As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, in graduate school I learned about, and experimented with, slash. That journey started with exploring more of my interest in Japanese anime and manga. Perhaps in another post, some day, I’ll introduce you to hentai. Now that will be a fun discussion.
As part of my exploration of anime and manga, I took a class from Art Education about this particular art form. In that class we watched Otaku No Video, an animated spoof on the otaku. An otaku is what people used to think a fan is, until being a fan meant making loads of money for people. Being an otaku means being obsessive about something: such as certain anime and manga characters, shows, books, etc. I learned about the otaku as I learned more about the conceptualization of the fan, and the intermingling of these identities is tremendously fascinating.
Being oh so fascinated, I and a classmate worked on a presentation about the otaku at Ohio State University: those in the separate anime and manga clubs. Yes, there are two different clubs devoted to these products of Japanese pop culture — a rift between organizers led to the split, with the anime club, or Animate!@OSU, organizing anime conventions. And, yes, I even participated in those conventions.
What I have finally (since it has been years) done is uploaded the short documentary I made of these otaku at OSU. In this video, on this subject, I was truly a stranger in a familiar land.