Monday, May 08, 2006
TV in Japan: Otaku From USA
TV in Japan: Otaku From USA
Update And a rather different take from (I assume) the tour organiser...
Back of my head getting more exposure per click...
This one's too good to miss - a nature programme style look at American anime fans on a utopian tour of the nerdier side of Tokyo. And it's pretty good natured in tone, which isn't surprising as the people featured come across as a bunch of happy-go-lucky folks, who happen to enjoy Japanese cartoons, having a good laugh while indulging a bit in their own geekiness. Nothing wrong with that. The only issue I guess is in referring to them as "American Otaku," which may be a term of endearment over there, but certainly isn't here, and with good reason.
Otaku are a pretty sad bunch who don't so much enjoy their genre as rot in it. They are not fun people, just sad little men (gender specific) whose mums dress them funny, and stay locked safely in their respective rooms from the inside with their VCRs and laserdiscs watching cartoons and reading comics because it's so much less threatening than real people and the world outside. And they smell, because the wonders of personal hygiene and the various benefits it brings humanity have not been specifically introduced to them by some magic time travelling duck with blue hair and really huge eyes yet. When you see pathetic middle-aged men thumbing through porn on the shelves of convenience stores right in front of passing children, it's not because it's socially acceptable to do that (a common misapprehension), but because they are otaku and have no idea of the concept of social niceties. Otaku are to be avoided.
This is not to say there aren't terms of endearment for fans of the various geeky genre this land is so famous for - "Akibakei" (Akihabara style) comes to mind, and is probably about as close to the American meaning of otaku as you can get without being beaten round the head with a 15 tonne hammer. Obviously this isn't the first time a word has been butchered on its way from one language to another - even the word anime itself has narrowed itself right down from a very general word in Japanese meaning "animated cartoon" to a very specific style of cartoon that leaves people questioning whether the works of master animator Hayao Miyazaki are indeed, strictly speaking, of the anime genre.
Another rather miffed take on what it is and isn't to be an otaku from that bastion of truth and hard, cold facts, Waiwai.
I digress. A rather amusing video I thought, and if it wasn't crippled I'd knock out a subtitled version tonight so self-professed otaku the world over could be warned. Guess it'll have to wait. Update Bit of a rush job so the timing's a little off, but a subtitled version is now up.
Posted by Coal at 11:34 am