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Akihabara - A Ghetto of Geeks



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Akihabara - A Ghetto of Geeks
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HeDanny
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:50 pm    Post subject: Akihabara - A Ghetto of Geeks Reply with quote
Was pointed to This Article this morning. Thought it was interesting enough warrant a post.

Its mostly about "otaku" and Akihabara. The over all tone of the article seems to point to Otaku being the cause of the decay of society, and Akihabara being the epicenter.

I know SFA about Japan, but I know that if I ever go there (virtually imposible dream) I want to check this place out. Not sure how long I could spend inside buildings with no windows tho. That just seems too.. claustrophobic to me.
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Reece
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sounds like a cool place to me. The press always like whipping up a frenzy and presenting extreme cases as normal. First it was rock and roll, then it was Dungeons and Dragons, then computer games, and now japanime culture eh?

If press these days had any credibility left I would be offended, but since everyone with a few brain cells to rub together is now desensitised to their hyperbole it doesn't matter.

When my long service leave comes up in a few years I will go over and check out Japan for a few months - I just hope they still have plenty of these "ghetto" districts left by then.
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Cor
Arumi Asahina


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Akihabara is very cool, but go at night so everything is lit up.
Electric City indeed.

We could've easily spent quite a few hours there, but we had a train to catch unforunately so we only got around 15 minutes to look around.
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Mr Waffle
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I mustn't have been looking hard, because I only found one maid cafe there. As far as I can tell that article is just a regurgitation of an article I read last year, with the exact same examples...

Theres an insane amount of hentai there, though. Like... more in one shop there than you could find in every other country put together.

The anime stores are the bestest. I miss them and their super duper selections...
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Inniss 1428
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:34 pm    Post subject: ... Reply with quote
Perhaps these younger generations, offspring of the mordern education system, are actually seeing what the world is really like, and thus they choose their own fantasy over reality (that's my excuse). But the fact remains that humans are sociable creatures, and places like this provide a wading-pool into the ocean of life that is a lot more readily available than an anual convention. I myself rarely socialise outside of animé clubs, and since moving away from Perth haven't left the house except to see SW:RotS.
I've known of this district for a while now, and it was already on the top of my list on places I need to visit when I save enough to do a TESOL course and apply for a working holiday visa. I just can't seem to find the life-size pillows over here Crying or Very sad
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Balsnac
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Looks like the ideal place for any anime, manga or gamer fan really, i woulnd't mind jet setting of to Akihabara and having a little (or long) look around their myself.

But onto the article, i didn't really like the guy who wrote it, he seemed a bit condecending towards the people who hung out thier and i personally believe he used the word geeks as if he was getting $1k for everytime he put it in.

I wouldn't mind getting my hands on that
Quote:
1985 NEC computer, gingerly housed behind glass, with a $2,500 price tag.

it's also nice to see something taken way fom those damn selfish house wives Very Happy
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Lacrox
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
NERDS!
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Luciferian
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I wonder if it would be strange if a female actaully turned up and was buying everything in sight without yelling yaoi in the middle of the street.

I.E me ... Twisted Evil But i would like to vist Akihabara all the DDR i could get there Shocked *drools*...
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Mr Waffle
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Luciferian wrote:
I wonder if it would be strange if a female actaully turned up and was buying everything in sight without yelling yaoi in the middle of the street.

I.E me ... Twisted Evil But i would like to vist Akihabara all the DDR i could get there Shocked *drools*...


There are massive sections for yaoi, they'd probably think it was stranger that a gaijin was there as opposed to a fangirl. But, the didn't even blink an eyelid when I walked down the yaoi aisle, so...

Also, nobody DDRs anymore. Sorry. Actually, arcades are quite a bit smaller than I imagined there... and they're really not very interesting, you'll find 99% of the same games in Sydney or Melbourne arcades (excluding the bizarro games that occasionally pop up- like the butt poking or the dog walking ones, but I never saw those either).
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Cor
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I found it sort of daunting trying to work out when I had walked into the yaoi / hentai sections. It all kinda looked the same, and there weren't any signs I could understand.
Went into a shop called 'Book & Bag' with my host family, a manga cafe sort of thing, and I was wandering around, having a look at their library, and I didn't even notice when I walked into the yaoi section.
Suffice to say, my all-girl host family did notice and I got quite a bit of flak for it for the next week.
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Raven Xavier
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
that is awesome. now to see if otakuism can become mainstream in america or even Australia.
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Luciferian
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
even notice when I walked into the yaoi section


Gaz i actaully know your pain in a way sometimes i even can't tell if its a guy or a girl.
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Kero-chan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Mr Waffle wrote:
butt poking


Sicko. Razz
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Raven Xavier
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Kero-chan wrote:
Mr Waffle wrote:
butt poking


Sicko. Razz


i bet you could do that with para para Smile
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Kloppy
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Raven Xavier wrote:
that is awesome. now to see if otakuism can become mainstream in america or even Australia.
No it's not. For otaku to become acceptable would just create a new subset that even the otaku think are odd.

Someone's gotta tell them....


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Raven Xavier
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
i suppose. i like being part of a subculture
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Greoboruri
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Ishihara maintains a growing collection of 130 life-size pillows of female anime characters -- both purchased and self-designed. [...] "There are some people who do lose their grip on reality, but that is not me [...] "For me, the pillows have been my source of unconditional love, a reminder of when I used to be hugged by my parents. There is nothing strange about it."




Umm, yeah sure. Methinks it's time Mr Ishihara went to see a psychologist to sort out some of his “issues”. Especially the ones involving his parents.
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InGram
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Personally, I love the place. Very Happy

Quote:
"Welcome home, master."

"Okaerinasai, Goshujinsama." Heeheehee...

Greoboruri wrote:
Quote:
"For me, the pillows have been my source of unconditional love, a reminder of when I used to be hugged by my parents. There is nothing strange about it."

Umm, yeah sure. Methinks it's time Mr Ishihara went to see a psychologist to sort out some of his “issues”.


Dakimakura (the name for those large pillows) are commonly used by all sorts of people in Japan (men and women), not only otaku. Most of them just don't have characters printed on them though. Razz

I can see where that article is coming from. A few weeks ago, I had one hour to spare in Tokyo, so I took the train to Akiba and went to Toranoana (the big orange doujinshi shop they visit in Genshiken). The first floor is normal enough, like a newsagency - normal looking people, all the mainstream manga and artbooks etc.
Go up a couple of floors, and nobody speaks much, nobody looks at each other, every dark haired, backpack wearing and bespectacled customer (*cough*) is just searching through the thousands of plastic-wrapped doujinshi (all labeled as to their content - all audiences, adult only etc) as videogame music plays in the background. Same goes for the H-game stores. Shelves and shelves of only H-games, except these places have a lot more people wearing suits in there.

Possibly the most hardcore store I visited was a videogame one that seemed to specialise only in old things. There were hundreds of arcade boards in antistatic bags all around the tops of the shelves, games upon games for all the old systems, and at least half a dozen demo TV's (all old-school looking things with bubble-like CRT's) blasting out 8-bit music for all they were worth. It'd drive you mad if you worked there...

That said, there's lots of regular computer and electronics stores as well. It's not like the whole place is like that...

Luciferian wrote:
Quote:
even notice when I walked into the yaoi section

Gaz i actaully know your pain in a way sometimes i even can't tell if its a guy or a girl.

Did the same thing several times the first time I went there. Usually I'd just blink hard and keep walking. Embarassed

Yeah, no DDR, no ParaParaParadise. It's not the 90's, get over it. Razz Even Taiko No Tatsujin is probably out now as well...
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HimuraBattousai
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
InGram wrote:
Personally, I love the place. Very Happy

Quote:
"Welcome home, master."

"Tadaima, Goshujinsama." Heeheehee...


Shouldn't that be "Okaerinasai, Goshujinsama"?

Oops, that's what I get for not proofreading! Thanks. - InGram Embarassed

Uh, not that I'm into that particular fantasy or anything...
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Kloppy
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
InGram wrote:
Personally, I love the place. Very Happy

Yeah, dont' get me wrong, I think it'd be a great place to visit... like Disneyland or something. But you don't live in Disneyland, and your life doesn't revolve around it.

InGram wrote:
Dakimakura (the name for those large pillows) are commonly used by all sorts of people in Japan (men and women), not only otaku. Most of them just don't have characters printed on them though. Razz
example:

Just cause women use them, doesn't mean that they're any less pathetic.
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Inniss 1428
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
HimuraBattousai wrote:
InGram wrote:
Personally, I love the place. Very Happy

Quote:
"Welcome home, master."

"Tadaima, Goshujinsama." Heeheehee...


Shouldn't that be "Okaerinasai, Goshujinsama"?

I believe so. Taidaima is "I'm back" if I remember correctly. Heh heh heh...

I don't see how anyone can have a problem with those pillows. Everyone has their own version of a security blanket. For some it's those pillows, for others it's a particular plushie or keychain figure, for me it's my 0.4 black artliner (can't go anywhere without it), for a strange disturbed few it's a large katana, and for everyone else it actually is a blanket.
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Luciferian
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I want one of those pillows it has a hand. Twisted Evil I don't care if DDR is out of fashion its still awsome in my small world.
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Raven Xavier
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
indeed. melchior_17 and myself are going in september and we vowed to DDR around japan
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MR_MR2
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
That might be hard I went all through Japan last year and visited heaps of arcades but I never saw even one DDR machine
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Raven Xavier
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
you just gotta know where to look
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Sakuya
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Inniss 1428 wrote:
HimuraBattousai wrote:
InGram wrote:
Personally, I love the place. Very Happy

Quote:
"Welcome home, master."

"Tadaima, Goshujinsama." Heeheehee...


Shouldn't that be "Okaerinasai, Goshujinsama"?

I believe so. Taidaima is "I'm back" if I remember correctly. Heh heh heh...


Depends on who says this.. if you yourself is coming back then you'd say "tadaima" which means "I'm home" or "I'm here".

If someone is welcoming you back then they would say to you "okaerinasai", which means "welcome back" or "welcome home".
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InGram
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, we've established that. I made a mistake. It's been corrected.
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Luciferian
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Raven Xavier wrote:
you just gotta know where to look


Thats right there are a few places that still have DDR ... Sad but they are few and far apprently.

Confused
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Last edited by Luciferian on Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Greoboruri
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Kloppy wrote:
Just cause women use them, doesn't mean that they're any less pathetic.


I think that's even worse than the Chii pillow. It's horrible to think that a person would be so lonley they'd resort to that. I find it so sad. It's terrible that humans can't communicate and connect with each other and can't form normal releationships.
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HeDanny
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Please define normal?
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Jef
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
HeDanny wrote:
Please define normal?


Relationships with other humans, as opposed to those with pillows.
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Inniss 1428
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 4:29 pm    Post subject: ... Reply with quote
HeDanny wrote:
Please define normal?

Wikipedia: Normal (behavior)
Since normal is a term dependant on what the average is, normal is purely a perspective thing. From my point of view (seeming as I don't socialise much outside of animé, sci-fi, card-game, rpg circles) I have a "normal" relationship (ie. non-existant).
Greoboruri wrote:
It's horrible to think that a person would be so lonley they'd resort to that.

Some people choose to be by themselves for various reasons (fiscal, fear, emotional detachment), and these people are entitled to do so. But they still have that human urge for emotional contact deep inside them somewhere, and need some form of contact to keep that little urge from driving them insane. I believe that these pillows do the job well.

But back on topic, I hear that electronics are comparatively expensive in Japan. Seeming as Akihabara is such an electronics hot-bed, would it be any more expensive to buy the components to build a 1337 machine in Japan, than it would be to build it here and pay freight to take it over?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Raven Xavier wrote:
that is awesome. now to see if otakuism can become mainstream in america or even Australia.


I love it how people in the west refer to it as otakusim cause they don't want to just come out and all them selves Nerds or geeks, so they use a foregin word for it to try and sound more cultured Very Happy


http://www.animejump.com/images/sections/humor/connazi3.jpg
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
*wipes a tear*
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Inniss 1428
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wolfgangh wrote:
I love it how people in the west refer to it as otakusim cause they don't want to just come out and all them selves Nerds or geeks,

I use both, and have done so on these boards. I use otaku to refer to my fandom of a large number of Japanese animated programs (and even some non-animated, and manga), and nerd to refer to my love of sci-fi, rpgs (console, MMO, and P&P), and computers.
I don't use geek, because a geek is a nerd who socialises with non-nerds, and I don't.
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HimuraBattousai
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wolfgangh wrote:
Raven Xavier wrote:
that is awesome. now to see if otakuism can become mainstream in america or even Australia.


I love it how people in the west refer to it as otakusim cause they don't want to just come out and all them selves Nerds or geeks, so they use a foregin word for it to try and sound more cultured Very Happy


Actually, in many cases, westerners incorrectly think that "otaku" only refers to anime/manga fandom and use the word as such.
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StorminNorman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
"Otaku" has significant negative loadings, and should not ever be used as a badge of pride or honour.

Its meaning isn't so much "nerd" or "geek" as it is "sick freak".
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HeDanny
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
meh. In Japan, sure. Its meaning got somewhat "distorted" when it was imported to the west. At least its a "foreign Language" word thats been distorted. The english speaking world has done a lot worse with its OWM words. Take the use and connotations of the word "Gay", for example.

Nah.. if westerners want to consider "otaku" as "major Japaneese merchandise fan and collector" instead of "Mentally disturbed psychopah with homicidal tendencies" then let it em do so. THEY know what they mean, and there are a squillion of them, so its no big thing.

Annoying to purists, sure.. but cest la vie.

[edit] Out of curiosity I wikied Otaku and its slightly different again to what I understood it to be. Its an interesting read, as are most things on Wiki Smile
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Raven Xavier
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
sorry to go against people. buuuuut
otaku <the literal meaning>: nerd, obsessive, possibly sick.
otaku <meaning used in both japan and western>: anime/manga obsessive
this isn't just from any website this comes from many japanese friends who actually live there.

i know im a nerd. but im an otaku nerd. otaku is the latest subculture that i like to think we're all part of. i am damned proud to be an otaku
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
StorminNorman wrote:


Its meaning isn't so much "nerd" or "geek" as it is "sick freak".


HAHAHA

I love it Very Happy
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speedfreek19
Itsuki Koizumi


Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 14598

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
i may use the term otaku to define anime obsessive ness, well i did but now i just say im an anime freak/obsessor, or watever lol

but im obsessed with Ah! My Goddess immensly, although i wouldnt go as far as getting a lifesized Belldandy pillow O_o


id love to go to Japan for all the games as im a hardcore gamer somewhat lol
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Mangaman
Magical Girl


Joined: 13 Apr 2001
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Location: Adam Tang's Noodle Bar

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bwahahaha, those pillows are funny Very Happy

I'll have to show my fiance the saraiman one when she gets home from work today Very Happy

InGro: Man I'd love to check out that old gaming store. I'd be in geeky heaven. And I'll probably get an amused look form my other half for going so bananas over old tech Smile One of my mates paid me out the first time he watched the episode of Bebop where they grab a VCR and head to the store manned by the obsessive guy. He reckons he's based on me :p

-Mangaman-
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jak
Melfina


Joined: 22 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I wish i had a pocket protector.
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Ronin J
Hajime Saitou


Joined: 18 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ahahahhah nerds
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Luciferian
Nanoha Takamachi


Joined: 05 May 2004
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Location: Baulkham Hills ( the classy version of bogan ville)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
a strong preference for Japanese pop culture (comics, animated series, music) over Western equivalents
an interest in rhythm games such as Dance Dance Revolution or Beatmania; these games were once popular in Japan and feature predominantly Japanese music, so they allow the player some ability to role play
a tendency to use words from Japanese, otakuisms, in normal conversation for no apparent reason and being alienated from the mainstream culture of their native countries
an inordinate interest in Japanese women, most likely not based on any personal experience.
a fetish towards underage girls due to manga featuring underage due to manga featuring underage girls as sexualized idols, which fosters the impression that older Japanophiles are pedophiles as well, worsening the stigma around them



Does this count for females because i was actaully suppose to be born MALE

Quote:
Japanophile
I haven't heard of this term till now apart from Wapanese.

Quote:
sterotypical anime fan in the United States is white and male



Oh well it looks like it excludes me completely from all sterotypes...

HURRAH FOR NOT BEING MALE. Laughing

(Ignore my male post as above about being not born a male)
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Mr Waffle
TEH WAFFLES!!11!


Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Luciferian wrote:
Quote:
Japanophile
I haven't heard of this term till now apart from Wapanese.


I think it's an american term, the only place I see "wapanese" used is on 4chan. I've found that here it's just "you're one of those people who like Japanese cartoons?" Razz
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Luciferian
Nanoha Takamachi


Joined: 05 May 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
LOL I was told by someone that wapanese is an insult of sorts, i really don't care its just a sterotype but goddamn its funny. Laughing
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GarethB
Washu Hakubi


Joined: 02 Aug 2003
Posts: 349
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
"-phile" is the opposite of "-phobe" (phobe/phobia means a strong fear/dislike of something. eg: Xenophobe: afraid of foreign people/language/customs/cultures. Arachnophobe: afraid of spiders. Agoraphobe: afraid of large open areas. Claustrophobe: afraid of small enclosed areas, etc). "-phile" means a strong interest/curiosity in something. Japanophile means a strong interest in Japan, it's language, customs, language, culture, etc. An audiophile is someone who's into hi-fidelity/high definition audio.

You could call someone an "aminephile" to describe a strong interest in anime without implying the negative connotations of "anime freak" or "otaku".

Here endeth the lesson. Razz
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Luciferian
Nanoha Takamachi


Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 4426
Location: Baulkham Hills ( the classy version of bogan ville)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well you learn something (sorta) new everyday... im an Arachnophobic...

either way its till pretty funny.
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mrgazpacho
Koyomi Mizuhara


Joined: 13 Aug 2001
Posts: 1811
Location: Wollongong, NSW, AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
What's "WAPanese"? The sort of person who accesses the internet on their mobile phone all day?
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GarethB
Washu Hakubi


Joined: 02 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I was roaming through various blogs by westerners living in japan and came across this article.

"Revenge of the (Japanese) Nerds

Newsweek reports on the sudden popularity of otaku -- essentially the Japanese equivalent of The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy:

The hip lit magazine, Da Vinci, features a big article in its February issue entitled "Love of Otaku," with comments by former otaku and the women who date them. "Once the most unlikely love interest, otaku are now the center of attention," it declares. Even businessmen are bullish on otaku, it seems, according to a survey by Tokyo's Nomura Research Institute. Japan's 2.8 million otaku spend $2.7 billion a year on DVDs, comics and fantasy figures modeled after anime characters. Their Internet literacy and networking habits make them hugely influential, beyond mere purchasing power. "Their passion and creativity will be a driving force for industrial innovation," reports Nomura.

Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse notes that otaku culture is catching on in America, too:

ARLINGTON, Virginia (AFP) - Judging from the colorful crowds at the "anime-con" event here, the Japanese pop cultural invasion of the United States is in full swing.

...Many Americans are attracted to Japanese pop culture "because we look at Japan as a place where it's OK to like comic books and cartoons past the socially approved expiration date," said Macias, who is also the author of "Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo-Tokyo."


Speaking as a kid who got Mattel's giant "Mazinga" robot with launching missiles (based on the Japanese anime Mazinger Z) for my fifth birthday, I can confidently state that I was way ahead of my time on this one."
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