otaku

40% of BBS 2ch otaku have never dated the opposite sex

Sad, unbelievable, or just funny?! cnnGo’s David Marx relays two recent polls about (heterosexual) dating in Japan. According to a Livedoor article, an online poll found that 28% of men are able to experience a first kiss on the third date. But according to a poll on BBS 2ch, almost 40% of respondents have “never dated or kissed the opposite sex.”

Marx of course talks about the somewhat specialized otaku nature of Japan’s number one most popular online website. Yet while he bemoans this sad state of affairs, left unasked is how many otaku have dated and kissed the same sex. cnnGo, you’ve dropped the ball!

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Male maid struts in Akihabara with wheelie bag

To support a friend, I found myself in Akihabara on a Sunday afternoon. Until I saw this male maid above, I thought there was nothing for me in this sweaty world of male uber geeks and fans.

(Update: Tokyo RealTime‘s Akihabara audio tour is a fun way to explore the history and living culture of (hetero) male geekdom. Even this fag enjoyed the tour! Curious to check out the Kabukicho tour).

Tokyo’s Danny Choo Brings Dance Tooper to Singapore

Tokyo based Danny Choo, global otaku extraordinaire, brings his Dance Trooper to Singapore. The little island will never be the same. Two notable parts of this amazing dance video: wiping the sweat from his helmet, and the prominent crotch. If such flamboyant male heterosexuality spreads, world peace will surely follow.

40,000 Page Views!

40,000 Page Views

Thank you, dear readers, for provoking this simple blog to surpass 40,000 hits. What started out as a personal reflection on some favorite topics and a way to stay in touch with old friends has exploded into an online sensation focused on Japanese male vanity, delinquency, fashion, slang, and always big men’s hair.

Through this blog, I have met fujoshi from throughout the English-reading world, young queens from Down Under and elsewhere, and the greatest Japanese blogger about otaku words, while simultaneously sharing inappropriate topics with my mother and in-laws. 失礼しました!

Most recently search traffic for Narimiya Hiroki has helped blasted traffic up to 7,000 views in August alone. Other popular posts include Mother-Daughter Boys Love, Japanese Men Behaving Badly, Paying $75 million for Her Ass?, Fundoshi v. Fujoshi. Popular searches include Madonna Ass, middle age gay, Yu Darvish, host Japanese, naked athletes, and the like. I can only imagine what those who have found my blog searching for more benign topics like Cindy McCain and Betty Ford have discovered reading this moe-focused blog.

Please let me know what you think of the blog, any suggestions, and any topics you’d like to know more about. Thank you very much for your kind attention to my often bizarre interests.

Ikemen Alert: Teikyo University Rugby Players

Ikemen Alert: Teikyo University Rugby Players

It’s summer, hot, humid and sultry, but I am already dreaming of going back to university. Based on this brilliant Tokyo Metro ad campaign, I choose Teikyo University.

With all the summer male eye candy, I apologize for the previous post and my recent failure to show more alluring Tokyo men’s images. I’ll try to make it up to you dear readers in the next days.

The husband accused me of being more sympathetic to “air-heads” than otakus. And he also tried to tell me that Teikyo Uni is more famous for sports than academics. Unhh, so what? These guys are ikemen, and I am *not* imagining their brains.

Am I too old to try out for cheer leader squad? And which one should be team captain, and why?

rugby2 rugby3 rugby1

2D-Lovers

2D Love

“When I die, I want to be buried with her in my arms.” So says Nisan about his love Nemutan: a photo print of a X-rated video game character decorating a large pillow. They go on normal dates, including car-camping, karaoke, restaurant dinners, and photo booths.

It’s a little creepy that Nemutan is about 10 or 12, and that her otaku human lover is 37 and has adopted the name “nisan,” which Nemutan calls her older brother.

The New York Times Sunday Magazine author Lisa Katayama, blogger at Tokyo Mango, cites three potential explanations for this extreme  moe behavior: the high number of Japanese virgins (25% of men and women between the ages of 30 and 34; a movement led by Honda Toru against “romantic capitalism” whereby love is seen to have been commercialized that looks and money have replaced pure feeling; and one Japanese behavioral economist who compares 2D love to “becoming a Buddha.”

2D Love

The article fails to explore what ladies who have given up on 3D love are doing for their fantasy and fulfillment. Maybe they are busy reading Boys Love, and fantasizing about female-created man-on-man love. Ahhh, Japan. Ever so frustrated, imaginative and perverse 😉

Otomen TV show starts soon

Otomen tv show starting soon

A TV version of the manga Otomen is starting soon in Japan (August 1, 11.10 pm, Fuji TV), as revealed by this Omootesando billboard. The story centers on high school junior  Asuka Masamune: manly man and judo/karate/kendo master on the outside, lover of caramel macchiato, shōjo manga, sweets, and pink things on the inside. Apparently he romances a (female) classmate by teaching her how to do girly stuff.

I first heard of this term from my otaku and moe language teacher Bangin. He prefers this term over “soshokukei” (herbivores). Otomen, he defines, as young men who like BL and otome stuff (note the pink flower in the billboard which refers to girls’ anime styles), who are skilled at domestic crafts, and who act manly in public but are secretly feminine.

Thank you, Japanese television. Anyone else looking forward to this show?

“How come I am uke?!”

Bangin cosplays Kyon on Otome Road

On Monday, I had the supreme pleasure of helping my internet friend Bangin, the master teacher of otaku vocabulary for the English-speaking world, cosplay Kyon from The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.

Bangin’s idea was to have Kyon, the narrator, provide a tour of Otome Road, the fujoshi (female geek) world capital in Ikebukero. My role was to take hundreds of photos. It was great fun since I’ve long admired Bangin’s blog, and I’d watched seven English subbed episodes online between the time he asked me and when we did the cosplay.

A brief summary of the manga and anime story: Kyon, the narrator, is a high school freshman who is trying to grow up. He falls under the spell of a dominant female classmate who organizes the SOS Brigade to make contact with extraterrestrials, time travelers, and ESP experts. Basically, she’s looking for magic in the mundane world, a lovely concept. The story has plenty of otaku moe (school girls in uniform, including one who is used as sexual bait to gain a computer, new members and attention), and a slash fan story of Kyon’s romance with the “mysterious (male) transfer student Koizumi.”

My National Science Foundation and Fulbright-sponsored university research with Rio de Janeiro drag queens in the early 1990s only partly prepared me for the role of cosplay photographer. Make-up, costume, fantasy, role-playing, utter seriousness, a depth of knowledge and passion– all to be expected.

What surprised me was the concern to not be “too loud” or too noticed while performing. I had thought it would be fun to interact with the butler cafe doorman, or the many fujoshi pulling their wheelie bags full of manga and doujinshi (fan slash manga). This was not Bangin’s idea at all. And, oddly, no fujoshi approached us to ask about Kyon.

Here you can read Bangin’s post about Otome Road. It’s even funnier than I anticipated because Bangin writes the whole travelogue in Kyon’s voice– being “forced” by Haruhi, and warned by Koizumi about the catastrophe of closed spaces. His introduction ends with, “Today is going to be my worst day in all of my life. Will you follow me? I will show around.” There are many photos, observations and explanations!

The finale of the tour is very amusing. Across from the dozens of shops catering to fujoshi is a small, somewhat uncared-for-park, where the young customers open up their purchases (and homeless people make their home, which reminded me of San Francisco).

The photo at the top of the post shows Kyon’s shock and horror that he is the subject of a Koizumi x Kyon doujinshi. Bangin provided the quote, “How come I am uke?!”

Nakano Broadway

Nakano Broadway

Ah, Nakano Broadway! You have your own mascot Pipi, just like the Police, the Post Office, and every other institution in this lucky nation. While your showing your age, more or less the same as this author’s, your low-ceilings, lack of windows, and hundreds of tiny shops catering to local, national and international otaku (nerds) make me happy to call Nakano home. You never fail to provide an abundance of shopping, from boy-band memoriabilia to fujoshi comics, costume shops, and the home-roasted coffee from the always immaculate sisters. And the crowds you attract make me feel down right understated.

Do you have any new year’s resolutions? My number 1 resolution is to get fat. I’m also trying to improve my Japanese, learn some more about ceramics, and explore the many charms of Nakano.