A peek inside an otaku’s inner sanctum

October 29th, 2009 by Felicity Hughes

Danny Choo in his element

Danny Choo in his element

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.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.


Recent Posts

  • J-blip: Ipsa’s Face Melody

    Every face has a name, a story and . . . a song? That’s the idea behind cosmetic company Ipsa’s newest creation. We should, uh, take it at face value, but the company claims that its Face Melody program can measure the user’s appearance and write a unique tune based on their attributes. The application […]

  • Japan celebrates the GIFs that keep on giving

    GIFs — which stands for graphics interchange format, don’t you know — have made the Internet an even more enjoyable place than before, and we have the receipts to prove it. These digital designs were technological wonders back in the days of AOL and Netscape (Google it, kids). But they eventually went from high-tech animation […]

  • Smart absolutions: Send off your sins with just one click

    The two-step method to purification.

  • Attack of the plant hunters, green carnivores and fleshy girls

    Never promised you a rose garden, but how about a fleshy plant or a stag-horn fern?

  • Make 12th-century art using 21st-century tech

    The Choju-Giga, the famed animal caricature ink paintings displayed Kyoto’s Kozan-ji Temple have been captivating people for centuries. The four scrolls, which date to the 12th and 13th centuries and depict rabbits and monkeys getting into mischief, are often cited as the first manga comics in Japan’s history. Now art lovers can create their own […]

  • Fuji Rock bound? Make sure you survive in style

    A few items that will help you stay dry and happy during Fuji Rock Festival’s unpredictable weather.

  • Pokemon ages ungracefully with middle-aged ‘Ojisan Monsters’

    “Ojimon” is a new mobile game where players can catch middle-aged pocket monsters and make them do their bidding.

  • The new face of Japanese beauty products

    A wise woman once said that beauty is pain, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. With designer face masks, even the simple act of skin moisturizing can become fun. Face masks rose to popularity after the 2011 Korean BB Cream craze. Over the past four years, the “lazy girl” alternative to […]

  • Dominique Ansel caters to Tokyo’s (semi)sweet tooth with cronuts and s’more

    Long queues will mark the spot where Dominique Ansel wil be serving a vast array of creative desserts and, of course, his famed Cronut.

  • Load up YouTube because it’s morphin’ time!

    Summon your Megazord because the Power Rangers are heading to YouTube — and it’s all in Japanese. “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” was a hit children’s show back in the ‘90s that featured campy acting, ridiculous monsters and possibly the best theme song of all time. It was actually based on the long-running “Super Sentai” TV […]