Genshiken Otaku Manga Creator Kio Shimoku Interviewed

posted on 2008-01-08 22:05 EST
Self-described otaku discusses Japanese subculture and mainstream acceptance

The PW Comics Week section of the Publishers Weekly trade magazine has published an interview with Genshiken manga creator Kio Shimoku. Kio describes the otaku subculture of Japan, which is the main setting of his manga about a college's “modern visual culture” club. In particular, he notes that the Japanese mainstream is slowly growing more receptive to otaku fandom after the Train Man franchise and the term "moe" became popular. However, many otaku in Japan still feel ashamed to be otaku. Kio contrasts the pride of the manga's fictional American characters (Sue and Angela) with the self-loathing of the protagonist Ogiue, who the creator acknowledges is largely based on himself.

While Kio does not encourage "indulging otakuness," he says he is happy that some college students have modeled their clubs after his fictional one. "I believe otaku should be a minority, but one that stands up to the pressures of the world, and I try to be like that, too."

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