lifestyle

Fanboys are wearing skirts — and gaining strength

51 Comments
By Patrick W Galbraith

Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima is a "moe otaku." When at home in rural Hyogo Prefecture, he watches anime featuring beautiful girls and surfs the internet for more information about them. He also cosplays as his favorite female characters. You’d think that this guy wearing a schoolgirl uniform would be bullied — that is, until you put some boxing gloves on the New Japan Kick-Boxing Federation’s super welterweight champion.

“My occupation is cosplaying and watching anime,” Nagashima explains. “I consider my appearances in K-1 matches just a way to make money, so once I enter the ring, it’s hobby time to me.”

Nagashima is an otaku who strengthens his body and steps out into society with pride. The mild-mannered 25-year-old says he doesn’t want to be seen as an example for other otaku. He just happens to fight as a hobby and isn’t out to tell people how to live.

Others see progress in otaku with a balanced interest in both the physical and virtual. Toru Honda, an otaku philosopher who advocates a “two-dimensional love revolution” in his book "Moeru Otoko" (The Budding Man), writes that otaku who can balance the physical and emotional are the next stage of human evolution. Punning on the double meaning of "moe," he suggests that “moe men” have the potential to both “burn” with masculine physical vitality and “bud” with feminine emotions for characters in anime, manga and video games.

Recent visitors to Akihabara will be familiar with the spectacle of otaku in skirts dancing in public. Similarly, Nagashima says he wears cosplay into the ring to grab the attention of spectators and get them interested in his favorite series and characters.

Not everyone is happy with this “crossplay.” In Akihabara, the police responded by increasing their patrols to curb public disturbance, and thugs thinking otaku had become easy targets started to converge on the area.

An older school of otaku also disapprove. Toshio Okada, 51, an anime producer and critic dubbed the “king of otaku,” is so repulsed by those interested in "moe" that he declared them to be “culturally dead.”

After otaku hunters, or otaku-gari, took to ganging up on "moe" men, local hobby enthusiasts started arming themselves. This drew even more negative attention from the police, who began searching the bags of passersby. Otaku are turning to new ways of fighting back, including group shopping and martial arts training.

K-1 and professional wrestling have been a consistent source of inspiration for fanboys, and the fighters themselves are getting increasingly more otaku. Josh Barnett, 32, an MMA fighter from Seattle, is popularly known as the “strongest otaku in the world.” He idolizes the character Kenshiro from ultra-macho series Fist of the North Star and uses its theme tune when he enters the ring.

For his part, Nagashima was inspired by prolific voice actress Megumi Hayashibara. While he isn’t interested in telling anyone how to live, he does have a message for would-be predators.

“I want to say, ‘You think that people who watch anime can’t do anything and are weak, but there are people like me out there. Don’t underestimate us.’ Otaku can be strong.”

This story originally appeared in Metropolis magazine (www.metropolis.co.jp).

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


51 Comments
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It really is time to get the h@ll out of this weird country!

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Toru Honda, an otaku philosopher who advocates a “two-dimensional love revolution” in his book “Moeru Otoko” (The Budding Man), writes that otaku who can balance the physical and emotional are the next stage of human evolution

somebody better clue in this philosopher that any "next stage in evolution" must ALWAYS be more prolific as far as producing offspring.

And given Japan's ever decreasing birthrate, any "next stage in evolution" ain't likely to come from this island, how ever many dimensions these otaku's can dream up.

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gross.

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he's missing the other meaning of 'moe'

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so much for the "samurai spirit" the men here harp on about so much..

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ummm...hmmm...ok I guess... so the next evolution for men is wearing skirts, leave me behind. I've seen pics in fashion webpages; are dudes in japan also carrying bags around like the ladies?

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This is a disgrace. Japan grow up!!! You need to get out of your 2 decades recession amd stop acting like kids dressing up.

This K1 guy is a freak. A man should never wear womens clothes, it is against societies morals.

Japan needs better education into correct moral behavior. Stop these freaks now!!!

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Remember back in the 90s Akihabara was about electronics and computers? you may have took a young family member along with you on Sundays to see if there's a bargain on in the radio galleries, then cross the Mansei bridge to visit the transport museum, and on your way back dig in for a meal at this popular owner operated curry establishment by the south west station entrance? I do.

Now that Akiba I remember is gone, computer emporiums being replaced with stores for manga fan fiction written by sexually repressed basement dwellers and its walls plastered by billboards of school girl animations tailored for these male 2D fetish freaks who dress exactly like them, and maids who are the '3D moe' archtype calling out to anyone who they think are indignifying enough to visit their cafes. Is there a chemo for this cancer? we need it quick, it's already spreading to Ameyoko for crying out loud!

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"and surfs the internet for more information about them"

Hm I see, that's called 'information' now!

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Thank you Engrish once again. A "Moe" Man from Moe is of the 3 Stooges of course and you could not have planned a more apt name in English if you tried. Irony for the win...again.

As for whatever dimension he thinks he exists in, y'know... good luck and all that, but don't expect me to either care or have a clue what on earth you're doing. That this is on the rise is in direct proportion to how irrelevant Japan increasingly becomes sorry to say.

If he had something meaningful to do maybe fantasy wouldn't be so appealing. Teach, Help elderly or children, Climate change, Peak Oil. Food, Hunger, Homeless, something meaningful... but Cosplay? Really? What an utter embarrassment

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The lost generation. Sad!

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Oh dear lord, no. I wish I could say that this is true only in Japan, but it certainly has taken hold here.

Does anyone remember the Peter Pan guy in Florida who was a big internet meme about 10 years back? That guy was a question mark.

The guy in the picture above? He is about five question marks and three exclamation points.

sf2k.... you make an interesting point. It is all well and good that people are exploring what it is to be human, but there is a point where it is pretty obvious that people are running from reality as fast as they can.

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That about sort of wraps it up

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Nothing new. Through most of history men have work skirts. Haven't you seen the movie Sparticus, or any movie about Greece, Rome, the Vikings?

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WTF, this is stupid.

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the bushido spirit seems to have diluted itself a little bit over the years

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Enough already.

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lol thats funny. I like anime but I don't think I would go that far. Well, maybe.

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It Scotland, we all wear skirts... and I have found myself 'cosplaying' once or twice.

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Those aren't skirts gosh darn it. I can understand the kilts and togas from the cultures, but skirts (specifically clothing for women) only look good on women and absolutely hilarious on guys when they're dressing in drag for comedy sake. But dressing in drag as an anime otake hobby? Its an insult to real transvestites everywhere xD

I'd never thought I'd see society fall so fast, but looks like people are already jumping head first into the abyss. The thugs need to wise up too. The nerds aren't as weak as they used to be, but now there might be an increase in weapons on the thugs end too.

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The end of days hand wringing here is hilarious. It's just a bloke dressed as a bird, who cares?

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“My occupation is cosplaying and watching anime,” Nagashima explains. “I consider my appearances in K-1 matches just a way to make money, so once I enter the ring, it’s hobby time to me.”

this guy should shut up and stay in his house.

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he gives me someone to cheer for each time he steps into the ring to fight, his opponent!

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I wonder what Nagashima's parents think about this...

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Any wonder J-women cant find a guy to marry?

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The end of days hand wringing here is hilarious. It's just a bloke dressed as a bird, who cares?

I do.

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This is a man that is very confident with his feminine side. Good knees -but the socks are too high.

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So a man likes dressing up in skirts, who cares! It's his life, who is he hurting! Some of the people on here are acting like it's the end of the world!

I could understand not being a fan of it, but there's no need to overreact.

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He is a professional who dresses in a skirt. In other words, he is a man who is in touch with his feminine side. We guys can all learn from him. What was that saying, "float like a butterfly, sting like a queen bee"? That's him, a feminine butterfly and a masculine queen bee.

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VERY SCARY- But he has rights and freedom to express himself anyway he wants. I hope I see Japanese Office workers dress like him in the future. I need a good laugh now and than.

This is a funnnnny article.

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I relly want my boss and a few other Japanese co worker to dress like him. Or maybe theyt do behind closed doors ???? Is this a fetish or something

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I blew it in my previous post.

I should have said "He is professional BOXER who dresses in a skirt, i.e., a man in touch with his feminine side. Well, it wasn't that funny to begin with....

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This guy disgusts me. Stop these perverted freaks from being in the media from now!!!

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Sad. I think this guy looks better in a skirt than I do! I have to second the no wonder Japanese women can't find a guy to marry comment, though. Who wants to date a guy who borrows your clothes and makeup? Yeah.....no thanks. On the plus side, though, if you didn't have time to shop for a Halloween costume, I bet he might be able to loan you something. As long as you don't mind dressing up in a sailor suit, that is.

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This guy is confusing. Even his official blog has photos of him as a fruit and a K-1 fighter: http://ameblo.jp/jienotsu/ You'd think they're two different people.

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Is he gay? Typical of Japanese preverted men. No wonder japanese women stay single. I think he is wearing thongs with catchers cups to protect against women that might kick him in the place where they mean business.

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Shinjukuboy

I have tried to say something about your post a couple of times, but whenever I mention Kirk Douglass or Jamie Lee Curtis' father, it gets yanked. So let's talk about Bernard Schwartz.

Let me just say that the ancient Greeks, Celts and Romans all wore skirts, it is true, but they did not also wear blue wigs, as the young man in the picture is doing. Saying that the skirt is the main problem here might be ignoring the obvious. One might consider context and motive.

Just for instance, Bernard Schwartz DID wear a wig, mascara and lipstick in Some Like it Hot, and did so for very different reasons. The skirt Bernard Schwartz wore in Spartacus and the one he wore to get Marilyn Monroe were different skirts with different purposes. Context, and what a young man chooses to wear along with the skirt, are at least as important as the skirt.

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Well, he's ruined my image of Dokuro chan lots... I'm in touch with my feminine side too, but it helps me to understand women more not inspire me to dress up as one.

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Good for him being who he wants to be. He is also the reason the novelty of Japan has completely worn off.

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Says you. I still like many thing about Japan and want to visit. Guys dressing in drag doesn't bother me in the least.

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I like this guy purely for the amount of people he's peed off in this thread. Nice work dude(tte).

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You just got KTFO by a dude wearing a skirt! Burnnnn (moe)!

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I am not sure what the big deal is here? He's employed, he obviously does alot training(he's pysically healthy), his obsession with Anime is probably not healthy, and if he wants to dress like a girl then so be it. I can think of a lot worse things that he could be doing. He's not even the frist althete to do drag, Dennis Rodman was notorious for going out in drag.

As for the effeminate thing in Japan, it would seem that Japan is slightly ahead of the trend. Rail thin bodies, skinny/girl jeans and longish hair and general looking androgynous seems to becoming the trend among the younger generation.

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And it was great seeing him getting knocked out last night....OMG what is this country becoming??? Guys wear make up / guys dressed as girls are tv talents / and now a K1 fighter dresses up as a girl!!!!!

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It was great to see him beat down!

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I saw a couple of Japanese dudes getting hammered on the news last night - was skirt boy one of them?!

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He better be careful of the cops here. One of them might try to take an up skirt of him and be surprised at the results.

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He is living in a tiny little world and seems to be stuck in it. He just needs to get out more, get real feel of what it feels like to be living in a real world. Does he know what it is like if a real girl kisses him?

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He needs to get sponsored by Chanel or the like to ice the cake

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@sfjp330: Being gay is not at all synonymous with being sexually perverted. Please try to understand there is a difference. And why do you assume women are so violent and abusive? You appear to have some serious issues which you need to work out.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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Albert Kraus destroyed Nagashima recently...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep1RaFUNl-8

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