When I was 12 years old I made a dramatic, seemingly life or death pinky swear promise with my friend to visit Japan before I hit 30 years old. A somewhat arbitrary number in the scheme of things, but I take a personal sense of pride knowing that I made the cutoff and little Riss would be incredibly pleased. I enjoyed so much about my first trip to Tokyo–the food, the sights, and of course the fashion. We’ll get to the fashion later, but ultimately this trip was about indulging my otaku side, and that’s what I want to talk about right from the start. Here’s a sampling of some of the noteworthy otaku spots you can find in Tokyo. Oh man, the feels. The anime feels…
Akihabara is an ultimate otaku zone, electronics and gaming zone, and a place that all around just slaps you in the face with fandom. Anime billboards decorate this district, and you can’t take more than ten steps without running into yet another UFO catcher arcade or cluster of gashapon machines.
I’ve talked about dress up dolls before, but that was about a year ago, when I was still in the midst of my addiction. Some people have cigarettes, other people social networking, and I had an incessant desire to play dress up games. And it’s not even like you win anything, I just had an insatiable compulsion to style. But whatever, it happens (does it?), and I’ve since faced my problem and cut down my dress-up gaming to maybe once or twice a month. I’ve become substantially more discerning as well–no more spending precious free time all too thoughtfully trying to decide what kind of shirt to place on Tracey Morgan (yes, even Tracey Morgan has his own fashion game).
One of the best things about playing these games is seeing some of the bigger sites try to seem “in the know” in terms of alternative styles, which results in cringe-worthy choices at times–like a Pink Floyd tee appearing in a street punk dress up game (yes, street punk dress up games exist as well) or the distracting fact that a large majority of dress up sites have an “Emo” style category. Is that really still a thing? Didn’t the stylized emo culture just morph into some murky thing involving dubstep and bronies? I don’t, maybe for another blog post entirely…