Part of the reason for this new interest in otaku-dom is the hit drama Densha Otoko, or Train Man, the story of an introverted man who loves anime and video games. When he saves a beautiful woman from a drunkard on a train, she shows her thanks by giving him an expensive Hermes tea set. He's smitten by her beauty, but too shy to do anything about it, so he goes online and asks for help on a popular Internet BBS. Before long, their budding love is being followed by a million otaku throughout Japan who take part in the discussions about their relationship. The drama, which is a few episodes from its end, is based on a true story -- a real member of the popular Japanese BBS 2ch did find love by getting help from thousands of otaku. The show is incredibly popular, commanding upwards of 20% of viewers here.
Otaku culture has also made its mark on a popular Japanese television show, TV Champion, which normally challenges teams of artists to create amazing works out of trash, or design sprawling creations using legos, or bake cakes in the shape of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. This week's episode was Akiba-kei all the way, though, with geeky contestants doing things like listening to clips from anime and identifying who the voice actor/actress was, answering obscure trivia about anime, and dressing normal Tokyo girls up like their favorite anime characters. In the end, the contestant with the most votes was awarded the title "King of Otaku."
We've got a new announcement for fans of our English-translated PC dating-sim games: many titles are now available via Internet download! Now you have a choice when you purchase selected G-Collections games, ordering them on CD-ROM as you've always done, or downloading the new Download Editions. As always, CD-ROM versions will be standard packaged games that you can install in your PC normally. The Download Editions make use of Virtual Mate 2.0, which is an updated activation system that requires an Internet connection when you load the game. G-Collections has worked hard to improve V-Mate with the new version -- you get a license to install on up to five computers, with the ability to manually "de-register" a machine, for when you upgrade to a new computer. Best of all, V-Mate is optional, since you can opt to buy the full CD-ROM version instead which has no internet connection requirement. There are currently fourteen games available for download.
The availability of the new download versions means that several of the popular games we've been out of stock of for a while are available again, including The Sagara Family, Come See Me Tonight, and Do You Like Bunnies? 2. All are on the site and available for immediate purchase as download versions (and the Virtual Mate-free CD-ROMs will be posted as soon as they're back from the duplicators).
J-List customers tell us that the #1 way they hear about J-List is through word-of-mouth. We're very glad to hear this, and we're always happy to have you recommend J-List to your friends! If you've got a friend who might be interested in our unique brand of Japanese pop culture, why not tell them about J-List, or ask them to sign up to our J-List updates? Thanks!
Here are today's "really cool products" that I thought were especially noteworthy. Note: the J-List links below may be for adult products and should probably be considered "not safe for work." To see all the J-List products, check out J-List or the JBOX.com updated products link.
Studio Ghibli Collection III ~ Kiki's Delivery Service Figure
. Today, I'm going to throw up some random products that we've got in our database. This is one I've always liked, a PVC figure of Kiki on her broom from one of Hayao Miyazaki's master works.
High School Uniform Top (Summer type, short sleeve). J-List is fortunate to be able to sell the high quality high school uniforms made by Matsukameya of Nagoya, which are individually made to your size specifications. Since they don't speak English, we handle their ordering for them.
Do You Like Horny Bunnies 2? ~ H na Bunny wa Kirai?!. Now that J-List has announced downloadable games again, this title is suddenly back in stock (even though we're reprinting the CD-ROM now, since it was so popular we sold out during the summer cons). A very nice game with cute bunny girls.
Kitty Kimono Frame with Sensu *Sakura*. What is more Japanese than Hello Kitty? Hello Kitty wearing a kimono, and here's a very popular ceramic wall frame that you can display in any room.
Replicant vol. 18. I'm a big fan of the anime figures made in Japan. Since it's quite hard to get all the cool figures you want, as they're darned hard to find (and many are hand-painted garage kits), I make do by collecting (and selling) books like Replicant, Figure Maniacs and so on.
Pick Me Honey!. Here is a "new" cover for Pick Me Honey, a modification of the Japanese cover (which needed some, ah, covering). I really like the way the new cover game out. This fun game is also available by download.
Japanese Setta -- Black Hanao ~ Rubber Cushioned Sole ~ Large Size. More Japanese setta, basically sandals made out of wara and very traditional looking. These are nice and big, for large feet.
Poop Mascot -- Set of 5 ~ Unchi Slimy. Looking for something cute? Here's a bunch of a rubber poop mascots, little poops in different colors who want to cheer you up.
Rei Ayanami Sports Figure -- Tennis. We love the post-Eva figures they keep on making, and this is one of the coolest -- Rei and Asuka after a game of tennis.
Smart Girls Return. Smart Girls is a hard thing to pin down. Basically, it's a style and fashion magazine, mainly intended for chicks, which contains nudity in it. The photos are really amazing, some of the most stylish we've seen. We've come to call this style "Japanese girls in Underoos" since there are quite a few pictures of cute girls in the boy's underwear that are popular with girls here.
2006 Calendar - Howl's Moving Castle ~ Hauru no Ugokushiro. I really enjoyed Howl's Moving Castle, although I wasn't familiar with the original work. This is the new calendar for 2006.
More in Akihabara, which is timely since I talked about it, above. There's a nice toy shop I found last time, which had these figures -- beautiful anime-fied versions of ANA stewardesses. Wow...
Time for lunch. There's nothing really good to eat in Akiba -- you'd think they'd have at least a Starbucks with all the google-eyed foreigners who go there. I went for beef bowl. Here it is before I poured raw egg all over it...
And here it is with the egg poured on. You need to do the egg or else it's too hard to eat the rice with chopsticks.
Back on my way to the embassy. This is some Japan Foundation official logo, which seemed incredibly cute to me.
Advertisement for promoting awareness of Heat Island Syndrome, a big problem in over-urbanized Tokyo in which all the asphalt and all the air conditioners cause a much higher temperature than would have occurred normally. Does anyone else think she looks like Aoi Sora? Maybe I've been doing this too long...
Finally, another ad I caught going for my train, featuring Chiaki Kuriyama. Man I love her, and am happy that she's been rewarded for her fame overseas with promotion deals. The girl next to her is Ryoko Shinohara, a former singer in the Komuro Family who sang the opening theme song to the Street Fighter II movie, which really ruled (I once rode my bicycle to no less than 11 shops to track that single down).