Hello There!

Nico here and thanks for dropping by! I’m a figure collector who loves tech, video games, and cycling. I’ve been in the hobby for roughly 8 years now and my collection are mostly from my favorite anime TV shows and super hero movies. Aside from collecting figures, I’m also into headphones and cycling.

An old shot of my workplace which I really liked.

An old shot of my workplace.

Random shot of my workplace at night.

Workplace at night.

I won’t be able to support this hobby without a job ^^; so I’m very fortunate to be working in the design/development industry for more than 10 years now. Started freelancing way back in my college days and turned full time 2 years after. Most of the work I do ranges from illustrations, UI/UX, Motion, Web, and Print.

Current Otakumouse logo.

Current Otakumouse logo.

About The Name

I’ve been using the moniker “needlemouse” in all of my professional works before so I had to basically think of a name that is somewhat related to my hobbies and interests. I’m really not sure why or if I’m just lazy that day but what I did is I just replaced the first half of my work alias with the word “otaku” (so much for being creative lol).

The name served me really well though since it did get me some high profile gigs that were all related to my hobbies – like working with anime studios and doing design / development work for Culture Japan. It has its own fair share of negatives too since I usually get deregatory remarks about it specially with people not familiar with the actual definition of the word “otaku” – which I really don’t mind ^^;

Design Work

Design has been my real passion and I find joy in creating and designing stuff for other people. I learned a lot over the years of doing freelance design work for both local and international clients. With that experience, I was able to work on any types of design projects whether it’s print, web, illustrations, UI/UX, and motion. I’m no master in any of those fields but it allowed me to be a very flexible designer that can adapt to almost anything which is a big plus in the freelance world.

Culture Japan motion graphics and vfx work.

Culture Japan motion graphics and vfx work.

Culture Japan's Moekana commercial.

Culture Japan’s Moekana commercial.

My flexibility as a designer was tested when I did some work collaboration for Danny Choo (Culture Japan) where I did work in almost every field of design. It was a pretty challenging collaboration since I had to do print, motion/vfx, and web while making sure DC doesn’t spot any inconsistencies in my work ^^;

Well, he did spot a couple of errors from time to time but you can’t really avoid it ^^; He’s very particular when it comes to details. To cut the story short, it is one of my best experiences in my design career, and like my other previous experiences, it made me into a better designer.

Will try to post more about our collaboration sometime in the future.

Random video chat with Danny Choo.

Random video chat with Danny Choo.

App UI design I did for DC's Smart Doll project.

App UI design I did for DC’s Smart Doll project.

I’m so lucky that I was able to do what I love for work. Similar to the popular saying of “Choose a Job You Love, and You Will Never Have To Work a Day in Your Life”.

Development Work

I wasn’t really planning for coding to be a part of my workflow since I suck at math, logic, and problem solving – yet here I’am doing development work, writing code, and solving problems for different clients. I don’t develop enterprise level apps or complex games or anything like that as those are way out of my league, but I think I can say I’m pretty much average in terms of the technicalities and overall concept of coding.

15'' Macbook Pro (space grey). This is where I mostly do my development and coding work.

15” Macbook Pro (space grey). This is where I mostly do my development and coding work.

Most of what I do these days are more geared towards creating unique “user experiences” which involves both the use of my design skills and coding at the same time. This is due to the fact that I came from a Flash technology background way back and one of my very first job was to create interactive learning applications for kids. When Flash started to decline, I quickly converted my current skillsets to Javascript, HTML, and CSS which is my main goto language today.

Figure Photography

I love photography and this is one of the reasons why I sometimes take pictures of my figure collection. I don’t have any particular style in terms of shooting, I just grab my trusty camera and start taking pictures whenever I feel like it. If my photo session turns out to be good, I use the photos and sometimes make them into a short toy or figure review.

One of my favorite (and rare) figures. Max Factory's INO.

One of my favorite (and rare) figures. Max Factory’s INO.

Another favorite of mine. Alter's figure rendition of Dizzy.

Another favorite of mine. Alter’s figure rendition of Dizzy.

My interest in photography also allowed me to publish a community driven magazine called Phygure. It’s an online publication I created where I showcase some of the most talented figure photographers from around the world. It’s currently live on Apple iBooks and Rakuten Kobo which are 2 of the biggest registry of online books and magazines. You can also read it online via Phygure’s official site.

Physical test prints of my Phygure magazine project.

Physical test prints of my Phygure magazine project.

Originally, there were plans of making this into a physical magazine as many contributors are requesting it to happen. I had test prints just to check how the digital version will compare to the physical version and the results were amazing. Unfortunately, I had to temporarily pause the idea since there are a lot of legalities involved like copyrights and royalties for all the contributors.

Up close shot of the physical version of Phygure magazine.

Up close shot of one of the physical version of Phygure magazine.

A glossy cover and high quality paper for the inside pages were used when testing out Phygure's physical version.

A glossy cover and high quality paper for the inside pages were used when testing out Phygure’s physical version.

In terms of photography gear, I’m basically a Nikon user and switched to Fujifilm after a couple of years. I currently own 2 of their cameras, an X-T10 and an X-T2 Graphite which is my current daily driver. I have a mixture of vintage and fuji lenses depending on the situation with my current favorite being the 60mm F2.4 macro.

Fujifilm X-T2 (graphite) and a 15'' Macbook Pro (space grey) side by side.

Fujifilm X-T2 (graphite) and a 15” Macbook Pro (space grey) side by side.

My first Fujifilm camera. Fujifilm X-T10.

My first Fujifilm camera. Fujifilm X-T10.

Connect

I’m semi active in social media but I’m very active in checking my emails daily ^^ If you want to ask something or just wanted to say hi, shoot me an email at needlemouseinteractive@gmail.com.

Join the conversation - 43 Comments

  1. King on Sun, 2012/12/09 at 12:01 AM

    Your website is amazing, I really like the theme color

    • Otakumouse on Sun, 2012/12/09 at 6:19 AM

      @King: Thank you very much sir! :)

  2. snowonsummer on Tue, 2013/02/26 at 8:37 PM

    Hi, I’ve seen your office at one of dannychoo websites.

    I’m aspiring to be just like you, love your exp and office setup .. hope someday will have one too :)

    • Otakumouse on Tue, 2013/02/26 at 8:42 PM

      @snowonsummer: Thank you very much! Don’t worry about it, I’m sure you can do it too! Hard work is the key and just continue to study! :)

  3. snowonsummer on Fri, 2013/03/01 at 10:42 PM

    @otakumouse thank you for the support, I wanna ask some questions, hope you don’t mind .. do you used a quick blank-themes (refueled, starkers, etc) for making a wordpress themes ? I myself used refueled, and believe it or not, no matter how much changes I made, it still reeks of the blank themes style, I just don’t get it.

    love those headers, do you create the font yourself or is it not a font ?

  4. Otakumouse on Sat, 2013/03/02 at 12:56 AM

    @snowonsummer: Nope :) I basically created OtakuPro™ from scratch. I’m not really a fan of using theme frameworks specially when it comes to personal projects. Theme frameworks sometimes require you to adhere to their own specification making you a bit limited in the design side of things ;)

    For the logo, it’s basically a heavily customized “pixel” font :)

  5. CloudStrife-xx on Sat, 2013/03/02 at 8:35 AM

    Just wanted to stop by to say your website/blog is a great personal creation. Definitely an inspiration for people in the field of design.

    • Otakumouse on Sat, 2013/03/02 at 11:33 AM

      @CloudStrife-xx: Thanks Much!!! :)

  6. snowonsummer on Thu, 2013/03/07 at 3:01 PM

    @otakumouse can I call you nico ?

    I see that this theme site changing every version, just wanna ask, when changing the themes and the featured / preview image, do you make the thumb image from the first post again ?

    Are you freelancing online or offline ? wandering because I want to know how to earn from those skills :)

    thanks

    • Otakumouse on Thu, 2013/03/07 at 3:21 PM

      @snowonsummer: Hi! Are you talking about OtakuPro V1.0 or the one I’m currently using (OtakuPro V2.0)?

  7. snowonsummer on Thu, 2013/03/07 at 5:48 PM

    @otakumouse I’m talking about both ? I see that in each version, the size of the featured/preview images are different, do you generate the image it self or is it auto generate ?

    • Otakumouse on Thu, 2013/03/07 at 10:33 PM

      @snowonsummer: Ahhh, in OtakuPro V1.0, I basically create the images manually. In OtakuPro V2.0, I already made it automatic :) Though I still prefer doing it manually here on my site because automating the process tends to crop the important parts of the images I wanted to display :P

  8. snowonsummer on Fri, 2013/03/08 at 12:27 AM

    @otakumouse: ic, then you do manually all the post featured / preview image, hope the themes doesn’t change much again *lol*

    just wondering though, at what point you do freelancing ? what kind of skill you got when first accepting a freelancing job ? do you do online or offline job ?

    thanks

    • Otakumouse on Fri, 2013/03/08 at 3:33 PM

      @snowonsummer: Hahaha! For OtakuPro V1.0, that’s pretty much it. Will not do any changes on that frame/theme. All of my time is currently concentrated on OtakuPro V2.0 which I’m about to release real soon! Just super busy with work T_T

      I’m originally a Graphic Artist / Designer then I self studied programming in the process. I basically do projects online and I’ve been doing it for roughly 5 yrs now :)

  9. snowonsummer on Tue, 2013/03/12 at 12:45 PM

    I’m back …

    Hi, nico .. I wanna go back taking care of my website, but first I need to change the theme to a more proper function theme, but first I wanna ask you something, do designers these days doesn’t need to follow the 960grid anymore ? seeing that your web themes (otakupro) is 1000px or more :)

  10. Pinkcheeks on Sun, 2013/05/26 at 5:26 PM

    Oh so this is Otakumouse.com! Hello there! Sheng (kixkillradio) mentioned your site to me coz I’m looking for note worthy websites of Pinoy figure photogs to add to my blogroll.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Otakumouse on Sun, 2013/05/26 at 11:05 PM

      @Pinkcheeks: Woah! Thank You!!! > <

  11. Shijin-kun on Thu, 2013/07/25 at 12:42 PM

    This is an awesome website. I come here to get close up pics of the figurines i plan to buy.

    • Otakumouse on Fri, 2013/07/26 at 4:18 PM

      @Shijin-kun: Thank you very much Sir! ^^

  12. Richmond Ko on Wed, 2013/09/18 at 1:38 PM

    *BOWS DOWN*, I really love your blog! The design! The layout! The posts reviews and photos are just all amazing! =3 You’re my inspiration haha! :p

    • Otakumouse on Wed, 2013/09/18 at 2:15 PM

      @Richmond: Awwww… Thanks so much buddy! Feels great to hear those warm compliments from you!

  13. Vincent Lee on Sun, 2013/09/29 at 2:35 PM

    Best blog I’ve seen, great design and style! Absolutely brilliant!

    • Otakumouse on Sun, 2013/09/29 at 7:59 PM

      @Vincent Lee: Wow! Thank you very much sir!!! Appreciate your warm comments! \m/

  14. randhis on Tue, 2013/12/03 at 3:33 PM

    how did u get so rich and afford such gadgets?i am so jealous of u

  15. Otakumouse on Tue, 2013/12/03 at 4:00 PM

    @Randhis: Thanks much sir! :3 ^^

  16. Jaeho on Thu, 2013/12/05 at 6:44 PM

    Hi I’m from South Korea. This is one of the best website I’ve ever seen as a subculture fan. Very impressive and love your reviews too!!!!

    • Otakumouse on Thu, 2013/12/05 at 7:25 PM

      @Jaeho: Thank you very much!!! I really appreciate it! ^^

  17. The Duke on Wed, 2013/12/18 at 6:24 PM

    Dude, didn’t really thought your also from the Philippines, it feels great to see that a kabayan is behind this wonderful. Nice job!!

    • Otakumouse on Thu, 2013/12/19 at 7:44 AM

      @The Duke: Thank you very much sir!!! ^^

  18. Oppa the WaRDeN on Fri, 2014/01/10 at 6:28 PM

    as an IT student got to say about your work “GODLIKE”
    and one more thing where to buy authentic figma and nendoroid cuz i stated to collect them and they ended up bootleg can you help me T-T

  19. snowonsummer on Sun, 2014/01/26 at 10:28 PM

    Hey OM, nice to see the sites already responsive

    • Otakumouse on Sun, 2014/01/26 at 10:43 PM

      Thanks snowonsummer! Yeah, gotta sacrifice a bit of design and focus more on content > < Hope the new site works well for you :) Still got lots of tweaks to do to perfect the initial build. Comments and suggestions are very much appreciated!!!

  20. Jorge Teran on Wed, 2014/03/19 at 4:41 AM

    First off i want to say congratulations on your site! ive been following what youve been doing since i saw your post on the v1 otakupro theme around 2012 and its inspiring too see someone who can do what i dream off eventually accomplishing. I love the otaku culture and love graphic/web-deigning as well as illustrating. From looking at your site and others out there I’ve also taking the initiative to follow the same path you currently tread. So once again thank you for the inspiration!! :)

    • Otakumouse on Wed, 2014/03/19 at 10:24 AM

      Awww! That’s very nice of you sir. I really appreciate it! Thanks soo much! :)

  21. Dave on Mon, 2014/04/07 at 12:30 AM

    Why would you get Dragon Toy: Sakakibara Kozue? Is it because it’s too risque? But how come you’re totally fine with full frontal nudity of Elsa. BTW I preordered Elsa tan version out of excitement but quickly cancel it the next day. I also don’t have the guts to display it in my bedroom because I’m not alone in my home.
    But I did preorder my first sexy but semi-risque but still is risque in my opinion, Super Sonico berry version. Once I got it, I’m not sure if I should display it….

  22. Idol on Sat, 2014/05/31 at 5:06 PM

    Lufet! :P

  23. Denny on Sun, 2014/07/27 at 4:21 PM

    The first Thing I want to say that your Blog looks really great. Colors, Design and Construction. Your Preview and Review Posts help me in my buying decision. The Selection of the Figures are also very good. Overall, it is in my Opinion the best Figure Blog. I am from Germany. Please keep it up, and provide me with lots of Information. ^_^°

    • Otakumouse on Thu, 2014/07/31 at 1:59 AM

      Aww! Thank you very much Sir!!! Appreciate it!!! ^^

  24. jose on Sat, 2015/02/14 at 4:50 AM

    I really like this page especially your review of corse the design and the photo its great, one day would like to review also, you have agreat collection

    • Otakumouse on Sun, 2015/02/15 at 12:07 PM

      Thanks Jose!!! :)

  25. Kay on Sun, 2015/10/25 at 10:52 PM

    Hey! This is my first time visiting this site and I just saw the question “What do you think of the white color scheme?” in the upper left corner and said, why not leave a first impression of the site? :P

    First of all, I really like the grid like function when you first get into home page, it makes it really easy to click on reviews or figures you’re interested in, it’s also really nice how you break up of the monotony of just using grids by varying the spacing out of content as you scroll down. And the tabs are super easy to see, which is always nice (I once visited a website and I couldn’t find the home page tab ;-;…)

    The use of a few standout colors among all the white is really interesting and makes things stand out. However, I did notice that some of the color choices for the article titles in the review section made my eye sort of…blinded by it? not sure how to describe it. It could be the use of yellow and light blue which are really really light for the white, and sort of either blend in with the white out of the corner of my eye or when I focused on the yellow makes it hard to see what the title is saying. These colors are sort of the flagship of your website, so this might just be an inevitable downside of using white background with these light colors.

    Going over the text for your about page, although the differing using of normal and light gray is interesting, the light grey again makes it hard to read it at first but it’s not as bad as the light blue/yellow titles.

    Overall, I like how clean and accessible (minus some color changes) your website is and I hope you continue this pattern! ^_^. feel free to ask me for any clarifications.

    *just realizes how super long this is o_o*

  26. Michael on Sat, 2016/03/12 at 2:45 PM

    Hello sir,

    I’ve been following your Phygure magazine since the release of the first issue. Would like to ask some pointers on what camera should I use as your magazine really inspires me to do photography. I’ve been thinking about the mirrorless camera as my first choice. I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!

  27. Gilbert L. Concepcion on Sat, 2017/04/08 at 4:28 AM

    Otakumouse, you inspired me a lot. I am a big fan. :-D

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About Me

I love art, games, toys, and cycling. I currently work as a designer/developer based in Manila, Philippines. Learn more about me.

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