Akihabara Geeks : 3 of 5
I noticed this short documentary (originally produced by NHK in Japan, but released completely dubbed on this DVD) while browsing through Netflix, and even though it's only 45 minutes and a little over-dramatic, it was still a fun way to enjoy some Tokyo scenery and remember a place I've visited. Akihabara is a section of Tokyo (although they insist on calling it a "town" in the narration) filled with hobby shops catering to otaku (geeks) of all kinds - electronics, computers, anime, manga, and anything else that can be obsessed about. This DVD kind of follows a day in the life of five different people, and it's generally positive about geek culture, touching on the community aspect and the realization of dreams, which is nice to hear. There's some nice background into how Akihabara got started, especially since one of the guys owns an electronic parts store, selling tiny diodes and LEDs all day to old men building radios and other home projects. Of course, one of the guys is obsessed with girl anime characters, and even though the narration is a little cruel, I felt like cheering him on as he spends over $400 in one store on figures and things - whatever makes you happy! Another guy is a PC overclocker, who builds completely custom computers to break Pi calculation records, running them so hot that he has to cool them with liquid nitrogen, and even then they just burn up after the job is done. They also follow the life of a girl who works in a Maid Cafe, who surprisingly finds inspiration for life in her job. The last guy is a video game developer who self-published a super-popular game and now has a successful business, all thanks to Akihabara. This documentary is definitely an easy way to spend an hour, and it was nice to think about my brief time in Tokyo again.