Sebastian Masuda and Rin Kaname (of Dempagumi.inc) to Be Judges for the Second Round of Gemstone's Creators Audition

GEMSTONE is an audition project created by Toho Co., Ltd. and ALPHABOAT in order to discover talented creators through video submissions.

Sebastian Masuda and Rin Kaname (from the idol group Dempagumi.inc) have been decided as judges for the second round of the audition project, which encourages applicants from around the world to submit original characters based on a theme of “With Japan!”

With this project, Toho and ALPHABOAT plan to use YouTube to discover raw talent (such as animators, illustrators, songwriters, singers, actors, and other talented individuals) and work with the artists to give them an even bigger platform.

Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc., a company that spreads proud Japanese otaku subculture to the world, will also be working with the companies on the theme of “With Japan!”. following the first round's theme of “Godzilla.” Japan has become renowned for its wide range of pop culture, which includes otaku culture like anime and manga, but also concepts like “kawaii.” 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.

The way to apply is to submit a 3-minute-long explanation video. The content of the video, such as a presentation or short animation, is up to you, as long as it's a video you made to explain the character's charms and point of view.

All submissions that pass the first round will be uploaded to GEMSTONE's official YouTube channel and impartially judged by a number of judges who are at the forefront of Japanese pop culture.

The first judge of the “With Japan!” character audition we would like to introduce is Sebastian Masuda, an artist and expert in Japan's “kawaii” culture. Next is Rin Kaname, a member of the idol group Dempagumi.inc who also publishes manga and illustrations under the pen name Perorin-sensei. Finally, we have Keiji Ota, Executive Film Producer (and Chief Godzilla Officer) as well as Wakana Okumura, a producer known for her work on Haikyu!! and My Hero Academia, from Toho.

The creators chosen as finalists will be given the right to appear in the official ceremony of New York's biggest anime convention, Anime NYC. Also, other prizes include cash (a total of one million yen) and the chance to develop a new project with Toho, ALPHABOAT, and Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc.

The three companies will continue to come up with new themes and audition plans in the future to share the works of GEMSTONE's applicants through the GEMSTONE YouTube channel and SNS while proactively discovering new creators.

■Information about the Judges■
[Sebastian Masuda]
Artist/Art Director
Born in 1970.
After working in the theater and modern art circles, he opened his shop 6%DOKIDOKI in Harajuku in 1995.
In 2011, his artistic work on Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's “PONPONPON” music video gathered attention from around the world. In the summer of 2015, KAWAII MONSTER CAFE opened in Harajuku as the largest cafe in Tokyo which Masuda produced the concept, art, and staging for. Since 2014, he has been working as an artist based out of New York.
Currently, he is exhibiting an art project entitled “TIME AFTER TIME CAPSULE” in preparation
for 2020.
In 2017, he was a cultural envoy for Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs.

[Rin Kaname (A member of Dempagumi.inc)]
160 cm (5'3”) / September 21st / A blood type / from Saitama Prefecture
Catchphrase: I'm your girlfriend who can even draw illustrations! ♡
An idol and mangaka/illustrator who writes under the pen name Perorin-sensei and publishes her manga, which depicts her interactions with fans in a satirical manner, on SNS.
Favorite Color: Egg yellow
Otaku Genre: DIY

[Keiji Ota (Director of Motion Picture Group/Chief Godzilla Officer at Toho Co., Ltd.)]

[Wakana Okamura (Film/Anime Producer at Toho Co., Ltd.)]
Producer for TV anime series Haikyu!! and My Hero Academia

GEMSTONE Creators' Audition: Details

● The theme of the second audition is “With Japan!”
○ We will accept applications from around the world for an original character that can be internationally loved using the theme of “Japan”.
● Application Period: Monday, July 1st to 6:00 PM (JST) on Monday, September 2, 2019.
● The entries that pass the first round will be announced on GEMSTONE's official YouTube channel after September.
● Cash Prize: One million yen
● The winner will have the chance to produce projects with Toho Co., Ltd., ALPHABOAT, and Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc.
● Judges: Sebastian Masuda, Rin Kaname (Perorin-sensei), Keiji Ota, and Wakana Okamura
● Official Site: https://gemstoneaudition.com
● GEMSTONE Official Twitter: @GEMSTONE_JP

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