Well, I’ve recently come across a list with the markers identifying one as an “otaku“, according to a survey held in Japan. One of the items had described “Anime T-Shirts”, as a negative thing, and I thought that impression should be fixed.
I do agree, there are the totally drawn, overdrawn, over-the-top fashion-victim shirts you see people wear, such as the neon orange and yellow 100% drawn Dragon Ball Z T-Shirts, but there are plenty of shirts one can wear, and which look good, even, and perhaps especially when those who view them do not know that they mark one as a geek. Heck, I’m sure many non-geeks will proudly wear them.
I had the “pleasure” of going out and buying some l0ng-sleeved more fashionable shirts yesterday, and to be honest, I felt quite a bit like Madarame, from Genshiken. My older shirts are very comfortable, but being flannel, they tend to give a certain pajama feel. And I decided something had to be done. Well, imagine my surprise when I saw Lagann at a very mainstream shop.
For those who do not know, Lagann is the “Head” that Simon finds in the first episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and which later provides the “Head” for the joint (and titular) mecha, Gurren Lagann. Upon seeing this, I had to ask my mother who accompanied me, whether or not Renuar, the shop where I got the shirt, was Israeli owned. It turns out that it is. I then checked for any mangled English, because that is also quite common on Israeli shirts (Gifted Extremely, Project Your…). Well, once I checked the different colours the shirts came in, I settled upon this one.
Now, Lagann looks nice, the text seems sufficiently modern, and it is sold by an apparel chain that is quite large and mainstream in Israel. I wonder how many people who will wear this shirt will even know of its anime provenance. I mean, even I, when I first saw the shirt, took a couple of seconds to realize what I was seeing, and that it wasn’t the head of Optimus Prime
And that’s a main way for geeky things to be worn mainstream, because the mainstream can both wear and see them without knowing what they are. But then again, when it is this way, they stop being “Badges”, that when people “in the know” see, they recognize you as one of their own, such as the Order of the Black Knights emblem from Code Geass, or “Don’t Forget October third” from Fullmetal Alchemist.
Well, in future installments I’ll share some of my really cool geeky T-Shirts, which one can wear proudly amongst geek intolerant people, even.