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Post Reply What does it mean to be an Otaku?
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19 / M
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Posted 11/27/13
I'm writing a speech for a public speaking class, and would like to hear from fellow members of this sub-culture on the subject. I.E. what does it mean to you, what does it involve, how are you perceived because of it, what do you like the most about it, etc. etc

I'm having difficulty writing it because it feels like some of the reasons I like what makes me an Otaku are rather abstract, and would be hard to explain to people who absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, and only have my words to guide them.
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26 / M / Manitoba
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Posted 11/27/13
I like to think that Otaku are a band of people with varying backgrounds and ideals that all blend together to create a HUGE sub-culture of Japan and that they are usually unfairly prosecuted. If you think about it, Otaku and Atheists are the only two groups that are still openly prosecuted. The thing I like most about Otaku culture is the camaraderie that you feel with so many other people that you wouldn't get from, say, Whovians, Bronies or Trekkies, because you can't just go up to a Brony and recommend an episode of MLP, because chances are they've seen it. There are as many genres of Manga and Anime as their are episodes of Doctor Who (All 799), and that is why I take pride in being an Otaku, that is why I take pride in my time as a hikikkimori and that is why I TAKE PRIDE IN MY LOLI FETISH!

Too far?
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18 / F / Balmer, Murlin
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Posted 11/27/13
A hearty obsession with Japanese animation. Like a film buff, but with anime. You know seiyuus like actors, treat classic shows like classic movies, are accustomed to certain troupes (some of which you love, and others you hate). You follow your favorite studios and directors. You fawn over certain characters and are emotionally invested in their story. You discuss theories with others, share your thoughts, engage in the fandom. You collect merchandise of your favorite series and pride yourself on your collection.

It's really no different from movie fans or TV fans. People think it's different because it's just "cartoons", but it really isn't.

My favorite part of anime fandom is talking with other fans. I especially love discussing theories on ongoing shows and guessing what's going to happen next. The suspense is the best part of weekly shows, anime or not!
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23 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 11/27/13
Otaku is a derogatory word though......in Japan.

Yet Otaku is just another word for "geek"(and/or "nerd")and the word Otaku isn't just for people that enjoy anime.
Anyone can be an Otaku and NOT enjoy anime.


Just my opinion.
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26 / M / Manitoba
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Posted 11/27/13

Aokidanza wrote:

A hearty obsession with Japanese animation. Like a film buff, but with anime. You know seiyuus like actors, treat classic shows like classic movies, are accustomed to certain troupes (some of which you love, and others you hate). You follow your favorite studios and directors. You fawn over certain characters and are emotionally invested in their story. You discuss theories with others, share your thoughts, engage in the fandom. You collect merchandise of your favorite series and pride yourself on your collection.

It's really no different from movie fans or TV fans. People think it's different because it's just "cartoons", but it really isn't.

My favorite part of anime fandom is talking with other fans. I especially love discussing theories on ongoing shows and guessing what's going to happen next. The suspense is the best part of weekly shows, anime or not!


For the record, yours is better.
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18 / M / Birch River, MB
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Posted 11/27/13
What does it mean to be otaku...
for starters to be an otaku (my biased opinion) you have to love your hobby
it means that i proudly support something that didn't originate in my own country
it means that i am unique that i have a acquired taste in something most people don't

when you are an otaku you won't have many friends who love the same things you do but you don't mind because it makes you feel different you love it because it can relate in way most things can't and it even gives you good morals to fight for what you believe in and to never give up, to never go back on your word.

many people think you are childish for liking such things but in actuality its them being childish for making fun of you and what you love

there are many different otaku out there the more common otaku is a anime otaku.
there can be video game otaku, reading otaku, etc,.

now if you're looking to generalize anime it's almost about everything in a way very appealing to the people who watch it you have show for almost every body out there. like action? Naruto and Bleach. like romance? try Clannad or ToraDora! like to game? check SAO
you a pervert? well... i got few anime for that XD
(note: i haven't been an otaku for long but i really enjoy being one and i love anime, i haven't watched as much anime as i'd like and i soon hope watch a lot more
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23 / M / SoCal, HB
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Posted 11/27/13 , edited 11/27/13

ThickGlasses wrote:

...and that is why I TAKE PRIDE IN MY LOLI FETISH!

Too far?


For the LOLI !!!



Aokidanza wrote:

A hearty obsession with Japanese animation. Like a film buff, but with anime. You know seiyuus like actors, treat classic shows like classic movies, are accustomed to certain troupes (some of which you love, and others you hate). You follow your favorite studios and directors. You fawn over certain characters and are emotionally invested in their story. You discuss theories with others, share your thoughts, engage in the fandom. You collect merchandise of your favorite series and pride yourself on your collection.

It's really no different from movie fans or TV fans. People think it's different because it's just "cartoons", but it really isn't.

My favorite part of anime fandom is talking with other fans. I especially love discussing theories on ongoing shows and guessing what's going to happen next. The suspense is the best part of weekly shows, anime or not!


Nailed it!


qualeshia3 wrote:

Otaku is a derogatory word though......in Japan.

Yet Otaku is just another word for "geek"(and/or "nerd")and the word Otaku isn't just for people that enjoy anime.
Anyone can be an Otaku and NOT enjoy anime.


Just my opinion.


Also very true, so true it hurts. It's pretty much facts
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23 / M / Earth
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Posted 11/27/13
An otaku is someone who is really into something and has a vast amount of knowledge of that something. So if you're passionate about "A", then you're an " 'A' Otaku". Depending on who uses it, how it's used, and to whom, it can be endearing or offensive. In Japan, you're not seen in the best light if you're an "otaku"--though they're loosening up a bit on this. It's outside of Japan where this term is thrown around too loosely and often misinterpreted. Worse, it's by those outside (ignorant of Japan and its subculture) looking in that make it out to be something bad.

In drastic cases, sure some may range from socially awkward to complete shut-ins. But I don't see a correlation between that and liking anime or manga [Is someone a shut-in because they like anime? Or do they like anime and just happen to be a shut-in? Food for thought...] Again, it's about being passionate about anything worth having a passion for and is not restricted to just liking anime or manga; in the US, however, otaku is usually associated with liking this aspect of Japan.

"Fashion divas", for instance, could be considered "fashion otakus". Sports fans could be considered "sports otakus". A hobby is a hobby. People mean otaku offensively because they don't understand it. If you consider yourself one, and do understand it, there should be no reason to be put down by it. You're doing what you like and aren't hurting yourself or others (hopefully).

As for me? I like anime and manga. But I also like other stuff. I would never use the word otaku because it's a label. Why do we need to label each other. You like what you like and I like what I like. End of story.

Just umm...my two cents...
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18 / F / Balmer, Murlin
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Posted 11/27/13

shopping_for_noobs wrote:

An otaku is someone who is really into something and has a vast amount of knowledge of that something. So if you're passionate about "A", then you're an " 'A' Otaku". Depending on who uses it, how it's used, and to whom, it can be endearing or offensive. In Japan, you're not seen in the best light if you're an "otaku"--though they're loosening up a bit on this. It's outside of Japan where this term is thrown around too loosely and often misinterpreted. Worse, it's by those outside (ignorant of Japan and its subculture) looking in that make it out to be something bad.

In drastic cases, sure some may range from socially awkward to complete shut-ins. But I don't see a correlation between that and liking anime or manga [Is someone a shut-in because they like anime? Or do they like anime and just happen to be a shut-in? Food for thought...] Again, it's about being passionate about anything worth having a passion for and is not restricted to just liking anime or manga; in the US, however, otaku is usually associated with liking this aspect of Japan.

"Fashion divas", for instance, could be considered "fashion otakus". Sports fans could be considered "sports otakus". A hobby is a hobby. People mean otaku offensively because they don't understand it. If you consider yourself one, and do understand it, there should be no reason to be put down by it. You're doing what you like and aren't hurting yourself or others (hopefully).

As for me? I like anime and manga. But I also like other stuff. I would never use the word otaku because it's a label. Why do we need to label each other. You like what you like and I like what I like. End of story.

Just umm...my two cents...


Since OP is doing a speech on "otakus", info on the origin of the word would be useful. However, I don't think it's really derogatory in the west. It just labels a sub-culture of anime fans. Wrong use of the Japanese word itself, yes, but words tend to take on different meanings in different places.

I don't mind being called an otaku. I like using the word myself. It sounds neat and I guess I like the unity it creates. You could think of it more as an honorary title than a label.
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23 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 11/27/13



Ah thanks.
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23 / M / Earth
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Posted 11/27/13

Aokidanza wrote:

Since OP is doing a speech on "otakus", info on the origin of the word would be useful. However, I don't think it's really derogatory in the west. It just labels a sub-culture of anime fans. Wrong use of the Japanese word itself, yes, but words tend to take on different meanings in different places.

I don't mind being called an otaku. I like using the word myself. It sounds neat and I guess I like the unity it creates. You could think of it more as an honorary title than a label.


I didn't want to touch upon the linguistics part 'cause I really don't know the origin of the term "otaku", myself. So I'll leave that up to any Japanese expert out there.

As for using this word, there's no one I can hang out with who's into what I am so I don't even get the chance to use it.

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23 / M / SoCal, HB
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Posted 11/27/13

shopping_for_noobs wrote:


Aokidanza wrote:

Since OP is doing a speech on "otakus", info on the origin of the word would be useful. However, I don't think it's really derogatory in the west. It just labels a sub-culture of anime fans. Wrong use of the Japanese word itself, yes, but words tend to take on different meanings in different places.

I don't mind being called an otaku. I like using the word myself. It sounds neat and I guess I like the unity it creates. You could think of it more as an honorary title than a label.


I didn't want to touch upon the linguistics part 'cause I really don't know the origin of the term "otaku", myself. So I'll leave that up to any Japanese expert out there.

As for using this word, there's no one I can hang out with who's into what I am so I don't even get the chance to use it.



I heard from my Japanese teacher that Otaku is someone who honors the home (お宅)

Maybe if it's spelled with Katakana it changes to geek (オタク) but I don't know for sure.
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22 / M / KS, USA
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Posted 12/3/13 , edited 12/3/13
Like others have said. I believe Otaku is different mattering where you are. Here in the states it seems to be used more often as to classify the group of people who are fans of Anime. Meanwhile it tends to be a bad thing in Japan due to the fact if you are one you are on the extreme degree of fans.

Due to the fact my only knowledge of Otaku is what Japanese consider it (through Anime) I feel like I am not an Otaku, I don't have Figurines, I don't have some unparalled amount of Manga, I only keep up with a bout a half dozen shows a season, and I haven't been to a single con.

Meanwhile it is always portrayed as someone who practically has a library sized amount of Manga, Figurines by the truck load, goes to every convention they can every year, and follows every single show from beginning to end, including following it after to read any news, discussions, etc on said show.

Saying that I believe most who call themselves "Otaku", at least here in the states, are more like me rather than the portrayed version. Some of my friends call themselves Otaku and don't even do as much as I do.




I also quote these two because they put what I could say in better words (but I suck at talking as it is so i'll just quote em)
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15 / M / Anonymity
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Posted 12/3/13
To me it means someone who regularly indulges in Japanese media

Anime, video games, drama etc.

I'm sure others will argue but I think the American interpretation of Otaku and the Japanese interpretation are completely different

Otaku is to Japan as Nerd/Geek is to America
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43 / LV-426
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Posted 12/3/13
I enjoy anime, but rarely talk about it or buy any collectibles....although I have a stuffed 'Excaliber' from Soul Eater. Frankly, I'm only a recent Anime convert....about 3 years now. It took Cowboy Bebop to get me into it. Now I'm kinda unabashedly hooked. Does that make me an otaku? I pretty much don't care how people label me. Labels are for canned goods.
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