A visitor from the other side of the world wanted to know how Mr. Sato became the man he is today.

He’s too humble to brag about it himself, but there aren’t many people like SoraNews24’s crack reporter Mr. Sato. Whether he’s modeling his facekini fashion or taking a break at Starbucks with his giant 9.5-kilogram (20.9-pound) coffee mug, he’s truly one of a kind.

Yes, Mr. Sato is a singular beacon of craziness, and as such he draws people from around the world to his vicinity. In the past, we’ve had fans from Singapore and Hawaii come to bask in his aura, and this week came a visitor from almost the exact opposite side of the world as SoraNews24’s Tokyo headquarters.

Jose Antonio Vilca runs Kancha, a Peruvian pop culture site that covers, among other topics, anime and manga from Japan. Jose was in Japan to take part in the Kaigai Manga Festa international comics event, but before he hopped on the plane back to Peru he wanted to meet Mr. Sato, and since he’d come all the way here, we weren’t about to turn down his request.

Jose also filled us in on the state of otakuism in Peru, including its history, which parallels that of anime fandom in the U.S. in many ways. Following local TV broadcasts of numerous series in the 1970s and early ‘80s, anime fandom went dormant until the ‘90s, when campus anime clubs began trading fansubbed VHS tapes and resparked interest in the art form. But while Peruvian fans now enjoy brand-new franchises through digital distribution, he says there’s still a lot of love for classics like Dragon Ball and Saint Seiya. He even shared the results of a government study with us that showed that some hard-core fans in Peru have been giving their children the names of Dragon Ball characters, with over 100 Peruvians having Gohan as part of their name, along with a handful of Bulmas, Gokus, and even one citizen who can intimidatingly claim Frieza as part of his legal moniker.

Jose also wanted to know how Mr. Sato, despite his humble beginnings as the son of a house painter in rural Shimane Prefecture, blossomed into the unique journalist he is today. “When we first started our website,” Mr. Sato recalls, “there were just three of us working here. One guy was good at management and finance. One guy was a great writer. And me? I couldn’t do anything well, so I decided I’d do everything, and the next thing I knew, I was eating a hamburger with 1,050 slices of bacon.”

▼ Just another day at work for Mr. Sato

While on any given day there’s a chance of a wrestling match or chemical butt-warmer test taking place at SoraNews24 headquarters, Jose caught us on a quiet afternoon, and so Mr. Sato decided a mini walking tour of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district was in order, including a stop by the life-sized statue of Godzilla.

As they said their good-byes, Jose told Mr. Sato he looks forward to seeing him in Peru one day. “Am I famous there?” our reporter asked, to which Jose, with his contagious cheerfulness, replied “There are probably like 100 or 200 people there who know you!” Sure, that’s a small start, but if the website Mr. Sato started with just three people can grow into the SoraNews24 of today, who knows what he can do with a hundred supporters?

Photos ©SoraNews24
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