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   Now in our eleventh calendar year
    PCR #523  (Vol. 11, No. 14)  This edition is for the week of March 29--April 4, 2010.

"Clash of the Titans"  by Mike Smith
Sounds of Terror: Dracula vs. Frankenstein Soundtrack  by ED Tucker
The Top 30 Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Actresses, #3  by Lisa Scherer
The Dark Side of Fandom  by Jason Fetters
Good Riddance, Hollywood Video  by John Miller
Passing On .... Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith

The Dark Side of Fandom

A few years back, I remember watching the first ever documentary on otaku culture, Otaku Unite! (2004), that featured interviews with famous and not so famous anime fans and showed an audience what an Anime Con was all about. One of the not so famous fans was a skinny nerdy looking guy who gave me the creeps. I thought nothing of it because fans come in all shapes and sizes and mind sets so who am I to judge?

Recently, I thought about that creepy guy who was interviewed in Otaku Unite! and made some interesting discoveries. In Otaku Unite! he went by the nickname Johnny Otaku and there were scenes of him working as a DJ for college radio. Johnny's radio show played anime theme shows and he worked on his voice acting by reciting famous lines. There was another scene of Johnny inside his house and I got a weird vibe just watching him. He had this angry look that lead me to do a Google search and see what happen to him since 2004.

I learned that Johnny Otaku is banned from all Anime Cons in Texas for stalking and assaulting guests. Maybe I was right after all. I saw a YouTube video of Johnny harassing Funimation employees during a panel discussion. He tried to get a job at Funimation as a Voice Actor and he just wasn't good enough. Some employees did try to help him by suggesting that Johnny improve his voices. There are many rumors of Johnny sexually assaulting female guests and he is banned in numerous states, Florida included.

For the most part, Cons are a great way for shy people to go out and hopefully make some new friends who share the same interests. Sometimes you run into rude people. That is just something we all deal with interacting with the public. However, when you become so strange and aggressive that you harm others something has to be done.

Johnny Otaku has been known to attend cons in different states but he always resorts back to his weird behavior that creeps everyone else out.

Anime fans are just like any other fans, some are gregarious and talkative and others are shy and withdrawn. Not many are filled up with rage and disturb panel discussions with some hateful rants.

I'm not really sure where the problem lies but it probably goes back to some deep psychological problem. I have heard of fans who can't separate fantasy from reality and I don't think that applies here. Sometimes there are those fans with mental issues and it all comes out with expectations are not met. That still doesn't condone assaulting others at a con.

As the years go by, I believe that Johnny Otaku will be responsible for something much worse and on a bigger scale than sexual assaults and violence at a con. He reminds me of Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Maybe he just needs a trigger to set him off.

It is a shame that Con-goers have to put up with someone like that who ruins everyone's good time. Thanks to the Internet and YouTube, it is now easier to keep track of some of the creepy people out there. Maybe someone will stop Johnny Otaku he goes too far.

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2010 by Jason Fetters. Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.