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

Exploring Enjo Kosai

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In a previous article here on Otaku Lounge discussing gyaru street fashion and subculture, I made brief mention of something called ‘enjo kosai’ – translating roughly to ‘assistance relationship’, but probably better understood by the term ‘compensated dating’. Today I’d like to expand on this by taking a brief look not only at the background behind the term, but also how it’s been viewed by Japanese media and the general public. Continue reading

Bold, Blonde and Beautiful?: Gyaru Fashion and Style

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My last street fashion-centric article for Otaku Lounge being on Japan’s lolita subculture back in October, I thought it might be time for a look at another trend, and one which might even be considered by some as the antithesis of lolita fashion at that: the ever-evolving gyaru style. Continue reading

10 Female Anime Directors

43. picture1A few comments in response to an earlier Otaku Blog post of mine about gender inequality in Japan prompted me to think about how many women work behind the scenes in the anime industry… the short answer being, depressingly few. Even fewer are the number of women involved in the industry who take the leading role in directing; a brief internet search will tell you that prominent figures within this business are almost exclusively men. Continue reading

Review: Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son)

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An effeminate boy who wants to be a girl, a masculine girl who wants to be a boy, and a student who comes to her first day at a new school dressed in a boy’s uniform just because. On its own it comes across a bit like the beginning of a joke that begins with three people walking into a bar and ends with a dirty punch-line. With the word ‘anime’ added to the mix, it probably sounds like a recipe for a series involving a lot of fanservice and/or pornography and not much else, since the number of anime titles dealing with gender identity and cross-dressing in a realistic and non-comedic way are extremely few and far between. Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son) does exactly that. Continue reading