Posts Tagged ‘Otaku Diaries’


POLL: Should we do another fandom project like the Otaku Diaries?

May 5, 2010

When the Otaku Diaries experiment started coming to a close, we began to think about what the future might hold in terms of experiments and projects in the same realm. As noted in our final thoughts on the project, it was a bigger undertaking than we imagined at first. But at the same time, we found it incredibly rewarding. We got many comments over the course of the project and much interest and encouragement along the way.

So now we have a few ideas about where we like to take our next project, but we’d love some input. Two big things that jumped out at us were women in fandom and anti-fandom. The women in fandom one seems rather obvious, but when we thought about how few women we really got to survey in our Otaku Diaries (only 11), we felt like there wasn’t enough information about them coming to the surface. Then there is anti-fandom, the act of being devoted to the hardcore hatred of a series. This phenomenon of actively disliking a show and/or its fans has been ever present especially in anime fandom. But if someone else has an even more spectacular idea, we are all ears!


Otaku Diaries Part 11: The Otaku Diaries Are Immortal!!

May 3, 2010

hisuiconAnd so ends the long journey of the Otaku Diaries. When this project fully launched back in January 2009 we had high hopes but the response has exceeded everything we could have imagined. Although we had done several experiments on the blog, nothing we had been as ambitious or as far-reaching as this. The purpose of this last post is to put a conclusion on the project as a whole. This is a moment of reflection before we move on to what we do next. I want to learn from what we did here to have out next major project be even better.

narutaki Personally, I’m proud that we were able to see this project through to its conclusion almost a year and a half after it came into existence. It wasn’t always what we expected it to be, and it certainly wasn’t flawless, but I’m glad we were able to follow through with it which will hopefully set a standard for any upcoming projects.

hisuiconI must say overall I think the project was a huge success. We got a great response from people all through out the anime and manga community. We received tons of help from blogs and podcasts who got the word out about the project when it was starting up and needed the most help. We got great responses from the wonderful people who filled out the numerous extremely personal questions. As the posts came out, I saw several posts where people picked up ideas we had presented in the Otaku Dairies and either built on what we said or presented intriguing alternate ideas. We even got some constructive criticism which is often more important than praise. I think no matter what we got people thinking about anime fandom. We got them to question the way they looked at their fellow fans and maybe even themselves. I have seen other people trying similar experiments outside of academia and look forward to the results.

narutaki What was really successful for the project was our overall goal, we wanted to see and show others how diverse yet how connected fandom was and we wanted to do this through more than just a percentage and a cookie-cutter answer for questions. I think by going in with a positive goal, it really helped to keep us in the spirit of the project and enthusiastic about the posts. And I have to agree it was really rewarding to see people mentioning Otaku Diaries on their own blogs or podcasts or even just talking about it on Twitter. I think certain sections of the survey were clearly more popular reads, but that also stems from asking the right questions, in the right way, and getting wonderful, thoughtful, and revealing answers. And in this way making it anonymous was certainly the right decision.

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Otaku Diaries Part 10: Miss Cellaneous and the Otaku Diaries Round Up!

April 5, 2010

This is the last bit part of the Otaku Diaries with no major rhyme or reason to this post. This is just interesting tidbits or odd patterns that were not solid enough for their own post but fascinating none the less. There were also odd facts that came up in some people’s surveys that were awesome but really only related to them but we wanted to mention them anyway. These pieces aren’t leftovers as much as diamonds in the rough.

  • 8 people mentioned Gurren Lagann or characters from it as inspirations, characters they admire or are like. It was the most mentioned show by name. 1 has a Gurren Lagann tattoo.
  • 1 person is a twin.
  • 3 people work in libraries.
  • 1 man noted that he can have multiple orgasms and has had as many as 8.
  • Many people didn’t know the term “shipper.”
  • 1 person suffers from cluster headaches.
  • The most mentioned anime directors in order of most popular are: Satoshi Kon, Hayao Miyazaki, and Akiyuki Shinbo.
  • 1 girl said she had a huge crush on Dave Riley (from Fast Karate for the Gentlemen). Likewise 1 guy said he had a man-crush on Daryl Surat (from AWO).
  • 1 person takes their lunch to work in an Neon Genesis Evangelion tin.
  • 3 people named AMV Hell 0 as something they had watched in a group for laughs or otherwise.
  • 1 person ended up breaking up with his girlfriend after he canceled a date to watch Yu Yu Hakusho.
  • 3 people mentioned owning anime character body pillows.
  • 1 person’s mother said she was “too older for cartoons,” but watches Pixar movies.
  • 1 man’s fiance broke off the engagement because he wouldn’t have sex with her before the marriage.
  • 2 people were army brats.
  • 1 girl has a great love for Germany and plans to move there.
  • 2 people mentioned they are most like Madarame (from Genshiken).
  • 1 person’s father is bi-sexual, married but has a long-term boyfriend in another state.
  • 2 people describe themselves as weeaboo.
  • 1 person is home-schooled.
  • 2 people are in open-relationships.
  • 13 were/are officers in an anime club.

We hope everyone enjoyed the unique flavor of this post. Next month will be the last post in the Otaku Diaries. We will be looking our of experiences and feelings on the project as a whole. What did we learn? What preconceived notions did we have that were validated and which were overturned? What would we do differently and what would we expand upon in another similar experiment? Also expect requisite thank yous to everyone who made this possible and maybe even some insight into future plans. See you then.


Otaku Diaries Part 9: Anime in the year 21XX.

March 1, 2010

Anime has been a part of my life for this long; I can’t imagine not being entranced by anime.

Speculating on the future can be very tricky and the more complex the system you are trying to predict the harder it becomes to be accurate as anyone who understands chaos theory and the butterfly effect will attest. But as anime fans we continually try to speculate on the future of our hobby. What shows will come out next season, what trends will become prominent, what fads will fade away, what will get licensed outside of Japan, who will be voice actors on what shows, and a multitude of other topics are constantly a part of otaku conversations. We may be wrong and we may be right in varying amounts but we are always trying to see if we can guess where this crazy train called anime and manga is going.

In an surprising turn of events everyone said they’d more than likely still be watching anime in 10 years.  . . . well, I should hope so! This is the OTAKU Dairies afterall. But beyond the initial response, I found something interesting and possibly (unintentionally) pessimistic. A number of fans responded in the conditional form of  “yes, . . . if there are still good shows.” or something similar to that effect. At first it seems like an obvious response, but at the same time it makes me think “what makes you unsure there will be good shows?” However, it must be said that many more people said plainly “yes,” “absolutely,” and “why wouldn’t I?” And then there were a few in the affirmative but with a theory that they would be a more casual fan in the distant future. So while the short answer was a resounding aye, the things ticking below the surface were still diverse.

Even if I get married, have kids, move, get a new job, or the such there will always be room in my life for anime.

I suppose that anyone willing to fill out a survey this long is in it to win it. Therefore everyone seeing themselves watching anime in the future should be unsurprising. I see this hesitancy to say anything without caveat being partially to do with the chicken little syndrome that tends to be a part of anime culture. There is always someone going around saying that anime as we know it is dying forever. Compounded with a weak economy and some turmoil in anime production companies in the present, it can be easy to make people wonder in 10 years down the line will they still be making shows that will interest them. F0r most people taking the survey there will always be something from them to watch but I understand where this fear comes from.

The people who are kids now don’t really seem to be growing up into fans like me over time. They seem to just grow out of it entirely, replaced by new kids just like they were.

Once the current recession passes and they figure out how to [make] money out of online distribution, I think the industry will stabilize at a level where there’s still plenty of good stuff being produced.

I think fandom will continue for all of eternity . . . there will always be a new generation to pick [up] where the last one left off. It may be possible that the “older” anime fans will dwindle but there will be people like me to pick up for them.

The advent of a generation that is internet savvy will only lead to more access to anime with less appreciation for it.

It will be a little less the “in thing to do” that it seems to be now, and fall back into the hands of the fans who loved and supported it from day one.

Asking what the future of anime fandom is is a very broad question to put to people because it partially depends on where you think anime fandom currently is; whether it is health or not or what that even means; and how you yourself fit into the whole scheme of things. I actually learned a lot from the answers in this section. One sentiment that really got me thinking was this theory that the gap between older fans and newer fans would continue go widen, age-wise. There was a prevalent idea that young fans are coming into anime fandom and then instead of becoming older fans they are becoming non-fans; they stick with it for a while but drop out soon after college. So while I didn’t myself think of this, I really found myself following the logic behind it and was able to apply it to what I’ve seen and experienced.

As long as acceptable strategies are found for legal distribution for new series shortly after their broadcast in Japan, fandom might contract for some time but never lose its appeal. Maybe.

. . . then in fifty years our fandom will die of old age like sci-fi fandom is about to do.

I think there’s going to be a point where things all balance out. The moe fans will have stuff to watch, and the not-moe fans will have plenty to chew on, too.

Some of the short term fans who liked it because it was trendy are starting to drop off from what I’ve seen, and the popularity is starting to diminish slightly.

. . . a majority of these young fans will eventually grow to become financially independent and upwardly mobile adults who will have children of their own creating a generation of people that are more receptive to anime and more likely to disseminate anime throughout the culture.

An important question is how long do most people stay in any hobby when push comes to shove.  All hobbies will have fans who come in and leave due to a wide variety of factors. Is the ebb and flow of anime fans any different than fans of stamp collection, basketball, or even American comics? I can’t say what if any the difference is but I would be curious to see the numbers. As long as there is a steady stream of new fans there will always be some people who stick around to mature and expand their tastes. Opinions on the future of anime fandom ranged in optimism. There were predictions of everything from growth to utter collapse. Most of the participants felt that the bubble of anime and manga had burst and that there was still some normalization in the market to take place. Everyone seem to agree that anime adapting to online distribution was the key. How effective that would be and how quickly and effectively it could be profitable was a major point of contention. Most participants agree that the casual viewers would ebb and flow but there would always be a dedicated fans base that always carry the torch.

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