another book i couldn’t let go of. immensely educational and interesting, it describes in detail a world i was pretty unaware of and which includes cosplay, anime, manga and the entire afferent cosmos.

a few highlights:

– otakus do their own amateur manga spin-offs featuring hook ups of their favourite characters in order to relieve frustration. haha! and the publishing houses are totally ok with this fan art, namely they don’t sue.

– manga kissa, non-stop cafes where one can read mangas in a semi-private environment, sometimes also getting shower access, coffee or ice cream. also used by people who missed their last train home or by backpackers.

– maid cafes, places where people queue to be treated like masters by the maid-waitresses

– idoru (idol) highly manufactured girls (or boys) who have little talent other than looking pretty and innocent

– yaoi: mostly meaningless male-male romance mangas. the girls are crazy about them. can’t explain that. but i like them myself. note: when i say male-male i do not mean gay; i know it’s confusing…the story usually has a couple made of a younger, more innocent boy and an older, more experienced one. they somehow fall in love and have sex. i already posted a link to my favourite

– the book also includes interviews (idorus, maids, mangakas, cosplayers, takashi murakami, etc)

the author is patrick w. galbraith, a tokyo-based journalist and phd-to-be researching otaku, one of the coolest jobs i have ever heard of.

if you want a thorough introduction into this alternative world, this is the perfect thing!

You can get it on amazon for the otaku in your life