Ok, Patrick here to deliver the skinny on how we did it. The triumph. The tragedy. The tonkatsu. How did Yuu Asakawa and myself manage to pull ourselves together long enough to deliver yet another episode of our humble little web show: OTAKU-VERSE ZERO?!?!
This one is our big new year’s spectacular complete with games, fabulous prizes, and a surprise appearance by a plate of deep fried pork. And truth be told right off the bat… we filmed it in early December! That’s right! We’re only pretending that 2011 has already begun. Co-host Yuu Asakawa is, of course, a highly trained actress (her vocal talents in Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo are proof enough), so she can fake it like a pro. But I’m just a humble writer and editor. So it took all my strength to try and deceive the viewing audience that father time had gone ahead and flipped the clock forward.
Part of my strategy involved dressing for the occasion. As keen-eyed viewers of OVZ have noticed, my usual attire is normally a black T-shirt with some kind of goofy pop culture reference on it, a la the EC Comics logo or Wars Man from Kinnikuman. Well, this time, I busted out an actual suit jacket (!!!) and then proceeded to pair it with a white T-shirt from the Famous Monsters of Filmland stable.
Meanwhile, Yuu showed up at the studio that day sporting one of those gauze cold masks that Japanese people love to wear. I asked her if she was, like, not feeling well or something, but she said she was fine. Which makes me wonder if she’d just held up a nearby convenience store using her cold mask as some sort of cunning disguise. Or—since the studio we shoot at is located in Akihabara—maybe she figured that this was the best way to avoid being recognized by throngs of adoring anime otaku.
Either way, the filming of the episode went in very much the same fashion as you see it in the final product. My knowledge of Japanese new year’s traditions had hitherto been limited to sitting around under a kotatsu heater table, eating food, and watching the annual Red and White Singing Contest on NHK, so this was a genuine learning experience for me… as it was for Yuu, who apparently had never played fukuwarai (or as I like to call it, “pin the face on the face”) before!
We shot three additional episodes that day, to be unfurled later in 2011. Afterwards, Yuu and I had worked up quite a hunger. So, we went out for big heaping plates of TONKATSU at the nearby Akihabara UDX building. She regaled me with tales of life in the trenches of the anime voice acting industry while I stuffed my face content in the knowledge that a year revolving around deep fried pork and Otaku-Verse Zero was within my grasp… and yours!
See you next week!
Patrick Macias is the editor in chief of Otaku USA magazine. His blog can be found online at www.patrickmacias.blogs.com