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Otaku Spaces Paperback – April 17, 2012
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"(Galbriath has) cosplayed as Super Saiyan Goku from Dragon Ball Z and led audio tours of Akihabara not just as a scholar, but as a participant. That gives him a different perspective than some of his more theoretically minded colleagues. And it goes hand-in-hand with a strong sense of responsibility toward his subjects. With Otaku Spaces, he consciously set out to counter the myth of Miyazaki, the madman alone in his room...His check is the people he talks with, often spending hours on a single interview. As his work reveals, they can speak candidly and with remarkable self-awareness about being otaku whatever that means to them. Far from Miyazaki's empty room, they occupy spaces of life, surrounded by the things they love and eager to tell their own stories." - The Verge
"Anyone who identifies as a fan of manga or anime should have a look inside, as well as anyone who calls themselves a collector. The themes are universal" - Collectors' Quest
"A truly interesting book and a definite must have for fans of Japanese pop culture." - Forces of Geek
"An enlightening and engaging volume...easy to recommend to anyone interested in otaku specifically or in Japanese pop culture in general." - Experiments in Manga
About the Author
Androniki Christodoulou: Androniki Christodoulou is a freelance photographer in Tokyo. She moved to Japan after working as a photographer for the Athens Olympic Committee during the summer Olympics of 2004. She was born in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Top Customer Reviews
So, to start, the format of the book:
It begins with a rather short, but helpful, introduction that speaks about how the book was done. It gives the reader a few useful definitions(which, if you are a fan of anime or Japanese culture, you're likely already familiar with) that help you understand some cultural vocabulary used in popular Otaku circles (moe, kawaii, etc). The author then presents their view of what "Otaku" can be, providing a decent history of the term and its evolution from "mania", its negative view due to certain public events, and eventually its more localized acceptance.
After the introduction of "Otaku" comes the aspect I will admit drew me to the product in the first place: the pictures and interviews. Here you are introduced to plethora of individuals - from those who collect tons of figurines due to their affections towards given characters, to a man who owns a ridiculous number of dating simulation games. There are males, there are females, and they all share one thing in common: They each have their own definition of what an "Otaku" is. To some it is a prideful badge to be worn, some find the term too constraining, others feel like it has too many implications for them to fully relate to it. All in all, the interviews were enjoyable as the reader gets to experience a cast of characters in all of their interesting (and at times peculiar) characteristics.Read more ›
The real meat of the book is the next part of the journey. Here we meet otaku the average person to the famous (a K1 fighter, two members of the idol group Nakano Fujoshi Sisters and Danny Choo). Some view themselves as dabblers. Some believe that the term as it is currently used do not apply to them. While others embrace it fully. Here we get a peek into the private lives of these otaku and glance at their psychology and history. We also get to see what the term otaku means to them even if they do not believe themselves to be otaku.
The next section covers commercial venues where otaku gathers. This range from Akihabara (home of the idol group AKB48, stores that cater to otaku and maid cafe) to Nippombashi in Otaku. We cover their history and development as meeting places for otaku.
The book finally ends with interviews with several experts on what made otaku an economic and global phenomenon. All in all a quite interesting read. I would highly recommend it to anyone from people who are interested in their fellow fans to the person who is trying to understand why a loved one is into what they are into.
This book is filled with some truly fantastic photographs alongside brief interviews and commentary. The oatku within are all fairly interesting and surprisingly interesting people; their obsessions are a part of who they are, but don't define them.
A truly interesting book and a definite must have for fans of Japanese pop culture.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting view into the lives and hobbies of Japanese popular culture enthusiastsPublished 17 months ago by eric loesch
This book is incredibly well designed and packed with information from someone clearly invested in the culture. Read morePublished on June 10, 2014 by bluebirdy