Patrick W. Galbraith has produced a groundbreaking work of reportage that takes us beyond the stereotypes of "weird Japan" and into the private rooms of self-described otaku. Interviews and more than fifty color photos reveal a seldom seen side of these reclusive Japanese collectors. They talk frankly about their collections of blow-up dolls, comic books, military paraphernalia, anime videos, and more.
Galbraith follows the collectors to their favorite shops and shows how public space in Japan is starting to mimic the look and feel of the otaku's private room. He also interviews Japan's top cultural critics, helping to place otaku culture in wider sociological and economic contexts. Galbraith broadens his interview focus even further to include otaku from the United States and the United Kingdom, forcing those of us who live in any hyper-consumerist culture to admit that we can and do have otaku tendencies.
"Otaku Spaces sets out to explain the complicated subculture of otaku through the stories of otaku themselves...Galbraith and photographer Androniki Christodoulou allow the otaku subjects they feature to take control of their own narrative." - Wired.com Raw File
"The book is certainly a beautiful object...There's such an intimate air to Christodoulou's photographs that you have to imagine what the subjects are hiding...But the interviews appeal, in the end, to our commonality: A few of the subjects gently point out that if people are honest with themselves, everyone is a little bit otaku about something." - The Stranger (Starred Review)
Patrick W. Galbraith—a self-described otaku with the anime tattoos to prove it—is a PhD student at the University of Tokyo and the author of The Otaku Encyclopedia (Kodansha Limited). He also blogs at the popular Otaku2 and is widely considered one of the foremost American experts on Japan's pop culture.
Androniki Christodoulou is a freelance photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.