Otakupop: A National Center for Manga Culture
Manga is about transporting oneself into another world, falling in love with it, and inhabiting it. Tokyo commuters pack into trains, read manga, and leave it for the next passenger. You can ride the train and shed your business suit for a cosplay costume. The building interprets the world of manga and the national culture of Japan as heterogeneous and ephemeral. The building is meant to be in a state of metamorphosis, much like its users.
The building wholly accepts the dualities between good and evil, the otaku (the Japanese term for nerd or geek) and non-otaku, and their respective spaces of consumption -- cluttered collection or polished department store. Otaku and popular culture are meant to intersect and impact one another to dissolve the typecast. The building absorbs Odaiba’s bizarre breed of island urbanism (its suspended spheres, monorail, and pedestrian bridges), as well as satellite districts that are essential to manga culture in Tokyo (such as Akihabara, Ikebukuro, or Harajuku bridge). The hope is that the building can absorb and promote different forms of urbanity, as well as the transformation of the tastes and personalities of its users. Everyone may be an otaku.