Otaku Debate: Finding an Anime Girlfriend

Last week’s debate indicated a fairly split opinion on the quality of the summer anime season. 59% of you said it was either average or horrible, whereas 31% liked it. 12% didn’t even bother watching any shows from this season at all. Based on these results, it think it’s safe to say the summer season received a somewhat negative reception from our readers.

As many of you have already seen, my room is decked out in all manner of otaku merchandise. Upon seeing those photos, one of my friends remarked, “Now that’s the kind of room guaranteed to repel girls. If she doesn’t turn tail and run after seeing that, she’s a keeper!”

That got me thinking. Are girls really turned off by such overt displays of nerdiness, as my friend claimed? The dream of any otaku (or any nerd, for that matter) is to find a significant other who shares their interests. I’m sure we’ve all fantasized about that perfect girl or guy who’s both cute and into K-ON!. The question is, can we turn that fantasy into reality? Is it really viable to meet an anime girlfriend or boyfriend? What would be the best method for finding otaku romance? Or are we all doomed to spend our lives alone, crying ourselves to sleep every night while hugging our catgirl body pillows? That, dear readers, is what this week’s debate is about. Cast your vote in the poll below, and share your thoughts in the comment section!

What's the best way to meet an anime boyfriend/girlfriend?

  • I'd rather just meet a normal boy/girl. I don't care if they're not into anime. (29%, 35 Votes)
  • I plan to find a normal boyfriend/girlfriend and convert them! (21%, 25 Votes)
  • At a con! Go for the cosplayers, I say. (15%, 18 Votes)
  • At your local anime club. (13%, 15 Votes)
  • I already have an anime boyfriend/girlfriend. Jealous? (10%, 12 Votes)
  • I'm not looking for companionship. I prefer the bachelor life. (9%, 11 Votes)
  • Via a social network like Twitter or Facebook. (5%, 6 Votes)
  • Via an online dating service. (4%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 127

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Otaku Debate: Did the Summer Anime Season Suck?

Surprisingly, last week’s debate didn’t generate the knee-jerk negative reaction towards obesity that I expected. Most of the poll respondents said they preferred their girls anywhere from “meaty” to “slightly chubby,” which could be considered average weight for most people. It’s nice to see our readers have rejected the “thin = sexy” message of pop culture and formed more realistic standards of beauty!

This week’s topic is a bit of a painful one for me. In my humble opinion, this anime season has been a total letdown. Most of the shows, such as Seitokai Yakuindomo and Ookami-san, were just too bland to be worthwhile… and the few that showed promise, like Occult Academy and Highschool of the Dead, turned out to be total duds. The only show that’s marginally entertaining at this point is Mitsudomoe, but the very risque humor makes it appealing to only a small subset of otaku.

Now, I don’t think this means anime is doomed or anything silly like that. We’ve had bad seasons before, particularly in the early nineties after the last economic crash. Still, that doesn’t make it any less depressing to slog through such mediocrity. Has this season left you in a similar state of despair? Or do you think that I’m being overly negative? Are there any anime this season you did enjoy, or are you taking refuge in old classics like Dirty Pair and Gundam while this storm blows over? Vote in the poll below, and share your thoughts in the comment section!

(Just FYI: I consider K-ON!! to be a spring season show, so it doesn’t figure into this debate.)

Did the summer anime season suck?

  • It was average, I guess. *yawn* (38%, 42 Votes)
  • I think it was pretty good. (23%, 25 Votes)
  • I agree with Jon. It was horrid. (19%, 21 Votes)
  • I haven't watched any shows from this season. (12%, 13 Votes)
  • You're full of crap! This season was awesome! (8%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 110

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Otaku Debate: Can Fat Girls Be Sexy?

You cannot unsee this.

Last week’s sexy hair poll was so popular, I decided to make a weekly poll-oriented debate column. Welcome to the inaugural edition of Otaku Debate! Here, we will discuss the hard-hitting issues facing the otaku community today, while oogling as many sexy ladies as we can. Let’s begin!

When I posted this image to Twitter last night, I was surprised when many of my followers expressing support for fat fetishism. Quite a few people thought that pictures such as this one (VERY NSFW) and the one above were sexy, often repeating the catchphrase “Big girls need love too.” This got me thinking… last week’s poll seemed to indicate a certain sense of conformity with regard to hairstyle preferences, with twintails and waist-length hair being the most popular. Are there a significant number of otaku who go against the norm and enjoy a nice, fat anime girl? Or is this particular fetish relegated to fringe status, supported by a small but vocal minority? Vote in the poll below, then let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments!

Do you find fat girls sexy?

  • I don't mind a girl with a bit of meat on her. I wouldn't go so far as to say "fat" though. (41%, 56 Votes)
  • A little chubbiness is fine, but not TOO much. I like girls who are "fat in all the right places." (32%, 44 Votes)
  • Hell no! I like my girls thin. (16%, 22 Votes)
  • Yeah, I think fat girls are sexy. However, there is a limit. Morbidly obese is too far. (11%, 15 Votes)
  • I prefer my girls obese, often to the point of immobility. Perhaps the internet has warped my sensibilities? (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 138

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Bakacast Briefs – Revenge of the Bookworms

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We’ve got a new co-host this week!  We call him Glen, but you might better know him as Nagato, a long-lost friend and one of the original founding members of Project Haruhi. With him by our side, we start off by discussing Oxford’s hilarious and misdirected attempts to understand anime culture. After that, Chris gets all nostalgic about his very first manga, Love Hina. Finally, we move on to this week’s anime reviews.

WARNING! If you are the kind of fan who blindly worships any anime he enjoys, you might want to go elsewhere. We don’t hesitate to criticize these shows in the snarkiest fashion possible, which means a certain degree of intelligent and critical thought is required to fully appreciate our reviews. If you’re going to accuse us of being haters or trolls merely because we didn’t like one of your favorite shows, just don’t bother. I’m sure a site like Sankaku Complex or 4chan would be more amicable to your tastes.

[Music used in this episode is “Let’s Go to Tokyo” by J. Arthur Keenes.]

“Hikikomori” Added To Oxford Dictionary of English

I'm nice and safe all alone in my room...

Oh boy, the new Oxford Dictionary of English is out! You know what that means… it’s time for bloggers like me to pad out their slow news days by overanalyzing any new pop culture terms Oxford added. Let’s see, this edition’s new words include staycation, vuvuzela, bromance, hikikomori…

Wait, hikikomori? Seriously?

hikikomori (hi·ki·ko·mo·ri)
Pronunciation: /hiˌkēkəˈmôri/
noun (plural same)
(in Japan) the abnormal avoidance of social contact, typically by adolescent males
a person who avoids social contact

Origin: Japanese, literally ‘staying indoors, (social) withdrawal’

Wow. I guess the hikki phenomenon is so famous that even Oxford had to take notice. Their definition is surprisingly accurate too. Color me impressed, Oxford. And here I thought your dictionary was woefully ignorant of pop culture trends. I wonder what they have to say about other anime-related terms…

Find out more after the break!

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K-ON!’s Weirdest Merchandise

Wanna look your best at work with Mio!

According to a recent article from ANN, the K-ON! merchandising juggernaut has made 1.8 billion yen in the last three months. That’s approximately $20 million USD, and that doesn’t even include the video sales and licensing rights for the anime or CDs. It’s not on par with merchandising juggernauts like Star Wars or Gundam, but it’s still pretty impressive.

But out of all this merchandise, there are a few products that are rather… bizarre. Let’s take a look at those odd and ridiculous accessories that really make people scratch their heads and beg the question,”What were they thinking?”

Check out the strange products after the jump. Continue reading

Past Masters: Project A-ko

Did you know that without Project A-ko, anime as we know it would not exist?

Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Still, Project A-ko was hugely influential on the 80s-era American anime fandom. It was one of the first non-artsy anime to be successfully imported to the States without being ripped to shreds à la Robotech; therefore, it fulfilled the role of gateway drug for many aspiring young otaku, introducing them to anime and launching their lifelong obsession with Japan that would eventually mutate into the modern monstrosity known as otaku culture. So, next time you’re glomped by a middle-aged 300-pound man dressed as Sailor Moon at a con, you can shake your fist at the sky and angrily scream, “PROJECT A-KO!”

But what’s the history behind this oh-so-important anime? Keep reading past the break to find out!

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Past Masters: Daicon III and IV

This is the inaugural post of our new Past Masters column. Here, we hope to explore those classic (and not-so-classic) anime productions that are ten years old or older. This will give us a chance to reminisce about the anime we grew up on, and hopefully introduce the newer generations to the series, OVAs and films that helped define modern otaku culture.

To your average otaku, mentioning “Gainax” might bring to mind such iconic series as Evangelion, Gunbuster, FLCL and Gurren Lagann. Without a doubt, Gainax is one of the most recognizable names in the anime industry. But where did this legendary studio get its start? Let’s turn back the clock and find out…

The year is 1981. The Nihon SF Taikai convention, a gathering of Japanese science fiction fans, is set to take place in Osaka, under the name of Daicon III. For the opening ceremonies, the organizers of Daicon ask a group of college students from the Osaka University of Arts to create an animated promotional video. Among the students are such future luminaries as Takami Akai, Hiroyuki Yamaga and Hideaki Anno. The 5 1/2 minute-long 8 mm film they create, which came to be known as the Daicon III Opening Animation, was to become the first of Gainax’s productions.

Daicon III features a young nameless girl, who is tasked with using a vial of water to a revive a dried-out daikon radish. As she journeys to the radish, she encounters and battles a variety of opponents, including a powered armor suit from Starship Troopers, several kaiju including Godzilla, a Star Destroyer, the space battleship Yamato, the starship Enterprise, an RX-78 Gundam, and many other iconic science fiction-themed enemies.

 

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Miku, K-On! and Good Smile Themes for Google Chrome!

Google Chrome’s theme feature recently went live, and among the dozens of themes offered are some interesting otaku-related choices.

These Chrome themes join dozens of others available on Google’s website, including such geek-oriented choices as Super Monkey Ball, Ratchet and Clank and Bayonetta. It seems like the folks at Google are just as big of nerds as we are!

These themes can be activated simply by visiting the theme page in Chrome and clicking on the “Apply theme” button. Here are the relevant links.

Miku Theme

K-On! Theme

Good Smile Theme

Now if Google would only add live bookmarking and Rikaichan to Chrome, I would drop Firefox faster than a flaming vulpine.

–Via ANN, pics via Figure.fm

Zaku Curry Noodles

What better way to show your loyalty to Zeon than snacking on these possibly delicious Char Aznable Spicy Curry Noodles? The noodles mimic Char’s cometary qualities with spicy and red peppers, with just a hint of cheddar cheese flavor thrown in for good measure. They even come with their own reusable glass Zaku II cup!

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