Today’s moment is brought to you by on of more interesting shows from the summer season, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, in which all of Haruka’s friends stand up to her father in defense of her fandom.
A number of titles in recent years have either questioned, poked fun at, or even demonized certain kinds of otaku fandom. Titles like Genshiken, Welcome to the NHK!, Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Chaos;Head and even Kannagi have spoke directly about otaku to otaku. Nogizaka Haruka stands out not only for its sincere romantic elements–which, for a change, is actually mutual rather than one-sided–but for its full throated defense of fandom as contained in the scene from eps. 7 captured above. The show itself was of course one huge pander, with many of the cliche elements that go into otaku romance shows, but it’s also pretty bold in offering such a direct appeal: though one can argue it’s just preaching to the choir.
Haruka is the second major anime heroine after Lucky Star’s Konata to be a female with male otaku tastes. There’s clearly a wish fulfillment aspect involved here, though I’ve known plenty of women who were into the same shounen action shows that many other male fans are into–though that probably doesn’t really overlap much with the moe/romance/dating-sim culture that is the dominant strain in Akiba and in Asia. (In that respect, the anime blogosphere is, in my experience, not an accurate reflection of American fandom, given how much we tend to go gaga over shows like Toradora and the like.) The show could be seen as another instance of the anime culture growing more insular, though it was one of the more entertaining and well-done examples. I still enjoyed it (the parts that I saw that is…).