expo

Hosted annually in Los Angeles, SPJA event Anime Expo is North America’s largest celebration of Japanese culture. Anime Expo 2013 will be held July 4 – 7, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. To register, or for more information, please visit the Anime Expo website.
About the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation

The SPJA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to popularize and educate the American public about Japanese entertainment culture, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. For more information, please visit the SPJA website.

DANNY CHOO’S CULTURE JAPAN SESAON 2 JUMPS ON CRUNCHYROLL

February 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Japanese culture aficionado Danny Choo brings the second season of his hit show Culture Japan to Crunchyroll today

San Francisco, Calif. (February 13, 2012) – In CULTURE JAPAN’s first season, Danny Choo brought fans around the world closer than they have ever been to the intricacies of Japanese anime and culture.  Now he’s back for a second season which will be available on Crunchyroll today at noon PST to all premium users outside of Japan. Free users will be able to watch the first four (4) episodes today and every week henceforth until the series’ completion.  More information can be found on www.crunchyroll.com. Additionally, more information about CULTURE JAPAN can be found on http://culturejapan.tv and http://culturejapan.jp.

Creator and host, Danny Choo said, “This is truly an exciting moment for me, as I hope that season two (2) will not only eclipse what we did in the previous season, but also showcase the diversity, complexity, and heart of the Japanese people and their amazing culture.”

CULTURE JAPAN is the TV show that brings Japanese Pop Culture to the world. The show is broadcast on Tokyo MX TV in Japan, North America and Asia. Due to popular demand from around the world, Culture Japan is now filming season 3 due to be broadcast later this year.

Culture Japan is directed and presented by Danny Choo as he visits anime studios such as JC STAFF, tours the Otaku district of Osaka and also covers the more traditional Japan too. Danny also visits the Tohoku region which was the most heavily affected by the 2011.03 earthquake.

More about Danny Choo can be found on http://dannychoo.com/profile

Episodes can be accessed from Crunchyroll.com, the free iPad and iPhone application, the Android application, Roku, Boxee, Vizio VIA, WD TV Live and additional set-top channels, and affiliate partners.

Crunchyroll premium members will have access to the largest anime and drama selection, same-day access for simulcasted titles, no advertisements and can be viewed in 480p-to-720p quality on selected titles. More information about the Crunchyroll membership plan can be found at: http://www.crunchyroll.com/freetrial/

About Crunchyroll, Inc.

Crunchyroll is a leading global video network and developer of social media applications for Japanese anime and Asian media. Through applications like Crunchyroll for iPhone, iPad, Android, TV set-top boxes, affiliate websites and its own streaming website, Crunchyroll delivers officially-licensed content from leading Asian media producers directly to consumers.

Crunchyroll has offices in San Francisco, Calif. and Tokyo, Japan, and is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) and Licensing International Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA). Founded in 2006, Crunchyroll is funded by leading venture capital firm, Venrock, Japanese entertainment giant TV TOKYO, digital publishing leader Bitway and a group of angel investors representing some of the brightest and most successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. More information can be found at http://www.crunchyroll.com.

Culture Japan Episode 6 Review: “Impressive rides with anime graphics (itasha) explored” (J!-ENT Straight-Up Reviews)

May 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Culture Japan Episode 6. Images courtesy of dannychoo.com.

“Danny Choo’s passion for, and uncanny access to, Japanese pop culture is a big draw for me or anyone with even a slight interest in Japanese pop culture”

TITLE: Culture Japan Episode 6

TYPE OF SERIES: Japanese Pop Culture

MEDIUM: Streaming Video

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS EPISODE

OFFICIAL SERIES WEBSITE

Images courtesy of dannychoo.com.


“Culture Japan” is not only the name of the web show, it is also the name of the related website with a enormous following.

“Culture Japan” episode 6 caught my attention from the initial intro of the series.

The “Culture Japan” slogan is: “Your Portal to Japan”.  Watching episode 6, I felt that I had stepped through that portal and had arrived in Japan. That portal is still open, as I have been very reluctant to cease watching the episodes in a non-stop fashion.

Danny Choo, the director and host of “Culture Japan”, has a list of accomplishment and success that strike me as very impressive. Here’s the rundown, Danny Choo resides in Tokyo and runs a small web and TV production company called Mirai Inc.

Danny Also works with Japanese companies such as figurine/doll manufacturers, anime/game producers, print publishers, e-commerce retailers to name a few.

Danny Choo resume also includes working as Computer Engineer at Japan Airlines, Website Manager on the management team at Amazon and as CGM Product Manager at Microsoft.  Danny Choo also speaks Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and English.

The vision of Danny Choo for “Culture Japan” was to be a medium where he can share Japanese culture with the world.  The show is currently broadcast on Saturday on Tokyo MX TV and broadcasted in Asia through the Animax Asia Network.  Currently, Danny Choo is working to get it broadcasted on television in various countries but for now, people can watch it through live video streaming service, Crunchyroll.com.

A great portion of “Culture Japan” episode 6 covers the” Ita-G Festival 2010″.

The “Ita-G Festival” features cars (itasha), bicycles (itachari), motorcycles (itansha), and other transportation belonging to anime fans and otaku (fanatics).

I did mention that these vehicles belong to  anime fans and otaku, right?

So, it is safe to assume that these vehicles had a special flare to them; the special flare being stickers, graphics, and memorabilia of their favorite anime series or characters which transforms them into itasha and so forth.

Danny Choo was also part of the festival with an itasha featuring his very own character: Murai Suenaga which is also available for purchase as a FIGMA action figure (and also other various Mirai Suenaga related merchandise).

Danny Choo’s passion for, and uncanny access to, Japanese pop culture is a big draw for me or anyone with even a slight interest in Japanese pop culture.

This episode was bursting with so much information and addicting coverage of the itasha culture; I immediately became engorged and addicted to this show at the same time. I am sure the episodes that follow will be chocked full of the same passion and access to the Japanese pop culture that I have quickly become enamored with.

Culture Japan covers different subjects each episode but there are reoccurring segments such as the AmiAmi sponsored figure countdown. This segment features Richard Wilson along with Danny Choo as they countdown the top ten anime and manga figures available.

After watching episode 6 of this Danny Choo Production, I would blindly recommend this show with great enthusiasm to otaku of all caliber. But not only otaku but to anyone who has even a passing interest in Japan pop culture. I honestly felt like I was watching a live version of “Newtype” magazine (a longtime, popular Japanese magazine that covers otaku culture from anime, manga, models, etc.).

While watching Crunchyroll.com, anyone can watch it for free but there will be continuous advertising that will self-interrupt the viewing for a minute and then return back to the show.  Premium members subscribed to Crunchyroll.com will not have their viewing disrupted by ads.

I thought Danny Choo did an excellent job as the host of Culture Japan. I was impressed at how Choo conveyed  his love and fiery passion for Japanese culture in episode 6 of “Culture Japan”.  If you want to be in the know of itasha culture and enjoy following host Danny Choo as he brings Japanese pop culture to the world, I recommend to you episode 6 of “Culture Japan”.

Now if you want seconds and thirds and fourths…  You get the picture.  Spoil yourself by watching all the episodes available online. For now my portal to Japan will stay open.

Otacool Three: Worldwide Workspaces (A J!-ENT Book Review)

May 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

If you want to see the workspaces of professionals (who are otaku) in Japan and all over the world, you’ll definitely want to check out “Otacool Three: Worldwide Workspaces”.  Definitely recommended!

TITLE: Otacool Three: Worldwide Workspaces

BY: Kotobukiya

PUBLISHER: Kotobukiya

PAGE COUNT: 128

RELEASED: August 25, 2010

Created in collaboration with Danny Choo, Tokyo’s dancing stormtrooper, OTACOOL 3 is the third in a series of otaku themed photo-books. Featuring 128 pages of images of otaku “workspaces” submitted by Japanese pop-culture fans from around the world.

Danny Choo, not only is he the son of the popular shoe designer but he has also done a lot in promoting “otaku” (geek) culture from Japan.

From cosplaying as a Star Wars stormtrooper (which his YouTube videos are highly watched), being the person who has created a lot of the websites for major Japanese pop culture companies and of course, seeing his website “dannychoo.com” grow significantly to the point where he has viewers all over the world who share their passion about otaku culture and their love for Japan, may it be cosplay, video games, action figures, dollfies, you name it…his website has become the community for otaku.

And while “otaku” culture can be seen as negative to some people (a bit extreme), Danny Choo has worked to bring a global understanding of how in Japan…being otaku can also be cool.

In fact, both Danny Choo and I have graced a page of Japan’s Windows 100 Magazine for their “otaku spotlight” for our contributions to otaku pop culture.  In my case, moreso for my passion towards Japanese music, but having covered Japanese pop culture for so long and seeing how people outside of Japan have gravitated towards the pop culture (and for some, being part of their own lifestyle), it made me wonder how other otaku professionals have their office workspace setup.  Were they full of action figures?  Were their offices cluttered?  Were some of them using older hardware because they put a lot of money into their anime, video game, action figure or doll obsession?

Will, I can say that “Otacool Three: Worldwide Workspaces” was much better than I was expecting and when I was done reading it, I found myself going back to the book quite a bit.  It’s that enjoyable and insightful!

I tend to post a daily workspace photo on my Facebook from time-to-time and with my desk of monitors and computers and hardware devices, you will occasionally find an MS Gundam or Gatchaman-related figure but the people on Otacool go even farther.

The book features photos of the workspaces of  Japanese industry professionals and user submissions from Danny Choo’s website.  Here are a few examples.

The book (which is in western format so opening from the right than the left) begins with  Hibiki Tokiwa, a photographer and graphic designer who works on music CD jacket designs for artists.  We see him and his workspace with main machine spec and OS.

For Hibiki and other professionals featured in the book, we get to learn the hardware used in their work but also multiple photos from their office with explanations of why are things organized in a certain way or what they want to accomplish with their office and more.  These details provide insight to these professionals which were quite enjoyable to read.

EYE-COM Chief Editior Toshihiro Hukuoka's workspace. Image courtesy of dannychoo.com.

Another page features EYE-COM chief editor Toshihiro Hukuoka’s workspace with his various Mac products but also with action figures all around him.

Go to the next page and you will see “Afro Samurai” creator Takeshi Okazaki’s workspace with his workspace, light table, pens, etc. with books and “Star Wars” figures all around him.

Then you can find a page with Hiromoto-SIN-Ichi who is the only Japanese artist authorized by George Lucas and his workspace is full of Transformers and Star Wars figures all around him.

There are a good number of professionals from Japan and also all over the world featured in “Otacool Three” and as mentioned, really good insight to why they have their office laid out in a certain way, as well as comments on the smart planning and organizing of a workspace.

Otacool 3. Image courtesy of dannychoo.com

 

And the book does a great job of showcasing various professionals in Japan who work in various industries and their workspace and then you have the worldwide workspace featuring 164 people from 33 countries.

And while we get to see a variety of workspaces (examples can be found here), those that didn’t get the two-pagers are featured in smaller photos.  This is probably the only time where I wished that the book was 8.5 x 11, so we can see the pictures in a slightly bigger format.  But that is me being a bit nitpicky.

But for the most part, if you want to see how professionals who are otaku in Japan and all over the world have their offices set up, this is a book that is definitely worth checking out.

Otacool Three. Images courtesy of dannychoo.com.

What I enjoyed about this book aside having full color photos and featuring industry professionals is that people can see how other professionals (possibly in industries that they are wanting to get into) have their offices set up.   For me, I have seen counterparts who work for the animation and music industry have figures on their desks or office and even for my business, walking into the office, you will notice something similar.  But also for me, it’s good to see the hardware that is being used.

I guess for some, you may think that these individuals spend too much on their hobby that they probably don’t have good hardware.  But it’s good to see that the folks at Kotobukiya Inc. showcase professionals who care about their work and are investing in very good hardware and accessories for their work.

Also, it’s good to have people who make the comment of knowing the balance of having a professional workspace and having their hobby around them and also having things organized.  And I’m glad to see that the submissions featured are those who are professionals, freelancers, etc. than just otaku students with their computers and their dolls and action figures.  You’ll notice that a lot of the submissions are from people who work in multimedia and design.  But occasionally you will find those who are in political science, those who run a film festival, those who are programmers, those who are editors, etc.

Overall, I really enjoyed the third book in the “Otacool” series.  The first focused on worldwide otaku rooms, the second on worldwide cosplayers but this is one that caught my eye and overall, it’s a pretty fun book.  Granted, you can find some of these photos and user submissions on Danny Choo’s website but for the professionals featured, you’ll need to check out “Otacool Three: Worldwide Workspaces”.

Definitely recommended!

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