Knowing more about Asian culture and the perspective both of youth and by extension geek culture is also relayed in a texture of both comic books and movie as the upcoming release of “Detective Pikachu” shows. In “Otaku Blue 1: Tokyo Underground” [Richard Marazano/Europe Comics/58pgs], this texture if brought in play since it balances on both social media and cosplay which is a big part of modern fan culture (as in dressing up your favorite character). This graphic novel follows a sociology student Asami, who although a bit older wants to understand this element of cosplay validation. In what was slightly confusing at first, she takes a job at a maid cosplay restaurant since the aspect of enjoyment can be mutual. The Otaku is the obsessive fan who does not creep as much as validates but this seems to be a very thin line. Again this might be a perspective of culture and, by extent, honor which might seem a little odd to American sensibility. At the same time, there seems to be a new serial killer who is murdering prostitutes but is taking uncommon body part like eyes, hands and feet. Our lead character actually ingrains herself with a group of cosplay girls who get the attention of the most famous Otaku who takes an interest. The cliffhanger involves the actual meet though a few men in the story could be the culprit. Otaku is an odd read because it has elements of thriller, social commentary and obsessive compulsive habits. It is an interesting perception dependent on the aspect of its endgame which is not shown here.
By Tim Wassberg