Geek Fashion; A Surprise Encounter.

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.

Lagann, on one of my new shirts!

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.

Lagann at the front, more or less the same posture

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 :D

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.

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25 comments on “Geek Fashion; A Surprise Encounter.

  1. Marshmallow says:

    That shirt is awesome. :D

    I kind of wish I had an anime shirt or two, but the main problem is size… for me, even Cospa’s smallest size is too large. It’s too bad… some anime shirts aren’t great, but once in a while there’s a pretty cool looking one. (This one of Nagato is nice, although I’m not really a fan of her. )

    • Guy says:

      Ah yes, I wear extra-large, so when it comes to T-shirts, I have a never ending amount of choices. I like wearing my Ts a bit long, and I am about 179 centimeters tall, so it doesn’t look ridiculous. I can also wear large, and I always wear large when wearing my winter-outfit, so yeah. Sometimes when my mother buys shirts from Threadless she buys them in large, to try and deter me from taking them. I told her to call me when she makes the orders, and then I wouldn’t ;)

      That is a cute T-shirt!

  2. rayneholde says:

    it’ll probably look nicer without the words, but nevertheless i love the design :3

    i rarely find any decent anime-based apparel here, and if i did it’ll either be nice but expensive imports or some badly drawn ones as mentioned in your post v.v

    • Guy says:

      What’s your definition of expensive? Nice T-shirts seem to be about $20. I also order many online, for these very reasons, and sometimes through one of the local comic stores. Though they failed to get me a reprint of a T-Shirt, but I’ll live, since I’ve purchased one when it was first released, some 4-5 years back (Death from The Sandman graphic novels).

      • rayneholde says:

        the price often went thrice the usual price i will get for a branded, non-anime t-shirt, and that alone often got me into thinking twice before making a pre-order / purchase. a pity my job didn’t pay that much enough for me to spend on misc / fancy items :(

  3. Blowfish says:

    Thats what Im talking about when I mean good anime apparel!
    Its cool and stylish and doesnt make you look like a drolling pervert.

    I am amazed that some store in your country has these kind of shirts though.I wonder if they knew that this comes from an Anime when they licensed it

    • Guy says:

      I wonder if it’s licensed… I think some of their people came across the image and used it, maybe they did license it, maybe someone working for them watches anime… but I think most people in the company have no idea.

      I also got another shirt of something, and who knows where the woman’s face on that shirt came from? I choose cream-brown-green as the base colour there, the other colours didn’t look as good for Lagann.

      • Blowfish says:

        Is license piraty that big of an issue over there?I always thought that its one of those “civilized” states where lawyers jump at you in the blink of an eye if theres even a doubt.

    • Guy says:

      Well, right now we’re only making assumptions. And, well, Israel is actually notorious in its IP infringements, but rather than it happening by government sponsored and official bodies, it is the Israeli population that is infamous, for its use of torrents, warez, and the such.

      Israel has the most lawyers per capita in the world, BTW ;)
      And I don’t think lawyers jumping you down for every infraction is “civilized”, but rather more like a Wild West setting.

  4. bluedrakon says:

    I am not sure it was licensed due to the wacky title by the figure. I have a fear of white t-shirts as I am always spilling stuff on them. I have several of the infamous black t-shirts with various Anime on them. I actually wear them out – on occasion.

  5. Reltair says:

    I don’t wear anime shirts, but that’s probably because I don’t have any.

    • Guy says:

      Two things:
      1. Didn’t you recently post Saber Lily T-Shirts you’ve received?

      2. Kant had told us, “Those who want a goal must also want the means,” so that means you don’t want to wear any either? And if you do, it’s time to buy some!

    • Guy says:

      I’ll need to track down that person then ;) Hm, maybe I just didn’t read all the way, could be, could be…

  6. FaS says:

    Nice shirt! I remember me and my dad first saw G.L. on Adult Swim (the ending actually), and I swear, it is the most colorful anime show I’ve EVER seen. Props on the shirt :)

    • Guy says:

      Heh. Element Hunters is probably more colourful, but it looks way worse ;)

      And thanks, it actually looks good, even in the eyes of other gawkers and my mother, who are not familiar with its provenance.

  7. Canne says:

    That’s really nice! I always avoid wearing cloths that conspicuously display my taste because I’d fell like my privacy were violated or something like that. Looks like I’ll to be more thorough when roaming aroung stores.

    • Guy says:

      Hm, in a way, what are we besides our opinions and interests? And you’d present a face to the outside world anyway, so here’s a question, would you rather shirk off the mask, or still provide a face, which is merely false?

      I think when people accuse or claim we are something which we are not, usually we do not shrug it off as inaccurate representation, but find it more harmful than the alternative, where they mark us correctly. Unless they break confidence given.

  8. lovelyduckie says:

    I like my anime shirts a lot, but I only really wear them around the house and not out in public. I don’t wear them out in public because they’re anime, it’s only because they’re big and I prefer to wear something more form fitting if I’m going out. Although I probably wear my anime shirts more then any other shirts in my wardrobe since I spend most of my free time in them. Almost all my anime shirts are from Cospa, my Bleach one isn’t and it’s definitely not as comfy as my pricier Cospa ones. I own shirts from Haruhi, Fate unlimited (Saber), One Piece (2 from One Piece), and K-On! I have more on order but I haven’t placed an order for an anime shirt in a while, I’ll only get another one if it’s something special like Yotsuba or Lucky Star.

    • lovelyduckie says:

      “I don’t wear them out in public because they’re anime”

      I was trying to say it’s not because they’re anime shirts that I don’t wear them in public (said it backwards above).

    • Guy says:

      Most of my T-shirt wardrobe is “geeky”. I think I only have one anime T-Shirt, aside from this new shirt. It’s an NGE T-shirt, and it’s far from awesome, but I like having it, you know?

  9. Tommy says:

    I think the problem with identifying “anime t-shirt” wearer as otaku is a bit deeper than the shirt that you bought. Wearing something with mecha on it isn’t as weird as wearing something with full colour scantly-clad anime babes like those cospa shirts.

    I’m not sure if Uniqlo still sells T shirts with anime print on it. But if you compare those with what cospa sells, you’ll see how different regular style t-shirt with anime graphics are from your cospa “anime t-shirt”.

  10. I’ve got three GL t-shirts, but they all feature Yoko. I generally wear anime shirts to conventions and when I do make shopping rounds for anime goods. They occasionally act as conversation starters when someone asks me either what the character is in my shirt or that they’ve seen the show before.

    Never wear the ones with moe anime girls on them to work, but I have a few more discrete shirts featuring shows like Eureka 7 that I will occasionally wear to work.

  11. […] I’ve actually posted ”coverage” of the issue, but now I’m actually in posession of better looking clothes. I think my […]

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