Tag Archives: otaku subculture

The Religion of Love in 2D: Roots of Modern Otaku Courtship


Note: The following post was originally published on 7 December, 2011 on the now-defunct Remember XVI. It is presented here edited to fit the visual formatting of Altair & Vega, but otherwise unaltered in content. Yumeka and ghostlightning have written responses to the original post as well.

“Humanity does not pass through phases
as a train passes through stations: 
being alive, it has the privilege of always moving
yet never leaving anything behind.”

– C.S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition

What is 2D love? If you’re an anime fan, chances are that you’ve encountered it in some form. Maybe you were linked to an article about a man getting married to a fictional character. Perhaps you’ve read through (or participated!) in online discussions about people’s “waifus.” Or maybe you’ve seen a parody of it in anime, in the form of a character who can’t be separated from his hug pillow. One way or another, the idea of loving fictional characters is one that comes up often in modern anime-centric subculture. Continue reading


Filed under Editorials, Modern Visual Culture

Denpa bigaku riron: the Rise of the “Radio” Aesthetic in Japanese Subculture in the 21st Century

how denpa do you even have to be to read the alt text


A self-proclaimed sociologist with no academic background in the field of sociology, bitmap has nonetheless published dozens of posts on modern Japanese pop culture over the Internet, and has been described as “an unconquered genius” by his peers. His works focus on the realities and fantasies of modern otaku culture, often centered around what he deems the “Anglo-anisphere,” and the resultant, delicate interculture.

What follows is a cursory introduction to the Japanese concept of denpa, in which a theoretical historical framework under which the “denpa aesthetic” developed over time is established and explored briefly.

Continue reading


Filed under Editorials, Modern Visual Culture