POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, November 19, 2011 Share
Picking up the ball from where the BBC's Japanorama with Jonathan Ross left off, is the webshow Otaku-Verse Zero that focuses on Japanese pop culture. Japanorama, while a good look at what was going on in 2002 and from 2006-2007, is already showing its age. Something new is needed because pop culture in Japan is always moving on to bigger and better things. That is where Otaku-Verse Zero really shines. The show provides an updated look at all the cool and crazy stuff happening right now. Show host Patrick Macias is joined each episode by the lovely and talented Yuu Asakawa as they help Western viewers get a handle on what is going on in Japan. Patrick is the Editor-in-Chief for the outstanding Otaku USA magazine, in an age when the internet is killing print. Macias is also the editor for Crunchy Roll News at the Crunchy Roll website. Crunchy Roll provides online streaming for the wonderful world of anime. Yuu Asakawa is a voice actor who gives her spunky personality to many different anime characters. Yuu also sings and has done Vocaloid work. Besides all that, she is a total otaku who helps explain the mysteries of Japan to the world.
Now in its third season, Otaku-Vs Zero is better than ever with more fun stuff happening on location. Season One was mostly shot in a studio but it provided the viewer a candid upclose introduction to Yuu and Patrick. Season Two had more on locations features such as one of my favorites, a look at Nakano Broadway, an Otaku Mecca that rivals Akihabara for sheer geekiness. I loved the episode inside one of Nakano’s main stores, Mandarake, that had a segment on retro movie posters like Bunta Sugawara in Battle Without Honor or Humanity (1973.) The 70’s was a great time for gritty Yakuza movies and Battle is one of my all-time favorites. The episode also showed original cells from the manga master, Osamu Tezuka, and his brilliant Astro Boy. You are sure to learn something by tuning into Otaku-Verse Zero on Youtube or Crunchy Roll. I had known about Maid Cafes, basically a coffee shop that nerds like to frequent because the waitresses dress up like cute anime maids and you can pay a small fee to play video games with them. You can also role play your favorite anime with them. Most importantly you can talk to a girl besides your mother or a blood relative and she will be nice to you. I didn’t know about the Butler Cafes until watching OVZ. This is a café for female otaku, who wish to meet males who will be nice to them. It seems like an interesting place to take a date that is off the beaten path.
What are you waiting for? Go check out the current episode of OVZ Season 3 that discusses Comic Market and the impact that half a million fans have on the Japanese economy. I have never seen so many rabid fans all together at such a massive comic con. Plus, the ending photos of the sexy cosplayers will melt even the hardest fanboy hearts. Shows like OVZ need your support because pop culture is always changing and we all need a way to catch up.
"The Asian Aperture" is ©2011 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.
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