We got in at the very tail end of an interview opportunity to interview otaku queen Shoko Nakagawa. This Japanese idol, singer, television celebrity, super blogger, voice actress, and illustrator came to America as the guest of honor at Anime Expo 2008. Needless to say, everyone wanted to talk to her, and we had to claw our way to the top just to get in. We only had a few minutes with this star, but we were grateful for every second.
Japanator: Which kind of cat tastes best?
Japanator: Yeah, tastes... which kind of cat tastes best?
Translator: Oh! [she laughs, and then when talking to Shoko-tan, she says "deep kiss," which starts the whole room laughing]
Shoko-tan: The most delicious cat is called Mamitasu, which is my cat. I've had so many cats in my life so far, but Mamitasu is the only female cat. I love her to death. Everyday when I go home, I smell her whole body [room explodes with laughter] and I kiss her fur.
[in English] Smell. Good Smell. [laughter]
I just love her to death. And I've even worked with her in a collaboration with Hello Kitty. Also, I published a mamitasu photobook.
[again, in English, grinning] Mamitasu, good smell.
Japanator: Your blog is incredibly popular. I was wondering if you had any advice fellow bloggers on how to make their blogs as popular as yours is.
Shoko-tan: My advice, if I could give any advice to other bloggers, would be to be free and not care about what other people think. Because that's exactly what I do. You know, I dress up in a cosplay outfit and do cooking and have a picture posted. Or when I feel like smelling my cat's butt [laughter], I do that. You know, stupid things like that.
I just want to leave proof of my life in my blog, and I just want to be as free as possible. Sometimes I'm too free, and my manager will get mad at me.
Japanator: You do so much! In a day's time... it's amazing. There's no way I could post as much as you do!
Shoko-tan: Well, if you wanted to squeeze it all into one post, it would be possible. [laughs]
Japanator: Can you tell us what you think of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann?
Shoko-tan: Gurren Lagann is really a life-changing anime for me. I'm a big fan of Evangelion, and Gurren Lagann is produced by the same company, Gainax. It's their first anime in eleven years, you know, robotic anime in eleven years. Even before I watched the anime, I thought it would be really exciting. And once I watched it, I really got into it. I watched it every day.
I even had an opportunity to sing the theme song for the anime, and it was like a dream come true. By singing the theme song for Gurren Lagann, that expanded possibilities for me as a singer. So, in that sense, I really appreciate that anime. And I heard that Gurren Lagann will be broadcasted in America.
Japanator: Yes, it will.
Shoko-tan: I hope it will be popular here.
Japanator: It will be! And the theme song is great. We love it!
Shoko-tan: Ah! Thank you. [in English] Thank you.
[Thanks to Shoko-tan and Yuriko Inagaki for the interview. Photo by Chie Kato]
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