You’re doing your own thing, living your best life, and you hear the doorbell ring. What could it be? You open the door and you see a TokyoTreat box! Maybe it’s your first box, or maybe you’ve been getting them for years. The suspense and the joyful anticipation can be overwhelming. But nothing can compare with that first bite of your TokyoTreat snack.
The talented Kim Nguyen created a perfect video on what it feels like when your TokyoTreat box arrives, and when you take the first bite! Can anyone else relate?
We had a chance to interview Nguyen, founder of animation studio Soybloq, who also was the project leader of the video! Let’s find out what he said about TokyoTreat, Japan, and his love of animation!
Q: How did you first hear about TokyoTreat? What’s the thing that you enjoy most about TokyoTreat?
A: After lunch we searched for some desserts or candies, and we were a little bit bored, buying the same stuff in our nearest grocery store. Then one day, one of our artists swiped through Instagram and just saw your commercial ad. We can say, that your commercial campaigns on social media really worked out great, haha! 😀
We saw it, we clicked on it, and submitted!
What we really love is the great selection of already known brands but with a monthly update on crazy flavors. Sometimes it’s weird, sometimes it’s great, we love the kind of surprising moments every time we take a bite of something new from the box.
Q: What do you like about Japan? Have you ever been to Japan before?
A: First, I don’t love Japan, I’m obsessed with Japan! 😀
My first time to Japan was in 2013, when I visited my girlfriend in Tokyo. She was already there in 2010 so I heard every time, literally, EVERY TIME, how cool it is in Japan, the kindness of people, the greatness and quality of food, etc. Really, for 3 years I heard how insanely cool it was in Japan, and 3 years later there was finally a chance to see this country, and well, yes, it was one of the biggest moments in my life. When you go to the train after a 12-hours flight, smelling the completely different air on the side of the world, watching Japanese architecture, what you only saw before in animes or movies, flying by while you’re sitting in the train.
For someone, who still can’t even write a proper Japanese sentence, even having several Japanese lessons (yeah, that’s pretty poor, haha) I’m still fascinated by this country and would love to learn more about this country and history, also beyond pop cultural topics. And yeah, I went to Japan also in 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019… and can’t wait to come back, but this time only for food-hopping. 🙂
Q: Who’s your favorite Japanese animator or studio? Do you have any favorite Japanese animators or studios? (If yes, please share who it is). Also, is there any particular Japanese anime that you’re inspired by?
A: I can remember the two big impacts on me from Japanese animation, it was “Grave of the Fireflies” by Isao Takahata and “Neon Genesis Evangelion” by Hideaki Anno. I was 12 years old and in the early 2000’s in Germany, broadcast already having big franchises such as Dragonball, Sailor Moon, Pokémon or Captain Tsubasa, airing mostly kids-teens formats and everyone has watched it. But then I suddenly saw something airing at midnight on another German broadcast, which caught my interest: an anime? But at midnight? It was the first time sitting with my mother crying at the same time while watching an ANIMATION film, I finally realized, that animated content is not only for pre-school or teen audiences, but has finally a reputation to work on social topics.
Years later, I saw another movie from Isao Takahata while sitting in the film school, it was “My Neighbors the Yamadas”. It was so refreshing seeing simplified designs still catches the great emotions and feelings. But my biggest impact was from the one and only Hideaki Anno. Again back as a 12 year-old boy, at midnight, watching Neon Genesis Evangelion airing for the first time in Germany with Original Audio and Subtitles, that was the moment, I was really for the first time mesmerized and decided to go into the animation industry. A mecha action packed anime, combined with social criticism and teens with problems? Since then Evangelion has been my one and only guilty pleasure, and I was really happy to see the final movie last year.
Q: What was the inspiration for creating your TokyoTreat video, and what’s the story you wanted to tell?
A: The video should put everything together with what we experienced, when we get the box! The suspense, the joyful anticipation, and the mouthwatering flavors, the explosions!
With every bite, with every strange new thing we explore, we’re coming closer to the joy of the mouthwatering flavors. So to sum up, it’s everything that we feel when we open the Tokyo Treat box. 🙂
Q: How did you meet Hyperpotions and Surudenise who were involved in the creation of this video?
A: Haha, good old fashioned internet 🙂 When you feed your algorithm with 80’s anime, fanarts and animation I’m sure everyone will hit sooner or later the great works from SURUDENISE.
With the iconic colors of almost every 80’s fueled feelings, she creates wonderful pieces, sometimes reimagined from classical anime, sometimes from great pictures of the corners of Japan.
We just hit her up via DM and asked her, if she would be interested to coop with us on this project, and she was all in instantly. 🙂
Hyperpotions I really really heard for the first time on Spotify, while taking a running session. My playlist was finished and (thanks to the proposal mode) great work from them was surprisingly starting to play.
Of course, I went home, and just asked them via DM if they love Japan, love candies… and they’re all in. 🙂
Through the internet, the artists are so greatly connected and communication is way faster than before, so global collaborations are way easier than 10 years ago, we love it!
Q: What is Soybloq’s story? And what do you want people to know about Soybloq?
A: After working over 10 years in the animation industry, I finally realized I would love to do my own stuff, so the only way was to create my own studio. So I started in 2018 to not only work as a story artist, but also more into animation, directing and producing, and also working on our first video game called M.S. Salmon. Soybloq is small, super small, but it’s cozy.
Soybloq is a normal animation studio, there s nothing special about us, except artists get here nice fancy soft drinks and candies, haha. 😀
Q: Do you have any advice for up-and-coming animators pursuing a career in animation?
A: OUTPUT! WORK HARD! IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT, SEARCH IN THE INTERNET! PLAY HARD! RECOVER EVEN HARDER!
Q: What are the next 5 years looking like for Soybloq? Any dream collaborations in the future you’d like to do, or what you hope to achieve?
A: We try to expand at Soybloq, but with healthy growth. Also we want to finish our first ever video game “M.S.Salmon” and of course, work on nice projects like TokyoTreat Commercial.
And of course, more candies, please! 🙂
Thank you Kim for taking the time to chat with us! Hope to see you in Japan soon!
You too could be a part of the wonderful TokyoTreat fam! Join us, snack out on plenty of delicious snacks and get involved with the community! Come and hang out any time! 🙌
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