International Project will start on May/19 11:00 AM JST!

Project start date

We are happy to announce that this project will be launched here on Tokyo Mirai Mode on MAY/19 11:00 (JST), witch is MAY/18 19:00 (PDT) !
A promotional live stream featuring Megumi Ogata will be made through TOM’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tokyootakumode/) 30 minutes before the project is launched.

Why produce an album through a crowdfunding project?

-Full message from Ogata-

Why am I doing this through crowdfunding, you ask?
I have two main reasons.

  1. To provide genuine content to Japanese fans and also fans around the world at the very same time
  2. To raise awareness in Japan and overseas about the current status of our industry

“Cool Japan”.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve heard that phrase.
Japanese music is fantastic; anime and manga from Japan are indeed “cool”.
Japanese culture is something that we can proudly present to the world.

Hearing those praises brings joy to my heart.
I’m proud to have worked in this “cool” industry for twenty-five years. This journey has made me very, very happy.

But I have to say that, in reality, “Cool Japan” is a concept that is rather isolated.

When I first learned about the popularity of Japanese animation overseas, I was ecstatic.
And when I found out that I had fans overseas who liked me, a Japanese voice actress who performed in Japanese, I felt astonished.

Could it really be true? Why though? Wouldn’t they prefer dubbed versions instead?
Are fans overseas really listening to our original voice acting in Japanese?
To be honest, I couldn’t believe it at first.

However, I would occasionally receive letters from fans that were written in different languages (some fans even made impressive efforts to write in Japanese). There were also fans who would come all the way to Japan just to see me during live performances or other events. Based on what I received and what I saw, I knew it had to be true… and the truth really warmed my heart.

There are some things that can trascend language barriers.
The emotions of the original cast - who convey the words of the director and worked on producing animations from scratch with the art staff - are reaching fans around the world
I think it’s absolutely fantastic and it made me amazingly happy.

About ten years ago, I began to receive invitations to anime festivals around the world almost every year. When I arrived, the fans would always welcome me with incredible passion. That’s especially true when I visit as a singer. The energy and love I feel on stage as I sing is unbelievable. The reactions I receive overseas are often stronger than that from an audience in Japan. I’m thoroughly impressed each and every time I’m abroad - so much that I wish I could hold a live performance in a different country every year!

It doesn’t matter where I go, though… Even when I’m in Japan, my messages about new DVDs or albums on social media are often met with questions and comments such as:

“Where can I buy a genuine copy of the CD or DVD?”
“If only I could get an authentic version of your products…”

As you may already know, the CDs and DVDs that we produce in Japan are difficult to obtain outside of Japan. I don’t mean the pirated and illegally distributed versions. The genuine copies of our CDs and DVDs are difficult to obtain. As authentic routes of distribution are scarce, fans are generally required to import them privately and pay hefty shipping fees.

Many Japanese artists want foreign audiences to watch their content and listen to what they have to offer. Some upload samples and short promotional videos on YouTube. There are times when artists would even include English subtitles for those who need them.

Despite these efforts, those videos are often unaccessible.

When YouTube RED was launched, many countries lost access to videos published from Japan due to copyright issues. The number of such countries continues to increase. Even those who have access the content now may eventually lose it.

Through platforms such as iTunes and Amazon, fans in Japan are able to purchase content produced overseas. However, the system is currently set up in a way that prevents content produced in Japan from being delivered to fans overseas.

While exceptions do exist, there are obstacles preventing fans outside of Japan from accessing genuine Japanese music and video content through authentic routes of distribution. Those obstacles are still very much in place.

Sure, there are many legal and authentic sources available. Some countries have pay television services that offer unlimited access to Japanese anime, and others might have agents who have wholesale contracts and provide entire nations with anime content. I believe many fans are using those legal and authentic sources when they watch anime overseas (thank you very much!).

Unfortunately, the amount of pirated and illegally distributed content significantly outweighs the legal and authentic.

As a result, Japanese animation companies are facing immense pressure, and many of them have been forced to declare bankruptcy.
Japanese Voice actors, voice actresses, and artists - like myself - are losing their workplaces. That’s how things currently stand in our industry.

We want to share our music and other creations with our fans, no matter where they reside. Fans overseas often ask us how they can gain access to more of our content, too.

I spent a long, long time pondering over this issue.
What can I do to overcome this invisible wall separating the fans and myself?
There has to be something that even I can do, right?

The conclusion I came to was to utilize the power of crowdfunding.
The ability for crowdfunding projects to “return” benefits to its backers might be just what I need to overcome the wall obstructing distribution.
It could allow everyone to receive what they’re looking for.

The more research I do, however, the taller the wall seems to extend.

But the height of the obstacle doesn’t matter. I want to share my work with everyone around the world who has supported me. I want them to receive genuine copies of my content at the same time as the Japanese fans. With trustworthy partners, I want to proudly deliver a product with “Japanese quality”.

This year marks my 25th debut anniversary, and it just might be the year to set everything in motion.

When these thoughts struck my mind, I went ahead and consulted other members in the industry about them. My fans in Japan also helped me brainstorm and search for possibilities.

“We want to share the pleasure of receiving something on the day it’s released with fans living outside of Japan”.
“We would like to celebrate music and creativity with fans around the world”.

We all thought long and hard, together.
And now, to transform those thoughts into reality, I propose to you this special project.

Megumi Ogata


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