Otaku Encyclopedia – Book Review

The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider’s Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan is a book I picked up and blogged about early last month that I have been reading in my free time since. As the title of the book states the Otaku Encyclopedia is detailed well researched guide to interesting subculture of Japan as it related to pop idols, anime, music, manga and more. It is truly a great resource that can be used to expand your knowledge of the topics listed above.


What’s inside the Otaku Encyclopedia?

Firstly, the Otaku Encyclopedia is a real “encyclopedia” filled with over 600 alphabetical listings of everything otaku related from Bandai (Japanese toy maker) to Seinen Manga (manga targeted at young adults) and is complete with with an anime style guide character called Moe-chan. An added incentive to want this book is the interviews with Otaku related personnel such as J-pop idol and blogger Shoko-Tan, artist Takashi Murakami, otaku expert Okada Toshio and famous cafe maid hitomi. I have been wanting this book for many months before I finally got my paws on it as it was released in Japan and other countries in June but only made it to the west in October which allowed me to snatch it off Amazon.


Double O Gundam keeping my company while I read

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About the Author

The Otaku Encyclopedia was written by Patrick W Galbraith, a guy who is well known all over Akihabara where he is regularly cosplaying as Super Saiyan Goku from Dragon Ball Z. When not firing off ka-me-ha-me-has he earns a living as a journalist writing regular columns for various magazines, websites and other publications. He is a potential PH.D candidate who doesn’t plan to study regular geeky subjects like neurology or quantum physics instead he is studying … Otaku!


Inspirational window into Otaku subculture of Japan

As a Japan enthusiast thousands of miles away from Tokyo the Otaku Encyclopedia does well to offer a window to have a small peek on Otaku culture, its development and evolution in Japan. It makes me even more excited and focused so that I may one day experience first hand what is like to be in Japan so for me just looking at the book from time to time offers inspiration. Have you been reading any books lately? Vote in the poll below and leave a comment.

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Buy Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider’s Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan on Amazon.com


12 thoughts on “Otaku Encyclopedia – Book Review

  1. I think I’ll be picking up more Japan related books once I get back home. Might have to make this book part of that list.

    Thanks for recommendation.

  2. Hmm…am I the only one that finds the subtitle rather ironic?

    The Otaku Encyclopedia: An insider’s guide to the subculture of Cool Japan.

    I’ve written about it a little before myself and seen other people note that the connotation of otaku seems pretty different in Japan and abroad. To Japanese people, otaku are certainly not cool. Otaku are akin to the Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy – socially inept people who devote all their time and money to a specialized interest.

    I don’t mean to trash the book – looks interesting. But it also looks like it’s very…Western-oriented, despite being about Japan.

  3. I’m gonna go with Blue Shoe on this one too. Otaku is only a positive term to people who aren’t Japanese. This book was written by a white guy and will obviously be from a Western perspective.

    On the other hand, I’m sure it’s a good resource and probably fairly accurate, since the guy is an otaku himself and living in Japan where he has ready access to the culture and otaku related events, etc.

    Sometime next year I’ll be moving to Manila to take up a degree in “Bachelor of Arts in International Studies major in Japanese Studies (AB-ISJ)”. In addition to getting off my lazy ass and looking at Smart.fm, I should probably start refining my knowledge of Japanese culture. This book might be a good start, since I’ve already got this idea in my head for a thesis paper (ya, thinking way in advance) about how manga and anime have affected Japanese culture.

  4. …In fact it’s usually described the exact opposite…closer to hentai than cool. Creepy freaks are the best description.
    @Jovan—totally cool avatar! Huey is my hero lol [anime]
    btw, good review jama san

  5. Been thinking about getting some of these books someday, especially this one, Urawaza and OTACOOL. Maybe after I get home from Japan in February :)

  6. ohhhhh…. I MUST have this! Thanks for sharing :) Who doesn’t need a reference manual for their inner-otaku? The author bio on this is great “a guy who is well known all over Akihabara where he is regularly cosplaying as Super Saiyan Goku from Dragon Ball Z” LOL

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