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22nd February 2013

Link with 16 notes

Being a Chinese Otaku Ain't Easy →

Otaku goodies galore in a country that has tense relations with Japan, China.

If you’re a Chinese otaku that has relatives who have suffered at the hands of the Japanese in the past, you’re not the only one. This is my experience dealing with family members who have told me stories about how bad Japan was back in the early 20th century.

You can also apply this to Koreans as well. 

At least we have the common sense to realize that not every Japanese person is bad, right?

Though you have to remember that everyone has skeletons in their closet. 


Tagged: otakuChinese otakuotaku cultureChinaJapanhistory of Japanotaku lifeJapanese pop cultureJapanese culture

10th March 2012

Text with 12 notes

My Little Sister Can’t Be This Popular! The Love for “Imoutos”

Cafe Bar Nagomi, a well-known "imouto" cafe in Japan.

I present to you: Cafe Bar NAGOMI! Yes, this is an actual “imouto” cafe in Japan. 

Ever had or wished you had a little sister that made you go D’AWWWW every time she tried to make you smile? Do you get giddy (or wish to gleefully experience the moments) when your little sister acts pretty mean towards you and later apologizes for her behavior with a sad, puppy face? If so, you might be having a case of “imouto love”.

A subject that continues to fascinate me is the otaku’s love for “imoutos” (Japanese for “little sisters”). Imouto characters are prevalent in Japanese pop culture and it makes you wonder why male otaku are quite drawn to them in droves. Do most of them wish they had a little sister that relied on them? 

If you’re curious about how much “imouto love” there is out there, here are some examples. Besides the most prominent series that features an imouto lead, Ore no Imouto Konna ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai (“My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute”, also known as Oreimo), other titles include Imouto wa Shishunki (“Younger Sister Is In Puberty”), Koi Kaze, and Boku wa Imouto ni Koiwosuru (“I Love My Little Sister”). Imouto love is also implied in certain anime/manga series. There is currently a wide variety of adult-oriented material (a majority in the form of PC games) focusing on little sisters loving their precious oni-chan (“big brother” in Japanese) and/or vice versa. Japan sure has quite the sister complex, doesn’t it?

Kirino and Kyosuke Kosaka, the much-infamous brother-sister duo in Oreimo.

An article on Senile_Seinen talked about "imouto love" in a review for Oreimo and the author stated that the subject is becoming popular because of Japan’s low birth rate. He goes on to say that few Japanese people below the age of 30 have a sibling. They don’t know what it’s like to have one, so seeing media featuring siblings in wacky moments together fascinates them. 

I’m curious about the mindset of creators behind imouto material: is there anything super-special about having a little sister rather than a little brother and/or older sibling? Well, besides the fact that the little sister has tendencies to look up to the older brother and can be extremely adorable as hell. There have been studies floating around about how having a sister can be beneficial in one’s life. Having a sister (younger or older) can make you a kinder person. Sibling conflict provides great education as well. Fights between siblings usually teach them how to control their emotions in heated moments. Siblings will also stick by you even after when parents pass away. Some important factors to note are that girls like to listen and they are often more talkative than boys. This gives female siblings an edge, compared to male siblings, as you can confide in them emotionally. Older sisters can be bossy and start ranting about life though, which seems like something the otaku don’t like. 

Regardless, if you have a female sibling, you’re in luck and have a good chance to turn out to be a emotionally healthy individual. I do believe that Japanese otaku (who may not have had experienced the joys of having a younger sibling) honestly want a real young, cute girl who looks up to them in all aspects of life and/or is willing to listen to them (like an imouto would). It seems that otaku want a sense of control over someone to give themselves a shot of confidence. Does anyone really give otaku a sense of hope at all? Perhaps the structure of Japanese society should be blamed for how their parents turned out, since their behavior does have huge effects on the children they raise.

Yori and Iku, the brother-sister couple from "Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru" (I Love My Little Sister)

A couple of final questions I would like to pose to everyone: how would you believe the otaku will react if they actually had a real little sister that matched their expectations? Will they believe that reality (in their eyes) isn’t as deceiving as they think it is? Let’s just hope that otaku don’t want too many little sisters. Then again, Japanese men haven’t had the greatest reputation as of late.

Now, if you excuse me, I must rescue my precious Nanako-chan from the evil Shadows.


Tagged: Japanese cultureJapanese otakuJapanese pop cultureanimecultural psychologyimoutoimouto lovelittle sistermangamanga psychologyotakusibling psychologyotaku culture

18th June 2011

Text with 62 notes

Why Girls Are Liking Shonen Manga

Japanese girls showing their approval of shonen manga.

Hey, girls like battles as much as boys do.

According to the “wonderful” site that is Sankaku Complex, more and more girls in Japan are interested in reading shonen manga than shoujo manga. This relates to what I discussed in an interview by Fanboy.com.

I spoke about how there are series like Katekyo Hitman Reborn! & Kuroshitsuji filled with very attractive-looking male characters. There’s also the fact that shonen manga seems to have a fair share of teenage characters that appeal to a wide audience. Another supposed reason for girls reading shonen manga are that they are less concerned about being feminine when compared to boys trying to be manly.

Though it could just come down to this: shonen plots are just plain better than shoujo plots. Most shoujo manga these days typically seems to be all the same: high school girls trying to date a guy they like & the emotional drama that ensues. Shonen plots can be pretty diverse compared to shoujo plots. At times, there may be TOO MUCH fighting in shonen manga, but they’re usually more exciting to most fans. Look at a series like BLEACH, which has a huge number of both male & female fans. Shoujo JUMP, here we come!

To female shonen readers, why do you read shonen manga?


Tagged: BLEACHJapanJapanese cultureJapanese newsKatekyo Hitman RebornKuroshitsujiboys and girlsmangaotakushonen mangashoujo manga

13th June 2011

Link with 7 notes

Roland Kelts on the Anime Markets in America & Japan →

Roland Kelts points out some interesting things about the state of Japan compared to the state of America. Anime conventions are definitely booming, despite some of the craziness that can go on.

Anime & manga won’t die. The industry just has to evolve. Once again, globalization is something Japan needs to accept. Period.


Tagged: Roland KeltsJapanglobalizationanimemangaanime conventionsJapanese pop cultureotaku

14th May 2011

Link with 5 notes

Should Anime Have A Message? →

Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

(Kyubey says: “Hehehe, silly girls don’t know how to read!”)

(This link is NSFW thanks to the craziness that is Sankaku Complex.)

I was reading this article just now and so many otaku seem to be divided on whether to take anime very seriously. There are academics out there (Brian Ruh & Alex Leavitt are two very notable researchers) that actually do and/or have done research on anime. This issue also plagues manga as well.

One response that caught my eye was: “Lately there are anime which deliberately quash their message element, like (Code) Geass – it seems interest in them wanes a bit faster that way.”

Do you believe that most anime these days only care about fanservice, slapstick comedy, and an oversimplified plot?

Anime is created as form of entertainment. However, it is also a form of art. I do believe that anime has messages in all forms (even implied messages). You either just look at it carefully or or you don’t. Most people find anime fascinating because it covers a wide range of subjects that an overwhelming majority of American cartoons never touch. Anime is very mature and thought-provoking. Even some directors make anime to visually educate their audiences about certain things.

This debate looks to be continuing for quite some time….Won’t ALL otaku be able to get along someday?


Tagged: Japanese pop cultureanimemessageotakupsychologyKyubeyMadoka Magica

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