The Otaku Encyclopedia An Insiders Guide to the Subculture


The Otaku Encyclopedia An Insiders Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan I bought this for my otaku daughter's 11th birthday but thought I'd better preview it for unduly suicky material which it turns out to have in abundance It's not in bad taste but it definitely covers EVERY aspect of Japanese fandom and some of those are almost certainly beyond her comfort level I'll keep it and let her look things up in it if she wants to but I'm not going to wrap a ribbon around it and give it to her saying Here learn about Japanese sex dolls and guys who have crushes on prepubescent cartoon characters Honey There's a difference between not forbidding something and actively pushing it at your kid so However it wasn't money wasted because this stuff really is fascinating and I'm enjoying reading it myself From influential anime films to maid cafes fan created manga to pop idols girls with blingy cell phones and white eye makeup to collectible robot figurines it's a wide and wonderful world out there Well written only occasionally slipping into overt geekiness this is a great guide to Japanese pop subcultures We're tentatively planning a trip to Japan in the spring and this is giving me tons of ideas for things not to miss and a little window of understanding into what we might find there As a newcomer to the world of animemanga fandom I found it pretty good but I could not compare to much of anything elseIt's a pretty complete view of otaku culture in Japan and is based on hundreds of interviews done by Patrick as part of his research earning a PhD from a Japanese university in international communications Some of the information causes some controversy with US fans and that's because what is here is based on Japanese fans Examples under the influential manga category Maison Ikkoku is listed and in the US Ranma 12 and if you're asking Ranma 12 not listed is much important to the career of Rumiko Takahashi Another manga listed as influential is La Girl Blue which is very ecchi and many US fans are very hung up about anime and manga being identified with SEM Whatever Additionally there are fans and fen who get hung up about academic types taking some serious looks at fannish obssessions and activities Going on The entries cover from Akanbe to Zettai Ryoiki and Zokusei and lots of stuff inbetween Rumikio Takahashi has her own entry and the entry has a cover photo of Ranma in accompany it Danny Choo has his own entry In addition of general entries some notables have their own two pages specials Example Nakagawa Shoko a Japanese idol who is well known for identifying as an gamer and otaku Example Ichikawa Koichi one of the founders of Comiket Finally Patrick is a moe fan and so that bias shows but it's not overwhelming Excellent book My first of this year and I hope of many to come I have considered myself an otaku wannabe for a while but after reading this book I realized that it was a huge joke Otakus are seriously into it It is not a mere hobby I am of a manga wota; Johnny wotaThis encyclopedia is very complete it covers from manga to anime; video games to idoru There are great pictures about idorus places dolls and figures but also some of them are very sexual It also includes interviews with some connoisseurs of different fields maid anime cosplay etc some crimes that occurred with an otaku as the perpetratorIt is like this opened my eyes I have always found Japan a fascinating culture but several times I was thinking this is so crazy the dolls the different kind of maids certain fetishes WOWI loved this book PG 18 The Otaku Encyclopedia is exactly as advertised an encyclopedia devoted to all things otaku While the word otaku has not become mainstream vernacular for people who are well versed in things originating in Japan or in global subculture the word is familiar and interestingly becoming uite cool It is interesting because the term in Japanese conveys uite the opposite of cool; even if the obsessive pursuits of seriously devoted fans of a complex and often slightly deranged medium become popular it is the slightly disapproving public perception of the pursuit that separates the otaku from a mere fan For every fan of games anime manga idols dolls and related hobbies only the devoted otaku transcend from a passive consumer to active participantPatrick Galbraith's book is no doubt an encyclopedia It provides an alphabetical dictionary to all things otaku But unlike most other encyclopedia's it is one that is actually uite readable in its entirety from A to Z Not only for its short interviews with a handful of some of the people noted for their contributions to otaku history and culture but the definitions themselves provide a great deal of information for those who are trying to understand contemporary Japan and particularly the Cool Japan movements that are being promoted by the Japanese government and many othersEven though the subject matter may seem juvenile risue and somewhat frivolous to some it is very informative and useful for any student of contemporary Japan Even if you are not interested in otaku pursuits some understanding of these phenomenon is critical to knowing modern Japan and planning the way forward I only partially read this book It was good but I had other books that I neededwanted to read that ended up taking priorityBaically you can look up a term that you would like to know in manga or anime or other otaku pursuits and read an entry about it Just getting through the B's I learned uite a bit There are also interviews with various artists and directors about the otaku cultureOtaku basically a type of geek or nerd It's someone who likes video games and the internet and manga and anime and collecting action figures Someone you might think of as living at home with their parents and not dating because of a shyness with the opposite sex There's also been a connotation of being creepy associated with this term and I think Japan has been trying to dispel the negative aspects of otaku and focus on the fun positive thingsI'll eventually check this out again from the library and continue my cultural reading Considering the amount of manga I've been reading I think I've read from Japanese authors than from other foreign authors and have been amazed at the differences and the similarities I haven't been to Japan though Maybe someday I bought this book while visiting Japan hoping to find out about the rad newgen sub culture of otaku Overall this is a short encyclopedia plus a collection of interviews It is much of what Otaku Spaces fails to be that is an analysis of what the otaku culture is and means this I liked very much However the presentation structure and style remain that of an encyclopedia that is rather dry and there is an issue of too many explicit images sprinkled everywhere so I would still recommend reading instead the general A Geek in JapanI read this in a plane so I have to mention that there are very explicit images sprinkled on every page I guess these are good representations of the mangaanime culture as seen by the author but it makes for an unnecessarily cumbersome reading in a public space Also I've read plenty of manga but not much of the erogehentailolicon type Anyway it would have been much easier for the average European reader to restructure the imagery as follows leave a few loose explicit images and combine the rest most in a section only for explicit images I saw this book while on holiday in Japan and found it so impressively informative that I had to pick up my own copy once I got home of course because it was cheaper to due to the exchange rate Luckily the author is someone living and working in Japan so they've had the experience from their journalism work to research efficiently for this book than a humble westerner would He has done a smashing job of explaining some of the newer terms used by fans today that old school fans like me just haven't got around to understanding because it is uite common for chinese whispers to skew term understanding in the western marketThere are some things in Japan you just won't be aware of until you get there but thanks to this book you can get a bit of good a taster of what to expect before you go eg those strange to me moe Maid Cafes Otaku Nerd; geek or fanboy Originates from a polite second person pronoun meaning your home in Japanese Since the 1980s it's been used to refer to people who are really into Japanese pop culture such as anime manga and videogames A whole generation previously marginalized with labels such as geek and nerd are now calling themselves otaku with prideThe Otaku Encyclopedia offers fascinating insight into the subculture of Cool Japan With over 600 entries including common expressions people places and moments of otaku history this is the essential A to Z of facts every Japanese pop culture fan needs to know Author Patrick W Galbraith has spent several years researching deep into the otaku heartland and his intimate knowledge of the subject gives the reader an insider's guide to words such as moe doujinshi cosplay and maid cafes In depth interviews with such key players as Takashi Murakami otaku expert Okada Toshio and J pop idol Shoko Nakagawa are interspersed with the entries offering an even penetrating look into the often misunderstood world of otaku Dozens of lively colorful images from portraits of the interview subjects to manga illustrations film stills and photos of places mentioned in the text pop up throughout the book making The Otaku Encyclopedia as entertaining to read as it is informative Strong four starsAs the title suggests this is an encyclopedia; there are many entries to the animemangaJapanese pop culture jargon not forgetting history and the people who have been involved in it a handful of interviews giving a personal touch to a few topicsThe book is written with the otaku culture in mind which is an elusive term at best even within the covers of this bookAs someone who has long been interested in anime and manga but has had little time to devote to that interest this was a thorough eye opener to a world I am yet to explore fullyThe book was aesthetically pleasing and easy enough to explore cross referencing entries so that you could jump back and forth for clarification or as usually was the case to find a related termA handy little book to have if you have an interest in this area An essential guide to any anime or Manga fan Unfortunately some of the Otaku culture is very sexual and I can't offer it to my high school students I had the Japanese teacher look at it and she confirmed that she would not be able to use it with students but may be able to use some sections as a resource in class

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