Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am SAILOR OTAKU!

I am Sailor Otaku, a regular poster on 4chan's /m/ board, and a fan of giant robot anime such as Mobile Suit Gundam, tokusatsu series such as Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, and yes, even magical girls.

I actually got my interest in Japan at a very young age: one of my teachers was Japanese and introduced me to Japanese culture at an early age, and I think the first major thing that drew my attention was when the Disney Channel ran the classic Osamu Tezuka anime Unico.

When I was first learning Japanese, Sailor Moon was one of the very few properties that was readily available in both manga and tape form. In those days, the tapes were all crappy VHS copies of one another, seventh or eighth generation with the original commercials and bizarre audio distortions. There are large portions of my Sailor Moon S copies which have severe audio distortions and are almost unintelligible. I have a soft spot for Sailor Moon since the level of conversation in both the comic and the TV show was quite easy to understand. Like young children learning how to count, interact socially, and learn vocabulary words from Sesame Street, Sailor Moon was my introduction to Japanese language.

Now I make regular trips to Japan and enjoy taking photographs. I consider myself something of an evolved otaku: I still like grown ups in spandex slapfighting with one another, but I have normal interests as well. I hope to use this blog to cover some of the past, present, and upcoming trends in Japanese entertainment with people living all over the world. Expect reviews of television shows and movies, toys, games, as well as photos from Japan.
"Pain is power!"

For example, let's talk about Akibaranger, a recent sentai comedy show that got many people interested in tokusatsu. Here is a photo of a diorama I snapped with my cel phone in Yodobashi Akihabara just the other day (cameras weren't allowed, so I had to pretend to be texting -- THE FOOLS! THEY'LL NEVER KNOW...). Not only does it include the officially licensed Tamashii Nations S.H. Figuarts figures of the Akibarangers leaping from the top of a scale model of the Yodobashi Akiba building, the Akiba Yellow figure was signed by Karin Ogino, the actress for Moegi Yumeria. I purchased an Aoi-tan figure while I was there, and it is even more beautiful than I imagined. More on that at a later date.

Akibaranger was incredibly popular in both Japan and the US. Merchandise for Akibaranger is still selling quite well even eight months after its initial release. Rumors have been flying for a while about a possible feature film -- and there's even been a movie poster floating around, which was actually just one giant troll at the Tamashii Nations event at Akiba UDX. Despite that, there's a rumor that Akihabara UDX (a major office building with a number of anime stores and displays) had a mockup of the Secret Base Cafe set up, and then taken down only a few days later. With the persistent popularity of Akibaranger, these fake movie posters, and the ending... can an Akibaranger movie or second season be in the works?

Should there be? What do you think?

Some of the greatest series were short enough that they left viewers wanting more, but never ran the concept into the ground.

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