Things that fried rice taught me

An amazing collage made of the Friend Rice pictures.

Whenever I do a big project that takes up a lot of my time, I feel the need to “write it off” after I’m done with it. It’s kind of a finalizing action to wrap it up all nicely and move on to other things. I think Friend Rice Event qualifies, since it ended up being way bigger than we expected. You see, there’s something we forgot…

“Do not underestimate anything that involves TIGER & BUNNY.”

We came up with the idea for the event in the middle of the night after watching episode 24. Aki wanted to make fried rice for episode 25 watch even though she had no idea how to cook it, so I said I’d make some too and serve it to Kotetsu and Barnaby and take a picture to post here at Sternbild. Aki wanted to do that too and then we thought it’d be fun if more people would join and send us photos of their fried rice with Tiger & Bunny characters. It really was a total spur of a moment thing that took us less than an hour to draft, make a banner and post. I thought that if we’d get a couple of dozen photos it’d already be awesome. Aki was a bit more ambitious and expected around 50 photos.

I was going to upload the photos and build the gallery only after the time was up, but by Tuesday morning we’d already received over 30 and the submissions were picking up speed. I realized I had to start working on it or it would turn into a mission impossible before we even hit the deadline. (It was a good decision. I’d been uploading and arranging the photos every day, so it only took a few hours after the deadline to get the final batch sorted out. That’s why we could publish the gallery so fast.) Then Japanese fans got interested in the event, too, so I decided we’d take submissions also on Twitter to make it easier for them.

A few people sent in cosplay photos, but we had decided that we wouldn’t accept those – the event was going to be about food and the characters themselves. We should probably have been more clear about this in the post, but since there were so few cosplay submissions, I think the instructions we gave were good as they were. There were a few photos I had to reject – some had food but no characters, some were inappropriate while trying to be funny. All in all, everyone really did their best for the event and it was exciting to see how creative the submissions were.

We received so many emails that we couldn’t respond to them personally. We really wanted to, because so many of you included messages also to me and Aki, telling how much fun you had with the event and cooking the food, picking the screencap to use, setting the table… Some of you even sent photos of yourselves cooking. Thank you, everyone! We’ve read every single message to us and we’re really happy you enjoyed the event so much.

“Expect the unexpected, and unexpected again.”

I know that many fans are following the staff and cast members on Twitter. It has made me see them as people, not just detached names and/or voices on screen – maybe it’s the same with you? Our wish was to show the people behind Tiger & Bunny in some way that we really love the show, and that we appreciate how hard they worked on it, even when they were told to give up. It was amazing to see how many wanted to take part in the event and send in pictures. We knew that getting a reply was a longshot at best, but despite that we wanted to try and reach at least one of the creators of Tiger & Bunny to pass our message and the photos to them.

The response the gallery got when it was published was overwhelmingly positive. It was featured on at least three different otaku news sites in Japan (and I was getting worried we couldn’t endure the amount of traffic we got – roughly 40 times our normal daily pageviews in just 24 hours), but that was just the beginning. Our message was acknowledged by director Satou Keiichi himself, who posted his thanks on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/#!/satokeiichiree/status/115920485153390592

We thought that was all, and we were really happy that the gallery had reached Director Satou. But just like in the lyrics of Orion wo Nazoru it couldn’t possibly end there. You really can’t imagine our surprise in the afternoon when I checked the webstats and saw an incoming link from screenwriter Nishida Masafumi’s blog. It felt totally unreal and I think we cried a little, too, when we read his response and how moved he was by all the food everyone had cooked. He had been worried about Barnaby’s line about fried rice in episode 24, so this must have made the response to it even more touching.

That still wasn’t enough, Executive Producer Ozaki Masayuki also responded on Twitter.

I know some Japanese fans who had been playing with the idea for Tiger & Bunny café, and personally I’m happy and excited that they’ll get to experience it. I hope we’ll get to see some pictures from there! (Anime theme cafés are pretty popular in Japan. Some are limited time events, some are more permanent.)

On September 18th, Executive Producer Ozaki posted on Twitter how Tiger & Bunny has fans all around the world, and how the series connects people despite differences in language and culture. Even if we don’t speak the same language well, we can still communicate, and in a way all of us fans are citizens of Sternbild. The event submissions were on the last stretch at the time Mr. Ozaki posted that update, and to me it felt really accurate and touching. The pictures we received were from all continents, after all. I’m betting I’m not the only one who’s made new friends from other countries thanks to Tiger & Bunny, and I’ve heard of Westerners starting to learn Japanese because of it, and of Japanese people wanting to learn more English. We’re proud of being among the amazing group of people that fans of Tiger & Bunny around the world are.

To everyone who took part in the event, whether it was in spirit or by sending photos: you made this happen. Thank you! And again, thank you!

Sternbild Friend Rice Event Complete Gallery

A huge THANK YOU, and again THANK YOU!

ありがとう!そして、ありがとう!

We received photos from over 300 people from all around the world, and many people sent several. We’re so happy that Japanese fans sent photos too.

We would also like to thank everyone for the messages and thanks to us two. Reading about how much fun everyone had while cooking made us really happy, and it was all of you who turned this event into a great success!

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世界中のファンたちからいただいた写真の数は300枚を超えました。欧米のファンたちはもちろん、日本人の方からも写真をいただいたことは光栄だと感じております。

様々な方から「ありがとう」というメッセージをメールやツイッターでいただいたことも心の底から感謝しております。皆さんの料理の経験の話を読むたびに大変感動していきました。このイベントが大成功になったことは、参加してくださった皆さんのご協力と努力のおかげです。

Friend Rice Event Photo Gallery

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Please note: We are keeping all the emails with event submissions until September 30th, just incase there are any miscredited pictures or missing comments. After that they will be deleted. No personal information or email addresses will be shared with a third party. Please contact us via email mail[at]thisissternbild.com or on Twitter @ThisIsSternbild if you have any issues or concerns. If your issue is with any of the gallery photos, please include the number it has in the gallery.

Sternbild Friend Rice Event

↓↓↓ 日本人のタイバニファンも参加できます! ↓↓↓
英語を喋ることができなくてもいいですよ。

So, Aki and I were talking about making fried rice next week (I think she’s never eaten fried rice before, the horror!) and I said I would put pictures of Kotetsu and Barnaby on my screens and set the table and offer them my fried rice. And I’d take a picture of it and post it because I’m a derp like that.

And then we thought that why not get more people to join?

To join the Sternbild Friend Rice Event for the final episode, go and be a true Hero in the kitchen and cook your own fried rice (you can practise first if needed), bake Samantha’s cake, make some tea the way Yuri likes it, get some Pepsi (Nex if you can, whatever they sell where you live if you can’t – I’m stuck with Pepsi Max), or cook up whatever other creative Tiger & Bunny related food you can think of. And then just take a photo of your meal with your favourite T&B character(s)! (In this style.)

You can send us pictures any time during the next week, but because I know some people won’t cook until for the final episode you have until Monday September 19th 12:00 CET (noon) to email us the photos to ThisIsSternbild[at]gmail.com. You can also take part via Twitter, event hashtag is #friendrice and you can tweet your pictures to @ThisIsSternbild. Feel free to include a short comment or description if you want.

We hope we’ll get a lot of pictures! We can’t friend rice the staff & cast of Tiger & Bunny in person, so this is our way of telling all of them how much we love the show. We’re collecting all the pictures into a post here at This is Sternbild and we’ll pass the link to it to executive producer Ozaki.

Next week, on This is Sternbild: The Friend Rice Event. See ya!

Don’t have a picture to use? Don’t worry, we have some here! If a character is missing, leave a comment below and we will try to add him/her!

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日本人のタイバニファンも参加できます!
英語を喋ることができなくてもいいですよ。

この例のように写真を撮って下さい。

ルールは簡単です:タイバニと関係がある食べ物を作って(チャーハン、サマンサーの作ったケーキ、何でもいいですよ)、その食べ物を好きなキャラクターと一緒に食べながら写真を撮って、ツイッター@ThisIsSternbildへ(タグは#friendrice)か以下のメールアドレスに送ってください!写真と一緒にコメントを送ってもいいですよ。

ThisIsSternbild★gmail.com
(★ → @)

締め切りは9月19日(月)。  皆さんからいただいた写真をこのブログに載せて、月曜日に尾崎さんにリンクを送る予定です。
何か質問があったら、コメントで尋ねてください(ツイッターでもいいですよ)。
あきというThisIsSternbildのメンバーが出来るだけ早く日本語で答えます。