OTAKU

Otaku are people who are literally obsessed with certain manifestations of pop culture, generally manga, anime or video games. Indefatigable collectors: manic, in fact.

In our country, on average, only the experts in Japanese things (not necessarily otaku) or those who deal with comics and cartoons know the meaning of the term, nor the editorial production has delayed specifically on the subject (if we exclude Generation Otaku by Azuma Hiroki, published by Jaca Book or the novel Train Man, by Nakano Hitori, published in 2007 by Isbn and which has an otaku as its protagonist).

Elsewhere, however, there are Westerners who study otaku, sometimes even enthusiastically embracing their spirit. This is the case of the American Patrick W. Galbraith, anthropologist and researcher, who recently published the book Otaku spaces.
The term otaku originally meant "your home" and was originally used as a second person honorific pronoun. It is in the Sixties that it acquires a new value: science fiction enthusiasts use it for the owners of rare books, as collectors.

But it is subsequently that the word takes on a completely different connotation. When, for example, the science fiction writer Arai uses it in an essay: this could have led to the emulation of fans and the total distortion of meaning compared to the beginnings.

As mentioned, it is not a neutral word in Japanese: it indicates someone separated from the real world, projected into a universe of fantasies and monothematic fixations, often with connotations of sexual deviance.
Even today it is difficult to dismantle the negative imagery that surrounds the otaku in Japan and which is closely intertwined with the terrible news stories that shocked Japanese society in the late 1980s.

In that period, in fact, the crimes of the serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki who killed and abused four minors were discovered. A huge collection of horror films, anime, as well as video fragments and images of his victims was found in his home. From here to the psychosis towards the otaku it was a short step. Journalist Akio Nakamori referred to the killer as an otaku and the label became final.
For years in the Japanese imagination, an otaku was thought of as a pimply and overweight four-eyed person who does not wash and does not socialize. He stays indoors watching anime, reading manga or playing video games, collects models and posters and dreams of getting married to his waifu, the 2d female character he fell in love with.

There is also a female caricature: a shy girl, with a dark and unattractive appearance, who hides an unbridled passion for shonen-ai and yaoi (homosexual stories between boys) and spends her days playing dating sims ("simulator of appointments ").

For a country like Japan, where public opinion has a considerable weight in everyday life, an otaku is a geek with obsessive obsessions.

Despite everything, otaku culture has a respectable place in the Japanese economy: just think of the famous Akihabara district, which owes part of its fortune to merchandising enthusiasts.
The otaku culture is not limited to manga or video games, but extends to all passions.

In this regard, we cannot fail to mention the idols, boys and girls who, as soloists or in groups, perform in concerts or television shows and who have countless followers of both sexes. Their world revolves all around the fans: the meetings, the signing-copies and the sale of merchandise are almost always sold out thanks to the otaku, for which the idols represent the ideal boy or girl.

The otaku culture is more varied and complex than you think and is not all that well regarded in Japan, but things are slowly changing and society is starting to accept it as an integral part of the Japanese identity.

SOME ADVICE FOR DEALERS, BARISTS AND LOCAL MANAGERS

Analyzing the global market and what currently attracts young people, I wanted to give advice, dispassionate and unprofessional, to all those who may be in crisis right now and do not know how to renew themselves and have new customers.

Cosplay, manga, comics are the attraction of the moment. If you have a club, organize something that concerns them, if you have a shop you sell accessories and costumes, if you have a page on facebook try to introduce this topic and you will see that many young people will discover you and you will start a new business and new interesting events for all young people .

Do you know what the turnover of the cosplay costume trade is? Do you have a clue how much you make from selling cosplay costumes? inquire and renew yourselves. There is a slice of the market waiting for you and where you can do new business. Showcase cosplay, bring young people closer. Use mannequins dressed as superheroes and images of familiar manga and you will have new buyers.

Do you come dressed for the young but can’t make enough money? Put manga in the store, buy manga and put them in the shop window, put some loud anime music in the store, advertise by quoting manga, renew your facebook page by introducing the most popular manga and anime. Print some Japanese writings and show them in the window. They will attract many young people.

Do you have a bar that doesn't go the way it used to? Have the waitresses dress up like Teamaid, in Japanese style, and advertise among the young people. Paper your walls with manga posters, with anime pictures, and you will see many young people coming. Obviously you have to advertise your new look a lot. You have to focus on what attracts young people the most now.

You can ask for the cooperation of cosplay and in return they will get a lot of publicity working in your club or shop, will attract fans and create new attractions in their workplace. They will also have a further following as charity is needed right now, and I believe many young people can be helpful in reviving many workplaces that don't know how to bounce back.

If you yourself are part of some cosplay or manga or anime group try to give these tips to the shopkeepers in your area or city. Try them all. I in my small way I thought these things and I hope they can be useful to someone. I am not a marketing professional but I only have ideas and I wanted to give them to you hoping to do a good thing for all those who are in difficulty right now.

SMARSHMELLOW GIRLS

Society has labeled women that is anywhere fro 10 pounds overweight, fat, plus size, chubby, thick, curvy and any other derogatory term to describe a woman who doesn’t fit the image of what Hollywood and glamour magazines call attractive and perfect women.

Usually when the word Japanese girls comes into our minds, we would picture a skinny and small figure but there’s a sad truth behind their skinny figure. Society has discriminated those who are not “skinny” but rather on the chubby side. In the other parts of the world, being chubby is a normal thing but in Japan, they don’t approve of women being chubby. The ones that are on the heavy side are being called debu which means fatso online and even in front of them.
Netizens have invented a new nickname for the chubby ladies which will change the people’s attitudes towards them. They’re now called as the “marshmallow girls”!
Did you know that chubby girls are also cute? Mr. Saichu, who has a tummy fetish, had commented how society is against fatties. Sometimes they get criticized for lacking self-discipline or neglecting to maintain a balanced diet which is the reason why they got fat. But to him, a chubby girl’s stomach has a some sort of marshmallow feel to it. Mr. Saichu thinks that  “marshmallow girl” is a cute name that might lessen the tension that is being thrown at them.
A “Marshmallow Girl” model, Goto Seina, was introduced in a magazine as a “marshmallow girl”. She spoke positively about the term in her blog. She said, “It’s something that makes me really happy.” Being called a Marshmallow girl is a positive name for those girls who are on the bigger side but not to extremely fat. “Marshmallow Girl” can be in the middle!

ARE YOU FREE?

I CAN STAY WITHOUT VIDEOGAMES.
I CAN LIVE WITHOUT MUSIC.
I CAN STAY WITHOUT SHOPPING.
I CAN LIVE WITHOUT TV.
I CAN STAY WITTHOUT COMPUTER.
I CAN LIVE WITHOUT SMARTPHONE.
I CAN STAY WITHOUT MANGA OR ANIME.
I CAN LIVE WITHOUT SOCIAL.
I’M NOT SLAVE OF ALL THESE THINGS
I CAN LIVE WITHOUT THEM FOR ONE DAY, ONE MONTH, ONE YEAR OR TEN YEARS.
AND YOU?

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