Table of Contents

The Lost Way of Otaku
(ending theme)
Otaku no Mayoimichi
Original release date: September 20, 1991
Format: CD, Mini CD single
Genre: Anison, Mood kayō
Length: 3:22
Label: Toshiba EMI (Futureland)
Catalog number: TYCY-5180, TMSD-006
Lyrics by: Kanda Yoshimi
Music by: Tanaka Kōhei
Arranged by: Fujiwara Ikurō
Performed by: Sakurai Toshiharu, Inoue Kikuko


Otoko: manatsu no Harumi atari
hon (dōjinshi) o kakaete aruku
itsushika kimi no sugata ga
magirete mienakunaru

Onna: buzama no sugata no anata
towa no koi mo sameru
aishiteite mo watashi
tsuiteyukisō ni nai

Otoko: wakatte kure yo
Onna: iya yo daikirai
Otoko: shikata ga nai n da
Onna: anata wa kawatta
Otoko: KOSUPURE wa ore no ikigai

Onna: mukashi ni wa kaerenai iru no

Otoko: tsui ni mitsuketa ore no jinsei
Onna: chigau sekai ni anata wa ikiru
Otoko: aa kanawanai shiawase

Futari: Otaku no Mayoimichi

Otoko: dakara sa, de kimi mo shite
ANIME to ka manga to ka.
Onna: iya, mukashi no anata wa sonna
hito ja nakatta wa.
Otoko: aa, hora, mite mite, kono dōjinshi!
Onna: aa, watashi ni wa wakaranai wa!)

Otoko: yukifuru Makuhari atari
kimi to futari de aruku
tsumetai umi no kaze sae
yasashiku kanjiteyuku

Onna: kagayaku egao no anata
SHĀ no KOSUPURE mo suteki
LALĀ no yō ni
watashi tsuyoku dakishimete ne

Otoko: aishiteiru yo
Onna: suki yo daisuki
Otoko: tetsuya de narabō
Onna: ANIME wa saikō

Otoko: seishun no kirameku MEMORĪ
Onna: itsumade mo futari wa issho
Otoko: yume made tsunagaru
hatenai kibō
Onna: gyōkai mezashite ayundeyuku wa

Otoko: aa michitarita jinsei

Futari: Otaku no Mayoimichi

He: In the middle of summer,
I walk around Harumi carrying dōjin.
Before I know it,
you fade and I can't see you.

She: You tacky, unsightly person,
even an eternal love would fade with you.
I love you, but I don't think
I can follow your path.

He: Understand it.
She: No, I hate it.
He: There's nothing I can do.
She: You've changed.
He: Cosplay is my reason for living.

She: I guess we can't go back
to the way things were…
He: I've finally found my life.
She: You live in a different world.
He: Oh, happiness that can't be matched.

Both: The Lost Way of Otaku.

He: So I'm telling you, why don't you
get into manga or anime too?
She: No! You weren't like
this before…!
He: Oh, hey, look, look at this dōjinshi!
She: Oh, I don't understand!)

He: Near Makuhari, where the snow
is falling, I walk around with you.
Even the cold ocean breeze
feels gentle.

She: You, with your dazzling smile,
your Char cosplay is wonderful too.
Hold me tight,
just like Lalah.

He: I love you.
She: I love you too, so much.
He: Let's spend the night in line.
She: Anime is the best.

He: It's the shining memory of our youth.
She: We'll always be together.
He: An endless hope that connects
even our dreams together.
She: We'll set our sights
on working in the industry.
He: Oh, a fully satisfied life.

Both: The Lost Way of Otaku.

The Lost Way of Otaku
(Phantom Verses 3 & 4: The Industry Years)
Otaku no Mayoimichi (Maboroshino 3&4-ban
Original release date: September 27, 1991
Format: Mini CD single
Genre: Anison, Mood kayō
Length: 3:22
Label: Toshiba EMI (Futureland)
Catalog number: TMSD-002
Lyrics by: Kanda Yoshimi
Music by: Tanaka Kōhei
Arranged by: Fujiwara Ikurō
Performed by: Sakurai Toshiharu, Inoue Kikuko


Otoko: shin'ya no Nerima atari
genga atsume ni hashiru
sutajio meguri tsurakute
nigesō ni naru
Onna: yasui kyūryō no anata
binbōgurashi wa iya yo
seisaku shinkō nanka
shosen komazukai yo
Otoko: taete kure yo
Onna: dame yo kore ijō
Otoko: kon'ya mo tetsuya da
Onna: kodomo mo iru no yo
Otoko: itsu no hi ka BIGGU ni naru sa
Onna: betsu no hito ni sureba yokatta
Otoko: kikaku ga tōreba kotchi no mono sa
Onna: yumemiru dake ja tabete ikenai
Otoko: aa tsujinai omoi yo
Futari: Otaku no Mayoimichi
Otoko: chikushō, ano enshutsu no yarō!
Onna: SHII, akachan ga okiru wa yo!
Otoko: omae nanka ni omae nanka ni,
ore no kimochi wakaru monka!
Onna: EE, wakaritaku mo nai wa!
mō iya!)
Otoko: umigoe Kankoku atari
higaeri sae mo nikka
kimi no koto o kangae hitosuji namida ga ochiru
Onna: shigoto no oni no anata
watashi o wasurenaide ne
kodomo to futari itsumo namae
yonderu kara
Otoko: hitori wa samishii
Onna: watashi mo iru kara
Otoko: shiawase o tsukamō
Onna: kokoro wa hitotsu yo
Otoko: seikō wa machigainai sa
Onna: mochiron yo shinjiteiru wa
Otoko: Nihon no bunka o kizuite ikō
Onna: kono gyōkai wa anata no mono yo
Otoko: aa kayoiau yasashisa
Futari: Otaku no Mayoimichi

He: Late at night around Nerima,
I run around gathering up the key cels.
The studio rounds are tough and
suddenly I feel like running away.
She: You with your low salary,
I've had it with being poor.
Production Advancement is,
after all just a handmaid.
He: Bear with it.
She: I can't, not any more.
He: I'll be up all night tonight too.
She: We have a kid you know.
He: I'll be big someday.
She: I should have found someone else.
He: If the Planning goes through it'll all be mine.
She: You can't eat dreams.
He: Ah — feelings that aren't understood.
Both: The Lost Way of Otaku.
He: Damn that stinking technical director!
She: Shh! You'll wake the baby!
He: You — you don't understand
how I feel!
She: Oh! I don't want to understand!
Oh! Oh I've had it!)
He: Across the ocean around Korea,
day trips are an everyday thing.
Thinking of you a single tear falls.
She: You demon for work,
don't forget about me,
because the kid and I are
constantly calling your name.
He: Being isolated is lonely.
She: That's why I'm here.
He: Let's catch happiness.
She: Our hearts are one.
He: Success is a certainty.
She: Of course I believe it.
He: Let's create Japan's culture.
She: This industry is all yours.
He: Ah — gentleness that reaches us both.
Both: The Lost Way of Otaku.

Liner Notes

The ending theme is done in the style of Mood kayō (Mood music), a genre of 1950s era Japanese pop music similar to enka, but the singer's emotional aspect is downplayed. It is influenced by Western music; Hawaiian, jazz and Latin music in particular. The manner in which the arrangements keep shifting back and forth, between the man and woman's lines, is quite unusual and amusing.

The two final verses were available only on the limited-edition 1982 mini-CD, which was itself available only to those people who sent in the reply-card from the LaserDisc release for Zoku Otaku no Video. We've included the lyrics here for completeness' sake. Another Mini CD single cointains the karaoke version of the song without the vocals.

Many production offices are located in Nerima, as well as many subcontractors. This last is a relic from the days when Toei Animation had its facilities out there as well, when they were one of the heavy hitters in anime. A fair amount of animation work is done these days in Korea and various Southeast Asian countries, because it's less expensive than in Japan, and because there are fewer Japanese these days getting into the business — if only because they can't make a living at it.

“Harumi in Summer” refers to the Summer Comic Market, which was held at Tōkyō International Trade Fairgrounds in Harumi, and “Makuhari in Winter” refers to Makuhari Messe, which is where Comic Market was attempting to move at the time this song was written. Concerns over Makuhari getting a negative image from fandom prevented the convention's move there. In 1996, Comic Market moved to the Tōkyō Big Sight convention center which replaced the previous Harumi convention center buildings.

Dōjinshi” (dōjin for short) mean self-published works in Japan, which are what the fan circles get together in huge numbers (circa 18,000 dealers and 200,000 attendees) to sell over the two days of each Comic Market (Comiket for short), which has been happening twice a year for well over three decades.

Char and Lalah are Char Aznable and Lalah Sun, a pair of ill-fated lovers in the original classic Mobile Suit Gundam. Just as she was coming into the full range of her Newtype abilities, through an unexpected psychic union with Amuro Ray, Gundam pilot and mortal enemy of Char, she was killed when she tried to save Char from Amuro. Char and Amuro would go on hating one another for that ever after.

This is what the lyricist, Kanda Yoshimi (also Co-Producer of both videos), had to say about “The Secrets of the Opening and Ending Themes:”

Unfortunately, I think that “otaku” are even now looked upon as being an existence a step apart from everyone else. To people around them, they are probably a hard-to-understand species of humanity.
But your doubts, to the effect of “they're lonely, that's all,” are foolish. So long as their own worlds are expanding intrepidly within themselves, “otaku” are happy. They don't wish for people's understanding.
They are complete within themselves. These are songs about that “otaku” life, with which you, too, are undoubtedly familiar. And when you listen to them, these lyrics will prove to be fairly profound.