It seem’s like EVERYONE’s doing best of 2008 lists.  Rolling Stone, though that’s expected yearly, which was also the case with Spin (even if the Jonas Brothers appeared on both lists – what gives, music critics?)  Multitudes of the manga sites I stalk… er, frequent… listed their Top 10’s, 20’s, etcetera.  Even this very site followed the trend with Joseph Wilk’s Best Albums post (which, he’s admitted, wasn’t based on his own opinion, but plenty of fine albums made their way onto the list.)

So without further ado, here, have a teen perspective on the Best Of 2008 in music, manga, fiction, and other library-related categories.  No, no, no, don’t thank me.  (Insert dismissive hand-wave here.)

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I, Otaku: Inside The New American Geekdom

“You’re just a manga artist, discharging evil into society! How dare you live in a place with a roof?!”

– Excel, Excel Saga

Index

·Introduction: Social Studies of a Different Sort<

·Otaku: Who Are They, and Why Are They Dangerous?

·Types of Otaku: A By-No-Means-Definitive Field Guide

·Q&A: Common Misconceptions About Otaku, Manga, and Fandom in General

·Serving Otaku: What Can You, As a Librarian, Do?

·Otaku-Dom: Is There Anything Really Wrong With It?

·Appendices

– Appendix A: Anime Every Library Needs (Seriously)

– Appendix B: Wait, Where’s This Go?

Introduction: Social Studies of a Different Sort

So I heard this great joke today: two girls walk into a library. One points at the manga section and says “That’s all pornography.”

… Yeah. I don’t get it either.

Apparently I’m supposed to find this funny. And I do, in a sort of sarcastic way. I mean, the plight of the average American otaku is rather humorous, struggling to be understood in a world that would rather have us impressionable American teens obsessing over the Jonas Brothers or the latest Hilary Duff flick. It’s more socially acceptable, after all, to indulge in these entirely mainstream things, is it not? Read More →

I often find it annoying that, while I’m searching for manga at the library, I overhear other patrons talking about just how awesome and thing-I-am-not-allowed-to-say-in-polite-company-kicking their favorite male characters are. As a girl otaku (manga and anime fan, for the uninitiated) I find this rather disappointing. Now, I’m not saying that male characters are bad (you won’t find a huger Edward Elric fan in all of Pittsburgh than me. Well, probably) but where’s the gender equality? Way back in the early days of manga, Osamu Tezuka (yes, THAT Tezuka, the one they call the God of Manga?!) revolutionized the hero archetype with his comic Pricess Knight, featuring a heroine who could handle a sword just as well as any man. Where’s that spirit in today’s comics, I ask? Read More →