If it's on a jumper, it must be true

Submitted for your approval: two sweatshirts with slogans derived from the otaku, and in particular 2channel, subculture.

The top one says アキバ系, akiba-kei. Akiba is short for Akihabara (秋葉原), the place in Tokyo which has the highest concentration of dealers in electronics- and IT-related goods, plus a secondary pleasure-focused market in manga, anime, cosplay cafe service, etc., that arose to service all the geeks while they were buying their essential equipment. And kei means "style" or "type". So a person wearing this would be announcing that they are the kind of person who hangs out in Akihabara -- i.e. an otaku, and also probably prone to ponytails, headbands, backpacks, and overweightness, as befits the Akiba-kei stereotype.

The bottom jumper says 萌え, moe. Moe refers to affectionate, perhaps romantic feelings towards non-real females, like cartoon characters and game heroines. (I don't see why it couldn't also refer to males, but I've never heard a woman use that way.) Clearly, this is something that otaku would be more likely to feel than others, which is why this is right next to the Akiba-kei sweatshirt.

Popularity factor: 3


there is a guy in school wearing akibakei jersey. he is cute and fashionable though, so we forgive him.

yuki @ kissui.net


And they say irony is dead! I'm surprised his "fashionable" status doesn't get revoked for that, though.

You know, you COULD get a Blogger account and have the signature appear automatically. ;)


On the subject of "akiba-kei", have you ever read a text by Frederic Jameson, in which he refers to "pastiche". In post-modernism, the idea of irony constructs the central issue. And he thinks that when irony is used many times it looses the essence and consequently it no longer conveys a satirical and mocking feeling. For instance, when you tease soemone but if you do it over and over it causes him to feel nothing. It also referes to Baudrillard's signified and signifier. Signifier that he refers to is a concept and the signified is a veicle to carry it. But he believes that some signifieds lost their initial concepts and carry different meanings. I think this can be applied to the "akiba-kei' situation. And I'd like to comment on the meaning of "moe" as well. I don't actually know what it exactly means but I assume that it is akin to an awesome feeling when you see nature. Emmanuel Kant talks about the sublime in his "The Aesthetic Judjement". He says that when you see beautiful nature such as panoramic landscape or a big mountain you feel the sublime as opposed to the feeling that you get when you see a work of art. For Otaku people getting a girl friend is almost impossible and they have created an idealized image of a girl in the simulate world and it has become almost God to them. Therefore, they moe-ru by looking at pop idols.well, maybe I'm wrong.

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