'Gacha gacha' machines not just for kids anymore

National Aug 14, 2014

'Gacha gacha' machines not just for kids anymore

by Asako Takaguchi

Among the wide array of vending machines peddling items from the everyday to the obscure, one staple in Japan is the toy-dispensing "gacha gacha," which is named after the handle-turning noise that precedes the release of the plastic capsule. While the majority of gacha gacha ...

Comiket, where <I>otaku</I> come to share the love

Culture Dec 19, 2013

Comiket, where otaku come to share the love

by Jun Hongo

The Tokyo International Exhibition Center, better known as Tokyo Big Sight, boasts an area of more than 80,000 sq. meters of exhibition space. It's the country's largest convention center and will host wrestling, fencing and taekwondo during the 2020 Olympics. Not many events can claim ...

Otaku culture gets under the skin

Lifestyle Dec 9, 2013

Otaku culture gets under the skin

by Samuel Thomas

Tattoos in Japan have long moved on from the kind often romanticized by the West — that imagery of flamboyant yakuza that so many seem reluctant to relinquish. But a brief glance at the policies of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto reveals a nation still ...

Taking anime too seriously

Books / Reviews Jun 2, 2013

Taking anime too seriously

by Michael Hoffman

"Why study anime?" the author of this study of anime asks himself. Good question, thinks the reader. Why indeed "study" a pop art whose appeal is less to thought than to mass, unreflecting, spontaneous enjoyment?