In the coming new media age, a television that can accommodate a variety of electronic equipment connections is best. However, televisions with A/V inputs are quite expensive, so a standard, color tone stabilized color television can be used as well. In the latter case, a large cathode ray tube set will offer a better viewing experience than a compact type.
A full-featured video tape recorder with more features than a standard model, such as a remote control, is a necessity. It can be purchased by saving money from a part-time job. The reason for needing such a high-end model is so as to satisfy the needs of someone who will be using it every day. It's a little luxurious, but purchasing both VHS and Betamax types will give you more freedom for dubbing. For those who can't afford both, most anime fans prefer Beta.
Yappies tend to be visually oriented, but it's still a good idea to purchase a mini component stereo system tailored to the size of your room. The most important consideration isn't audio quality but rather to pick a system that has a timer feature and can play multiple cassette tapes in succession. Remember: this will be the background music machine for your anime life.
You may find a "dubbing controller," which will allow you to dub videos, and a portable home computer useful as well.
This passage from the 1984 Yappie Handbook reads more like "Sex Education for Trainables" than a dating guide. We've all heard the old saw about how "knowledge is power," but it's taken to a delirious extreme here. In the world of the Yappie, even that most fundamental of human interactions, love, is experienced wholly through the lens of enhancing one's appreciation of anime. And like every epic story, it comes with a moral at the end.
7:00 AM: A digital timer triggers the cassette Walkman, playing the day's wake-up song from a pair of mini-speakers. For a Yappie, "Hellow Vifam" is the perfect choice. Those looking for something more uptempo might choose the "Theme From Captain Tsubasa." but "The Arale-Chan Dance"? Never.
Another selection from the Yappie Handbook, that rose-colored look at what mid-Eighties otaku could'a been but never actually were.
"Yappie" is the term for elite anime fans ranging from middle schoolers up through college age. The majority are, in keeping with the current state of affairs in Japan, middle class, and as such full-time students outnumber youth that hold down jobs. Yappies make no distinction between public and private schools, and roughly 10 - 20 percent of the anime fans attending a given school could be considered Yappies.
As students, Yappies tend to be more outgoing, but as anime fans, tend to be more reserved. Some are at the top of their classes, while others not so much. But one thing is for sure: no Yappie is a total bookworm or a total delinquent. Both males and females tend to avoid flashy clothing, and can be distinguished from normal students from their subtle use of anime items to accent their fashions. But perhaps the biggest characteristic of a Yappie is that a true Yappie never refers to themselves as such.
(Caption: Yappies are ACTIVE anime fans. It's important to inspire oneself and other fans.)
This booklet, published along with the August 1984 issue of The Anime magazine, is a fascinating reminder that we didn't always have a pithy term to describe Japan's legions of anime-obsessed young adults. Although the now commonplace "otaku" made its official debut the year before in a column by Akio Nakamori, it wouldn't become widely used until the end of the decade, and then mainly as an epithet. In the meantime, The Anime produced this pamphlet in an attempt to hang a name on a growing subculture that undoubtedly included a large segment of its readership. The word they chose was "Yappie," a contraction of "Young Anime People."
In contrast to Nakamori's dour appraisal of the average anime/manga junkie's social skills, The Anime attempts to portray them as being healthy, well-rounded, fashionably urban, and "with it." In hindsight, more than a few of The Anime's descriptions of supposed Yappies -- with their "neat and clean" hairstyles, stylish clothes, and equally shared interest between the sexes -- seem more like wishful thinking than a reflection of reality. Perhaps this explains why the term never actually took off (in fact, today marks the first I've ever heard of it.) It's more of a wistful reflection on what anime fans could be rather than what they actually were. "Yappie couples don't just enjoy their love for one another," it explains in one section. "It goes without saying that they have a major advantage over single Yappies in expanding their fan clubs and gathering information." Tellingly, there don't seem to be any quotes from any of these mythical couples in the text.
Rose-colored though its lens may be, The Anime's attempt to catalog stereotypical Yappie/otaku habits reads like a missing link between the "gonzo" approach of Nakamori and the more mainstream work of Toshio "Otaking" Okada, who established himself as Japan's top otaku spokesman with the publication of his best-selling Otaku-Gaku Nyumon ("A Guide to Otakology") in 1996. The Anime's pamphlet even contains an illustration of a Yappie's bedroom, a feature that appears in Okada's book as well.
Above is my translation of the first page of the Yappie Handbook. I'll be posting more selections shortly. And for those so inclined, here's the original Japanese.
Special thanks to Robert Duban for digging this pamphlet out of his collection!