I’ve been an otaku since I was a kid. I have always been obsessive and as a child my obsessions centered around toys and cartoons. What I didn’t know at the time was that the cartoons were Japanese.

The show that had the most impact on me was Battle of the Planets the Americanized version of a Japanese anime Gatchaman. It had such an impact, in fact, that a few years ago I produced a radio documentary about my obsession with the show. I also have the team’s bird symbol tattooed on my left arm.

Battle of the Planets

The other manifestation of my obsession with all things Japanese is my toy collection. I once told a friend that I really didn’t have that many toys, maybe 60 or 70 (must be close to 200 by now) only to have him point out that he, like most people, doesn’t have any. People have suggested I collect toys because I can now afford what I couldn’t have as a child, or because they represent a time in my life that I value. I believe that’s true, but they are also a very powerful (for me) symbol of storytelling and imagination – and just damn fun to play with.

Japan’s impact on my life has spread far beyond anime and toys, however, into cosplay, music, movies, books, video games, model making, food and art. I hope this blog can be a kind of filter for others who are interested in Japanese culture, but lack my obsessive nature.

Thanks for visiting.

Pedro Mendes


9 comments so far

  1. Marijke Friesen on

    Wow, this stuff is really cool. I think I want to marry you.

    Call me 🙂

  2. Tiny Tarin on

    I can’t wait to get my little hands on your toy collection!!!

  3. martha on

    Battle of the Planets was my fave too (I liked Jason the best). Who knew Riga was actually a pretty nice place on Earth?
    I love the fact you have their symbol tattooed on you. (wish I’d thought of it first…)

  4. Laura on

    I think what you are doing here is awesome!! I check your blog once a week and love the fact that you work for CBC radio and you educate the masses about anime/manga and Japanese culture. ^_^
    I love to listen to your Editor’s Choice pod casts when I’m at work as they always put a smile on my face.
    XD Keep up the awesomely cool work!!!
    I also love your Anime North cosplay costume X3

  5. Jalisa on

    I feel so bad that I haven’t gotten a chance to look at all of this until after I’ve met you in person! I’m so ashamed.

    You are probably the coolest adult out there. I hope you continue to pursue all that is good within this otaku world, and shine a beacon of hope to all closet-otaku out there, guiding them out of their cubby holes and to the light of the world. ‘Cause Lord knows they’ll probably need it. D:

    But really, it’s great what you’re doing. I look forward to reading your future blogs.


  6. Jalisa on

    P.S. You should post a podcast on your “Why Parents Shouldn’t Be Afraid if Their Kids are Watching Death Note” subject. 😀

  7. Brian on

    I’m so glad your speaking out for your love of anime. Otakus’ Unite!

  8. serintais on

    I really like your blog ^^ I haven’t read much of it yet but I sure intend to: I’ll subscribe ^^

  9. Jeremy on

    Come on, people. the word “otaku” carries a horribly negative connotation on Japan, but the way you put it makes it sound like you think it’s like the english “nerd” or something. If you were a Japanese otaku? you’d be a shut-in, nigh-obsessive about your hobby.

    Get your definitions straight, please.

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