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What is your opinion of "closet otakus"?
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28 / F / Seattle
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Posted 4/6/14
What are these "closet otaku" you speak of?

People who don't wear bishoujo shirts, and drive itasha?

Tell me clearly, or I won't know what you want. *pushes glasses up nose*
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24 / M / Indiana
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Posted 4/6/14
I dont think i am a closet Otaku, i just dont have much anime related things, I have some manga, and a couple Dvd's and like one anime shirt? and thats the extent of my anime collection. I never felt a need to buy all the anime crap like other people xD
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23 / F / NYC
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Posted 4/6/14
I wouldn't understand why there would still be any "closet Otakus" .. people are much more accepting of a lot of things these days..
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27 / M
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Posted 4/6/14
I guess that you could call me a closet otaku, but that's not really how I consider it.

I enjoy anime, but I'm not super into it or anything, so I don't feel the need to go out and announce it to the world. If someone asked me about it I would answer that I did, but I'm not the type of person who would tell anyone about it without being asked. No one asks or probably cares so I just do my own thing.

My opinion is that if someone doesn't want to be known as an otaku and hides, that's fine, its their choice. But if you do, as long as you aren't obnoxious about it, then that is fine as well, but that's just what I think.
Rohzek 
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26 / M
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Posted 4/6/14 , edited 4/7/14

Biscuithime wrote:

For awhile, I was conflicted about what to think of closet otakus; however, I've come to the conclusion that the mere concept of closet otakus is incredibly offensive. I take offense to the idea because it intrinsically has the implication that the anime culture is socially unacceptable. If you're going to be a part of the community, you might as well not go through great lengths to hide it. Watching anime and being a part of the community is not worthy of being one of you "deep, dark secrets," because it honestly is not a big deal.

People who will socially condemn you for having different interests than them is not someone that you should be concerned about appeasing to begin with. Maybe I'm just not as concerned about being socially ostracized as other people are. Perhaps my avid misanthropy influences the way I view social situations in general.

What's your take on "closet otakus"?


I'm not even sure what you mean by otaku. If you mean someone who enjoys good old JRPG's or watches a lot of anime, then I suppose that would make me one. But honestly, I don't identify as being one. I consider myself a normal human being. Here's what I identify with: Saints fan, a good old Southern boy, American, Christian, my family name, my cultural heritage, a historian, etc. I don't really let my entertainments define my social identity too much. Strangely enough, I can claim to be a gamer, but it's not one of the first things I would claim as an identity. I just play games. The same goes for anime.

As for condemning people who enjoy anime, I have to say it's a complicated issue. Back in the 5th grade, Toonami was king and anime was the shit to watch. But by the time I got into high school, things had changed. Most of the people who watched anime were pretty weird people, and for the most part they enjoyed being weird because it was the rebellious thing to do. Now I'm sure I had my quirks too, but not to sound cocky, I did everything based on my own personal principles. I couldn't care less what was cool or uncool. I just did my own thing that I felt was right. For sure, I enjoyed anime, but most of the people my age who watched it in high school were downright freaks. We had an anime club that I tried to attend for a bit, but it was so freaking weird. I'd rather attend a goth convention. So I honestly just moved on and socialized with other people who I could relate to more. Those other people couldn't relate to my anime tastes so anime hardly ever came up. And the same pretty much applies to this day. I'll drop a reference that I watch anime still casually every now and then, but most of the people I hang around don't watch it at all. I rarely bring it up because most people who do watch it, at least in my experience, are freaking weird. And I don't tend to hang around weird people too much.

I suppose in a way that could make me a "closet otaku," but at the end of the day its just something I really don't feel the need to bring up. It'd be cool if I met someone in person one day who enjoyed anime as much as I do, and wasn't such a strange person about it. But it's not something I'm crazy about solving either.
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21 / F / Balmer, Murlin
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Posted 4/8/14
I used to hide my interest in anime in middle and high school because I was afraid of being ridiculed. Most people at my school were nice folks, but there was still that slight stigma around the anime kids. Not because they liked anime, mind you, but because they acted very, very strangely, and were unashamed of it. That's still no reason to stigmatize people, but I can understand the discomfort one experiences around such lively people (who were actually quite fun, and I hung around with a lot of them).

Despite being friends with a lot of those anime kids, I was still afraid to be absolutely associated with them. I liked to appear as the eye of the storm, so to speak. The only somewhat normal person in the group. I now realize that was pretty shallow of me, but it is what it is.

I still don't go around announcing my interests and hobbies, because I find that obnoxious and rude. I'll admit that when someone asks me what I like to do for fun, I usually don't bring up anime. There's still that fear of ridicule somewhere within me. But I do jump in on conversations about anime, and I'm not ashamed to let people in my room where I have various anime things and manga.

It's unfortunate that such heavy ridicule still exists for people who like anime, but until that changes, there are bound to be "closet otakus". I wouldn't fault anyone for trying to save themselves from being unjustly ostracized.
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21 / M
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Posted 4/8/14
I'm quite open, I don't own anime stuff like bags or clothes but ask me do I like it and I will tell you that I do. Most of my friends at school probably don't know cause it's never come up, while I will tell you I'm not going to shout it from the rooftops if you get what I mean.

As for closet otakus, well it's their choice and maybe where they live it's better to pretend you don't like anime.
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M / USA
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Posted 4/8/14
I don't consider myself an Otaku, but In my High school, almost all my friend watched anime and we used to hangout to watch Naruto together. That happened when Naruto was fighting with Pain .

Right now I'm 20 and I don't enjoy shounen the same way as before. Now I dedicate my time for Slice of life anime and most of then with childish character. So now I don't like to show to the outside world how much I love anime and will never consider myself as an Otaku.
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26 / M / Eastern Washington
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Posted 4/8/14 , edited 4/8/14

thebluffalo wrote:

Well I for one, am a closet otaku.

I just dont feel the need to tell anybody that I watch Japanese cartoons, so i keep it to myself :).

I keep up appearances at school and even if I hear someone talking about anime I ignore or feign ignorance. (my family and even my close friends dont know i watch anime lol)


Its just my choice. Im not 'addicted' to anime or crazy for it like alot of people, I just watch a few episodes a day because I like it as an entertainment medium. And I feel no desire to buy any anime related merchandise, I just like to watch anime, and I keep it to myself lol.


Doesnt help in the fact that I am a huge hypocrite and I hate most people who talk about anime in my small town school. Literally the only people I know that openly admit to watching anime are about 4 really strange, annoying girls. Im just another one of the 'guys' im 17, I play on the hockey team and party and shit like the average highschooler. I just keep this hobby to myself and im fine with doing so.


And yes, I do think people will judge me if I constantly berate them with talk about how anime is the most amazing thing ever. I find alot of anime fans to be over the top and annoying, but that is the only kind of anime watchers i have met in my life. MAYBE I could just admit to liking anime. But your right, I am afraid of being judged and so there is that aspect.

I dont seek out people who watch anime, and people dont know i watch anime, I think its fine to keep it that way.


Pretty much in the same boat haha
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26 / M / Atlantic Beach, NC
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Posted 4/8/14 , edited 4/8/14
I'm going to take your stance on "closet otaku" as someone that actively hides their love of things like anime.

In that sense, I do think it's a bit dumb. You are allowed to like whatever the hell you want, being ashamed of it only shows that liking something isn't worth it, and people that find out will look down on you as you give them the impression that your hobby is something to be shamed. People don't have to understand, they don't have to even accept your opinion. Some people like 2chains... I'll never understand why, but me berating them for their taste is just asinine because in the end, my opinion on it is just as worthless as theirs. It doesn't affect me in the slightest that they like 2chains so fuck it. Let them love what they love.

If you are keeping it a secret, you are just putting up a facade in place of who you really are and that is unfair to not just yourself, but to those who care about you too. Hell, my sister had the easiest time purchasing a gift for me for last year's Christmas because she just got me a Berserk poster. And it was pretty much perfect.

That being said, while I don't consider myself an otaku, I don't ever really talk about anime and the like with my own friends/associates. And why would I? They don't give a shit, so me talking about anime junk that they'll never watch is more annoying than anything else. I'm sure we'd both way rather talk about something we can both relate to, or listen to music we both listen to rather than j-pop/rock. So it's more of a similar interests issue than it is anything else, especially since if you know me pretty much at all, you know that anime is my preferred medium for watching television.

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22 / M
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Posted 4/8/14
I grew up in an environment where being an "otaku" is unacceptable (in the household, not in society). It didn't stop me from becoming a geek, but it's not like I was openly adamant about my situation or hobbies either. Also, it's not a matter of social condemnation, but societal preference. Who is likely to pass an interview for an audition to a wind ensemble: a master flutist, or a master flutist that is also an otaku? I use this as an example because it has happened before, and my colleague knew her circumstances when she listed her hobbies (I'm not as big of a geek as she is, so I chose not to include it).

Otakus aren't "socially unacceptable;" more "socially unpreferred." People prefer not to associate with them. I still hide the fact that I love anime, manga, garuge, etc. from my caretakers in Kyouto because they think that geeks like us are social derelicts. If I told them that I'm one of those geeks that isn't a NEET, I'd get slapped in the mouth.


I don't consider it a "deep, dark secret," but it's a secret I would like to keep from my home. I choose to appease my caretakers and their ill will towards us because they help me. If not for them, I wouldn't have gone to school or have been able to pick up the knowledge required to live life as a grown up. In fact, I wouldn't be speaking English right now if not for their money. Most Americans either don't know what it's like or have little knowledge about this way of living.

I think that, in your environment, people won't berate or disparage you for your hobbies. But for me, the only environment where I can be open about this is online.. (crunchyroll)
Posted 4/10/14
I'm not sure if I'd be considered a "closet otaku" or not. All anyone has to do is look me up on Facebook and it's very obvious I like anime. If I don't know someone too well I don't mention anything about anime to them though. I just keep it to myself until we start getting to know each other better, they find my Facebook, see my room, or just whatever. I really don't consider myself an otaku though. I'm just a fan. xD
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29 / F / Southern Oregon
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Posted 4/10/14

Biscuithime wrote:

For awhile, I was conflicted about what to think of closet otakus; however, I've come to the conclusion that the mere concept of closet otakus is incredibly offensive. I take offense to the idea because it intrinsically has the implication that the anime culture is socially unacceptable. If you're going to be a part of the community, you might as well not go through great lengths to hide it. Watching anime and being a part of the community is not worthy of being one of you "deep, dark secrets," because it honestly is not a big deal.

People who will socially condemn you for having different interests than them is not someone that you should be concerned about appeasing to begin with. Maybe I'm just not as concerned about being socially ostracized as other people are. Perhaps my avid misanthropy influences the way I view social situations in general.

What's your take on "closet otakus"?




Like you said it really isn't a big deal, so why make it one? Not really sure what planet you are on but since you haven't noticed anime culture is considered socially unacceptable (even in Japan). Not saying that it is right that it is that way but that is just the way it is.

Well I guess I was a bit of a one in high school. I wasn't ashamed of being an anime fan and honestly I don't really care if people don't accept me. The reason why I was one was because the only other anime fans at my high school were outcasts (for more reasons than just being an anime fan but everyone just saw them as strange anime freaks). I didn't want to be associated with them; because while I am an anime fan, I didn't want it to be the only thing that people defined me as. I don't want to be seen as just an anime fan I have other interests that are just as important to me. I don't hid the fact that I am an anime fan but I don't go out of my way to make it known either.
Posted 4/10/14 , edited 4/10/14
Being one - being able to quote a few people for saying they would have not thought I liked the stuff, ect - I can say those types are around. Not that I am that much of an old timer, but I remember the days of seeing a few people bullied for liking anime when I was growing up. Not the normal tease kind - I'm talking about the physical kind that parents these days would lose their cool over while parents then were more willing to allow it. Not wearing my T-shirts in public or carrying one of my volumes of manga to a coffee shop just came natural. The subtle things are just more my style like a key chain and when people recognize it then magic might happen.

It is no trouble for me to "hide" my interests. Once I know someone else likes anime or the games I like, whatever, we can discuss and watch. I think it is more normal for anime viewers to be quiet about it. I don't see reality TV viewers get "in your face" with it and yet the rare anime fan can be rather obnoxious screaming about their hobby in full apparel showing their interest off. I approve of the closet life style - it troubles no one and when one meets another they can know it is fate that they met and revealed their interests, hehe...
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26 / M / Socal
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Posted 4/11/14
I honestly don't think people even care and even if they did what are they gonna say? "Sir I don't like the fact you watch anime, so please stop"

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