To answer the my question about mother-daughter boys love, last Sunday, in the midst of Golden Week, I made a solo pilgrimage to Ikebukero. I was looking for Otome Road (おとめどり、Maiden Road), the epicenter for fujoshi (腐女子、or female otaku who are boys love fans). Despite an abundance of maps, Otome Road is not listed as such, so I had to find my way with the help of Wikipedia’s directions.
Getting closer, I ran into this costumed character promoting a manga and game store. Note that she’s standing next to a “love” motel; the tell-tale sign is the “rest” vs “stay” prices. Am I too old to be a maiden? Fortunately, Elfin Leid made no judgments.
Passing under a towering highway overpass, I was on the western side of Sunshine 60, once the tallest building in East Asia, when I saw the huge Animate manga/anime store. I recognized it from the Canadian geek’s web post.
Soon I braved the narrow staircase and explored five of the eight levels. I learned that “adult” meant girlie erotic art, while “girl” meant boys love. Of course! The store was mobbed with teen and pre-teen girls. Yes, there were a few mothers my age with their pre-teen daughters. Lovely.
Feeling overwhelmed, I went to the mall below Sunshine 60 for some lunch. I learned that bad tonkatsu (とんかつ）is almost as bad as cheap sushi. Leaving the restaurant, I noticed the atrium was packed with people watching a 30 something “school girl” with a deep voice. Turns out it was famous Maeda Ken. A stranger helpfully confirmed that he’s “sort of” famous and a guy; he then explained he was “gay,” which he then “softened” to “maybe bisexual.”
Back on Otome Road, I ran into this strange couple. My poor Japanese made me stumble but I finally learned that they are not interpreting famous manga characters (cosplay) but rather creating original characters.
I toured K-Books (several shops on the same street) and a costume shop. Since you’re not supposed to snap photos in the bookstores (oops, I guess I violated that policy once), I calmly took this Boys Love poster photo outdoors. It always amazes me how much Japan celebrates reading!
Finally I ran across this poster for a new super-tranny band, called SuG. Rock on, fujoshi!