I was running through a list of links to potential things I might write up, when I came across-- again --a piece at NPR about a new trend of otaku in Japan. These women are known as reki-jo, short for rekishi (history) and kanojo (girl).
But I didn't really put two and two together until after watching House of Five Leaves yesterday. It should be no surprise that most of the more female-focused/friendly series are historical in nature, given the rise of the history girl. The NPR article actually suggests that the rise of rekijo is actually signalling a rise of female otaku-- not necessarily anime and manga geek-type otaku, mind, but just as there are military otaku and train otaku, we now have a group of female history otaku-- and they're organizing.
But I'm not sure it's just women who are into history. Of the series I profiled this season, nine have historical ties, albeit some looser than others:
- House of Five Leaves
- Ikki Tousen
- SD Gundam Brave Battle Warriors
- Senkou no Night Raid
- Shin Koihime Musou
This is a huge jump over the previous season, winter (3 of 15), the season before that (fall, 2 of 34), or even last spring (2 of 30). So, is this a sign that people's overall interest in history is rising, or is it an attempt by anime makers to reach more of a female audience?
I also wonder about the similarities to women outside of Japan. I tend to think of historical fiction fans as more women than men as well...although there's also a lot of historical fiction out there that's more or less just romance novels, so I'm not sure if it's the history that draws women or not.
What do you think? Are you into history and/or historical fiction? I think that no matter what, this'll be an interesting trend to watch.