In 2001 I was visiting Tokyo and met many new friends, one of whom was bubbly voice actress Futamura Kaori. I had a cool idea – what if we made a show starring her which taught Japanese speakers American slang? Somehow we never got around to doing it; my work got in the way and we lacked the funds to put such a thing together.
It’s more than 10 years later, and the whole world has access to YouTube on their phones. Enter bubbly 24-year old Jessica Beinecke (written up here by the Washington Post), a sparkly blonde fluent in Chinese, teaching Chinese speakers American slang. Pretty cool.
The difference (I mean aside from someone actually executed on the idea and invested money into it!) is mostly technology and market – there are now markets available to watch such a show, and easy ways to get it out there.
I have mixed feelings on it. Like everyone, I always feel the twinge of jealousy that accompanies “hey I thought of that!” – even if it’s totally irrational. But OMGmeiyu is definitely slicker than what I would have put together in 2001, and it’s yet another project I can let go, because now someone has already done it, and done it well. Kudos!