1. It’s been about two years since you were declared America’s Greatest Otaku. What have you been up to since then?
I have been interviewed on two public access Television shows The Nova Comic Book show and the Bannister Banter Show both filmed in Fairfax, Virginia, two Podcast DC Geeks (http://blog.dc-geeks.com/2012/08/podcast-interview-with-dc-anime-club.html) and Anime 3000 (http://www.anime3000.com/a3k-network/152-a3k-radio/1110-americas-greatest-otaku-a3k-radio.html#), The Tokyopop Newsletter(http://www.nerdistnews.com/region/tokyopop/catch-him-if-you-can-americas-greatest-otaku-christopher-wanamaker), Blogs have talked about me as America’s Greatest Otaku such as this one http://otakunagawa.tumblr.com/post/28973402459/arisu-irene-von-gothique-now-for-some-reason#notes
Even Otaku USA Editor in Chief Patrick Marcia’s Interviewed me for his upcoming book Fierce Legend of American Otaku People (http://patrickmacias.blogs.com/er/2007/01/legends_of_amer.html). Back in 2011 two other blogs have talked about me as America’s Greatest Otaku:
and I was interviewed by Joygasm (http://www.joygazm.com/?p=1902&fb_source=message).
Otakon put the following on their Facebook and twitter “DC/Baltimore Represent. America’s Greatest Otaku is local!”
“Well, Chris is from DC, but we wanted to claim him too 🙂 So we treat DC/Baltimore as a metro and everyone wins!”
I am also now a hot celebrity geek on the league of hot geeks Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.144880238860499.27717.144596955555494&type=3) Please like the pic of me. 🙂
As America’s Greatest Otaku I have attend a fundraiser to help the victims of the Tsunmi in Japan at the Embassy of Japan donating what I can. Hey if I got all this money to buy anime, manga and toys etc than I can give to others. Said Japan ICU(www.jicuf.org) “It was Wonderful to see you, as America’s Greatest Otaku, and our new ICU President, Dr.Junko Hibiya, was very happy to see you as well.”
I will continue to attend any and all local fundraiser that help the Tsunami Victims of Japan. I asked the folks of Tokyopop if I could set up my own fan page about being America’s Greatest Otaku. (https://www.facebook.com/AmericasGreatestOtakuChrisWanamaker?ref=hl), sort of a thank to all the those who voted for me as America’s Greatest Otaku fan favorite.
The folks of MTV Geek have interviewed me as well and it was awesome. It was a two part interview:
I recently did my first photo shoot as America’s Greatest Otaku thanks to Guardians performance group (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guardians-Performance-Group/247016835342253) member Tia Polite as the photographer and Craig Vaughn DC Anime Club(www.dcanimeclub.org) photographer who took pics of behind the scenes of the America’s Greatest Otaku photo shoot. Pics will be used for my new promo poster set to debut at this years Otakon in the dealer room and will exclusively appear on my fanpage. I am still waiting to hear from the folks of MTV Geek about the job I applied for as a blogger. During my interview at the Nova comic book show there was an idea to have an America’s Greatest Otaku Comic book. So right now I am waiting on a yea or nay from the folks of Tokyopop about having permission to make this happen and some people on my fan page have shown enthusiasm toward the project.
2. What’s your con schedule like in the coming months? Do you have any special cosplays planned?
Right now I plan to attend Otakon, Katsucon, Anime USA, Tigercon and Gamer Symphony Orchestra. Cosplay wise I am trying something that I like to call “Not quite Cosplay”. It’s when I put on Super Hero t-shirts with role play toys. I.E. Batman shirt with the roleplay toy the Wing cape, the gauntlet batman wears in the Dark Knight movie and of course the famous utility belt. I love roleplay toys and hope do reviews of the latest toys that geeks can look forward to on television someday.
3. Looking back on AGO (America’s Greatest Otaku), what was your favorite part of the experience?
Of course I am going to say going to Tokyo, Japan. LOL but just to learn more about the country besides just J-pop culture related goods we see here in America. The Fashion, how people in Japan interact with each other. I really felt spoiled by the Butler Café rather than the Maid Café. The arcades in Akihabara were insane. Were talking at least 4 floors of Arcade games. When in Takeshita Street cosplaying as Mario from Super Mario Bros. I got mobbed by a lot of people wantingto take my picture.
4. How was the trip to Japan? Have you gone back since you won AGO?
I learned a lot but sadly I have not gone back to Japan. Though I hope to go back someday and take my wife with me. I am sure she would love to visit the GhibliMuseum since she is an HUGE Miyazaki fan along with Sanrio home of Hello Kitty.
5. How was winning AGO impacted your life?
At this point I can’t go to any Geek related event without someone recognizing me as America’s Greatest Otaku but at the same time I had to put up with a lot of trolls and haters who would go as far as taking my picture from the America’s Greatest Otaku TV show out of context. Even to calling me the “N” word and criticize my cosplay outfits calling them “ratty”. I try not to let that get to me since the thing about haters is they waste their energy on you and trying to tear you down but that energy they use could be use get what they envy about you. I remember going to an anime store and the store owner made fun of me for saying that I am America’s Greatest Otaku. Needless to say I never shopped at his store after that. While the owner is entitled to his opinion you NEVER insult the customer.
6. The new console generation is right around the corner. What about it are you most excited for?
At this point I may just wind up getting a WiiU. I grew up with Nintendo and think it’s brilliant how Nintendo focus on game play rather than graphics. I could not stop looking at the new Super Smash Bros. trailer featuring the blue bomber himself, Megaman(Rockman). That made me want to play the game now.
7. What have you been reading and watching recently? Anything interesting you’d like to recommend?
Justice League and Minority super heroes such as Miles Morales as Spiderman and old trade paper backs of Black Panther to even Wonder Woman. To those of you who want more diversity in your comics support these characters or create your own diverse hero comic books to sale. As for Television shows I am watching Arrow on the CW and the current Marvel Universe and DC Nation Animation blocks. Anime wise I am old school to a little new school such as Afro Samurai to back in the day Windaria. I look forward to when Discotek media releases Captain Harlock on DVD. That was the first anime I watched when the late Carl Macek dubbed that Anime with Fredd Patten working behind the scenes.
8. What would you like to say to otaku and geek fans who may be ashamed of their interests or ridiculed for them?
I would point out how they can turn their passion into a career. Artist, Costumers, voice acting etc. Then when your making buko bucks off of what you love you can look back at those who made fun of you when you were Growing up watching anime and reading laugh back at those who laughed at you after you turn your passion into a career.
9. You had to demonstrate a great love and knowledge for manga, anime, and Japanese games to win AGO. However, what avenues are there left for you to explore? What would you like to learn more about?
Right now I am trying to go beyond J-pop culture to become the geek of all geeks. Kinda like what TBS has that King of the Nerds show but I rather earn the respect and title through the fans like what Steve Pearl did to back in 1995 with the title of “American Otaking”. It’s not about the fame it’s the respect. Remember Knowledge is nothing unless you don’t use it.
10. Finally, what are your hopes for the future of anime, manga, and otaku culture?
I hope the fandom of J-pop culture continues to grow in America and that we erase the ugly stain that people see in the word Otaku. I mean it’s a word and through my actions as America’s Greatest Otaku I wish to not only become an Ambassador for the American anime fans out there but show Otaku/anime fans, J-pop culture enthusiast or whatever you choose to call yourself out there to actually look like decent human beings instead of the embarrassment that the media may depict all fans in fandom to be.
This interview was conducted by J1 Studios intern, Madison Hughes.