Thinking Out Loud -- Nerds, Geeks and Otaku

Recently I've been spending some time on a fellow's site which has had me quite intrigued. I won't mention the name or link to it as it's not SM related at all, but I do find it interesting because the guy who runs it is an unabashed otaku, and I consider myself an otaku as well.

poster01I think otaku can be translated into English as geek or nerd. And a quick check with Wikipedia reveals that there are, indeed, any number of different types of otaku. You can be a military otaku, for example. That one never crossed my mind. I would say that these are probably the "weekend warrior" types -- the ones who'd piss their pants if someone started shooting at them for real.

I'm definitely a pasocon otaku. That would be Japanese-English for personal computer. I love electronic gadgets and computers fit right in there.

Right now I literally have five computers in my shoebox apartment, and that's after giving one away. I have two big monitors on my desk which come in very handy for editing video. I've got two high def video cameras and a digital SLR. The list of gadgets goes on and on.

Hit the Read More link for additonal coverage and videos.

One thing I don't have, though, is any kind of interest in manga or anime. I've seen a little bit of each (hard to avoid if you're living in Japan), and I just don't understand the appeal. The guy whose site I have referenced seems to be, yes, obsessed with both art forms. Oh, and he can sometimes be found in places like Shibuya doing a jig dressed as an Imperial Storm Trooper.

Now, in addition to being an electronics geek, I am also a geek when it comes to SM related paraphernalia, especially old books, magazines and posters. I am showcasing here a few of the posters I have to celebrate my geekiness in this regard.

poster02I eat this stuff up like the other fellow gobbles up new figures when they come out. Figures, as far as I can tell, are just dolls. But boys don't play with dolls, right? Well, these boys do. To tell the truth, I had a doll when I was a kid but it was a G.I. Joe doll. That's different. I mean, it wasn't Sailor Moon or something like that.

Well, I figure live and let live. If they like to have these dolls and to sneak a peek up their plastic legs now and then, who am I to judge? I have my own non-standard proclivities, after all.

Now, while I like this guy's site and I think the vast majority of these anime and manga otaku are harmless folks, there is one thing that weirds me out about the whole thing. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems like this culture is rather fixated on the underage female form. When I say underage I'm using the arbitrary but generally accepted number 18 as the line in the sand separating childhood from adulthood.

I want to be clear, though. These are pictures, drawings -- not the real deal. And, as far as I know, there's no nudity involved. Although there might be, I just don't know. Even if there's no nudity, there is definitely an erotic element to all of this. Those skirts are even shorter than I see on the train platform after school has let out.

This seems to be the dark side of the anime/manga culture, something to which I had never really given much thought until I came across this fellow's site.

poster03This guy seems to be a computer genius. His site looks very nice, obviously hand-coded for a professional and unique look. I also found out through his site that it is possible to embed Nico Nico videos since he actually had one there embedded on his site.

I haven't been able to figure out how to do this. I do think he has some sort of connection with the Nico Nico people so maybe that's how he was able to do it.

Another interesting thing is that he has made a pile of money through his affiliate program with Amazon. It helps that his site gets millions of visits a month. We haven't quite reached that point here yet. I did look into the Amazon affiliate thing, though. It seems like Amazon offers quite a few products that would be of interest to readers of this blog. But while Amazon sells adult goods, including SM videos, books and magazines, they make it clear up front they don't want adult-oriented sites engaged in their affiliate program. That was a WTF moment.

Speaking of Nico Nico, I've got a couple more here for you to check out. But until I figure out how to actually embed the damned things, you'll have to join up over there in order to watch them.

Update: Well, what do you know. Seek and ye shall find. Nico Nico Video now embedded.


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