Anime Books Events Manga

The Otaku Encyclopedia

I’ve mentioned it a few times already, but let me take some time to try and convince you why you should be picking up a copy of The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider’s Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan. The book was written by Patrick W. Galbraith, and if anyone was to write a guide to otaku culture in English, I don’t really think you could find someone who was better suited — sure, I’m not forgetting our good friend Patrick Macias, but his take on otaku culture wouldn’t be quite the same. Patrick G. is not only an otaku himself — take a look at his Otaku2 site — but he’s a researcher in the field as well, currently still hard at work on his Ph.D at Tokyo University. And guess what, he also happens to give weekly tours in Akihabara, dressed in full Super Sayajin (of Dragonball) gear, AND he is the narrator of the upcoming Tokyo Realtime audio guide to Akihabara. So he knows his stuff.

Next point, it was edited by Andrew Lee, a name you’ve certainly seen mentioned plenty here, since he’s the terrific art director of Arcade Mania (and Matt Alt’s Yokai Attack too). Even though he didn’t design this book, he had a strong hand in directing the visuals, and The Otaku Encyclopedia has ended up with the same sort of fun pop look that I think helped make Arcade Mania a visual tour as much as a textual one. So don’t think that the “Encyclopedia” in the title means you’re just getting a long list of term definitions: the entire book is as fun to leaf though as it is to read.

So time to get your hands on the current DEFINITIVE guide to all things otaku. The book is out now in Japan, and is available for order online with shipping worldwide from both Amazon Japan and through Kodansha International directly. The book will be available in stores in the rest of the world in October — here’s the pre-order page on Amazon US — but remember that this will be the exact same book that you can already buy now.

And if you still need some convincing, or want more of a peek inside the book itself, here’s a post from PechaKucha Daily where you’ll find all the images that Patrick used in his PechaKucha Night presentation last month, and here’s an extremely visual review from another otaku celebrity, Danny Choo.

Lastly, even if you missed last month’s launch party — yes, it was held in Akihabara — another party to celebrate the book’s launch is happening this Saturday (July 18) at the Vitamin Water event space (8th and 9th floor of the H&M building in Harajuku) from 15:00 to 18:00. Free drinks for everyone, and the author will be in attendance, so a good chance to get copies signed.

Design MoCo Loco

This Week at MoCo Loco

My weekly Tokyo post is up on MoCo Loco, this time covering YUEN’TO and MoMA‘s Magnetic Clock, and a few new lamps from Yamagiwa.

Design Fashion

Designer Tee Model

If you pick up this week’s issue of Metropolis (#798), those are two of the models you’ll find in the “Designers’ Tees” piece (link will expire at the end of this week). It was fun to do, and you’ll also find a bunch of my friends in the article. I’m wearing a tee from PMKFA‘s latest “It’s Our Thing” collection — funny enough, I just happen to be wearing that very tee right now.


Happening in Tokyo

  • This month’s edition of Likemind happens this Friday (July 17) from 11:30 at Rhythm Cafe in Shibuya.
Events Photography

Beau-ti-fied Ta-boo

Remo was at last week’s “Beau-ti-fied Ta-boo” multimedia art exhibition, and has put together a beautiful Flickr photoset of polaroid shots taken during the event. He was also a participant, producing a collection of designer t-shirts in collaboration with Skinni Pants.

Fashion Games

Meat Bun DX

Some great new tees from Meat Bun this week, or rather, new DX versions of their most popular designs. I really dig the four name model, now in classic Famicom colors (I have the original white on red).

Art Design Fashion

Freitag vs. Mori Art Museum

Freitag will be launching a limited series of collaboration bags with some of the world’s top museums — “Freitag Limited Art Edition” — including the Mori Art Museum. Those bags will go on sale online and at the MAM on August 13. See this post at Dezeen for more details on the project.

Art Magazines

Audrey at Creators Inn

Audrey, my fellow Radio OK Fredder, was in Gothenburg earlier this summer, and stayed at the CREATORS INN by Elvine with her daughter Liliyo — here’s a short interview she did for their blog. CREATORS INN is a cool project by Jesper, with the idea of “offering free short-term accomodations for visiting creators.”



Chin Music Press’ latest release, Oh!, looks like another interesting release from the indie publisher. The title is a mystery novel by Japanese-American novelist Todd Shimoda, and features artwork by his wife Linda — here’s a good look at some of the interior pages. Make sure to check out the book’s official site for more details.


No More NaniBird Batches

That’s not to say that there are no more NaniBird skins coming out, but Josh has decided that instead of waiting and releasing collections of designs together as batches, he will now be posting them as he gets them. He’ll still put together compilation batches though, for those who prefer to get them all in one go. The last few that were added are a bird by French designer Tougui and three by Italian designer Ivan Ricci.

Pictured above, Tucky, a collaboration between Josh and Dolly Oblong.