Dear Japan…


As many readers of Otaku Lounge may be aware, this is now my second stint living in Japan. I got my first full-time job here, lived completely alone for the first time here, and have basically come to think of it as my second home; I couldn’t possibly list every single thing I like about it. That said, no country is perfect, and there are definitely things about Japan that sometimes rub me the wrong way. Continue reading

Misadventures in Japanese Doramas (Part II)

As the title suggests, this post is the second installment of a (possibly still ongoing) series in which I attempt to further my experience in the scary world of Japanese live-action TV dramas. They’re basically uneducated mini-reviews of some of the doramas I’ve tried out over the past couple of years, in the hopes of getting a better idea of what doramas are like and what I think about them in general. Last time I took a look at Hana Yori Dango, Gokusen, and Massan, and this time around I have three more titles to add to the steadily growing pile. As with my previous post, they’re listed only in the order I watched them. Continue reading

Misadventures in Japanese Doramas (Part I)


It probably comes as no surprise to readers of Otaku Lounge that, alongside anime, I also consume other forms of Japanese pop culture. I listen to a lot of Japanese music, watch a decent number of live-action Japanese films, read some Japanese novels here and there, and very occasionally dabble in light novels and manga. However, I’ve had comparatively little experience with Japanese live-action TV, and decided a few years ago that this was something I should probably remedy – admittedly mostly out of a kind of morbid curiosity, since I loathe soap operas and was pretty sure I’d be getting the Japanese equivalent. Continue reading

Really That Bad?: Mirage of Blaze


You voted.
We watched. This is the first installment of what will likely be a series of articles conversations between Watson and I about anime that have, for whatever reason, been deemed as worthy contenders for the title of Worst Anime of All Time.

To be clear, the aim here isn’t simply to bash unpopular anime but instead to have a genuine (yet hopefully still entertaining) discussion about what makes any given show work/not work, and whether or not it’s deserving of such condemnation. For this reason, we’ll be striving to look at each anime on its own terms and not comparing it with any other title, regardless of any similarities or associations. So sit back, enjoy, and feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions in the comments. Continue reading

Kawaii Minus Gender: Genderless Kei


It’s been a long time since I last posted anything on Japanese street fashion, and of all the fashion-focused articles I have posted here on Otaku Lounge, all but one of them have been concerned primarily with women. After all, the vast majority of Japanese street fashions and subcultures have traditionally been dominated by female-centric styles: lolita, gyaru, mori girl, and plenty of others. Genderless kei – whose male participants have been gaining the lion’s share of media and fan attention – is changing that landscape. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Spring 2017 (Part II)


I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is the worst anime season in recent history, but it’s certainly the season in which I’m watching the least amount of titles over the past several years. That’s not necessarily a complaint by the way, and I should also point out that given my current work schedule, I’ve had to be even stricter than usual about how many shows I’m willing to keep. Still, I do find it interesting that of the four lonely anime left on my weekly watch-list, only one of them isn’t a sequel. Continue reading

Restaurants in Japan


One of the best things about travelling to a new place is the food. Sure, checking out the museums, art galleries, observatories, and other famous landmarks is cool, but food plays an equally significant role in the cultural landscape – particularly if you’re confident enough to try for some of the more locally known rather than tourist-heavy spots. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Spring 2017


Apologies for being a bit later than usual with this. Still trying to figure out life and stuff. And also my wifi, Because Japan. As usual, the following opinions are based purely on the first episode of each show and are ranked from worst to best. Continue reading