You’ve already been introduced to Yuya Uchida, the attractive worker at the Osaka Nipponbashi branch of Animate, a chain of anime and manga stores in Japan. He has inspired countless Internet debates regarding his status as both an otaku and a hottie, prompting one user to comment, “Hot guys should be banned from watching anime.” We knew we had to go out to Osaka to find this mythical hotaku™ and see for ourselves if he really is as irresistible as the Internet makes him out to be.
Uchida was scheduled to start work at 3pm on the day we visited the Osaka Nipponbashi Animate. Our reporter excitedly stepped through the front doors and looked around for the man she traveled so far to meet. She strolled along the aisles of manga, eyes peeled. After a few minutes of searching, her quest was finally over. There he was, Yuya Uchida himself.
Our reporter was so nervous, but drew closer, snapping a quick commemorative photo as she approached.
Our reporter got Uchida’s attention and he greeted her with a smile.
Even though he was technically on the clock at Animate, Uchida entertained our prying questions as only a gentleman would. He told us that even at a young age he always loved manga and anime. “This is the perfect job for me!” he admits. Since starting work at Animate, Uchida spends his days in the pursuit of gathering Japan’s largest collection of manga. When asked about his Internet stardom, Uchida had this to say:
“I was so surprised that people started coming to the store just to see a normal guy like me. Customers have said, ‘He’s cuter in real life!’ but to be honest, I feel awkward when they say things like that.”
Uchida also admits to attracting the attention of women, not only from Japan, but from neighboring countries. He’s been surprised to find foreign women visiting the store just to see him.
The shop manager also thinks highly of their most popular Animate worker:
More than anyone else, no matter what task, Uchida always takes initiative and works hard. He also isn't afraid of failure, always thinking of and taking on new challenges. But it’s not just his outward appearance; it’s his positive attitude that makes him popular with the shop staff. I’m also really fond of him!
Face? Check. Personality? Check. Work ethic? Check. He’s such a great guy that he makes you want to buy all of his recommended manga. Like this one:
We're sure that by now, you're itching to visit Uchida and we'd bet good money that the Osaka Nipponbashi branch of Animate will become a popular “sightseeing spot.”
Animate Osaka Nipponbashi
１-１-3 Nipponbashinishi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 556-0004, Japan
Name: Yuya Uchida
Blood type: O
Hobbies: Aquariums, video games
Type: Long, tidy black hair; someone who will let me take the lead
Range: 24 to 40 years old
Work shift: Pretty much every day