E3 2019: Ghostwire Tokyo director, Ikumi Nakamura, captures the internet's heart

Move over, Keanu. E3 has another hero.

Jackson Ryan Former Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
Jackson Ryan
2 min read

Ikumi Nakamura is a breath of fresh air. 

Bethesda Softworks

During Bethesda's E3 conference, we expected the internet (and one particularly loud fan) to swoon over the publisher's bigwigs: Pete Hines and Todd Howard. Those two Bethesda mainstays set hearts a fluttering every year. 

But this year, a challenger for our Bethesda conference fave appeared like a bolt of lightning. Maybe a challenger for the entire E3 conference schedule. A challenger with zest and pure, unadulterated joy: Ikumi Nakamura, creative director at Tango Gameworks.

Onstage to announce Ghostwire Tokyo, Tango's latest game, Nakamura's excitement was obvious. Fans in the audience and online lapped up every moment of her presentation, which starts about one minute into the video below and lasts just under two wonderful minutes.

As a number of tweets will tell you, Nakamura has good form. She worked as an artist on Okami, Bayonetta and The Evil Within. That's a resume to make anyone jealous. She's also been working with Shinji Mikami, who formed Tango Gameworks. 

Like a cool breeze rolling in on a warm summer's day, Nakamura's energy and her excellent poses captured the hearts of those in the audience and those watching at home. She was an unstoppable force for good. 

Twitter was abuzz for her with many claiming that they would die for her. Can you blame them? Protect her at all costs.

Personally, I found it hard to separate the two shining lights of the Microsoft and Bethesda press conferences. Keanu Reeves dominated one. Nakamura dominated the other. Who won E3? Reeves or Nakamura? Does it even matter? I think we all won. 

E3 kicks up these energetic, unsung heroes all the time, turning hard-working developers into stars overnight. Nakamura has not become a meme. She's already transcended that with her wit, good humor and eclectic poses. She's a hero for all E3. 

Ikumi has been retweeting praise, fan art and memes since the presentation ended. Her response: I hope you like the game as much as you like me.

Thank you, Ikumi Nakamura, for your overwhelming positivity. Keep kickin' it. 

Originally published June 9 at 9:01 p.m. PT.
Update, June 10 at 7:20 a.m.: Adds video of presentation.
Update, June 10 at 5:20 a.m.: Info on Ikumi's Twitter. 

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