Toho, AlphaBoat, Tokyo Otaku Mode Open International Contest for Original Character

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Winner will receive cash prize of 1 million yen, chance to develop project

Toho Co., Ltd. and AlphaBoat's video audition project GEMSTONE is teaming up with Tokyo Otaku Mode to open its doors to international creators for its second contest. This round's theme is “With Japan!” and participants are tasked with creating an original character that embodies this idea.

"We are accepting applications from creators around the world for an original character that can spread Japan's charms, such as tradition, technology, edginess, or kitsch, to the world," GEMSTONE's team said.

GEMSTONE was created to promote artists of all stripes across the world. The project aims to discover raw talent in animation, illustration, songwriting, music, acting, and other fields so that Toho and AlphaBoat can give artists an even bigger platform.

Participants must create a 3-minute-long explanation video of their character. The content of the video can be creative, like a presentation or short animation, so long as it explains the original character's charm and point of view. All submissions that pass the first round will be uploaded to GEMSTONE's official YouTube channel. The creators chosen as finalists will be given the right to appear in the official ceremony at Anime NYC along with cash prizes of 1 million yen (US$9,200) and a chance to develop a new project with Toho, AlphaBoat, and Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc.

Applications open on Monday, July 1 and close on September 2 on the GEMSTONE official website.

The project's first audition call involved the King of Monsters himself, Godzilla. More than 1,000 creators in Japan submitted videos and artwork to GEMSTONE and 11 winners were selected to work with Toho producers. One of the Godzilla audition winners was YELLOW JUNKIE/kyo→ko and they drew the key artwork for the second round of auditions.

Toho and AlphaBoat will continue to create audition projects and upload the submissions to GEMSTONE's official YouTube Channel. The chosen winners will be supported by both companies through offers, such as opportunities to produce videos and to be signed with AlphaBoat for digital management.

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