Japanese news services reported yet another case of otaku gari, or "otaku-hunting," on the streets of Akihabara last night. This time, the culprits weren't a gang but rather a twenty-year-old brother and sister; she'd bump the mark with her shoulder, then her brother would rush in and make him pay "apology money." After being caught, they confessed with the ever-popular motive of "otaku are weak and they’ve got money, so we went after them.”
Combined with the upsurge in shoplifting and weapon confiscations, Akiba has been losing some of its nerd-luster lately. Which isn't particularly surprising given how much attention it's recieved from visitors, press, and the industry in recent years. In fact, the word going around Wonderfest last weekend was that Akiba has become "a wasteland" (in the words of one longtime visitor) due to hordes of foreign toy-dealers scouring the shops for booty to take back to their homelands and sell at a profit. Say it ain't so!