Akihabara: Tokyo’s otaku cultural center & electronics shopping district

Ceddy and I went to Akihabara because it’s the district where many electronics are developed in Tokyo. It has a huge selection of electronics stores, as well. Akihabara is also known as the otaku cultural center of Tokyo. Otaku refers to people belong to fandoms, particularly for anime, manga, and video games.

So much anime. Tokyo, Japan.

So much anime & so many video game ads. Tokyo, Japan.

There were skyscrapers belonging to electronics companies, as well as electronics stores.

Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo, Japan.

Ads with sexy anime ladies. I didn’t get a photo of the girls in maid costumes who handed out flyers for maid cafés. Those cafés are a subset of cosplay restaurants where the waitresses act as maids to their patrons.

Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo, Japan.

There were street vendors selling manga books, anime prints, and even hentai porn.

Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo, Japan.

The electronics store we went to wasn’t anything special — it just had several floors. Ceddy is a technology nerd and heard exciting things about Akihabara, but didn’t think it lived up to the hype. We did find a store that sold old school Nintendo games for super cheap, though, which he enjoyed. I was more interested in the fandom aspect of the area, which was alternately cool and creepy.

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I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction.

I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction (also known as fics).

Even before that, I wrote hilariously bad Gilmore girls fics. In my defense, it was middle school. I knew nothing about keeping characters’ voices true to themselves or what high schoolers’ lives were actually like. Rory Gilmore’s world was as foreign to me as Harry Potter’s. Despite encouraging reviews, I took the Gilmore girls fics down from my fanfiction.net profile.

I’ve always been an enthusiastic fangirl. During my Gilmore girls phase, I had a wall in my bedroom with magazine pages featuring the cast and a giant collage I made. While I began reading the Harry Potter books in fourth grade, I didn’t start writing fics until high school.

Oftentimes, fans write fics in anticipation of the next installment of a series (to predict what’s going to happen next) or to rewrite moments they found to be unsatisfactory. Typically, I wrote fics for the former reason. I never wrote the plot-driven fics; instead, I always focused on the ships I supported. In fandom terms, a “ship” is a relationship that you support (thus making you a shipper).

I wrote my first Harry Potter fic during junior year of high school, before Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was published. Like many fans, I was (and still am) a Ron and Hermione shipper. At lunch, I brainstormed ideas with my fellow Harry Potter fangirls (and fanboy) friends Gaby, Daniel, and Becca. I ended up writing sixteen chapters and over 65,000 words. Almost a decade later, people are still reviewing the fic and adding it to their favorites.

Any time I get discouraged about writing, I remind myself of two things:

  1. I wrote a silly Ron/Hermione fic in high school that got 854 reviews.
  2. If E.L. James could get published by rewriting a Twilight fic as Fifty Shades of Grey, I will get published by writing an awesome original book.