Why did manga become so popular in Japan?
One theory has that the art form and audience developed from the old kamishibai paper theatre. Apparently manga became popular just as kamishibai was fading out in the decades after WWII. It also borrowed characters from kamishibai. (All this according to “Wrong in Japan” by Peter Carey)
Why the Japanese obsession with robots being driven by people sitting in their heads?
One theory is just that robots were just the most popular toys, so the cartoons were produced to boost the sales of the toys. The success of Manzinga and Gundam in particular guided exactly what those robots were like.The Freudian explanation for why Japanese otaku mummy’s boys fantasy about being inside a big protective body are that they want to go back into the womb
Why is otaku (geek) the same word as otaku (polite word for you/ your house)?
“In the middle eighties, there was a Japanese science-fiction author called Moto Arai. One of her stylistic tics was to address the reader very formally with the second person pronoun, otaku, a much more distant form than the French vous, for instance. Her fans liked this book so much that they adopted this peculiar usage, referring to each other as ‘otaku'” Yuka Minakawa, author of Gundam Officials, on the origin of the term “otaku” for geeks. Wrong about Japan by Peter Carey, pg 105