You may be familiar with the word "otaku." A formal word which really means "you" or "your family," it's come to describe people who get carried away with their hobbies. The most famous otaku are the anime otaku, fans of Japanese anime who fill their rooms with anime goods in an attempt to get "the perfect collection." There are many other kinds of otaku, from military otaku to perfume otaku to train otaku, and so on. There seems to be something about the Japanese psyche that opens them up to going all-out in the pursuit of their hobbies. Unfortunately, while foreigners are often happy to use the word otaku to describe themselves, I really have to advise against using the word in front of Japanese people. In Japan, the concept of people getting carried away collecting doujinshi, Zippo lighters, and little stuffed dogs is cute, but the idea of being an otaku is really not a positive one to the Japanese mind -- just as you might not know what to think about a person who boasted about what a "Trekkie" he was. My advice is to hide your otakuism from Japanese people until they know you better, to avoid misunderstandings.
One thing I admire about the Japanese is their single-mindedness and ability to stay focused on a goal. When I married my wife and moved to Isesaki, I noticed a man in a nearby field, spending his Sunday afternoon with his RC helicopter (one of the expensive ones), flying it around the field and landing it. (He is an RC otaku.) Well, it's been eight years since then, and that man is still in that field every Sunday afternoon, playing with his RC helicopter (sometimes his friends bring various airplanes, too). Over the past eight years I've gone through many changes, but I have to respect that man for his steadfast adherence to his true love. Likewise, this steadiness can be seen in Japanese TV, with anime staples that have been on the air for decades and thousands and thousands of episodes -- mainly Doraemon (the "robot of cat type" who comes from the future to be with his friend, Nobita-kun) and Sazae-san (which follows the happenings of the Isono family every week, brought to you by the Toshiba Corporation). The longest running movie series in history is also from Japan -- "Otoko wa Tsuraiyo" ("It's Tough Being a Man") followed the traveling salesman Tora-san around Japan year after year, for a total of 48 installments (it's in the Guiness Book).
We've got good news for bishoujo gaming fans: we are going to be carrying the great new games from G-Collections. A new company translating some of the best games from Japan, the first four titles are going to be excellent, with superb graphics, compelling and emotional game stories and more. You can preorder "Kango Shicyauzo ~ I'm Gonna Nurse You", "Kana ~ Little Sister", "DOR" and "Chain ~ The Lost Footprints" now and get free shipping when the games come in!
For the new update, we've got lots of nice items for you, including:
- First, we're happy to see the reaction to our newest wacky Japanese T-shirts, "I want to be Japanese" and "Sexual Power" -- we've posted a white version of the Sexual Power shirt for you, too
- We have a very special item for Hello Kitty fans: the very cool Hello Kitty ' Daniel "Wedding Kitty" plush sets, with several versions available
- Also for Hello Kitty fans, several new items, including new mayonnaise cups (use them in bento boxes, or to store just about anything), as well as more of the beautiful kimono-clad Kitty toys we posted last time
- We have a great new My Neighbor Totoro music box in stock, featuring all three Totoros doing their "dance of the acorns"
- We have new items for your kitchen including new adult-sized chopsticks, a great item for fans of Ojamajo Doremi, and more
- Newly posted snack items include super spicy Japanese potato snacks, delicious Japanese Ramune candy, herbal throat candy, and more popular chocolate covered sun flower seeds
- Also, fresh stock of Kitty hot cake mix, and an item we recommend to everyone, delicious Japanese barley tea (mugi cha)
- For fans of Japanese Race Queens and swimsuit idols, see the new photobooks and other items we have for you, including a great photobook for Morning Musume fans
- Also in stock, a funky and wholly Japanese way to clean your ears
- We have fresh stock of the deluxe Hamster Club bento box and related items, always popular with J-List customers, and other bento items as well
- Finally, find soft and fun things to hold, a new Japan-only Hot Wheels Mach 5 version for Speed Racer fans,
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. Check out:
- First, see the above-mentioned new bishoujo games which you can order right now!
- For fans of beautiful Japanese AV idols, see the new Cospet, a fabulous all-cosplay magazine by the makers of Urecco that's got 20 of Japan's top gals for you
- Also for cosplay fans, a very special "sexy cosplay" photobook that features top gals like Megumi and Yuko Ogura, and comes with little paper dolls you can play with!
- For photobook fans, enjoy several new nude photobooks, including the lovely hardcover offering of Sayaka Yoshino and some new "petite eros" series books (very small all-color photobooks that are pocket-sized)
- Japan is always interested in "new half," e.g. chicks with dicks, and we've got a nice new photobook of authentic dick girls in stock
- We have an excellent lineup of great manga for you, including top-quality works by Angel Comics, Mujin Comics and more
- Also, yaoi fans, check out fresh stock of several items posted for you
- For fans of KITE, the hentai anime, we've restocked the popular art book for you, as well as the Bishoujo Anime Catalog RX
- There's a top-quality series of adult trading cards posted, too, based on the Rhythmic Gymnastics bishoujo game
- For DVD collectors, we have many new items as usual, starting with a "graduation AV debut" of a girl fresh out of high school (region free)
- Naive rich girls engage in "penis study" in a great Soft on Demand DVD, seeing and touching a man's penis for the first time -- their reactions are great to see (region free)
- For Ai Nagase fans, a super 2-DVD powerhouse release, that comes with an extra gift: a piece of fabric cut off the actual uniform she was wearing (region free)
- For fans of lesbian themes, two gorgeous ladies star as "The Sensual Sisters" in a new erotic release from HMP, and this is subtitled in English, Chinese and Korean! (region free)
- Enjoy the sweet costume play of Asuka Ozora, as she wears many great anime costumes for your fantasy-fulfillment (region 2)
- Finally, we've got a large update several DVD titles for you, including the excellent DVDs of Mai Hagiwara, Maiko Kazama, Kaori Kuraishi, and many more!
Remember that J-List is the only place you can get the excellent and authentic high school uniforms from Matsukameya of Nagoya. These are extremely well made uniforms that are famous all over Japan, and they're just beautiful. They're not cheap, unfortunately, but we know that you will be totally satisfied with the high quality of Matsukameya's products. And coming soon! By customer request, we'll soon be offering men's high school uniforms!
My kids and I are currently enjoying the excellent Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Prehistoric Beasts DVD series by the BBC, which are "documentaries" of animals that lived long ago. If you've got kids who dig dinosaurs, the DVDs are very educational, and really fun to watch as well. I recommend them 100%!