Book Review: Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool

28 May , 2014,
Edric
,
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If you’re an Otaku and you’re not reading this book, you’re missing out on the fun.

Cosplay Queen -- li Niku Urshijima. Japan's most famous (and controversial) cosplayers.

Cosplay Queen — li Niku Urshijima, Japan’s most famous (and controversial) cosplayer

The first time I picked up Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential was from Kinokuniya when it first was released in 2010. Written by Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda, a husband and wife team based in Osaka. Brian Ashcraft was a familiar name to me as I had read his works on video game website Kotaku as a Senior Contributing Editor. He writes for many other publications.

Tuttle's Edition versus Kodansha's 2010 Edition with a monochrome finish.

Tuttle’s Edition versus Kodansha’s 2010 Edition

The 2014 Tuttle Edition reprint comes in color and new content, reflecting changes that took place since 2010. Making Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential the most up-to-date text about Japanese popular culture. It contains more than 16 pages of new content and adjustments made to existing articles to keep them coherent to the present.

Sailor Dude GrowHair san

Sailor Dude GrowHair san

When Ashcraft first published Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential, reviewers are initially dumb struck with his brazen use of prose, with one online reviewer in 2011 commented that “He can’t decide whether he’s writing a piece for a magazine, or a serious investigation into this unique culture.”

Reviewers should get their heads out of their assess. No one will enjoys a long-winded academic essay on Schoolgirls, that is the harsh reality of today. This book is for Otakus, brought up by the internet, anime, manga and schoolgirl idols, who are thinking of making their hobbies an academic obsession.

Schoolgirl photographs by Motoyuki Kobayashi who believes that schoolgirls prevents suicide.

Schoolgirl photographs by Motoyuki Kobayashi who believes that schoolgirls prevents suicide

The Tuttle edition had done well to draw in readers with the use of full colored pages coupled Ashcraft’s addictive short, direct, bite sized prose. If you’re lost on where to start your own research about Japanese popular culture, start flipping through the pages of Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool.

6% Doki Doki at Harajuku

6% Doki Doki at Harajuku

Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential is available at Kinokuniya Singapore, Amazon, and Goodreads.