Sometimes Mrs. J-List will see me watching anime about high school students
half my age one-third my age discussing what event to put on for their school’s upcoming culture festival and will roll her eyes. “Anime otaku are always living in the past,” she’ll say. Nevermind that her primary hobby is re-watching reruns of Japanese crime dramas from the 1990s and early 2000s.
Harry Potter Fans Get a New Attraction in Tokyo!
If you’re a Japanese Harry Potter fan, 2023 is going to be a great year for you, thanks to the new “Making of Harry Potter” attraction that just opened. It was developed on part of the lot of the bankrupt Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo, and Japanese TV channels have been buzzing about it for weeks.
The new attraction lets you visit your favorite locations from the Harry Potter films, including 4 Privet Drive, Platform 9¾ and Diagon Alley to do some magical shopping. You can walk through Hogwarts as the moving staircases slide past overhead, visit the Ministry of Magic, and stop off for a butterbeer in a re-creation of the dining hall in the school. Sounds like a lot of fun!
Will the new Harry Potter attraction be popular? Considering what a smash hit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was for Universal Studios Osaka, — when it opened, the traffic jams were so bad that onahole shipments to J-List were severely delayed — hopes are running high. I’m sure the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is interested in the results, too, as they’ve provided financial assistance to Universal.
Do Otaku Live in the Past?
An interesting question to ask is, do otaku live in the past? It does seem that we have trouble letting things in the past go sometimes.
- Many of us have an affinity for experiences we had in the past, like the thrill we got watching our first Mobile Suit Gundam series (or Star Wars, or Sailor Moon…). As we live our lives, it’s fun to re-live that happiness by revisiting the thing we love.
- Being any kind of otaku, whether anime, manga, Harry Potter or “sports” otaku, becomes part of our identity, which we carry forward. In my mind, being a dedicated anime fan is no different from being dedicated to your favorite sports team.
- In my own case, I have two modes: super-obsessed, and zero. If I’m into Macross or Gundam or Star Wars this year, I’m dialing it up to 11. Otherwise I’ll probably be pretty chill and relaxed.
- In the end, the world is cold and hard, but fandom is warm and soft. What else do we need?
One of my favorite groups of otaku in Japan are Disneyland Otaku. These are extreme fans not just of Disney characters and films, but Disney theme parks specifically. You can pick them out easily when visiting Tokyo Disneyland because they’ve got dozens of plush toys attached to their backpacks, and they carry expensive DLSR cameras, to take pictures with their favorite Disney cast members.
And now there’ll be Harry Potter otakus visiting this new event space in Tokyo, having fun buying wands and sorting themselves into different Hogwarts houses and drinking Butterbeer. I think this is great.
In the end, who cares if we otaku have one foot in the past and one foot in the present? We’re just living our best life, in the end.
Also, be sure to follow J-List on these platforms!
- Twitter, where Peter posts anime booba for you
- Facebook, where we share memes and discuss anime
- Instagram, for fans who want to keep up with J-List products in your Insta timeline
- Discord, if you want to chat with other J-List customers of culture
- Finally, check out J-List’s new short video blogs on YouTube or TikTok!
J-List and J18 Publishing are getting ready for a certain anime convention that’s going on in a couple weeks. We hope to see everyone at our booth at Anime Expo, where we’ll have lots of new offerings to show you. Until then, browse the newest offerings from J18 Publishing on the site here!