“Mondo Tokyo: Dispatches from a Secret Japan” by Patrick Macias

"Mondo Tokyo: Dispatches from a Secret Japan" by Patrick Macias

"Tokyo, in the early aughts, was a weird place. Lonely single men wanted to marry action figures instead of women. High school girls worked at maid cafes and were paid to act like Manga characters. Nightclubs filled with kids in anime cosplay who danced to remixed versions of cartoon theme songs.

People’s private obsessions, once confined to bedrooms and computer screens, were transforming entire city blocks.

Long before global media, Pharrell Williams, and millions of tourists twigged to the strange new energy emerging from Japan, author Patrick Macias was there, chronicling the emergence of "Cool Japan" in a famous blog entitled "An Eternal Thought in the Mind of Godzilla". Now with biting humor and cultural insight, he looks back on the trends, personalities, and happenings that dominated the bleeding edge of Japanese pop culture in those years. You’ll meet maids who imitate Michael Jackson, anime producers sent to prison for guns and drugs, school girls determined to resurrect surf rock, nightclubbers who worship "uncool foreigners", and all manner of wide-eyed ex-pats, weirdoes, and dreamers who came to Tokyo in search of a stranger, more surreal version of life."