Quick Thoughts – Slight Changes in American Otaku-ism

Posted On June 20, 2011

Filed under kame-chan, Quick Thoughts

Comments Dropped 4 responses

After going through my pictures from Animnext 2011 and reminiscing previous conventions, I realized that there has been quite a change in American Otaku-ism the past 5 years. Now, for those who go to huge, major conventions may not agree with what I’ve been seeing, but for those who go to small, local conventions, you may understand my perspective a bit.

While skimming back at my Animenext 2011 post, I noticed that there were a fair share of really recent-anime cosplayers and karaoke singers. I remember back when I got into anime in early 2006, the most I saw from cosplayers in America were from Naruto, Inuyasha , Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy. Eventually that spread to Bleach, Death Note, Haruhi Suzumiya… the typical mainstream anime as of now. Back then, it was pretty hard to find someone that knew an anime that’s recently coming out or not even licensed yet. It was like, a 1 to 200 chance at times and that one person was just a dealer or an artist that knew they would get no sells off of that item since no one would know where it’s from.

However, recently, I’ve been very amazed at the variety of old AND new cosplays out. Sure, you have the mainstream ones that are always bound to be there, but you also have the Puella Magi Madoka, Star Driver, and Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt. As I mentioned in my Animenext post, the first person who went up actually sang the TV version of the Gosick ED1, which amazed me greatly since that’s still ongoing. At Zenkaikon 2011, there was a little girl, who looked to be in the 10-12 years old range, that sang the ED to Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.  Similar to the Gosick situation, only a season has passed before the American otakus got to it. To add, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt didn’t get licensed until April, when Zenkaikon 2011 happened in March, so it wasn’t widely known because it was already licensed.

Sure, if you’re in a super huge convention such as NYAF or Otakon, you probably don’t/didn’t have this problem all that much. However, for a local convention such as Animenext and even Zenkaikon, it’s pretty impressive. Overall, I’m really content on how American Otaku-ism has progressed these past 5 years.

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4 Responses to “Quick Thoughts – Slight Changes in American Otaku-ism”

  1. tomphile

    Well to be honest – with the advent of the internet, streaming, torrents, and fansubs, it’s no surprise that more people are getting in touch with recent anime.

  2. Justin

    Is this just a case of the american otaku becoming smarter? 😀 Or does time increase popularity?

  3. kame-chan

    @tomphile – That’s true. Although the internet became popular in the early 90’s, torrents and streams made it easier for people to access it. But back in 2006, there were a decent amount of fansubs and torrents of nearly all the anime that was coming out in Japan. And there were up-to-date bloggers like the Random Curiosity crew bringing summaries out as early as they could. Though, I’ll admit that since youtube came out in 2005, as well as veoh (when it wasn’t being lame and showing only 5 minutes), it helped spread the anime love to the American otakus, but now I wonder why it didn’t spread faster. It’s not like Americans think otakus are perverted, creepy stalkers as much as Japanese do (at times)…

    @Justin – Well, I can’t exactly prove the first question, but time does increase popularity… whether it’s good or bad. I mean, most people know that time increased Rebecca Black’s popularity… in nearly the worst way possible… But it was also increased positively as well since we were able to get Jimmy Kimmel and Steven Colbert to make a cover of “Friday” and a fan-made Starcraft II cover of it as well. So, I guess I would say time affected it more, but I honestly can’t say much about the first question so I could be wrong… o.o

    • none

      About your first statement about the early 90’s, the idea of torrenting wasn’t that big since most Americans had only dial up networking rather then the dsl/cable networking that we have wildly available now, and for the early 90’s getting anime was extremely hard as in most Americans had crappy PC’s or none at all so the basic way to watch anime was through tv but the only thing that was on that was available to watch in the early 90’s to mid 90’s was Sailor Moon or DBZ but even then there were very few episodes since it took months for translations to get made, voice recordings and actually streaming the anime so it would be clean and be watchable for the American ppl it was like waiting for the newest video game to come out next year. So I will say that I’m not trying to be mean but just give you a better view of the early 90’s because I’ve been a fan for about 20 years now but didn’t have the access like some ppl had back then to watch anime because it wasn’t widely available and it is great to see ppl actually becoming aware of animes rather then waiting for english vocal translations means anime has become more popular, yet I do find it degrading when there so much focused on main stream anime rather then a wider verity of animes. I will say never been to a convention but do you really need to go to one to find out about the changes I mean now these days you can talk to ppl on line and find out there view on anime if they like it rather then having to see it in real life.

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