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Akibakei
Akibakei

Akibakei
is a Japanese slang term meaning "Akihabara style." It dates back to the early 80s and refers to a subset of anime Fan, now largely older males, who spend much of their time in and around the Akihabara area of Tokyo and are known for their strong interest in "fantasy worlds...anime, manga, maids, idols, and games." Akibakei have also been characterized as being "interested in ruminating about domestic items and creating fan works based on these existing elements."

The Akihabara area in central Tokyo is well known as a marketplace of cutting edge technology. In recent years, it has developed strong ties to the Japanese gaming industry, as well as to anime and manga publishers. These ties are one reason why Akibakei culture has expanded outside its geographic area, to manifest on the internet in the form of websites, blogs, and internet forums.

In addition to patronizing the famous electronics stores around them, Akibakei frequently open their own shops in Akihabara. Many of these shops are run by Akibakei in cosplay, who may claim that such attire is the rule for them rather than the exception. The shops offer a wide variety of goods and services: some sell model or ornamental weaponry ; others are modeled after antique reading rooms; and still others sell quirky or innovative foodstuffs, such as the now-infamous watermelon milk stall that opened in mid-2008.

One distinctive feature of Akibakei within Japan's larger popular culture is that for the most part they belong to an older generation, who are well-versed in the history of Akihabara before it ever became a center of pop culture. Some of them, affectionately known as "Akiba historians" have worked in and around the Akihabara area for decades and witnessed firsthand the changes the area went through. In addition to running shops and participating vigorously in Akibakei culture, they may also be fonts of knowledge about Akihabara and its environs in ways that relate particularly to their areas of interest.

Despite the earlier mention of cosplay, and the abundunce of Maid Cafes in the district, one should not make the mistake of thinking that all Akibakei are cosplayers. Indeed, the vast majority of Akibakei dress in exactly the same manner as the next person. Perhaps as a response to Shibuya-kei and Nagoya kei, there is also an Akiba-oriented genre of music, Akihabara pop, usually known as A-pop, which tends to use fantasy or anime related themes.

Last paragraph by me, other info from wikipedia with slight moderations by me just to make it make sense. Image from Deviantart.



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