I have been reading manga and watching anime since I was little. It’s a common thing in Indonesia. I remember my mother jokingly said that Japan has never really stopped invading our country since kids my age grew up surrounded by vast amount of Japanese entertainment.
But when we reached a certain age, namely puberty, some of us stopped reading and watching them. Some of us became the slaves of MTV, courtesy of another kind of invasion… cable TV.
As for me, I didn’t stop completely. You can even say that it grew a little bit. I watch a couple animes and follow some mangas, albeit not to the point where one might label me as an ‘otaku’ (people with an alarming addiction and obsession to anime and manga). I also love learning about new cultures and due to my anime and manga’s little fixation, it is just natural for me to be fascinated by Japanese culture.
So when I was searching for a website to present for my Online Journalism class, I was quite excited to discover the ultimate and exceptionally comprehensive site within this genre. As the ‘Most Influential Anime Blog‘ in the Anime Blog Awards, Danny Choo’s website is ‘the’ library, the shrine…no, ‘the’ Mecca for every living and breathing otaku in the planet.
According to his site, Danny Choo is a Chinese-Malaysian descent who was born and raised in London, England. He then moved to Japan where he eventually started this website. His website contains the latest, weirdest and funniest articles and news concerning anime, figurines, Japanese idol girls and life in Japan.
He gives the latest news, events and updates on gundam and figurines. He also gives reviews and articles on Japanese animation with almost all of the posts in his website receiving more than 100 comments!
So, you must be thinking, “If I’m not interested in any of those stuff, why should I bother visit this website?”
Here’s 5 reasons why:
1. Because you must LOVE to travel ( I mean, who doesn’t?)
And if you love to travel, Japan is unmissable! I went to Japan twice and I almost hated myself for not discovering this website sooner. Danny Choo often writes articles about places to go in Japan, topped with really nice pictures. Eventhough it’s not as straightforward or as detailed as the Lonely Planet or other travel sites, the writing makes it more personal and it gives the reader, a sense of inspiration. For example, this makes me really want to go and see that Great Buddha and those cute little guardian statues, while this makes me want to go to Japan, just to take a hot bath… NOW!
2. Because you must LOVE to eat!
For me, looking at different pictures of food is a satisfaction by itself. It makes me wonder about its taste and its smell. But this or this or this (cue the drooling) is just… another level of satisfaction. Or maybe I’m being biased as I am fasting while writing this post. So you be the judge!
3. Because you must LOVE to read about interesting albeit wacky stuff!
Learning about new cultures is always interesting!
4. Because after you do all the above, you must have fallen in love with Japan and consider moving there!
Danny Choo gave really informative articles about living in Japan. Not only that it’s informative, readers will no doubt found it reliable since Danny himself had done all of those when he relocate to Japan from London. So why not take his word?
5. Because after a while you will become addicted to the site and wants to be a part of it!
What I think is also very very interesting about his website is that readers and viewers can register and log in into the site. As part of the ‘membership’, readers can participate in uploading the news, commenting on Danny’s or fellow readers’ articles, joining the poll and update their puchi blurbs (which is similar to twitter). This, I think, is what making his site very very popular. New guests and current members will keep checking his site for more news updates or if another member replies to their comments.
This website is a great example of a personal website which eventually turned into a succesfull online ‘forum’ with 20.1 million page views generated by 2.9 million visitors in May 2008. Its success has also been recognized by others, as proven by the numerous media publication on the website.
For me, his website gives me inspiration. I love writing about food, travel and culture and maybe one day people will be bookmarking and making a home page out of my Virania Munaf dot com!