United Kingdom Otaku - Rob
All entries for the Worldwide Otaku Report are in and Ascii Media Works are currently going through all the representatives. We had multiple entries from each region so some countries will feature more than 1 representative.
Chosen reps will be contacted before just before printing. Its taking a while to put this book together but will be out in the next few months!
I'll be featuring some of the representatives from now until the book is published - starting off with Rob from the UK.
Oh - and if you are wondering about the Saber bikes for the questionnaire - they will be given out at a later date - winners will be contacted.
The following submitted by Rob for his Self Introduction.
My name's Robert Tolton, I'm 21 years old and I currently live in the South-East of england in a county called Essex.
I've always had an fascination with Anime, though my first introduction was through Pokemon back in my later years of Primary School; watching the latest episode on Sky 1 both before and after school, and trading the cards with my friends while at school (though these were later banned!).
I used to spend a lot of my time when at home from high-school cutting out pictures of cute / sexy anime girls from their backgrounds for people to use in their forum signatures or any other pictures they wanted (a process commonly referred to as Rendering).
So I saw more and more pictures every day, usually from all different sources and art styles and grew to really appreciate and love the style and versatility of anime. It could cover so many genres and describe so many different visual situations, while nearly always the girls looked super cute or 'ideally proportioned'.
During all this time I was pretty much a closet-otaku, fearing what may happen and what may be spread if my fascination with Anime and it's roots were to be known to the wider world. School wasn't a great experience, and I didn't want to give the offenders any more ammunition.
Fast forward through college I really started to become confident in Sixth Form, and soon discovered that a lot of my friends also enjoyed Anime! Though I must admit, not in the same capacity and reasons as my own ^^;
The first real Anime series I watched was The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya with subs - and I was instantly hooked. I started trying to find ways I could connect more and more with the characters from the series and soon found myself browsing Amazon.co.uk for any merchandise I could get my hands on. That was when I discovered figures - amazing looking statues of my favourite characters, rendered perfectly in PVC and painted with meticulous detail and luscious colour.
This was my new hobby, my new desire - one I only realised then that I had wanted for so much longer.
As I began watching more and more Anime shows I collected more and more figures of my favourite characters and their companions, steadily growing my collection of lovely girls. Then one day upon my travels across eBay I typed in 'Nanoha' and was greeted by something I looked upon with awe. There, in the photo next to the title "Volks Nanoha - Dollfie Dream (New)" was the cutest and most gorgeous looking figure I had ever seen. Though it wasn't just a figure - this was something else, a Dollfie Dream. Glancing over at the price immediately shook me from my daze, however I just new I had to get her, no matter the cost (literally).
Flash forward to today, and I have 60+ figures, 7 Dollfie Dreams and 2 cute 1/6 Azone girls and a healthy smattering of other otaku stuff! ^^
Rob tells us about his otaku interests.
My main otaku interests mainly revolve around anything I find irresistibly cute / moe / ecchi, either on their own or all together!
The bulk of my collection is of scaled PVC figures, of them a the most common anime are K-ON! and Haruhi Suzumiya. I try to organise my display first by the anime, but then also by colour if it's a single statue and not part of an anime group. I also have a shelf dedicated to Beach Queens and the lovely Shining Wind bikini girls. All my figures are Bishoujo, no guys here I'm afraid! (Except Halo and Gears of War statues).
I have seven adorable Dollfie Dream daughters that I love. In order of adoption they are: Nanoha, Yui, Moe, Sakura, Yuki, Liky and Akira. These girls have more shoes and clothes than I do, and probably my family combined! Taking photos of them is a real joy as they look stunning from nearly every angle, and never complain about the awkward pose they'e in. I tend to dress them all up every now and then, changing wigs around and refreshing them to keep them happy ^^ Often times I won't take photos, but just grab one of them to dress or pose around with is fun. My only wish is that I lived somewhere nicer and more accepting (e.g less dangerous) to take them out and about for photos! However I have been up to London a large number of times with them for meet-ups with other Dollfie owners as well as walking them around conventions with me in my arm. It's a great way to meet people as you're almost guaranteed to have a guy or gal ask for photos of them, with them or just asking how I managed to get ahold of such cute things. I'm always a proud father ^^
My magazine collection fills an entire drawer of one of my units as I had two of them come every month for over a year, but I stopped as I still couldn't read any of them except just look at the pictures ^^;
Most of the anime I watch has been downloaded from various english-sub groups, but where I can I like to watch things through paid means such as Crunchyroll.com or by buying the DVD / BluRay when it finally arrives in England (though this can be a frustratingly long time). Where I can I like to support the creators, but sometimes due to distribution methods or limitations it's just not possible.
Rob tells us about the otaku/anime culture in his country.
The anime culture in England is pretty good so far and it has quite good reach into all parts of the land.
Due to the relatively small size of the UK it's not such a hassle to organise large meet-ups as travel distances are usually quite low compared to Asia and North America.
I see it as growing every year as events like Hyper Japan continue to spread awareness and togetherness, though I think there are a lot of closet-otakus still out there waiting to be freed.
Anime on TV is practically non-existant, which i find incredibly bizarre especially with the prevalence of cable and satellite services in the UK.