A Saturday night in Akihabara

Walking out of the office this evening, my mind felt numb, as if it had been baked over 9 hours into a lifeless, flavourless spongecake.  It either stays numb until I get home, or it wakes with a jolt on a walk around otakuland in Akihabara where I visited tonight.

On the first floor of a comic store, I saw a poster advertising the May release of the animated version of Saint Young Men.  It is one of my favourite manga, the story of Jesus and Buddha`s life together while living in a rundown apartment in Tachikawa.  When I first read it 3 years ago, I was stunned just how creative, amusing and detailed the episodes were.  I still am.  I can`t wait to watch the anime.

On the 3rd floor, I spent an uncomfortable minute wandering the seinenmuke (for adult) section.  It was packed with pornographic drawings of schoolgirls.  Only schoolgirls. Many schoolgirls work in maid cafes in Akihabara.  Outside on the street, dozens of them stood recruiting customers.  One of them talked to me.  I listened to her for a minute and felt dirty.

There is a sleazy side to Akihabara that I find threatening.  I never want to linger long.

My wander finished with a bowl of the fat man`s fodder, ramen noodles.  A ramen meal is always an ordeal, a feast of grease.  Even the ramen joints themselves feel fatty.  I think people start putting on weight as soon as they enter.  Each breath inhales 5 calories.



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