An Interview with Japan’s Tokyo Alternative Girls(TAG) — Nanataku
Firstly, nice to meet you Nanataku. I know that many others, including myself, are interested to learn more about you as the founder of Tokyo Alternative Girls (TAG). Can you tell us what other projects you have worked on before and a little bit about your background? We already know that you love to eat ramen. 🍜😂
“Before I was involved with NFTs, I was in the music industry. I was mainly working in music event production in particular. I worked with famous artists and creators, such as singer Ken Hirai and manga artist Ai Yazawa.
I still have strong connections and ongoing relationships in the music industry.
You can also read more about my detailed background and skills, here.
Aside from ramen🍜, my favorite foods are shrimp-fried rice and gyoza (dumplings), although TAG’s characters are set in their favorite foods, they reflect my tastes.”
For many people, TAG is the first Japanese project they have joined and taken part in. With that being said, it’s a bit hard for people to do research on the team and associations. I think many people are curious about the relationship between CryptoNinjaPartners (CNP) and CN DAO with TAG.
Is it true you are a part of both projects and are these projects related?
“I have been a part of NinjaDAO since the beginning and interacted with fellow DAO members. I started my Web3 career in February of this year by working with TAG illustrator Otohachi to create fan art!
I also have a deep relationship with the DAO. I am a member of the CNP parts production team and a Voicy (Japanese podcast) personality. I participate as a personality on Voicy as a member of the CNP parts production team. In addition, we are also participating in the PV production of the next collection, “CNPJ”.
As for CryptoNinjaPartners (CNP), I have produced parts as well as music videos. A collection of URL parts are also available on OpenSea, with “Nanataku” written on the frame (View here). CNP also produces music videos that you can view here.
Most of the ALs (Whitelists) in this collection are distributed to CNP members (over 1,200 ALs). This is something that the Japanese collection can only distribute if they have a close relationship with NinjaDAO. It has received a lot of attention even before it was released. More than half of the current long-term holders are CNP holders and supporters.
Can you share with us what Tokyo Alternative Girls (TAG) means to you and what this project represents in your eyes? Why did you choose the name Tokyo Alternative Girls? Another question, why were male characters added to a collection about girls? I am also very curious about this, though I love all the art and have both male and female TAGs.
“That’s a good question! First of all, the name “TAG” reflects the theme that we want to create something new by putting together a TAG team with you all. We broke down the initials of TAG and applied T.A.G -> Tokyo Alternative Girls (TAG).
Illustrations & 3D Avatars
This includes music artists, programmers, and our friends in Web3, we have a theme called “TAG”, which is to introduce Japanese culture to the world!
Why are there male characters?
We knew, of course, that the question would be “Why”? In fact, TAG has a well-developed storyline and is even being considered for a manga adaptation!
Tokyo Alternative Girls is a spy action story about three girls who are a famous, idol group, but are actually righteous spies who solve conflicts around the world. The idols are portrayed as heroes who travel the world and prevent global terrorism and conflict. The male characters are also included as support characters of the story.
If we compare it to a Western movie, like Charlie’s Angels, the three main characters are Amy, Lan, and Sarah. The boss is a male character named Seven, and his subordinates are two men named Sakuya and Akira. There will be many costumes for the public as disguises for undercover work. For example, the female characters wear party dresses and the male characters wear tuxedos, as if they are undercover at a party.
In addition, the NFT descriptions in both Japanese and English, describe each character’s preferences and hobbies. Each character has a different description, which is interesting to read.”
🌟 If you get all 6 characters, you get a special role in Discord!
🎮 You can collect and play with them like a game.
I think everyone absolutely loves the art for TAG, I know I do! Who is the artist/illustrator behind the Tokyo Alternative Girls and what was the inspiration to go with a manga/anime art style?
“The illustrator is a woman named Otohachi!
She is a talented illustrator who has received an award from Shueisha, the production company of Shonen Jump, famous for Naruto and One Piece.
Otohachi and myself had a meeting to create the core image of the characters.
There are so many anime characters that have influenced me with their art style! I am inspired by almost all Japanese anime. We were born and raised watching anime and manga (lol).
As for my orders, I have them written with the image of a music artist in mind. I asked Otohachi to listen to the song I have in mind. I also showed her my Instagram and shared my fashion style with her. I have had Otohachi look at the outfits of many celebrity girls in the U.S., such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in Japan, BlackPink in Korea, and so on. So, to some extent, the fashion costumes are cool and attractive, especially if women see them! We are proud to be able to offer you the same cool outfits as the women in our collection.”
A second part to the question above, why did you all choose to integrate NounsDAO glasses with TAG? I’m very curious about this decision and thought process, but also 100% supportive of it.
“This is a Japanese way of expressing “iki”.
Since the time of the Samurai, the Japanese have been incorporating play into their paintings. Japanese people like to incorporate gaps. Even today, the “Hatsune Miku” character holding a green onion in her hand is another example of Japan’s unique sense of playfulness. Playing with colors and designs in an interesting way is part of the Japanese “iki” culture.
Therefore, I intentionally incorporated Nouns as a playful touch by adding unique items to a beautiful picture. It gives an image as if spices were added to the food and accents the collection design. Furthermore, it differentiates us from other projects. Web3 is an inclusive culture and we wanted to include and support other DAOs around the world.
I knew Nouns glasses would be appreciated abroad.”
What is your grand vision with TAG and what are you hoping to achieve? We would love to hear about your aspirations and end-game goals with TAG and what you all are contributing to the Web3 Space.
“While One Piece, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, and Naruto are popular around the world, there are still many interesting manga, anime, game creators, and music creators that you may not know about.
Ultimately, we would like to introduce more Japanese anime, manga, games, music, Vtubers, etc. to world, especially through Web3 and the Metaverse.
At the center of this project, we will promote the works of various creators through live music events in the Metaverse and music event distribution in partnership with actual live music clubs.
Web3 is a world where everyone can connect from TAGs. Ideally, a world-wide community will be formed through TAGs from which multinational creative teams are born. We would like to create a new NFT collection, something that hasn’t been done before. Right now, we have only just begun to interact with each other, but gradually international exchange will be established and new culture will emerge.
I would like to create the next movement…”
For newcomers, TAG’s official mint day was on November 5, 2022 and completely sold out. The mint price was 0.002 ETH and on the first day there was well over 150 ETH in volume and closed with around a ~0.035 ETH floor price.
Congratulations to you and all of the team for a successful launch! 🎊
Most people have seen the TAG Roadmap that is available on the website, but can you share with us some of the main utilities that holding the TAG NFTs will provide holders? View Roadmap
“Those who want to enjoy entertainment and those who have made an investment, we are considering proposing a solid roadmap for both. I’ll start by explaining the points that international holders are most interested about.
1️⃣ Introduction of NFT-Fi (NFT Raiding)
We are looking at NFT-Fi (NFT Lending) in the future. Depending on the number of NFTs you deposit in your holdings, you will be more likely to win limited NFTs, exchange for 3D avatars, and live event invitations. This is similar to NFT staking, but the wording has been changed to avoid legal issues in Japan. We are working with engineers to create the system by the beginning of next year.
We are also looking at establishing an overseas corporation and collaborating with overseas token issuers. If we become an overseas corporation, we will be able to give back to our holders like other NFT projects, so please look forward to it!
2️⃣ TAG Token
After the introduction of NFT-Fi, “TAG tokens” will be issued according to the number of NFTs deposited. Basically, they will be used as governance tokens for voting and other purposes. Depending on the number of “TAG Tokens”, we will distribute limited edition NFTs, 3D avatars to be created in the future, and make them available for live events held in the Metaverse and 3D environments.
3️⃣ Music Event Participation and Voting
This includes music event viewing tickets and invitation tickets to music events in Japan. In addition, it will be possible to vote for guests at music events and Metaverse events! This system will be set up so that large volume holders will have more voting rights and influence. By introducing a governance system, this is a more efficient way for our team to work with TAG holders to collectively build the experiences that everyone wants.
4️⃣ NFT Evolution
By deleting or burning one NFT you own, you can get a new NFT with a new design. Exchange coupons will be distributed preferentially to those who have more than one NFT (in the NFT format). The following exchange rate is planned: “3 for 10 or more”, “2 for 5 or more”, and “1 for 3 or more”. You can sell your exchange coupons or use them! It’s a great deal! Amy, Ran, and Sarah will have a design composition similar to that of Sevens and others. We will be able to change the design to make it easier to use as a PFP.”
Many people outside of Japan are not familiar with the latest local trends, as well as many popular companies. With that being said, can you share with us some of the companies that you feel would be ideal partners to help TAG achieve its goals and become successful?
Which companies or projects would you like to work with and are you already in talks with any?
“Now we have decided to partner with music events and Metaverse events.
Veats Shibuya, a live music venue operated by music label Victor Stock. We are planning to do music events with Veats Shibuya together.
As for the Metaverse, we plan to do it inside “5G Shibuya”. This has also already been decided. A major cell phone company, KDDI, is building the “5G Shibuya” metaverse! We are aiming to expand awareness by having the event in a major metaverse space. Furthermore, I think the attraction is that we can focus on the content and experience for attendants with a significant decrease in production costs.”
What are some of your favorite aspects about TAG and the TAG ecosystem at the moment, what are you really loving the most right now? Is there anything that was unexpected or shocked you after launching?
“One of my favorite aspects right now is how fast the community is growing, with each NFT holder taking TAG as seriously as if it were their own project. I feel incredibly grateful for this. I would like to create and support a larger framework and help this to scale. The main actor of this project is truly the community!
One unexpected aspect after launch is the lack of progress in Verified Collections Badge applications on OpenSea. I am really having a hard time because the criteria are unclear, considering that TAG qualifies from what they shared on the official website. Most of the other Japanese projects and collections that are over 200 ETH are having trouble applying, too. The other problem is that OpenSea’s ranking and display was not ranked accurately due to a bug on the first day of the mint. This couldn’t be helped and was unfortunate for us, although the launch was successful.”
One simple question– I think not enough people think about is the right choice of blockchain that meets the needs for the project, platform, or product… So why did TAG choose Ethereum to launch on and are there any other plans for interoperability or for TAG NFTs to be utilized on other blockchains?
“Ethereum was chosen as the main blockchain because it is very well-known, liquid, and convenient. Our developers are very familiar with Ethereum and solidity smart contracts. We have also added the ability to protect NFTs from code that automatically transfers NFTs on unauthorized sites. However, it does not protect against hacking and phishling links that are able to steal MetaMask seed phrases.
We want interoperability with other blockchains utilizing TAG NFTs. If technically feasible, we would like to make it usable in various places. Japan has multiple blockchains and each company has different blockchain standards. For example, Rakuten NFT and LINENFT are not compatible. Since there are so many users, we would like to adopt a system that makes it easy to purchase and exchange TAG NFTs in the future.”
We know that TAG has a heavy focus on the music and entertainment industry and if I understand this correctly, TAG would like to provide these NFTs as all-access passes to live shows, events, and festivals in Japan. Is that correct or is there anything you would like to specify?
“In the future, we would like to offer this as an all-access pass for music gigs, events, and festivals in Japan. In addition, we are working on making it available as an invitation to audition events for major artists. I would like to offer a future where TAG can be used as a ticket to new musical experiences.
Furthermore, I love to eat, so I am thinking to use it for discounts at restaurants (especially ramen stores). Additionally, discounts for online shopping (i.e. e-commerce sites for fashion, clothes, etc.) I hope it will be a useful PFP item in real life as well.
TAG has already announced its first big partnership with Ryota Kato, composer and talented Vocaloid P. A. As your website states, “the demo of the song is scheduled to be released at the end of November, and the world view of TAG will be expanded through the PV.” Can you share for the international audience a little bit about Ryota Kato, their significance, and why TAG chose them for a partnership and collaboration for a demo song?
“The main reason for collaborating with music is to attract a wider audience with similar interests. Our goal is to create an environment where “the first NFT is a TAG using music as a gateway”!
If we only manage NFT collections, we will not be well known. We would like to reach out to people who have never heard of NFTs before through music events, sound production, and through social networking sites such as Tiktok.
We would like to create a flow of music → love of art → membership in the community → purchase of NFTs.
I have been in contact with Ryota Kato through another community for a year now. I had become a fan of his great music. I was also interested in doing music with him after his music project with top Japanese Youtuber, Nakata Atsuhiko (4.9m subs), hit the market. I believe it is essential to have a core music creator when looking at music events and label management. I believe that by having him as the core of the NFT Collection, we can gather Vtubers, singers, etc. to operate the label, which will increase the revenue and name recognition of other NFT companies, and if the label originates from NFTs, it will also synergistically increase the value of the NFT Collection.”
Many people are really looking for insight, especially from the project founder, about the biggest milestones ahead for TAG on its roadmap.
What goals are the most significant for you?
“I think the biggest milestone is NFT-Fi, as mentioned earlier in the interview under the utility section. We are working on the distribution of tokens to nurture the ecosystem, through giving away game items and original NFT 3D avatars. We are also heavily considering how to gamify our ecosystem to make it more fun and engaging for everyone. As you know, the gaming culture in Japan is massive. For example, how do we provide a play-and-earn (P2E) or staking experience? We are planning to work with people who also have overseas subsidiaries to help provide this service.”
Everyone knows that TAG is a Japanese project, but I want to help more people understand what all you all are doing. I know you are working with me, installed a Discord Auto-Translation Bot, and I also read you were going to try to set up an English YouTube channel.
How can we help to expand TAG’s reach, what would be most beneficial from your perspective?
“I would also like to set up an English channel on YouTube so that I can communicate in English. I host Twitter Space talks almost every day, but the English community cannot participate or understand. What we are doing now is taking notes from these talks (bullet points) and sharing them in Discord, which they are also translated in English. I have already setup a translation bot on Discord so that Japanese users and English users can talk in real time. I would also like to set up an English channel on YouTube so that I can transmit in English what I am talking about in the space.
As for the community, just being able to help share the message of what we are doing in TAG and that is why I am grateful for this interview and opportunity to be able to clearly communicate in English our plans, goals, and vision. Join the Discord and participate! I also do my best to communicate with everyone, even if I have to use a translation bot.”
Nanataku, thank you for your time and efforts to help share your project with a wider audience. I have 3 questions below I’ve chosen from the community, but is there any important message you would like to share with the world?
“We believe that boosting the community by interacting with international community members will help to positively effect the entire ecosystem. We think it would be beneficial to first communicate what we are doing in English. We would like to have exchanges that transcend language and national barriers, with TAG as a center and hub for that.
Thank you to everyone who has supported TAG in its early stages and I really hope we can achieve big goals together both inside and outside of the Metaverse!”
Community Comments & Questions
I wanted to make this interview a lot more accessible and beneficial to the international audience, so I asked in the TAG Discord and chose 3 questions (that I didn’t cover above) from active community members.
Comments & Question by Gok4n
First of all, congratulations, I’m happy to be with you. I firmly believe that the core principle of your project is the community, everything is transparently published. What do you think awaits the future of this project with the continued and growing community support? Thank you.
“First, I believe this project will show by its actions that it is very different from the typical PFP project. We are creating a flexible system that will allow us to pivot and generate revenue in a variety of situations. We want to create entertainment that people will enjoy in the process.”
Comments & Question by NruN.eth
I believe the Japanese crypto/NFT community is highly under-rated and many American investors don’t know what good projects to look at. Is there a marketing strategy to expand your brand internationally?
“The NFT community in Japan has actually only been really heavily in existence for about a year. So most of us are rookies, but I think the attitude of Japanese people to learn is astounding, even when viewed from a global perspective.
I believe that the OpenSea ranking will be filled with Japanese NFT projects in the future. As an international strategy, we will increase our visibility through collaborations with overseas brands, communication to alpha teams and influencers, establish a solid and stable floor price, low listing rate, attractive art, music, and games.
We believe that the best way to show stable growth is to use our technical skills to flexibly respond to diversified market strategies. We have developed differently from other non-Japanese NFTs by making the best use of our own past capabilities.”
Comments & Question by Josep.eth
Are we going to see our avatars available in metaverses like The Sandbox and Decentraland? Do you have plans for a utility related to the gaming sector?
“Of course we are thinking about it. By making good use of NFT-Fi, we would like to start with an airdrop of 3D avatars and then exchange game items. By getting involved with many creators, platforms, and projects, TAG’s brand and ecosystem will grow even more.”
Below is the Launch Report, created by CoinDreams, that displays the on-chain data for TAG’s first 24 hours of launch. Please note, at the time of launch that OpenSea was glitched/buggy and did not display information correctly. Below I will go into more detail about the bot and its features. For everyone that’s interested in TAG, I highly recommend following the Twitter account @TagSalesBot, where you can get constant updates and information regarding on-chain statistics for Tokyo Alternative Girls.
Update: Twitter has suspended the bot at the moment, likely for “spam” or virtually any other reason that it could have been flagged or reported. As of 11/17/2022 it is still suspended, but an official appeal has been sent and we will keep you all updated. This happens quite often with Twitter. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Twitter Sales Bot Features
💎 Every TAG NFT Sale (OpenSea, LooksRare, X2Y2)
📈 Daily Sales Report
- Total NFTs Sold
- Total Owners(Unique Wallets)
- Floor Price (ETH)
- 24 Hour Volume (ETH)
- Highest NFT Sale Price (ETH)
- Lowest NFT Sale Price (ETH)
🚀 Launch Report (First Day On-Chain Statistics)
💵 Displays Price in USD Currency
💴 Displays Price in JPY Currency
Tokyo Alternative Girls Official Links
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Customize your TAG: https://www.dressupnft.app/
(Add your favorite backgrounds by combining them with TAGs)
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If there is any incorrect information written in this article or you have suggestions to improve it, please send me a direct message on Twitter.
*Disclaimer: No pay or compensation was received or promised prior to writing and publishing this article.