Getting to know Japan’s weird side

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Tokyo Geek’s Guide: Manga, Anime, Gaming, Cosplay, Toys, Idols & More

By Gianni Simone (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 144 pp., $16.95, paperback)

In the past two decades Japanese anime, manga, and gaming has gained worldwide popularity. This otaku culture has seeped into the mainstream and can be glimpsed all around Japan. “Tokyo Geek’s Guide” by Gianni Simone offers a comprehensive look into Tokyo’s otaku culture.

The guide covers the emergence of otaku culture in Japan and the best otaku-related attractions in each of Tokyo’s districts. It covers both tourist hotspots and niche places equally; you can tell that the author has a deep love and knowledge for all-things otaku. For each district of Tokyo, the guide gives a detailed overview of attractions, eateries, nightlife and special events. No stone is left unturned; the author records nearly every notable maid cafe, game corner and toy shop in Tokyo. Unique facts and labeled maps are provided.

While it was fascinating to see how this “geek” culture has spread so far into Japanese society, I found that without a passion for otaku culture I didn’t care enough to keep reading. However, this is the perfect book for any die-hard fan or curious person who wants to spice up their trip to Japan.

“Tokyo Geek’s Guide” clearly has a targeted audience. If you are thinking about visiting Tokyo and want to learn more about otaku, then it won’t do any harm to purchase this book.

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