Over the weekend I went down to Tokyo to meet with some friends and have Osaka-style kushi-katsu, which is meat and vegetables on wooden skewers that are breaded and deep-fried then dipped in this heavenly sauce before eating. Walking around Tokyo, I was amazed at the number of anime-related advertisements that jumped out at me, promoting everything from the domestic Blu-ray releases of AnoHana and PapaKiki to music CDs by famous anime voice actresses [iTunes link]. Obviously if you’re in Akihabara you expect to be bombarded with moe imagery — the hotel I stay at in Akiba hires anime voice actresses to record their recorded wake-up call greetings, which is quite popular with guests — but I was seeing these advertisements in “normal” parts of Tokyo, like Shinjuku and Shibuya. Of course it’s been years since otaku culture could really be considered “underground,” since it’s been embraced by the media in a big way, and many TV variety shows feature interesting “talents” who specialize in demonstrating esoteric knowledge of anime, manga and video games for the amusement of viewers.
Signs advertising anime are everywhere in Tokyo.