The Search for “America’s Greatest Otaku”

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THIS JUST IN! There is going to be a reality show based on the otaku fanbase, as Tokyopop will travel all across the country for “America’s Greatest Otaku”.

You can view the article and an interview with Tokyopop about the premise here.

All I can say is whoever they pick from each region in America, they better not live up to the stereotypes that the Western anime fanbase is accused of. I do respect Tokyopop though for trying something like this. Maybe it’s about time that the otaku take the spotlight here in America. I mean we’ve covered many types of people in reality shows. Though the problem is being an “otaku” isn’t actually the best thing in the world. People tend to forget that “otaku” are looked down upon in Japan. I do admit that I’m a bit of a “otaku” myself, but I do not let those interests do not completely consume me. Then again, this is America and we have shows like Jersey Shore on the air.

With Viz Media cutting their workforce and with anime sales going down the drain, there needs to be something that sparks a revival of the anime/manga industry in America. The reality show could have huge ramifications on whether the industry flourishes again. It will only flourish if the contestants are portrayed as good people, live meaningful lives, and have outgoing personalities. Combine that with good product placement and you might have a hit & generate newfound or renewed interest in anime/manga.

Stay tuned, folks. This could get really interesting over the summer and anime conventions everywhere.

K-On!! Puts 1st Anime Band At #1 For Weekly Singles Chart

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   Never in my wildest dreams that I would’ve figured that a fictional anime band would actually reach number 1 on a weekly music singles chart. What is going on? If you haven’t heard, the single “Go! Go! Maniac” from the band, Hokago Teatime (the main characters of K-On!), reached #1 on the Oricon weekly singles chart. They are the first anime band to do so. Here’s an even more amazing (or scary) bit of info: their other single, “Listen!!” is #2 on the chart. They are only the third female act in history to have the top 2 singles on the weekly charts. The last time that’s happened was 26 years ago, when Seiko Matsuda did it back in 1983. I don’t know what to think about all of this.
  The Moe phenomenon continues. So what does that say about Japan these days? That they’re all otaku deep down at heart? I mean, how else can this happen. Is there really nothing else better than that song (Go! Go! Maniac)? I gave the song a listen and I don’t find it that appealing. Granted, I don’t watch (or will not watch) the anime series because it’s clearly aimed at the “moe” audience. “Listen!!” doesn’t sound so bad, but I’m sure there are better songs to top the charts. Maybe this is a reflection of how bad the state of anime is in, considering complaints about the lack of originality in anime these days. I give props to the musicians for trying, but I’m going to say this right now: too much cute can be creepy.
  Let’s see if this opens the doors for more fictional anime singers/bands. Look out, anime fandom! More cute girl/boy anime musical characters attacking real Japan!
  You can read the article about K-On! here.

- Tony