Wired takes a look at doujinshi, visiting ComiKet and the gender-sepaated geek districts of Tokyo:
Higashi-Ikebukoro is one of Tokyo’s outermost neighborhoods, but it’s become a destination for female manga fans because the major manga store branches there specially stock works written by and for women. These specialty shops are six-, seven- and eight-story buildings filled from top to bottom with commercial and doujinshi manga, and tie-in products like figurines, trading cards and stationery. This area has become known as “Otome Road,” the female answer to Tokyo’s geek-centric Akihabara district.
When I visited Ikebukuro’s Mandarake store last week, the crowded aisles were packed with curious, energetic women purchasing all types of manga. There were aisles and aisles of fan-fiction doujinshi, and the women seemed to know exactly what they were looking for — particular characters drawn by particular artists.
Otome Road also includes the famed “Butler Cafes”. Down the road apiece, at the boy-geek hangout, the writer finds…other things…
Akiba’s manga clientele is almost all men, and many of these cry out “geek” in any culture you can name: for example, one guy with his pants pulled up around his rib cage, wearing his cell phone on a lanyard around his neck with a pack of AA batteries stuffed in his shirt pocket.
[Link via Love Manga]