chapter  7
Intellectuals, Cartoons, and Nationalism During the Russo-Japanese War
ByYulia Mikhailova
Pages 22

This chapter examines Millennium Actress in the context of the otaku and his evolving relationship to cultural production in contemporary Japan. The term otaku is commonly used to designate a rabid fan/hobbyist of anime, manga, computer games, and related genres. Social scientists, public intellectuals, and reporters concerned with the present state of Japanese identity descried otaku, now suddenly lumped together as a homogeneous, sinister group. Okada continued his role as commentator on and promoter of otaku culture after he left GAINAX in 1992 and turned "academic". Popular culture of the supposedly most deviant kind infiltrated Japan's premier institution of tertiary education. Kon, another undisputed denizen of the otaku realm, participates in the same "mainstreaming" and elevating of the otaku that has been modeled perfectly by Okada's career, theorized by Otsuka, and put on display internationally by Murakami.