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

Anime Taste Testing: Winter 2017 (Part II)

rakugo shinjuu header
Even half-decent shows are incredibly thin on the ground this season, which means of the shows I did try out, I only ended up dropping one of them (that being Spiritpact, which as you may recall I managed to watch a whole ten minutes of before the pain got too much for me. I still have nightmares.) Not counting the ongoing second half of 3-gatsu no Lion, that leaves me with just five titles on my weekly viewing list – ACCA, Onihei, Little Witch Academia, Kuzu no Honkai, and Rakugo Shinjuu. Let’s see how they’re faring now that we’re approaching the season’s halfway mark. At the time of this writing, each of these shows has aired five episodes. Continue reading

Best J-Pop/J-Rock Albums of 2016

It’s been a whirlwind year in the Japanese music industry. Influential singer/songwriter Utada Hikaru released her first album in eight years; Boom Boom Satellites released their final (gorgeous) record before the passing away of vocalist Kawashima Michiyuki; iconic boy band SMAP disbanded after a run of nearly three decades; and BABYMETAL took one step closer to world domination when they opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers on their UK tour. To nobody’s surprise, fan-favourite idol groups such as Arashi and AKB48 continued to top many of the charts, but they were far from the only fare on offer in 2016. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Winter 2017

rakugo shinjuu season 2 header
I’ve said numerous times in the past that when it comes to anime, I prefer quality of quantity any day – that I judge a season by those titles that are good rather than how many of them aren’t. That being said, winter 2017 makes this stance pretty hard for me to be mindful of no matter how I try to spin it. Continue reading