Are you an Otaku like me?
Did you grow up watching animation or isn´t it your cup of tea? If you haven´t heard about it, don´t worry! You will love it as soon as you know what this world is. It was exactly what happened to me, but what is an Otaku?
I´ve been keen on Japanese animation since I was 4 years old, when I saw for the first time “Super Champions”, or originally named “Captain Tsubasa” as well, it´s my initial fond memory related to it, although now when I watch it again I think isn´t my number one, I love it, just because it´s about football, which is one of my passions in life.
What I really like is the way which the authors create a wonderful and natural atmosphere around the animation and how they make you pay attention to everything. Never have I been so enthusiastic to see history. If it hadn´t been for the TV Shows, I wouldn´t have learnt about Japanese traditions and olden times.
I remember when I started to watch “Death note”, I just said one episode today, which would take 25 minutes, but I couldn´t do it, I had to continue watching it and to make short a long story I watched 37 episodes in 6 days! By the way, it didn´t affect my efficiency at school!
I´ve seen a lot, but some of them are really important to me because they remind me of my childhood with my friends and cousins, such as Dragon Ball (Z and GT as well), Ranma ½, Inuyasha, Yugi Oh and Conan the Detective.
The last one was my first encounter with Sherlock Holmes, which made me take up my interest in knowing more about him, it introduced me to English literature and culture when I was a child. The good thing is that it´s still on air and it encourages me more to read about crime topic and investigation.
Whether you love animation like me or want to see the greatest thing since sliced bread, you are going to like this shop in London called “Tokyo Toys”, located in the heart of Leicester Square. Although it´s a smallish store I ended up having a whale of a time looking at all the items carefully.
I´m an extremely keen fan of Japanese popular culture, such as comics and toys, although animation I like more than video games.
However, not only do I like cartoons, but I also like costume play, most well-known as “Cosplay”, which is an opportunity to be dressed and acted as same as your favourite manga character in special contests around the world, where you can interact with them, it´s like they were real in these comic conventions.
Right now in London there are some activities, such as the manga drawing competition sponsored by the Japanese Embassy in London, until 4th November with fantastic prizes, and the Barbican Theatre is showing a new manga “The Five & the Prophecy of Prana” from 22nd October until 2nd November.
If you feel like a fish out of water, it´s not too late to take up this past time. Personally I think this is an amazing world and you can`t miss the chance to enjoy it and meet new friends. Otakus are everywhere, and they are glad to share experiences and their passion about it. Who knows may be some day we can meet as cosplayers!
G. Tafur D.J.