Konnichiwa. Following up FrankN.Stein is part two of foreign(?) country day: Japan! I'll be taking your questions on anime, otaku, Japanese language, and Japanese culture (both pop and traditional), travel, Japanese extreme cinema, goth-loli fashion, and cosplay.
Looking to get into anime or been away from it for a while and looking for recommendations? Wondering why someone did that thing in a movie? Need to know how to talk like a yakuza? Want to know the best places to shop in Akihabara? And what's the deal with maid cafes?
My credentials: As I've mentioned before, I am a professor of Sailor Moon and hold a double major in Neon Genesis Evangeliology and Utena Studies. I was going for a Masters in Shonen Jump, but found the coursework a bit repetitive.
My real credentials: I discovered Sailor Moon in high school and quickly fell deep into the otaku abyss, reading everything I could get my hands on. In college, I minored in Japanese while working at a comic book shop during the height of the anime and manga boom.
After that, I spent 3 years in small sea-side city in Japan with JET Program as an Assistant Language Teacher in Japanese public schools. I lived close enough to Tokyo that I could go there on weekends, and I got to know Akihabara and Harajuku very well. So I pretty much lived the dream.
I wouldn't say I'm fluent in Japanese because I'm too lazy to study kanji and I'm a bit out of practice. I guess you could say I'm conversational in it.
I'll be around off and on all day, so I probably won't close it down until 24:00 EST. If I don't get to your question today, don't worry. I'll answer tomorrow.
I'll leave you with a photo of the origami crane I left at Hiroshima Peace Park. (It's the purple cellophane one.)