What is an otaku? The answer to that question, Patrick Galbraith along with photographer Androniki Christodoulu attempts to show us in Otaku Spaces. They take us on journey into the world of the otaku by first giving us a brief history of both the famous and infamous events and people in the use of the word to its current meaning.
The real meat of the book is the next part of the journey. Here we meet otaku the average person to the famous (a K1 fighter, two members of the idol group Nakano Fujoshi Sisters and Danny Choo). Some view themselves as dabblers. Some believe that the term as it is currently used do not apply to them. While others embrace it fully. Here we get a peek into the private lives of these otaku and glance at their psychology and history. We also get to see what the term otaku means to them even if they do not believe themselves to be otaku.
The next section covers commercial venues where otaku gathers. This range from Akihabara (home of the idol group AKB48, stores that cater to otaku and maid cafe) to Nippombashi in Otaku. We cover their history and development as meeting places for otaku.
The book finally ends with interviews with several experts on what made otaku an economic and global phenomenon. All in all a quite interesting read. I would highly recommend it to anyone from people who are interested in their fellow fans to the person who is trying to understand why a loved one is into what they are into.