Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Anime, manga fuel oddball 'otaku' biz boom (cultural insights on Japan's "ultra-geek" subculture)
Mainichi Daily News ^ | July 14, 2005 | Ryann Connell

Posted on 07/14/2005 6:01:13 PM PDT by DTogo

Dozens of grown men from their 30s to 60s crowd around the tatami mat room in Kagetsuen, a Shizuoka Prefecture ryokan inn, and begin playing with their train sets. More than 90 percent of the inn's guests are adults who enjoy playing with toy trains.

These mature train setters have not only kept the inn afloat as others around it have fallen into oblivion, they've helped it grow in a prime example of the otaku business that's now booming throughout Japan, according to AERA (7/18).

"Thanks to trimming down our target market, we could stay in business," Eiji Misu, Kagetsuen's owner, tells AERA.

Some estimates say there's already an 88.8 billion yen market in the Moe Sangyo, literally the Budding Business but moe is the term Japan's millions of otaku have adopted to describe the warm filling they're filled with when they see something that turns them on - like a bespectacled young girl in a maid's outfit, saucer-eyed comic characters or, for the middle-aged men in Shizuoka, toy trains.

(Excerpt) Read more at mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Japan; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: allurmangarblong2us; anime; entertainment; geek; japan; otaku; slackers; ultrageek
FYI. From playing with toy trains (I don't think they mean the HO variety) to bishounen "beautiful boy" homo-comics by women for women, and now men? A mere peek at Japan's bizarre otaku (ultra-geek) sub-culture.

The Moe Sangyo may be better than kidnapping young girls off the street to keep as a pet, but may just be providing encouragement or a temporary distraction. This stuff is just plain weird, IMHO.

1 posted on 07/14/2005 6:01:14 PM PDT by DTogo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: maikeru; Dr. Marten; Eric in the Ozarks; Al Gator; snowsislander; sushiman; AmericanInTokyo; ...
I enjoy Japanese pop-culture as much as the next Japanophile, but this stuff is just soooooo otaku.

Japan * ping * (kono risuto ni hairitai ka detai wo shirasete kudasai : let me know if you want on or off this list)

2 posted on 07/14/2005 6:08:05 PM PDT by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DTogo
Some of this is weird. But there is some really good anime. I recommend anything by the great Japanese writer/director Miyazaki, or from the Japanese/Italian combo, Studio Ghibli. These are wonderful for the whole family.

http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/sen/

3 posted on 07/14/2005 6:27:11 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
Yes, Miyazaki's animated films are often-watched in our house, as are other cartoons and such that originated in Japan (Pokemon, etc.). I was referring to the otaku genre of anime/manga described in this article.
4 posted on 07/14/2005 6:32:54 PM PDT by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: JenB; RosieCotton; SuziQ; Soupy

Ping


5 posted on 07/14/2005 6:39:15 PM PDT by ecurbh (Join the Hobbit Hole Troop Support - http://freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DTogo

Otaku means something that turns you on, like a pretty girl in a maid's dress? Would "All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku" qualify? Or some aspects of "Neon Genesis Evangelion"?


6 posted on 07/14/2005 6:44:13 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DTogo; JenB
Boy's Love comics and books tell stories of pretty young boys deeply in love

Yeah, but in love with whom?

7 posted on 07/14/2005 6:50:32 PM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SuziQ
Each other... I don't do shonen-ai. Neither does Clare, I'm sure.

I got pinged to this thread three times in nine posts. Ah well. Atashi wa otaku desu.

8 posted on 07/14/2005 7:11:56 PM PDT by JenB (I solemnly swear I am up to no good.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

Otaku means, more like, "geek". Only with very few good connotations, though some otaku are trying to claim the word the way American geeks embrace their title.

If you're turned on by "Neon Genesis Evangelion" you probably are a (male) otaku.


9 posted on 07/14/2005 7:13:17 PM PDT by JenB (I solemnly swear I am up to no good.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: TalonDJ

Not much of a thread yet but it's not every day you see words like "otaku" on FR.


10 posted on 07/14/2005 7:20:20 PM PDT by JenB (I solemnly swear I am up to no good.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: DTogo

Just don't show this one to your kids.... If you have to ask, you don't wanna know.
11 posted on 07/14/2005 7:40:55 PM PDT by adam_az (It's the border, stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

"Otaku means something that turns you on, like a pretty girl in a maid's dress?"

I thought it meant "enthusiast?"


12 posted on 07/14/2005 7:41:36 PM PDT by adam_az (It's the border, stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
As I understand it, an otaku is someone who is excessively expert about or devoted to one particular thing, either a hobby or about some aspect of pop culture. Not only do you love it, but you know every fine detail about it. Star Wars movies, Hello Kitty, etc. It need not be sex-related.

The Economics of the Jihad II - The Demand for Jihad.

13 posted on 07/14/2005 7:47:46 PM PDT by untenured (http://futureuncertain.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: adam_az

It was translated to me as "obsessive" by a guy in Kanda who ought to know. His field was little girls in sailor suits. And bondage.


14 posted on 07/14/2005 7:53:30 PM PDT by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

15 posted on 07/14/2005 8:22:00 PM PDT by struwwelpeter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: untenured; Billthedrill

OK. I hadn't heard the term before.


16 posted on 07/14/2005 8:33:07 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: JenB

No, I'm not turned on by "Neon Genesis Evangelion." I just sometimes feel a need to know everything. It was mentioned in a discussion of interesting anime films, I ran across several episodes in a remainder bin at Record Explosion in New York, so I picked it up and filled out the set on half.ebay.com.


17 posted on 07/14/2005 8:37:40 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SuziQ
Boy's love comics and books

Also known as slash fiction, homoerotic stories of boys in love, written for and read by a female audience (or largely female audience).

18 posted on 07/14/2005 8:48:54 PM PDT by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
OK. I hadn't heard the term before.

There's a comparable word used in British English: anorak.

-ccm

19 posted on 07/15/2005 12:03:23 AM PDT by ccmay (Question Diversity)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Billthedrill
it basically means an 'obsessed fan' of any particular subject. In America anime fans use the it to describe themselves but very very few of them would be an 'otaku' the way the Japanese define it. In Japan it covers any hobby and activity and describes someone who takes any hobby to a life consuming extreme.
20 posted on 07/15/2005 5:46:15 AM PDT by TalonDJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: DTogo
Japanese culture always bears careful watching.

IMHO their society in many, many ways, is living 50 years in the future (just as other parts of their culture are, by design, keep 600 years in the PAST, as a respite to the former).

by any standards other than Japanese, their culture is wacky and/or insane, but fascinating none-the-less.

21 posted on 07/15/2005 5:59:26 AM PDT by chilepepper (The map is not the territory -- Alfred Korzybski)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: chilepepper

Interesting take, that I find hard to disagree with.


22 posted on 07/15/2005 7:17:16 PM PDT by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson