Visitors for the first time to this website might be puzzled and confused by the abbreviation of D.O.A, and how it is an obvious contrast to the name of my website. Kuroneko-otaku is spelt using the romaji alphabet in Japanese. Translated it means, black cat geek. For some time I felt that this is accurately described myself and my characteristics. I am black, I am a geek and to some, I am small and cute like a cat. More specifically, the otaku part of this title refers to my 12-year obsession with all things anime, manga and Japan. Prepare for a brief interlude into the world of anime, an over-use of Gifs and some pleasant photos taken from last years Hyper Japan (it was only two months ago).
As a young child, I spent my Saturdays yelling out “Kamehama-ha!”. I grew up with older brothers, and anyone who grew up in the late 90s is very familiar with Dragon Ball Z. That’s where it all began. Still more than 10 years later I am still obsessed whereas, my brothers have entered what they refer to as the ‘grown-up’ world. Mind you maybe by the time I hit my 30s it will be an obsession that I would have sadly left behind (I sincerely hope not). To the Japanese, an otaku is not something to be proud of but rather it is shunned by popular society and often associated with the more perverted genre of hentai. I, however like the many others that enjoy this wide genre, believe there is a beautiful craft in anime. The compilation of a soundtrack, animation, storyline and plot, from a completely different culture absolutely leaves me speechless on many occasions. Let me tell you if you think Hollywood productions give good plots, then boy you are on a rollercoaster of a lifetime once you delve into this world.
Anime exposes you to beautiful colours, sounds and visuals. To use one word it is stunning.
I have often found over time that the exposure to these vivid colours and intricate art styles have always improved my mood. The most breathtaking use of art in an anime I have seen by far would have to be from the Japanese film drama released in 2013: Garden of Words (shown below)
What I love more than anything about anime, is the amazing imagination that goes into the storyline of these parallel universes, from Seven Deadly Sins, Kill la kill, to Attack on Titan and Full Metal Alchemist. Each story has well thought-out characters and dramatic cliffhangers.
That said, over time I have developed more of an interest in Japanese culture also. In the month of November I attended HYPER JAPAN (HJ), now a lot of people have heard of comic-con which is more about people who have a strong interest in anime, cosplay, gaming and of course comics. HJ is the largest exhibition celebrating Japanese culture in the UK that takes place twice a year. Let me tell you something, I was in heaven!
I had to try really hard not to buy everything from the stalls and end up bankrupt once again, it was enormous amounts of fun. A lot of people in attendance also were in cosplay ( a contraction of the words ‘costume play’is a hobby in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.) which, is always nice to see people dress up in characters there really enjoyed watching with their own personal take on each costume. Here are some of the pictures from that day.***
So much like that of an essay, I will say: In conclusion, I am a huge nerd & while this blog is about my personal self -care journey, you may often find anime-centred blog posts every now and then. If I’m feeling particularly confident, anime reviews may come into play. Until next time!
***N.B: I obtained permission from all participants in cosplay before taking these photos, however in hindsight, I wish I had some contact details or website information if anyone recognises business or people, feel free to comment and I will endeavour to note them alongside the photos.