What do you get when you cross ‘Otaku’ (basically meaning geek) and Rave (basically meaning rave)? Answer: Geek Rave. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Otaku (おたく/オタク) is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests. I guess it basically means nerd: the equivalent of being branded a ‘Trekkie’ or fanboy in the West. Do otakus know that they are geeks? Probably. Do they give a shit? Hell no. They are there to have a good time – and if that means looking like their mum still buys their clothes at 25, then so be it.
Club music and hardcore anime have always gone hand in hand in Japan – and this was no more evident than at at Re:animation 5, an all-day outdoor rave held in Nakano last weekend. Neon outfits, 8-bit chip tunes and more colour than a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on acid.
I’m no otaku. But I respect them. These days, ‘normal’ people at club events forget how to have fun. They are too busy being cool or trying to impress some imaginary crowd. So a trip to Re:animation was a refreshing change, and showed that even if the cosplayers have moved on from the streets of Harajuku, they are keeping their own scene alive in Tokyo. Respect.
Before you go any further though I want you to stop, go and make yourself a cup of tea, or coffee if you prefer, and prepare yourself for the greatest dancing you will ever see.