You'll Need A Firm Grip On Your Ego To Watch This...
Carl Malmstrom | Monument, CO USA | 12/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can guarantee you that Otaku no Video will be unlike any other anime movie, series or OAV that you've ever seen. The fact that it was even brought to the US commercially is rather surprising. However, given that Animeigo has now reduced the price of the tape... it's a title that every serious anime fan should own.However, I should warn you: keep a firm grip on your ego when you watch this. I've never met an anime fan that's seen Otaku no Video and hasn't seen a bit too much of him- or herself in some of the characters.Otaku no Video is, primarily, three things: a self-parody of and by Gainax, the anime company that brought the world Wings of Honneamise, Evangelion, Nadia and Kareshi Kanojo no Jijyo (for those of you who haven't seen it, Right Stuf will be releasing it soon - don't miss it); a parody (although distressingly true-to-life one at times) of fandom in general and, thirdly, a sort-of history of anime from the early eighties to the early nineties (when it was produced). The plot can be hard to follow and the references to other (sometimes obscure) anime series fast and furious. The liner notes don't even claim to get all of the references in there. However, none of this stops it from being a both fascinating and hilarious - and sometimes painful - look at not only anime but fandom in general.I can't recommend this series enough. The only drawback I see is this, though: if you're a big enough fan of anime to know of it, you've probably seen it, and if you're only a casual anime watcher, much of it might be incomprehensible."
The culture of anime
Scott Raymond | Portland, OR | 02/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For any nominally serious fan looking to know more about the culture behind classic anime, for die-hard Gainax fans or for psych/sociology majors researching the escapist motivations evinced by inhabitants of Sci-Fi fandom, this is absolutely required material. It's also one of my favorite discs.
A fictionalized account of how the key individuals at animation studio Gainax (Neon Genesis, FLCL) got into the business, Otaku No Video (graffiti of otaku generation) is one of a kind. Originally released in two parts in 1982 and 1985, this OVA follows "city boy" Kubo in his trek from tennis-playing college kid to becoming a revered cult figure in the world of Japanese animation. Leaving a college drinking spree early one evening (I've got a match in the morning) Kubo runs into old high school pal Tanaka and his posse of anime-manga-sci-fi junkies. Nerdsville incarnate. Kubo is quickly drawn into their world of geek fandom, losing his cute upper middle class girlfriend Ueno and abandoning college to begin marketing garage kits with Tanaka. Their upstart business brings them to the brink of garage kit kingdom , only to suffer a hostile takeover by a heartless corporate parasite and his vengeful new wife, Kubo's old flame Ueno!
Tanaka is sacked and Kubo loses position as president of the company, demoted to a remote outpost as a shamed middle-manager. But Fate strikes again. He runs into the shamed Tanaka on the street one day and they once again launch into a start-up, this time Garage Animes, rising to claim the throne of OtaKings!
The film is interspersed with several live-action, mockumentary-style "interviews" with various types of popular media fans, such as, a former cos-player, an anime collector,a cel thief and a garage kit builder. Through these "interviews", we see the culture of fans who attend Comic Market, produce their own fanzines, or live in the childish world of cartoon computer porn and paintball combat. They reminisce and rationalize, to great effect.
Otaku No Video is loaded with insider cultural references. AnimEigo includes in the disc liner notes that explain all the references, a BIG help to those looking to piece together Japanese subculture.
This is a fun, informative, sometimes even moving film that true fans of anime culture will watch repeatedly. You'll never look at anime the same way again after this."
To dream the impossible dream! To become the Ota-King!
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 12/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Otaku" in Japanese means "honorable house," and is used as a derogatory slang term for anyone so into their hobby that they never leave their house. Devout hobbyist that the Japanese are, you will find many otakus, laden with cameras and photo gear, or comic books and anime cels. "Otaku no Video" (Otaku's Video) is a mockumentary showing the slow descent into otaku-hood of Kubo, a young college student with a girlfriend and a scant interest in anime/manga. Through the bad influence of an old friend, Tanaka, his interest gains control of his life, and he is soon a full-blown otaku, indulging in CosPlay and abandoned by girlfriend and society. Finding himself on rock-bottom, he vows to become the Ota-king, and create a theme park where all otakus can find respect pursuing their anime interests.Interspersed with this animated storyline are live action interviews with "real" otakus, showing their dismal lives and asking questions like "So, did you ever think about having sex with a real girl?" This may hit a little too close to home for some otakus!The DVD is a hilarious self-parody of anime otakus by anime otakus, and includes a thinly disguised history of animation studio Gainax. The in-jokes come fast and furious, and you would need to be a true otaku to catch them all."Otaku no Video" is quite dated, and many of the references will be lost on newer anime/manga fans. However, it makes for good viewing and both the animated storyline and the interviews are hilarious. A must see."
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 11/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this tape!! An anime about fandom. What a great idea, and what a shock that it was ever released in the states. The story is quite simple Kubo a college freshman runs into an old highschool friend named Tanaka, Kubo becomes an obsessed anime fan and loses touch with reality and his girlfriend dumps him. He decides to become the Otaking and take over the world for Otaku, but he ends up loosing everything. However, he gains everything back and takes off to the stars. Seems simple? It is, but the fun of the video is seein into the lives of obsessed fans, and how anime, manga, Sci FI, war games, and other things can completely rule their lives. Also fun seeing some of the characters from this tape cosplay as Lupin, Galaxy Express 999 characters, and especially cute adorable Sato dressed up as everyone's favorite Green-haired alien, Lum. A warning though for anime obsessed fans, this film can open your eyes to make yourself see how much of a dork you really are. It definately did that for me!!"
Mockumentary on anime fans and industry
iwakura | Shinto Shrine | 11/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The title means maniac's video, which provides fair warning on what this is all about. It's a film for dedicated anime fans poking fun at the anime sub-culture. Expect to feel uncomfortable at times, but that's where the true humor lies.It starts out with a normal college freshman getting involved with an anime club. His interests gradually shift from ordinary things like playing tennis towards anime, manga, cells, cosplay and garage kits. Later on he engages on a quest to become King of the Otaku.Between scenes are "real life" interviews with otakus. It provides a "Portrait of Otaku" done in the style of a news magazine doing a show on religious cults.Numerous links to anime fandom and the industry are presented. For those that are interested there are 22 pages of liner notes at AnimEgo.com with the details. Overall, this is a one-of-a-kind parody. Must see for "dedicated" anime fans; if for nothing else to serve as a warning shot accross the bow to keep from getting too carried away ^_^"