For this month’s Meet the Team series where we speak with members of Team TokuNet, we talk with Editor-in-Chief Nicole Amber to get to know about her and how she came into her role.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Nicole but you may have seen me online as DestinyAmber or Amber! I’m a fan of Japanese culture including tokusatsu and I love learning new things. I am currently the Editor-in-Chief and manage everything related to TokuNet.
How did you first get into tokusatsu?
I came across a clip from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger when it was airing in 2011 and became flooded with memories of loving Power Rangers throughout my childhood. I began watching Gokaiger and instantly became hooked to tokusatsu. From there, I jumped into watching Kamen Rider with Kamen Rider OOO being my first, then GARO, and plenty of other shows/movies.
How did you become a member of Team TokuNet?
In December 2016, I joined the team as the Social Media/Community Manager. Primarily managing our social media accounts and Patreon, my job was to interact with the community and share our articles. Over time, I eventually started contributing news articles for the site, mostly actor news, but I wrote as much as I was able to. I also extended my role as part of the web team and assisted in quality checking articles.
In 2018, TokuNet Founder Paula Gaetos announced she was stepping down and the team decided I would be the next Editor-in-Chief. I was and still am extremely grateful for this opportunity. When TokuNet was first founded in 2014, I idolized the site as a quality resource for tokusatsu news and content. To be able to become the Editor-in-Chief and work on fresh ideas to make TokuNet better is a dream come true for me.
Could you tell us what goes into the day-to-day of managing TokuNet?
TokuNet is a large group of volunteers who work tirelessly to bring tokusatsu content to English-speaking fans. We have the video team, the podcast team, the writing team, the translation team, and so many others. I make sure that each team is running smoothly and our content is as high quality as it can be. Making sure we have accurate and timely articles, interesting videos giving exclusive insight into tokusatsu, podcasts to share new ideas with the community, engaging social spaces, and more are all part of my job. I also handle the logistical side of TokuNet such as analyzing statistics, managing our budget, coordinating events, and other parts of running TokuNet that would seem boring to anyone but me! I truly love each part of my job and cannot believe I have this opportunity to work with an amazing team.
What is your favorite tokusatsu show or movie?
This is a tough question! I’ll have to break it down into franchises to give a better answer:
Super Sentai – Gekiranger
Kamen Rider – Kamen Rider Double
Ultraman – Ultraman Orb
Garo – First Season
Godzilla – Shin Godzilla
Each have a special place in my heart with their captivating stories and wonderful characters.
Is there a funny or memorable moment from working in TokuNet that you would like to share?
My favorite moments are always when I get to do tokusatsu karaoke with my team members. Karaoke with MarzGurl and Josh at Japan World Heroes and Power Morphicon are some of my favorite memories. It’s kind of a tradition with us now! Getting to do karaoke with Kuni, Tom, and Fuji during my first Japan trip in 2017 was really exciting too! I really love to sing and I especially love singing tokusatsu songs. Some of my favorite songs to sing at karaoke are JustiFaiz, Savior in the Dark, and Time Judged All (just picture me singing as Ankh and Tom as Eiji).
Outside of working for TokuNet, do you have any personal projects or hobbies?
Oh boy, I keep myself busy outside of TokuNet too! I love to cosplay my favorite tokusatsu characters and have been doing so since 2015. I will never EVER forget the feeling of cosplaying Hidari Shotaro with Renn Kiriyama at Japan World Heroes. It’s my favorite moment of my cosplay “career”.
Outside of cosplay, I have a wide variety of interests. I love Japanese fashion, particularly the Himekaji style, reading nonfiction, exercising, and enjoying the company of all the animals in my house (two cats, a dog, a gecko, and lots of fish). I’m the kind of person that likes to try new things and explore new places. I love to travel and take every oppportunity I can to do so. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Japan several times, Seoul, Paris, and all over the U.S. I hope one day I can visit more of Europe and maybe Australia or New Zealand!
Where can people find you on social media?
I’m all over social media though I’m mostly active on Twitter. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram if you would like to see more of my cosplays. Otherwise, I’m always busy with TokuNet duties, so I don’t post too much on social media anymore, but feel free to reach out on any of those pages.