Otaku USA Magazine
Secrets of the Otaku-verse

Hey, this is Patrick!

Since a new episode of my wacky web show OTAKU-VERSE ZERO (co-hosted by comely and alluring voice actress Yuu Asakawa) has gone on-line this week, I figured this would be as good a time as any to take a few minutes and talk about the behind the scenes story behind the making of the episode itself.

The theme for episode four is “Asakusa”. Some of you might now be wondering, what the heck is an “Asakusa” anyways, and is it dangerous?

Asakusa is a ward in Tokyo. The heart of the shitamachi or downtown area, it is the site of one of Japan’s most historical Shinto shrines, a laugh riot of hilarious tourist crap, and a place where you can find some fantastically authentic Japanese food.

Before World War 2, Asakusa was were Tokyo-ites went to PARTY. The area was famed for its low-class but lots ‘o fun amusements like kabuki theater, comedy shows, cabarets complete with can can girls, freak shows, and some of the earliest movie theaters found in Asia. Eventually, people started to migrate to other wards like Shibuya and Shinjuku to get their kicks, but some of the rough and tumble magic of the bygone days still seems to swirl around Asakusa. And so… I LIKE IT!

So when the show’s director told me that we’d be filming on location in the area, I was predictably thrilled. Although, it sounded like the emphasis would be on Sensoji Temple and the ancient traditional side of Asakusa. To be real honest, praying and purification are not my strong points! So preparing for this segment was indeed, as I say in the episode itself, “educational.”

Trolling the area looking for amusing junk and souvenirs comes a bit more naturally. I’ve practiced for years on drunken rampages in San Francisco’s Chinatown and Mission districts, places whose mix of history and tackiness is not all that different from Asakusa’s minus a few thousand years or so. Why did I buy a silly battery-powered toy that would fail to amuse even a small kitten for more than a few minutes for my co-host? BECAUSE A VOICE INSIDE MY HEAD TOLD ME SO!

We also filmed at another location in Asakusa that day, but the exact details must remain a secret for now. So stay tuned to OTAKU VERSE-ZERO to see what manner of madness I’ll be thrown into next…

Patrick Macias is the editor in chief of Otaku USA magazine. His blog can be found online at www.patrickmacias.blogs.com