Otaku is a japanese term to refer to people with an obsession in their hobbies and interests and at the present its particularly used for people who love anime and manga MyReadingManga
. As far as images go, generally anyone seen as having an obsession in a particular topic would be regarded as weird or unnatural. Therefore it isn’t far fetched to say that the same concept applies to those seen as Otaku; actually if anything sometimes this abhorring image is particularly strong when used to describe someone who is considered to be an Otaku.
Of course there will always be those weirdos out there who live up to the stereotype or worse yet are so bad that they practically started it. Even though that may be true, the Otaku stereotype doesn’t apply to all otakus out there (for example, me… lol =Þ).
To start off with lets describe this stereotypical and fearsome Otaku creature that we are (more or less) all accustomed to. This fearsome creature is not only dirty and smelly but these Otaku also fear the daylight and outside world (much like a vampire). Social contact with people of the outside world are poisonous to them and therefore they avoid it as much as possible. They are constantly watching or read their cult scriptures known as anime or manga and they do little more than that throughout their days.
Many people that are considered Otaku by today’s standards (ie: like manga and anime and enjoy watching/reading them as a hobby) are actually normal and quite social individuals. I have many friends interested in both anime and manga that live their lives as everyday students, have a decent amount of friends, and *GASP* are social outgoing individuals. We Otaku neither fear the daylight nor are we poisoned by social interactions. Yes we may love manga and anime but hey its a hobby. It is no different than someone who enjoys watching tennis or basketball for example. And I for one am not ashamed to be known as an OTAKU, it just means I like doing by hobby (watching anime and reading manga). Hell, if otaku was replaced with “Blackerinshnickodft” I would be proud to be called that too…. (although it is made up and god knows how you pronounce it). If you’ve made it to this article, you’re probably wondering what an “otaku” is or you already know and want to know some more about the origin of “otaku. ” In either case, you’ve definitely made it to a good starting place to get your information.
The word “otaku” was (and still is) used as a way to say “another’s house” in Japanese, but has recently taken on a different twist that changes its meaning to “geek” or “nerd” when used to describe a person. Although it can apply to nearly anyone that has an intense interest in a particular hobby (let’s say a person that really loves to collect rocks and practically has a dedicated shrine to their collection in their house), the word “otaku” is generally applied to those that are deeply entrenched in anime and manga culture. This is especially true outside of Japan’s borders where “otaku” is usually only known as a person that loves anime and manga.
The difference between how the Japanese use the term “otaku” and how others use the word only captures a portion of the picture though. When comparing the two usages, the japanese usage of “otaku” has more negative connotations than, say, an American’s usage of the word. This is because of the specific histories that are associated with otaku in Japan where negative events and/or tragedies were blamed on the person’s interest in anime or manga. This has resulted in the japanese society frowning about anything associated with anime or manga at various points within the last few decades.
On the other hand, being an otaku outside of Japan is looked upon somewhat differently. If you’re an otaku in a different country, then the term “otaku” does not have as much of a stigma attached to it because the people around you wouldn’t know the specific histories attached to the word “otaku” like it does in its native country of Japan. Because of that, it’s generally a term that’s used within the fandom to refer to themselves or those similar to them (where “otaku” is still usually used when the person in question watches anime as each season comes out, reads manga as each chapter is released, collects figurines, buys Dvds of their favorite anime series, and has posters of various anime or manga characters). And even then, there’s a divide as to whether or not a fan in a different country will label themselves as “otaku. ” This is because anime and manga fans that are aware of the negative connotations of “otaku” in Japan are wary of labeling themselves as such. Even with oceans separating them from Japan, there are many fans that don’t want others to think that they are associated with the people who committed crimes and just happened to have an interest in anime and manga.
Regardless of the slight negative connotations of the word, there are still numerous anime and manga fans that will proudly call themselves “otaku” (at least outside of Japan). They’re not afraid to talk in public about the latest episode of Bleach or Naruto that came out, or ask if someone has downloaded any anime from the current season so that they can watch it. They’ll sketch doodles of anime and manga style and post them on sites such as deviantART. Some will even attempt to make their own anime or manga through the use of programs such as Anime Studio or Manga Studio. It’s a fandom that’s close-knit and allows anyone to make friends simply by asking if they enjoy a certain show.