Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 3.23.06 AM

The word “otaku” in the Japanese language is a general term for anyone who is passionate about a hobby. But in English, “otaku” has become a term that refers to people who are obsessed with Japanese culture, particularly anime and manga. But the world of the otaku is sometimes misunderstood. That’s where JH Lab, a group of “otaku of the highest caliber” comes in, hoping to demystify the world of anime and manga fans and bring the culture of Akihabara to people everywhere.

To do this, JH Lab has created Akiba Anime Art (AAA), “a brand new pop-culture magazine from Akihabara, featuring cool OTAKUs, advanced technologies, kawaii-cosplays, Dojins and much more!” They’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to make their dream a reality and have quickly surpassed their initial goal, raising over US$42,000. Supporters of the project will receive special edition illustrations from featured Japanese artist, John Hathway, and have a chance to be drawn into his amazing Akihabara picture jockey cityscape. Let’s take a closer look at this rapidly growing magazine’s “ultra otaku power.”

The first issue of Akiba Anime Art will include 60 to 70 full-color pages and will feature the picture jockey creations from John Hathway. A picture jockey is an artist who creates a picture by blending and altering other images, much like a disc jockey mixes tracks to create a different song. Confused? Here’s a little taste of what John does:

Akihabara-based magazine blasts past Kickstarter goal, aims to bring otaku culture to the world3

Akihabara-based magazine blasts past Kickstarter goal, aims to bring otaku culture to the world

Akihabara-based magazine blasts past Kickstarter goal, aims to bring otaku culture to the world4

The magazine will also include illustrations from other artists such as RCO Wada and Fujichoko, as well as articles and content in English featuring the otaku culture of Japan.

Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 3.23.35 AM

Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 3.23.44 AM

JH Lab explains their reasoning for this venture:

We, at JH Lab, have spent years on our research, mastering the concepts driving Akihabara and otaku. We have been severely disappointed about how these concepts have been misunderstood by those residing in the United States. We have been looking for a new means of distributing real authenticity in Akiba culture, sharing it around the entire world. 

The AAA Kickstarter page also includes this sign:

Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 6.33.39 AM▲ Because that’s not what otaku culture is really about.

The Kickstarter campaign is offering up some amazing rewards to supporters. A pledge of a mere $15 gets you a copy of Akiba Anime Art magazine. From there, the rewards keep coming and range from a 3-D book of John Hathway’s illustrations to a guest appearance in one of them!

Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 6.54.42 AM▲ Sorry, this pledge level had a limit of one backer and it’s already been taken!

Akiba Anime Art is a refreshing magazine, bringing a new understanding of what it means to be called “otaku.” Backed by an ambitious, passionate team of self-proclaimed otaku and supported by noted Akihabara artists and a steadily growing fanbase, AAA promises to be the best source for all things otaku. If you’re just hearing about the Akiba Anime Art magazine, don’t worry, the Kickstarter campaign will end on October 13, so there’s still time to show your love for Akihabara and its thriving otaku culture.

Source: Kickstarter