Akiba & Otaku


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● 1980’s:Accompanying the spread of the personal computer in household, major computer gaming chain stores appeared on the market.

● 1990’s:With the household chain stores appearing throughout the suburban outskirts of Tokyo, the sale of consumer durables at Akihabara was greatly reduced.

● 1994 年:The sale of computer goods increased.

● 2000 年:With name-brand computer sales in decline, otaku shops have arisen in their place.

● 2008 年:The Akihabara massacre took place on pedestrian-zoned Chūōdōri street.


From “The 4th Generation of Otaku” (IT Media, 03/19/08):

As the number of “light” otaku increases, one can feel the spread of otaku culture.  Terao was surprised when asked a question “What is Haruhi?” by a non-otaku acquaintance.  At his telecommunication school, he often hears students talking about Niko Niko Animation.

A car maniac and an anime maniac are both otaku.  Whether you buy a CD from the Tower Records or from Animeito, you still buy a CD.  It is just a difference between a major and a minor.  Due to the Akiba Boom, there is a widespread understanding that anyone is otaku.

“I’m alone, but not lonely” (Grassmuck, Volker)

● A German sociologist, Volker Grassmuck discusses about the colonization of information and media world by Otaku group.

“Meet the Geek Elite” (Wired Magazine, July 2006)

● Wired Magazine interviews Koota Umeda, a salaryman and a self-confessed otaku