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Collector Sofia Pichihua: ‘Follow your dreams and do not fear failure’

by

Special To The Japan Times

Name: Sofia Pichihua
Age: 29
Nationality: Peruvian
Occupation: Journalist
Likes: Technology, comics, anime, manga, videogames, Twitter
Dislikes: Traveling alone, jogging


1. Guinness World Records recognized you for owning the world’s largest “CardCaptor Sakura” memorabilia collection in December. How many items do you have in your collection? I have 1,086 items that are certified but actually have more than 1,300 items. CLAMP (an all-female manga artist group) will release new chapters of the series in July and an anime is planned for 2018.

2. Where do you keep them all? I’ve set aside an entire room for the collection. It’s tricky because it requires a lot of cleaning.

3. What first sparked your interest in “CardCaptor Sakura”? The story. I love anime and manga stories, which are based on themes of solidarity, honesty, friendship and love. Some stories are inspirational for kids. I was just a kid when I saw “CardCaptor Sakura.”

4. What’s your most memorable moment involving “CardCaptor Sakura”? As a teenager I became a “CardCaptor Sakura” forum moderator at Animekai (a popular forum that convenes at the end of each chapter). I met a lot of people and even now they’re still my friends.

5. What’s your favorite “CardCaptor Sakura” item in your collection? What do you like about it? The first chapter, which appeared in 1996, is my favorite because it was difficult to find. I consider it an indispensable item for any “CardCaptor Sakura” fan.

6. What is the estimated value of your collection? Would you ever consider selling it? More than $15,000. If I ever receive an offer, I would consider it because no one can see it at home.

7. Are you interested in any other Japanese manga? Shōjo and shōnen (girls and boys) manga such as “Death Note,” “Ouran High School,” “Attack on Titan” and “Dragon Ball Super.” I love their stories.

8. What about other Japanese things? Any interests? Food and historical places. I will visit Japan next year.

9. Would you describe yourself as an otaku (a hard-core fan)? Yes. An otaku in Latin America shares his or her otaku life with his or her friends. An otaku looks for the message behind a story and enjoys learning about other cultures.

10. What does the term “otaku” mean to you? An otaku is a fan of anime or manga culture. They enjoy sharing their hobby with a community.

11. If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be? Francisco Pizarro, because he led an expedition that conquered the Inca Empire (including Peru).

12. When you visit Japan next year, what’s the first thing you’d like to do? Visit Akihabara!

13. What song best describes your work ethic? Why? Flow’s “Go!” (which opened for a part of the Naruto anime series). It tells us not to care about appearances but instead care about what we believe.

14. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Teleporting — to avoid traffic congestion in Peru!

15. What’s the most exciting/outrageous thing you have ever done? Some people have said that getting a Guinness World Record is exciting.

16. If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be? Hermione Granger (from J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series). I’d love to be smart, a great person and a witch.

17. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? “Dreams Are Free.”

18. Who would win a fight between a lion and tiger? The tiger — it’s faster.

19. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a sensei (teacher). I want to dedicate my life to teaching.

20. Do you have any words of advice for young people? Follow your dreams, listen to your heart and do not fear failure.