Ataraxia Cafe, a new cafe in Osaka’s Nipponbashi area, is Japan’s first girls-only ‘otaku’ cafe, catering exclusively to female fans of anime and manga. Otaku, a term that technically describes a fan or specialist in a topic, has a negative connotation that refers to withdrawn loners obsessed with anime and manga. In recent years the stigma is lessening a little, at least for men, but many women fear that being labeled as an otaku harms them socially. So, unlike many famous otaku cafes that cater to men with female servers roleplaying as maids, Ataraxia is instead catering to Japan’s growing number of female otakus by giving them a place to be themselves, let their guard down, and pursue their interests. The cafe is stocked with book shelves full of manga and ‘doujin’ (self-published manga), and includes creative workspaces where women can draw manga, sew costumes, and even trim cosplay wigs. Membership at Ataraxia Cafe is free, but men are strictly banned from entering and women who want to join must pass an “Otaku EQ test” in order to prove that they’re the real deal.
Read the full story at Mashable.