What should your identity be in the Metaverse? NFT Avatars, Anime and Japanese Bikers in this interview with Creative Director BOSO TOKYO

In this interview, I speak with Afromance (Riichiro Nakama), Brand Creative Director for NFT avatars, BOSO TOKYO, and President of Creative Company Afro & Co. We discuss the identity-defying brand idea of ​​Metaverse and the future of Web 3.0 technology.

U.Today: Hi Afromance, Nice to meet you! You are the Creative Director of BOSO TOKYO. First, I would like to discuss your previous background. When did your interest in coding and NFTs begin and why?

Fromence: glad to meet you. I am Afromance, President of Creative Afro & Co. She has been involved in a variety of projects, including the launch of ‘awapa’, a foam party where people are covered in lots of bubbles, creating a movement in Japan, and the launch of ‘Burning Japan’, a regional Burning Man event in Japan . Recently, I’ve had more opportunities to connect with technology, and have worked with Psychic VR Lab and Neji Sato on an XR project called “RPG Restaurant”, where people wear VR head mounts, enter the world of RPG games and eat food in real life.

I had heard about cryptocurrency and NFT from creators and friends around me and was interested in them, but my participation in this project was an opportunity for me to learn more about it.

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Boso Tokyo
Boso Tokyo. Photo via bosotokyo.com

Yo today: So, let’s go back to BOSO TOKYO. Your goal is to create a unique avatar that can be used in different Metaverses. This seems to be the first time I’ve heard of something like this. Can you give us more details? How does this work?

Fromence: We believe that when the age of many Metaverses arrives in the future, it will be important for individuals to have identities that can be recognized in the same way across different Metaverses through avatars.

Since the Metaverse is an entirely digital space, it can be copied and manipulated, the problem is that identities that are supposed to be unique can be copied by others, which means no identity. NFT, the blockchain technology, solves this problem. Self-creation is completed in the Metaverse with NFT.

Each individual must create an identity in every Metaverse. We believe that an avatar is meaningless unless it can be used with the same identity in any Metaverse, and BOSO TOKYO is the first such brand.

Yo today: As we’re talking, you’ve just launched your site. What is your next step?

Fromence: We are planning various events to promote Japanese culture to the world. Today, we are happy to announce the launch party for BOSO TOKYO at the WOMB Grand Club in Shibuya. After that, we will continue to hold various events in Tokyo, Shibuya. There are already people cooperating with BOSO TOKYO, we will release information in the near future, so please look for it.

Today: the design of the entire BOSO TOKYO website, the company name and concepts, the artists working on the project – everything is related to Japanese culture, most of which is related to anime. Does this mean that all of your art will be in the same style?

Fromence: The project aims to introduce Japanese culture to the world. Of course there is an animation culture in Japan.

On the other hand, the core concept of BOSO TOKYO is inspired by Japan’s unique motorcycle gang culture, “BOSO-ZOKU” more than animation. The image of motorcyclists riding motorcycles in search of freedom is a symbol of freedom. Their motto, “Tenjo Tenge Yuiga dokuson”, expresses their belief that individuals are the most precious and precious beings in the entire universe. Inspired by this emerging sense of independence and the impetus to rush into a new world, BOSO TOKYO raises the flag of “Denjo denge Yuiga dokuson” as it passes through the Metaverse in search of freedom in a Web3 world free of various restrictions.

Boso Tokyo
Boso Tokyo. Photo via bosotokyo.com

BOSO means “crazy speed, crazy drift”. Culture from BOSO-ZOKU. We believe that by blending the worldview of cyber sci-fi in which animation excels with the unique culture of the biker gang, we can create art and culture with authenticity.

BOSO TOKYO’s lead designer is Hidetaka Tenjin, who worked on mechanical designs for Star Wars and Gundam. It is also completely inspired by this theme and “BOSO”. Everyone will see some original and powerful designs that take advantage of Tenjin’s area of ​​expertise when the design is public.

U.Today: Do you have your own NFT set? If so, please mention some of the things you collected.

Afromance: I don’t have one yet, lol. BOSO TOKYO will be my first set.

Yu Today: Why, in your opinion, are Metaverses so popular? Why do people want to live in a virtual world?

Fromence: People have always wanted freedom. This includes freedom to experiment and create, such as the desire to fly, go into space, or have whatever style they want, as well as freedom in the sense of spiritual independence – not wanting to be at someone else’s disposal and call.

I think the current situation is that technology and the environment have finally caught up with the possibility to have the freedom that people are basically looking for. Of course, reality is not always a dream in which everything is going well, but at least people all over the world feel that new experiences and excitement await them that were not available to mankind until now.

U.Today: Do you think Web 3.0 will solve the problems (Web2) in the previous version? If so, how?

Fromence: What is needed to solve the problem is mechanism and culture.

Web 3.0 is about to change various mechanisms, starting with blockchain technology. In other words, the hardware is about to update. However, unless the culture(s) of how people act, how they feel, and what they value is also updated, nothing fundamentally changes.

I love burning man culture. At first glance, it may seem like a fancy festival, but at its core, it’s all about respect for others, the beauty of self-expression, and the warm acceptance of new cultures that don’t match one’s feelings. I think such a culture is necessary.

On the other hand, I don’t think that culture can be created just by trying. One of my favorite thoughts is that “play comes before every culture”. In Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga, he says that culture arises through the accumulation of play as a result of research into human history.

So, I believe that instead of having tough discussions about Web 3.0, playing as much as we want in this world full of possibilities will create a future culture and also solve current problems.

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