Otome Road (乙女ロード, Otome Rōdo, lit. "Maiden Road") is a name given to an area of Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan that is a major shopping and cultural center for anime and manga aimed at women. The area is sometimes referred to as Fujoshi Street, referencing the name given to fans of yaoi.
Otome Road is located to the immediate west of Sunshine City, near Ikebukuro Station. Bordered by the Shuto Expressway, its boundaries are roughly defined as beginning at the Ikebukuro Animate Cafe and ending at the K-Books Cosplay Store. Several other stores focused on goods aimed at women are located further west in Ikebukuro, mainly concentrated around the flagship Animate store. As Otome Road is only a small area of a larger commercial district, it does not have frequenters who walk around in cosplay, and is not immediately distinguishable from other streets.
Ikebukuro has been a destination for otaku since the 1980s, with notable attractions including a branch of the anime goods store Animate and the dōjinshi conventions Comic Revolution (now defunct) and Creation, both held at Sunshine City. These stores and conventions were initially focused on general audiences; the area would not shift to a focus on female customers until 2000, following a renovation of Animate that shifted the products of the store to appeal to that demographic. That same year, K-Books in Ikebukuro changed its product offerings to specialize in dōjinshi aimed at women.
The term "Otome Road" was first used in the May 2004 issue of Puff. The area gained further visibility through the 2005 film Densha Otoko, which presented Otome Road as the female equivalent to Akihabara, another popular location for otaku.
- Ikebukuro Otome Map. Published by the Toshima City Culture and Tourism Section, and the Toshima City Tourism Association. 2012.
- "Otome Road (in Japanese via Archive)". Town Guide. Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- Sugiura, Yumiko (October 2006). Worldwide women of rot - geek girls who Higashi-Ikebukuro. Chuo Koron new company. ISBN 978-4121502292.
- Galbraith, Patrick W. (2011). "Fujoshi: Fantasy Play and Transgressive Intimacy among "Rotten Girls" in Contemporary Japan". Signs. 37 (1): 211–232. doi:10.1086/660182. S2CID 146718641.
- "執事喫茶：超人気の秘密は本格のもてなし 池袋「スワロウテイル」体験 (in Japanese via Archive)". Mainichi Shimbun. 2 November 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-03. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- Sugiura, Yumiko (16 March 2006). オタク女子研究 腐女子思想大系. Hara Shobo. p. 18–19. ISBN 978-4562039920.
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