It's great to be an otaku today, though I’m certainly not as hardcore as some fans. My shrines to Tenchi Muyo have been packed in boxes, but my dining area still features a beautiful Vampire Princess Miyu poster, and action figures are scattered around my house. We grow up, we get new interests, but we’ll always be otakus at heart. We’ll see someone with a Naruto t-shirt and give them a smile and a nod, that is, if we don’t have time to start up a whole conversation about the inherent coolness of ninjas.

When I started doing columns here at, it was great because suddenly I was in touch with my audience. People from all walks of life, all demographics, could give me input, correct my mistakes, and point out something I forgot to factor in.

I’m excited about Version Vibrant, and I can’t wait to try out my columns again. I do plan to put in more information and news updates about topics I find interesting, as well as focus on my columns about aspects of otaku life. I plan to set up a tagging system to identify different topics, so if you’re only interested in one thing, you can just check on that.

Some of the topics I’m planning to cover are:

Anime Conventions, AMVs, Otaku Socialization, Cosplay, Dealing with Parents, Writing, Publishing, Artists Alley, and Making a Difference in the Anime World

As always, check out the site at

How to Defend Manga to Parents - News Item

Here's an interesting bit of industry analysis about manga and audience. It’s from the YPulse YA conference. YPulse is a newsletter that focuses on news items and essays that are about marketing towards teens and things those marketers should be aware of. They've discussed manga in the past and are pretty "hip" on new medias, manga, etc. The second paragraph ties into parents and manga as well,

Some Ypulse Books Pre-Conference Highlights

"The Visual Storytelling panel was awesome! They were super vibrant and offered all sorts of cool impassioned information on the world of graphic novels -- not really anything super surprising in the future for graphic novels or comics, just that they are here to stay! They also talked quite a bit about the role of girls in the industry and how they are among some of the most avid readers. I found this particularly interesting: Andrew Farago pointed out that in pre-war American EVERYBODY read "the comics" and there were few distinctions across gender. After the War, it somehow became a boy thing and the stigma has persisted even though girls today read a ton of graphic novels, manga and comics.

"A question a lot of folks wanted to address was how to deal with parents that dismiss manga and the like as not serious reading... a waste of time. The panelists agreed that emphasizing the characters and their righteous moral journeys was one way to sway them. Farago reminded us of the mainstream popularity of Persepolis, and that American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang won the Michael L Printz Award and was a National Book Award finalist in 2005. The literary world is taking this genre seriously. This might offer some validation to those that need it.

"Reluctant readers (aka boys) want action and honesty, and both authors and publishers talked about how alternative tie-ins like games are a great way to attract readers. Also, non-fiction still provides an important draw. I was particularly interested in Jeff Savage's experience with his mostly boy fan base. He talked about how he thinks his books are so popular simply because of his readers love of the subject matter: sports. Seems like a no-brainer, right? But it's a genre, if you will, and one that I hadn't ever paid much attention to. I will now. "