Eiko Torikai holds up a manga she worked on that's available in the U.S. photo by Chris Farrell

The Future of Japanese Cool

part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

We're outside a manga comic bookstore in Shibuya, in the heart of Tokyo. Our interpreter, Ignacio, strikes up a conversation with a woman leaving the store. She tells us she's been visiting the manga shop, not for pleasure, but for her job. She was doing research.

Ignacio translates; her work at this company is making anime. So in order to do that, she needs to go and study what the fans are up to, and that's why she comes to Animate.

Eiko Torikai is in her 30s. She has her hair in pigtails and jeans rolled up at the bottom. And these bright red, high-top sneakers.

So we invite ourselves to Eiko's office, which is nearby. And the company she works for is Amuse Soft Entertainment. And it occupies one floor of an office building.

We enter cubicle land here, and there are little conference rooms. Lots of movie posters on the walls, anime posters.

Eiko is an animation producer. Her company converts manga comic books into animated films. And then they sell the DVDs in Japan and other countries, including the U.S.

She's working on a ladies' comic-style war story set in the early 19th century Meiji Period.

Eiko's company specializes in a subgenre of manga and anime: same sex love stories with young men. But the artists are primarily women and the audience is female.

She shows us one series she's worked on that's already on the shelves in the US in comic book form. And the DVDs will be sold in America and probably in Europe as well later this year.

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