What is IOEA?
Forging links between various otakus worldwide, the International Otaku Events Association, also known as IOEA, is a global association of events and expos that aims to improve the international otaku community. It aims to encourage its members to form deeper relationships which it believes will help with the creation of a world where fans of otaku culture will be able to have a more pleasant experience.
IOEA is a non-profit organization, established by several well-known event operators; it is a global network that ensures that international members have a platform to speak and to be able to contribute to the evolution of the otaku culture worldwide.
When was IOEA established?
Established on March 27, 2015, IOEA envisioned to bridge the gap between various otaku spaces. When asked about what motivated them to create such an organization, then Founding Task Force director and now Representative Kazutaka Sato recounted that he was astonished to find out that there are otaku events outside of Japan. Even the late Executive Director Takamasa Sakurai has noted that fans gather worldwide to celebrate Japanese otaku culture, but that does not necessarily translate to some coordination between those events.
The founding members of the association are:
AniCom （Hong Kong, China)
Comic Market （Tokyo, Japan)
NicoNico Chokaigi （Tokyo, Japan)
Otakon （Washington DC, USA)
Romics （Rome, Italy)
Sakura-con (Seattle, USA)
Salon del Manga (Barcelona, Spain)
What does IOEA do?
IOEA focuses on several functions; first, IOEA aims to establish a worldwide otaku network where the event operators can have a dialogue with each other, which in turn encourages discovery. Acknowledging global creativity and enthusiasm in terms of otaku culture, IOEA aims to introduce Japanese fan events to non-Japanese fan events and vice versa. IOEA also seeks to support the global expansion of otaku culture by introducing creators from all over the globe and having them interact with each other.
Before IOEA, fan events in each of the continents were working independently. With its establishment, it makes it easier for the fan events to share their strategies and what works for them and to learn from others. This network allows the fan events to continuously evolve and improve to ensure that otaku culture does not stay stagnant. The IOEA also makes it easier for creators to have access to fan events throughout the world.
The IOEA is a one of a kind association that promotes the improvement of otaku culture through extensive interaction. With its ever-growing number of members, it is an ever-evolving network that aims for a world where fans can share a higher degree of happiness in their otaku experience.
International Otaku Events Association (IOEA)
Learn more about IOEA as we post our interview with the Representative Kazutaka Sato next week here on the Manga Planet blog.
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In 2012, Manga Planet started as a joint project between Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. and FANTASISTA, INC. to research and explore the ways manga is read throughout the world. With the goal of bringing new manga to fans from all over the world and support artists and the industry, Manga Planet pushes for affordability and access to manga through a subscription-based service.
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