Otaku culture is fast becoming the mainstream culture of Japan, and any company that wants to succeed at selling products to the country’s multitude of plugged-in young people needs to understand this fact. Some American companies have done surprisingly well in this area, showing that they grok Japan’s obsessive popular culture, or at least have sense enough not to interfere when some new meme appears on the Interwebs. Amazon established itself early on as a source for otaku culture, even open to carrying some doujinshi, and McDonald’s looks the other way as Japanese artists create bizarre parodies of Ronald McDonald on Pixiv. Apple has an extensive selection of anime music [iTunes link] on the iTunes Japan store (iTunes prepaid cards are here), since the people most likely to embrace new technology also tend to be interested in anime. Microsoft even commissioned an official “OS-tan” mascot character for Windows 7, known as Nanami Madobe. Kawaii?
Smart companies learn to embrace Japan’s otaku culture.