Out on Amazon today is a very funky book titled “Otacool Worldwide Otaku Rooms.” The project, organized by self-confessed otaku Danny Choo is for the moment only published in Japan by Kotobukiya. Otaku around the globe responded to Choo’s call to submit images of themselves posing alongside their precious figurine collections in their homes and the best of these images were put together for the book.
While many were enthusiastic to show off their toy collections, this blogger expressed reservations at getting up in front of the camera. Otaku are generally shy retiring types, after all. Or are they? The book may go some way to busting myths about what defines an otaku. For instance, the foxy 21-year-old anime fan/cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao, who poses in an impressive room replete with an army of plastic playmates obviously counters the stereotypical male computer geek.
While Gosiengiao’s room is neat, with a good amount of space given to each figurine, one wonders what happens when your figurine fetish spirals out of control and you just don’t have the space any more. Choo’s room, which is also featured, provides one answer: It’s specifically designed for displaying characters, and figures are rotated according to his mood. “By lighting figurines from the bottom, the shadows from the figure disappear and the whole room becomes broad and bright,” he says in the book.
While most of the rooms featured had well dusted toys in tidy displays, I wondered to what extent these spaces had been prettied up for the camera. Being married to an otaku myself I know that while the toys may stand in neat rows, the rest of his study can be in chaos. Being averse to such time-consuming activities as dusting, he keeps the toys in plastic display cases. “I don’t know how much money I’ve spent on my collection. It’s a lot, but I don’t care,” he says to my chagrin. “My favorites are the Nendoroids because they are very cute and original.”
If you’re itching to get your hands on the book, perhaps to sit alongside your precious Evangelion collection, then get down to the Kotobukiya store on Saturday, Oct. 31, where Danny Choo will be signing copies from 1 p.m.