otaku

An inside look at Comiket 86, the world’s largest dōjinshi manga fair!【Photos】

An inside look at Comiket 86, the world’s largest dōjinshi manga fair!【Photos】

Twice a year otaku from all over Japan, and even the world, make the sacred pilgrimage to Tokyo Big Sight for Comic Market, better known as Comiket. Every year as I stand in the boiling heat or the freezing cold I ask myself ‘Why am I doing this?’, and yet there I am again the same time next year. It’s an almost masochistic experience, but the pleasure and limited-edition merch gained always outweighs the pain. Read on for photos and commentary from Summer Comiket 86.

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Man calls girlfriend a pig for not looking like his anime crush, still not done being a jerk

Man calls girlfriend a pig for not looking like his anime crush, still not done being a jerk

If we accept the premise that nobody’s perfect, being in a happy romantic relationship is all about learning to take the good with the bad. For example, your boyfriend might like going to the horse track regularly, but if he’s an otherwise financially responsible and emotionally considerate person, you might be able to live with him playing the ponies. Likewise, my wife puts up with my numerous shortcomings as a human being in light of my many redeeming qualities, such as…umm…

But hey, we’re not here to talk about me! We’re here to talk about a woman whose boyfriend was obsessed with his anime crush, and wasn’t quite able to make up for it by calling his girlfriend a lazy pig.

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Epic back-covering otaku tattoo is a veritable who’s who of ’80s and ’90s anime

Epic back-covering otaku tattoo is a veritable who’s who of ’80s and ’90s anime

Earlier this year, we came across a photo of an anime fan in Hong Kong and his back-covering tattoo of his 2-D crush, Love Live’s Nozomi Tojo. Impressive as it was, though, we couldn’t help but be a little concerned over his exact choice of large-scale body art.

While the Love Live franchise has exploded in popularity, with multiple games, anime and manga, the whole thing only got its start in 2012. No matter how much that guy thinks he loves Nozomi-chan now, isn’t it still a little too soon to be making such permanent declarations of his affections?

Wouldn’t it be wiser to wait a few years to make sure his feelings are genuine, like the other otaku who just got his back inked with over a half-dozen of anime’s biggest heroes from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s?

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Freaky cube shows when anime pillows aren’t terrifyingly pervy, they’re just terrified

Freaky cube shows when anime pillows aren’t terrifyingly pervy, they’re just terrified

Sometimes, anime merchandise gets an unfairly bad rap. Anime figurines aren’t all busty or bikini-clad, for example. Some are actually quite tasteful, built more to show off the characters’ cool costumes or awesome poses than their knockout figures.

Heck, even anime-themed hug pillows, perhaps the skeeviest sector of anime paraphernalia, isn’t 100 percent submissive-looking girls with half their clothes peeled off. For example, this cube-shaped Love Live cushion isn’t even suggestive, it’s just plain weird.

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Subway car decorated with anime idols literally brings fans to their knees in Shanghai

Subway car decorated with anime idols literally brings fans to their knees in Shanghai

In a lot of ways, hit anime Love Live seems to be been created with laser precision to strike right at the weak points of Japanese otaku. It’s got a cast filled with high school girls in frilly idol singer outfits who all have their own unique hairstyles and quirks, but are without exception earnest, pure, and devoted to their fans above all else.

So it’s no big surprise that we’ve no seen not only Love Live smartphone cases and shoes go on sale in Japan, but also big-ticket items like sports cars inspired by the franchise. The series isn’t just popular in Japan, though, as the bevy of idols are seeing their popularity rise in China as well, as a Shanghai subway decorated with the show’s characters recently brought fans to their knees in reverence.

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You can now get physical with your virtual girlfriend thanks to Oculus Rift and a dubious pillow

You can now get physical with your virtual girlfriend thanks to Oculus Rift and a dubious pillow

Are you starting to feel that your virtual girlfriend just isn’t real enough? Craving the feel of her soft skin against your own? With the technological leaps being made in the field of virtual reality gaming headsets, otaku are being offered the chance to get closer to their digital darlings than ever before. But can they handle it?!

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List of four desirable traits in an otaku girlfriend may not be the most well-thought-out

List of four desirable traits in an otaku girlfriend may not be the most well-thought-out

With more and more women identifying themselves as otaku, Japan’s super hardcore fans of things such as anime and video games, the odds of an otaku male finding a like-minded girlfriend aren’t so bad. Recently, there have even been professionally run matchmaking events to help romantically compatible anime-loving singles find one another.

Still, it’s human nature to always want more. Not too long ago many guys would have considered a girl a keeper simply for accepting their otaku lifestyle, but one group of illustrators has thought up four specific ways they’d want their girlfriend’s otaku leanings to manifest.

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Otaku impresses Twitter with simple way to spice up your clear files

Otaku impresses Twitter with simple way to spice up your clear files

Otaku often have more anime merch than they know what to do with, which can lead to them coming up with novel ways to use it. Also never underestimate their power to find creative ways to be strangely pervy.

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Akihabara’s first rental nerd looking to cash in on his jobless status

Akihabara’s first rental nerd looking to cash in on his jobless status

In a lot of ways, the NEET social phenomena is something that could only happen in Japan. The term stands for “not in education, employment, or training,” and refers to those individuals who are neither earning a living nor officially doing anything to approach that basic goal in life.

In many other countries, most people would conclude that a dose of tough love, or a few swift kicks to the backside, is in order. And while that’s the strategy Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino would recommend, in Japan, a large number of parents are willing to support their adult children’s NEET lifestyles for years on end.

Now, though, one man is putting a twist on the “not in education, employment, or training” label by renting out his services as a professional NEET.

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Toy maker offers new toy storage and safekeeping service so you can buy more toys

Toy maker offers new toy storage and safekeeping service so you can buy more toys

Bandai is giving otaku (especially of the fourth category) all over Japan yet another reason to be grateful. The mother of all toy, video game and anime distributors is introducing their new figure storage service. That’s right, if your living space looks like an anime convention storage locker, Bandai’s got your back.

For a small monthly fee, you can now store your goodies by the box, which means you no longer have to sleep with your beloved figures in your bed—that is, unless, you choose to.

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Man arrested for hunting the nerdiest game: Akihabara otaku

Man arrested for hunting the nerdiest game: Akihabara otaku

The 1993 action film Hard Target is notable for three reasons. First, it was Hong Kong action director John Woo’s American debut. Second, it starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as perhaps cinema’s most physically fit and combat-ready homeless man. And third, its story was one of the finest examples of the rich film genre known as “jaded and wealthy individuals hunting men for sport.”

One man from Saitama Prefecture apparently wasn’t quite up to the task of stalking the kickboxing Muscles from Brussels, though, and aimed his sights a little lower: hunting the otaku nerds of Akihabara.

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What kind of otaku are you?

What kind of otaku are you?

Fed up with the overly broad usage of the word ‘otaku’, one Japanese Twitterer decided to divide otaku up into six different categories with varying levels and types of obsession. From the humble fan to the god of nerds, where do you fit in?

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Purchase these bizarre capsule toys because… reasons

Purchase these bizarre capsule toys because… reasons

Capsule toys are basically just useless collector’s items that you can buy in Akihabara and other areas of Japan where nerds hang out. They almost always cost one single coin; That is, deceptively, 500 yen (US$5) or less, because that’s the largest coin currency available in Japan.

They’re usually a cheap pickup that combine the low cost of molded plastic trinkets with the inherent collector’s value of some popular video game or anime characters. Of course, there are also capsule toys like these that defy any explanation whatsoever and seemingly exist just to capture the attention of extremely drunk or eccentric people.

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Otaku pro wrestler Tomoyuki Oka makes no apologies for blurring the nerd/jock boundary

Otaku pro wrestler Tomoyuki Oka makes no apologies for blurring the nerd/jock boundary

Tomoyuki Oka, Japanese pro-wrestler and all around tough guy, has already captured the hearts of an unlikely otaku audience by being very open about the fact that, despite appearances, he’s actually one of them. He’s recently released a promotional video where we can see the contrast between his  tough, physical side and his completely nerdy, anime-obsessed personality, but also find that there’s more synergy between the two aspects than might be expected.

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Five reasons nerds make great boyfriends: Japan’s geeky otaku list their pros

Five reasons nerds make great boyfriends: Japan’s geeky otaku list their pros

As cultural attitudes continue to evolve in Japan, some groups that have spent decades being socially ostracized are finally seeing the tides turn in their favor. For example, while the covers of most men’s fashion magazines are still plastered with photos of incredibly slender guys, the country has recently been showing some love for heavyset males as well.

One demographic that still tends to have a hard time landing a date, though, are the otaku, Japan’s catch-all term for obsessive fans of anime, video games, computers, and anything traditionally geeky. But could the popular image of otaku as the bottom feeders of the dating pool be a case of women overlooking their hidden merits as boyfriend material?

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The new product for all Japanese men who wish they were little girls

The new product for all Japanese men who wish they were little girls

Are you a guy wanting to try out makeup for the first time? Well Japan, the land where anything goes, has just the thing for you. Allow us to introduce the ‘my first makeup set’ especially for otokonoko! Otokonoko is written with the kanji character for ‘man’ and ‘young woman’ or ‘daughter’, and is a word used to describe men who look and dress like women.

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Pizza Hut’s ita-campaign has people lining up around the block

Pizza Hut’s ita-campaign has people lining up around the block

The above picture was the scene outside a Pizza Hut shop in Chiyoda, Tokyo at 11:00 am on 24 February. The line stretches well around the block on the morning of a weekday with people looking to buy some pizza. The chain has certainly done collaborations with popular franchises before but none have generated this level of attention. So, what has Pizza Hut done to generate this kind of buzz? The answer is kind of painful.

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Take a glimpse into the natural habitats of female Japanese otaku 【Photos】

Take a glimpse into the natural habitats of female Japanese otaku 【Photos】

While we here at RocketNews24 have no shortage of stories on geeky men in Japan, it should be noted that there are plenty of women that fulfill the otaku stereotype of being obsessed with anime, manga and video games. The recently published photo book Corrupted Rooms gives readers a peek inside the cramped living quarters of 50 self-professed otaku and shows the extreme level of dedication these women have to their hobbies. From rooms packed with action figures to racks of cosplay outfits, click below to catch a glimpse into the world of the female otaku!

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Are you otaku? Roughly 40 percent of Japanese college students say, “Yes!”

Are you otaku? Roughly 40 percent of Japanese college students say, “Yes!”

There seems to be a bit of a debate these days centered around whether or not being an otaku, the term used in Japan to describe people who obsess over a variety of hobbies, is a socially healthy one. In extreme cases, the otaku lifestyle can limit romantic opportunities, and even renowned anime director Hayao Miyazaki has grumbled about their effects on the industry he earned his fame in.

With all the negativity and marginalizing, you’d think the number of people the label could be applied to would be small, and the number of individuals who’d choose it for themselves to be smaller still. Surprisingly enough, though, in a recent survey of college students, nearly four in ten identified themselves as an otaku.

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Survey reveals that more than 70 percent of otaku would choose their hobby over love

Survey reveals that more than 70 percent of otaku would choose their hobby over love

Over the years, the term “otaku” has, as well as being accepted into the English language, come to mean not just computer or anime fanatics locked away in their bedrooms, but any person who shows above-average fondness for any given hobby or pastime. Crazy about pop idols? You’re an otaku. Can’t get enough cosplay in your life? Same for you. Have a collection of video games so large that your friends casually refer to your house as “the library”? You’d better believe you’re an otaku.

But is your passion for your hobby so great that you would willingly choose it over love and romance? A recent survey asked a group of otaku that very question, and found that 70.1 percent of them said they’d shun love in favour of their hobby if it came down to it.

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