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[50YA] 50 Years Ago - August 1969/2019 - The Cat and The Hippo
50 Years Ago This MonthYou might have noticed by now that a lot of older anime studios were based around a single artistic personality. Ashida Iwao for Ashida Pro, Tezuka for Mushi Pro, Tatsuo Yoshida for Tatsunoko Pro, Kihachirō Kawamoto for Shiba Pro, etc. Heck, there are a good three or four studios associated primarily with Masaoka Kenzo. This made sense for small studios that were owned and lead by a particular individual, especially if they're already famous, and we still see the same thing with many small production studios today.
But notice how these figure are all from some sort of top-billing role like director or manga author? It seems like if you come to own a studio and your background is as a writer, or an editor, or a producer, too bad - slap some letters on that studio (like TCJ, or TMS, or just A) and forget about any personal prestige in the annals of history.
Well, too bad, because today we're talking about Hiroshi Ōkawa, the one-man impetus behind the creation and prominence of no less than mighty Tōei Animation itself. And while we're at it, we'll take a look at the other personification of Tōei Animation - their mascot Pero, or more specifically his film The Wonderful World of Puss in Boots.
OriginsThe history of Hiroshi Ōkawa is, in essence, the history of Tōei Animation itself. Unlike Ryuichi Yokoyama, Osamu Tezuka, Tatsuo Yoshida, and other early anime studio heads, Ōkawa was not a manga artist. In fact, he didn't have any sort of artistic background at all. Ōkawa had begun his career as an accountant for the Ministry of Railways before leaving to work for the Tōkyū Corporation (aka Tokyo-Yokohama Electric Railway Company, sort of; the distinction between them is a bit complicated, so from here on I'm just going to refer to it as Tōkyū Corporation). Tōkyū Corporation was (and still is) primarily a private railway company, but with numerous investments and subsidiaries in other related industries such as retail, property and entertainment. Their philosophy was to use the property company to build shopping malls and entertainment venues at or next to train stations, encouraging people to use their train lines, and conversely for the proximity of the train lines to encourage more people to shop at and visit their malls and events.
Animator Yasuji Mori would later describe Ōkawa as a pompous, hulking man who struck fear into his subordinates, and states that Ōkawa was called "The King Hippo" by Mori and perhaps other Tōei staff, though not when Ōkawa was within earshot. Other animators have described him as being boisterously cheery, and yet more describe him as more of a taciturn intellectual. It's unclear, then, what sort of personality Hiroshi Ōkawa really had, though seemingly every account agrees that he did not have much of a sense of a humour.
By 1947 Ōkawa had worked his way up to a middle-executive position within Tōkyū's railway division and he was then assigned to manage a baseball team that Tōkyū had just purchased - the Tokyo Senators, now redubbed the Tōkyū Flyers. This seems to be Ōkawa's first major role in the world of business entertainment and he took to it with aplomb, transforming the Tōkyū Flyers from being a simple occasional outing for audiences into a sports-entertainment enterprise with concessions, merchandise, season tickets, special events, and other ways to encourage a more devoted fanbase (and for those fans to spend more money). He also moved the team from Bunkyo ward to Setagaya, where their new stadium was, of course, right along one of Tōkyū's train lines.
In another attempt to expand their business portfolio, Tōkyū had created their own film company, called Toyoko Film Company (Toyoko being a contraction of Tokyo-Yokohama) and had purchased a handful of other film production and distribution companies, including Tokyo Film Distribution and Ōizumi Films. Much like the retail property and baseball subsidiaries, these media companies were inteded to synergize with other Tōkyū businesses - Tōkyū films would be shown in Tōkyū cinemas inside Tōkyū shopping malls connected by Tōkyū trains.
It should be noted that this expansion by Tōkyū into other business sectors was not a novel idea - Tōkyū was essentially mimicking the prior success of several other railway companies, and in paritcular the railywa, real estate, and media tycoon Ichizo Kobayashi who had made his fortune from the land along the Tokyo-Osaka rail line. Just as Kobayashi had built stores and theatres (in particular, the famous Takarazuka Grand Theater) along railways in the 1920s and '30s, then expanded to further into the theatre and media companies presenting at those theatres, now Tōkyū was building shopping malls and cinemas, and trying to produce films of their own for their own cinemas. Kobayashi had eventually consolidated his handful of media companies into a single entity - Tōhō, one of Japan's juggernaut film companies of the 20th century.
Following his success with the Tōkyū Flyers, Ōkawa was next assigned control of Tōkyū's jumble of media subsidiaries, most of which were outdated, understaffed, and had a combined debt of approximately one billion yen. Ōkawa himself described the situation as a lame three-legged race. Nevertheless, he set to work rebuilding and revitalizing these acquisitions. He used his leverage and success record to acquire loans and investments which he used to refurbish and modernize the dilapidated companies. He head-hunted actors, directors, and tradesmen as they returned to Japan from Manchuria, and also poached talent away from Tōhō, which was undergoing labour disputes at the time. And much like Kobayashi had made Tōhō, Ōkawa rebranded these disparate companies as the singular Tōei (a contraction of "Tokyo" and "Eiga" (Film), but not to be confused with another company actually named Tokyo Eiga that was created by Ichizo Kobayashi after he bought Tonichi). With film production finally underway but distribution difficult for a new industry upstart, Ōkawa partnered with Tōhō, offering to produce the lesser "B film" in a series of double features. Despite taking the bottom half of each double feature billing, this ensured a regular theatrical release schedule and widespread showings of Tōei's films in its earlier years, exactly what they needed to get on their feet and start paying back loans. Within a few years, Tōei's production capabilities had solidified, it had attracted enough talent, and its name was well-known enough that it cancelled the deal with Tōhō and became a fully independent film company in its own right alongside Tōhō, Shochiku Nikkatsu, and Daiei.
Ōkawa is said to have always been trying to predict future trends and look for entertainment genres or niches that Tōei could fill. This lead to Tōei producing numerous horror films, period pieces, and yakuza films, topics which were not explored much by the other major film companies. It is also, perhaps, one reason Ōkawa ventured into animation.
The GambleIn 1956, under Ōkawa's leadership, Tōei entered the animation industry by buying the fledgling animation studio Nichidō. Nichidō, full name Nihon Dōga-sha (Japanese Animation Company), had been created by Masaoka Kenzō in 1947 as a distinct independent studio separate from his obligations at Tōhō's own animation division, and many of the staff at Nichidō were former Tōhō staff who had quit or been fired during Tōhō's labour disputes. Nichidō had initially thrived in its first couple years, but suffered greatly from economic austerity measures implemented in 1949. The studio continued to eke out an existence of intermittent small projects over the following years until the acquisition by Tōei. Nichidō became Tōei Animation, and like the other film companies that initially madeup Tōei were refurbished with a state-of-the-art workplace (Yasuji Mori wrote at the time of his excitement at them finally having a flushing toilet).
Ōkawa's ambition wasn't just to acquire and update the studio, though. He was aiming for Disney - a new full-colour theatrical feature film every year, and then two every year, as well as short films and advertising projects. Some sources suggest that Ōkawa was already anticipating, to some degree, the forthcoming demand for animated television series, as well. The former-Nichidō staff, having spent the last years frequently working other jobs to survive in-between animation projects, were reportedly dubious of Ōkawa's expectations but happy to be getting regular animation work again. The new Tōei Animation completed a variety of short films and commercial works over the next year while more staff were recruited and trained, and then work began on 1958's Tale of the White Serpent (Hakujaden, aka Panda and the White Serpent when it was screened in the United States) - the second ever anime feature film, the first colour feature film, and several other notable milestones. The next year saw the release of Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke (aka Magic Boy), and then Journey to the West (Saiyūki, aka Alakazam the Great in the United States) the year after that. Ōkawa deliberately emphasized the comparison between Tōei and Disney's feature film output whilst advertising to hire more animators, even while the production of Hakujaden was still ongoing, netting hundreds of applications from aspiring animators and letting him hire the best from among that pool. By the end of the 1950s, Tōei Animation had grown within only a few years from dozens into hundreds of staff, while the next largest studio (probably Otogi Pro or perhaps Ashida) numbered perhaps a couple dozen.
It is interesting that two of these first three films are based upon a Chinese folktale and a famous Chinese novel, respectively, rather than following the Japanese period dramas of many of Tōei's live-action films or European folktales like Disney. It seems Ōkawa had at this time already been pursuing international audiences, especially in China where Tōei's live-action film production was already engaged in co-production with partners in Hong Kong. The choice of Chinese subjects was an attempt to win over audiences in China, though ultimately it seems that the Chinese audience was not particularly interested. These first three films were also sent to air in the United States, but didn't generate the kind of fervent demand for more Tōei films on par with Disney that perhaps Ōkawa had hoped for.
Even so, Tōei Animation's momentum continued on, growing in size and scope each year. By 1963 the company was large enough to divide its staff into multiple projects, including two concurrent theatrical films and their first television series.
Around this time, Tōei ceased being a subsidiary to the Tōkyū corporation. Tōkyū's founder, Keita Goto, had passed away in 1959. Apparently, Ōkawa had expected to succeed him, but was passed over. Friction developed between Ōkawa and the new Tōkyū leadership, and Tōei was eventually cut out entirely as an independent company under Ōkawa. Oddly enough, Ōkawa still maintained control of the baseball team, too. They were transferred to being a subsidiary within Tōei itself in 1954 and renamed the Tōei Flyers. Tōei continued to own them until they were sold to Nippon Ham in 1973. If Wikipedia is to be believed, Ōkawa convinced the former Yomiuri Giants manager Shigeru Mizuhara to become the manager of the Tōei Flyers in 1961 by using his movie connections to get Mizuhara drunk.
Anyways, despite losing its corporate umbrella, Tōei continued its operations unabated. Thirteen years after its founding, Tōei Animation produced The Wonderful World of Puss in Boots, another film in a now-long line of successful Tōei animated theatrical feature films, and the film which would give them the mascot they still use today.
The Anime ItselfLoosely based on the European fairytale (particularly Charles Perrault's version), The Wonderful World of Puss in Boots (Nagagutsu o Haita Neko, note the Japanese title translates to just Puss in Boots) tells a tale as old as time: a wisecracking, swordwielding anthromorphic cat talks an uneducated farmboy into fighting Satan over a princess he falls for off-screen. Yes, there's a few changes from the original fairytale in this version, most noticeably that the Ogre which Puss in Boots outwits is replaced by literally Satan himself, who also now kidnaps the Princess, and rather than be simply outwitted into transforming into a mouse and eaten Satan must be defeated through a gruelingly long battle of athleticism and swordsmanship. These plot changes from the original tale were a good decision as they tie together what were previously a bunch of unrelated incidents in the fairytale into a cohesive plot.
Also, while the fairytale has only Puss in Boots as its protagonist and his master is little more than a plot device, this film opts to portray them as equal-billing co-protagonists. In this version eponymous cat is named Pero and his "master" is instead a disowned farmboy named Pierre whom Pero meets and befriends early in the film. Overall, these are good changes, too - the interaction between the two protagonists pads out the film and gives the events more narrative weight than if we were just watching Pero solve everything.
However, while Pero and Pierre share screentime equally enough, they're involvement within the narrative are both unbalanced. In the first half of the film Pierre is a bland, unmotivated, and unemotional lout who is told what to do by Pero far, far more than he ever speaks for himself. "If you really love the princess..." sings Pero to Pierre, ignoring that Pierre hasn't ever spoken about the princess so far except to agree with Pero's assertion that she is beautiful the one time they briefly saw her chariot roll by. Once Pero has finally badgered Pierre into trying to marry Princess Rosa (again, by fighting Satan) and conned everyone else into believing that Pierre is capable of this, though, the balance flips and now Pierre is the main focus of the story while Pero has little to do but back him up in a fight. There's also a sizeable narrative gap around the middle of the film where Rosa and Pierre fall for each other and Pierre becomes a skilled, confident swordsman, all in the span of about 5 minutes.
The weakest aspect of the film is the characters themselves, as none of them are particularly complex or novel. Pero is the best the film has to offer, but you've seen plenty of other happy-go-lucky smart fellows before. Pierre practically has no personality for the first half of the film, and is a generic heroic adventure boy for the second half. None of the secondary characters have much personality to speak of - Satan is your classic evil-for-evil's-sake villain, the King is just greedy, and Princess Rosa gets literally trapped in a tower at one point.
But, if you can make it past those narrative faults the rest of the film is pretty great. Pero gets several fun opportunities to solve problems through his wit, Satan is suitably menacing, Pierre gets some actual badass moments, and I would say the comedy and action are well balanced all throughout. There's also a recurring subplot of three assassin cats hunting down Pero which I think the film uses excellently, always bringing them back at the least opportune times for our heroes.
Structurally, some viewers may find Act 3, which is taken up almost entirely by the confrontation with Satan, to be unnecessarily long. It is long, consuming roughy half of the film's runtime, but I personally didn't feel that it overstayed its welcome. It certainly helps that Satan's castle is full of spiraling towers, perilous walkways, and building-size mechanisms so the setting doesn't get stale.
Where the film shines the most is in its comedy. All the action scenes are punctuated with plenty of physical and slapstick humour. There's a lot of great use of repetition in these jokes, too - my absolute favourite is in the first fight scene where one of the assassin cats bends his sword and we get a brief deadpan cut-away to him trying to flatten it on an anvil, then moments later Pero bends his own sword and we get another cut-away in the same timing. A lot of the visual comedy seems like it could be inspired by Chuck Jones' Looney Tunes (there's even some instances of characters being flattened or running off a cliff and looking down, Coyote-style), but more importantly I feel this film embodies one of the tenets of Chuck Jones' signature style, namely to always consider where there's an opportunity for another joke. The visual design in Puss in Boots incorporates tons of subtle jokes that aren't referenced by the script, such as Satan getting down from his throne via an enormous slide.
The animation itself is no slouch, either. Characters are expressive, the choreography of the fights is surprisingly complex, and there's a surprising number of detailed cuts that didn't really need to be that detailed. Take a look at this hand, for example, which hardly needed to be that detailed for the brief moment it was on-screen. There's also plenty of camera motion, non-lateral movement cuts, and even this impressive 360-degree camera rotation. Also this shot, which might be the first instance of the now-classic upside-down-falling-with-other-objects shot.
Visually, the film is a treat through-and-through. It showcases the best of Tōei's visual design, creativity, and craftsmenship, honed after a decade of producing feature films. While the plot and characters may be simple, it's the technical expertise and its keen integration into the script which elevate this film into a superbly enjoyable ride.
The Legacy of SuccessThe first ever feature-length anime film was the wartime propaganda film Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors, funded by the Japanese Navy and produced pretty much explicitly as propaganda. But there were no more feature films to come in the entire decade after World War 2 (there's speculation that a version of Princess of Baghdad did, but no one has proved it so far). The one film that might have come close - The King's Tail, allegedly originally planned to be just under an hour long before the head of Tōhō forced it to be cut down to thirty-three minutes - was never even screened. There were several studios with dozens of animators leftover from the war, but all they could seem to produce were black and white short films used to pad out live-action cinema bills, and most of them were teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Meanwhile, with foreign imports allowed again the cinemas had no shortage of multi-million-dollar, full-colour Disney feature films coming in from Hollywood. A few years later, the celebrity animator Ryuchi Yokoyama would tell a young Osamu Tezuka that animation is just a novelty, but never a money maker. Putting ourselves in the context of this era, it certainly begs the question:
What the hell was Hiroshi Ōkawa thinking?
Somehow, Ōkawa looked around at the handful of tiny animation studios, most of which were in arrears, and thought "I need to buy one of these!". He saw the full-colour Disney films made by huge staffs and enormous budgets, knew that Momotaro was the closest anyone in Japan had ever come to that, and thought "Sure, I can make that."
Whether Ōkawa saw some business justification his rivals didn't or he was motivated by just sheer ambition, either way Ōkawa pursued that opportunity which none of the many older film companies or animation studios had opted to take. He achieved his goal of regular theatrical feature films within a few years, and a decade later Puss in Boots was just the latest, greatest film in an already-long line of successful studio ventures. It's no exaggeraton to say that without Hiroshi Ōkawa there be no Tōei Animation, and that the anime industry itself would not have flourished so rapidly.
Pero the cat might be the mascot of Tōei Animation, but Hiroshi Ōkawa undisputably is Tōei.
But Also...That being said, the road from Nichidō to Hakujaden to Puss in Boots was not always a smooth one, and if we are praising Ōkawa for his ambitions and successes, we should also acknowledge his shortcomings.
Ōkawa's initial plan of dividing the staff into self-replicating workgroups mixed with experienced and junior animators worked well at rapidly training the large number of new staff hired in the first few years of Tōei Animation, but it also made for a messy company structure with unclear or uneven seniority, responsibilities, or distinction between skilled employees and those still "in training". Perhaps owing to Ōkawa's background in railway conglomerates, employees at Tōei Animation were paid according to their level of education, and were paid more if they had transferred in from another Tōei/Tōkyū company, rather than being paid according to the position they actually performed. Furthermore, men were paid more than women. This invariably lead to complaints when talented animators that had joined Tōei Animation with only a high school degree were outperforming but still being paid less than employees that had come from other Tōkyū holdings.
Meanwhile, there was also a significant divide between Tōei's salaried full-time staff and their paid-by-cel freelance workers. As workloads increased, especially with the scheduling nightmares resulting from weekly television production, freelance workers could at least expect to be paid for their additional work, but the salaried employees were expected to work late over and over again without any overtime pay.
These and other factors resulted in numerous strikes and labour actions at Tōei Animation throughout the 1960s, especially a series of short strikes in December of 1961, to which Ōkawa responded with a 4-day lockout of the studio. Ōkawa did eventually accept most of the union's demands at that time, and this in turn lead to a preference for hiring freelance workers over salaried employees from then onwards.
This preference for freelance workers allowed Tōei to adapt more readily to shifting workloads and "killer weeks", as well as offset some of the union demands related to salaried employees, but it was also much easier for those freelance workers to depart quickly, or to split their time between Tōei and another studio. By the mid-1960s, along with its hundreds of employees Tōei Animation now had a steady mob of producers and aspiring studio heads encircling the building, luring newly-trained Tōei employees to their own attic animation studios. Ōkawa's training system had grown his studio to the size needed to sustain the film output he desired, but that made it a lodestone for anyone else looking to scoop up talent, while the labour disputes and preference for freelance employees motivated Tōei's employees to accept these offers. Ōkawa had inadvertently wasted a lot of time and money on effectively training the employees of his rival studios, hence the moniker given to Tōei Animation - Tōei University.
We must also acknowledge that Ōkawa's goal of producing primarily Disney-esque adaptations of folktales, fairytales, and similar inoffensive, family-friendly content stifled the creative ambitions of the Tōei Animation staff who aspired to produce more adult-oriented, socially-relevant, or even just visually experimental works. Ōkawa did not engage with Japan's growing independent animation movement nor seek out possible unfilled niches for animated adult entertainment - even though he had seen previous success with his live-action film business doing just that. Hence, young creators who aspired to create anything other than the kind of works Tōei was already producing were motivated to seek out opportunities elsewhere, once they'd learned all they could from Tōei University.
By the end of the 1960s Tōei Animation was still the largest anime studio, but no longer the indisputedly most prestigious or most lucrative, as it had once easily claimed. Instead, it was beset on all sides by challengers that Tōei itself had trained, and some of whom were willing to take big risks and explore new entertainment niches the way Tōei themselves once had.
Ōkawa passed away in 1971, leaving behind a complicated legacy. Unlike his rival mangaka-turned-studio-owners, Ōkawa has no personal artistic output of his own for us to engage with or evaluate - i.e. Tezuka might have bankrupted Mushi Productions, but we can set that aside and focus on his artistic legacy, but Ōkawa leaves us no such option. His business operations are all that we have to consider, and it can be difficult to view business dealings as having the same rippling-down impact on the history of the medium as a visionary director or lauded classic work. Furthermore, Ōkawa did not always achieve his lofty ambitions, and his manner of doing so disaffected many people in the industry. But Tōei Animation still stands today, as do many of the studios founded by the students of "Tōei University". Like him or dislike him, The King Hippo certainly made a big splash.
Where Can I Find It?A DVD release of the movie was made in 2006 with both Japanese and English audio tracks, but it can be difficult to still find copies.
Article NotificationSince these articles are only posted once a month (or two... or three...) and not even on any particular day of the month, if you'd like to be notified whenever a new one is posted simply let me know below or via PM and I'll summon/PM you whenever future articles are posted.
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- justvaow is offering to teach basic Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere and/or Sony Vegas skills. Also computer building. repair and education.
- 1point618 is offering to help you fix up your resume for Dogecoin.
- aboumich is offering to teach you basic Music Theory for Dogecoin.
- nvincent is offering to tutor you in German for Dogecoin. (talk to peregrine_mendicant!)
- Kobaek is offering session recordings on Irish banjo, and possibly on electric and accoustic guitars too. "Can host a class on what I know about playing the banjo as well if anyone's interested".
- animeturtles offers a letter writing service from Japan for (currently) about 10k Doge
- getjenky is offering to Duo Queue with you on League of Legends for Doge, "I'm a Platinum III player. Can't guarantee wins though, and I'd like it if we both had fun playing, I could teach you a thing or two as well."
- hfn64 - creator of the What is Dogecoin? Video - is offering to edit any after effects or cinema 4d template to include the buyer's name/text request for Doge. They can also do professional sound design!
- JFColeman is offering Copywriting, feature writing, anything journalism related.
- mojud is offering Energy Consumption Simulation for any kind of building, following most of the international regulations, including ASHRAE 90.1 (that is the most famous and used one). This includes renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
- mat-alex is offering yoga instruction and music lessons/production/mixing services
- RadicaLarry is offering to accept doge for sleep studies and eeg. [Warning: may be very expensive!]
- dogememe is offering Norwegian lessons over skype. "I'm not a teacher but I'm a native speaker and I'm sure I can do a good job. I accept doge, or if you speak German, Greek, Mandarin or Japanese we can help each other." PM if interested.
- FaintSpeaker is offering PHP/Web Development for Dogecoin!
- Jnk11207 is offering to tutor in Spanish for Dogecoin.
- Fubby2 is offering to teach League of legends for Dogecoin. "I am diamond 2 in that game which is in the top 0.35% on my server." Please PM if interested.
- InterFlex is offering to master tracks for Dogecoin. Starting at 20k.
- soverydoge is offering to troubleshoot CSS / HTML issues for 62,000 D/hr. "It's my full-time job, why not help the Dogeconomy in the evening hours as well?"
- dansterdj is offering to do some graphic and web design work. Samples.
- BlueShellOP is offering to walk people through rooting their Android phones one-on-one for a small amount of doge. Read more here.
- NaldotheShibe is offering to provide script coverage or script consultation for doge. Can also do narration for doge (for video or books). "Mods can PM me for proof that I know what I'm doing if necessary."
- MrGurzo is offering to give lesson in speaking Italian for Dogecoin. "I'm not a teacher but a native speaker, my level of english it's quite good".
- Nicapizza is offering 3d printed things for doge. PM if interested.
- Panda78 is offering PLC programming in Allen Bradley.
- adog12341 is offering computer repair, upgrading services and more to Northwest-Indianan Shibes. "I'm very cheap as I do it for a hobby."
- Chiajiaho1 is offering all forms of gaming tutorials from LoL, Dota2 to hearthstone!
- bassitone is offering Web analytics, SEO and Google AdWords help.
- anoadragon453 is offering iPhone App Development classes over Skype. Users would need access to a Mac.
- whywefightnow is offering to sell Prypto scratchcards for Dogecoin. www.getprypto.com
- 1923and1939 - creator and editor of the Very Much Wow Dogecoin Magazine - is offering to create incredible flyers, websites, print publications, business cards, brochures and more. Check out their work on FirstCointact.
- djchaze is offering intro music lessons for electronic producers. Also does soundtracks for games.
- cdeverett is offering to tutor or create using Photoshop. Gallery
- KeenAnWise is offering to write jingles.
- alch1mista is offering written translation work in Italian, Spanish and English.
- alex_tnt is offering 2d/3d Graphic Design. You can view his work here www.alexbarbulescu.com/CRC12 and www.alexbarbulescu.com/ProjectFiles
DOGE4DOGE - Dogecoin Businesses - add your business to the list in the comments!
- The Shibe Mint - Buy Physical Dogecoins
- Coinplay.io - Aims to build a Steam-like relationship with indie game devs who will sell their games for Dogecoins
- Very Much Wow - The first and only Dogecoin Magazine!
- Shibemart - A fun little place to buy/sell items for Dogecoin
- DKCrypt - Buy plastic Dogecoin cards to keep your wallet info in your wallet
- Onarbor - Make, review, buy Science and Art for Dogecoins
- SuchList - Buy and sell things for Dogecoins
- Dogetips.info - Get info, stats and status on Dogetipbot
- DogeGifts - Buy Gift cards for Dogecoins
- MuchMarket - Buy and Sell Digital Goods for Dogecoins
- Services.MuchMarket - Hire Freelancers for Dogecoins
- The Iron Rail Diner - theironraildiner - Based out of Mt. Savage, Maryland - Creator of "Dips for Doge" and proudly serving the mostlyregrets mega-sundae. Very proud to accept your Dogecoins. They could also really use our help with this important fundraiser.
- Burger Bear - burgerbear - Based out of London, England - Tom has a quality burger, a message of love and some flat-out amazing Bacon Jam. He was an amazing part of our Dogecoin Burger Adventure and is a Shibe, through and through. Never forget!
- Strange Donuts - Based out of St. Louis, Missouri - Noted as being the first Brick and Mortar place to accept Dogecoins for purchases, they're an important part of our history and, if you're ever in St. Louis, I hear they have some fan-freaking-tastic donuts.
- BitBurgers - Based out of London, England - Bourbon-steamed burgers. That's all that needs to be said about that.
- Sarah's Bake Shop - Based out of Midlothian, Virginia USA
- Shawarmania - Based out of Astoria in New York - Our newest addition! They held a great little get together for Shibes to watch DogeDriver race the DOGECAR into 20th place.
- Project Fire and Forget: The idea behind it - buying an ASIC that's hosted with the company that sells it, that's pointed at the pool we want, with all coins being directly donated to the Devs to help empower them to focus on our coin - sounds pretty solid. langer_hans has volunteered to help get it up and running.
- The DOGE League: This sounds like it could be a lot of fun for gaming Shibes and, especially, as we look to integrate the Twitch.tv tipbot that should be coming online soon. He seems enthusiastic but could use some help, any Shibes want to give him a hand?
- V8 SuperDOGE: V8 has a broad appeal around the world and might to help bring in more world-wide Shibes, which, sadly, seems to have stagnated a bit. As an added bonus, the car wrap looks hella-cool.
- DOGE4BUSINESS: ShibeShen (whom you may remember from this thread) is looking to create a store that caters to Shibes only. Buys things with Fiat but sells them ONLY in Dogecoin. He's also, specifically, asking you what you'd like to see him sell. This is a great opportunity for Shibes and a well-and-true Tycoon Doge who is willing to stick their neck out for us. Give him a moment of your time, please.
- DOGE4DEGA - 2nihon needs help from organized Shibes to help with the promotional efforts at Talladega this fall! Please go join them if you can spare the time!
As always, I appreciate your support!