Wondering about the term "otaku"...

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azureXtwilight
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Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#1 Post by azureXtwilight » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:00 am

I just realized that otaku means someone who is a loser that doesn't have friends and life outside the anime/manga world and lives under mom's basement XD

Is it really true? Is it true that most people consider people who like anime/manga weird? ;_;
I believe that most people here have lives outside anime/manga and can differenciate between fact and fiction, and that doesn't make us otakus... Right?

*it is really a retarded question but I'm confused -_-*
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#2 Post by Camille » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:24 am

"Otaku (おたく / オタク?) is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, or video games."

I think most people consider anyone with "obsessive interests" to be weird. If you like anime/manga but aren't obsessive about it, it doesn't make you an otaku.
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#3 Post by Fawn » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:26 am

It bothers me too, I know a lot of people who refer to themselves as Otakus and they don't realize they're insulting themselves.

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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#4 Post by Pyonkotchi » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:33 am

anime fan =/= otaku =D
Otaku is for crazy hardcore nerds, like the stereotypical nerd who lives in his momma's basement
Only people who would call an anime fan an Otaku are people who just don't know what the hell that word means.
Otaku is like, the weeaboo way of calling yourself a weeaboo lol o3o

that being said
Most people don't think anime fans are creepy Otaku or weird unless you ARE weird and obsessed,
just wish people wouldn't go around using that word the wrong way :U
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#5 Post by Sapphi » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:40 am

I wrote a research paper about the origins and meaning of the word for an English class, and I have never seen a word of such varied use! Some people claim it's derogatory, others claim that it used to be derogatory but it isn't now (since the initial scandal about it was mostly provoked in the 80s by that little-girl murderer with the Nissan Langley), it means an entirely different thing to most people in America as it does to people in Japan, etc... So, who knows... One person says "otaku" with an entirely different meaning from the next... But if for the sake of this discussion we suppose "otaku" in this context = "obsessive manga/anime maniac" then: I think you can't really call anybody who likes manga a straight up otaku, since manga is a very integrated part of Japanese culture and obviously is more than a niche there. It seems more casual.

That being said, the culture surrounding manga and anime here in America has gotten really atrocious. I used to tell people I was interested in it when asked about my hobbies. I don't really do that anymore, because of the negative associations. As for your question, I think it's true to some extent here in the US, people do consider anime fans strange. I don't think anyone would call you weird here if you were a school kid and casually talked about the episode of Naruto that was on, but people would probably start to raise their eyebrows if you started gushing about stuff a little less mainstream than that. It seems to be an unfortunate side effect of the unchecked enthusiasm of con-goers mostly. I think the problem here in this country that anime used to be a niche interest, so naturally people were excited to meet others with the same interest. Now, I think, anime is much more mainstream here, lots more stuff gets translated, but all the kids still feel that they are part of something totally niche and amplify their associations with it on purpose because they want to show that they are part of something totally niche. I dunno, I'm rambling. All I know is I'd like for people around here (my area, not this board) to get just a tiny bit less hyper about it and chill out.
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#6 Post by redcat » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:52 am

@azure--> If you're obsessed with otome games (not just playing & collecting hundreds of them, but also making some and persuading your friends to play otome games), then you ARE an otaku!!

J/K... :D

Why bother? let people call us with what they want. It doesn't change what we are.
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#7 Post by OtomeWeekend » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:59 am

Otaku simply meant obsession or addiction. But in the english-world it became more known to be obsession to anime, games and manga. For example, a geek or a nerd can also be called otaku simply cause they are living in a dfferent world like normal people mainly, doing nothing but studying and stuff. A guy who simply dies by hearing his idol and or seeing her on TV is also called an otaku. So, otaku simply means wait, not just a simple obsession but total obsession or addiction. It can't be fairly stated as "I'm a fan of AKB48", its more like "I'm the number one fan of AKB48, I go to all their concerts, I skip class to buy their CDs on their first day of release; I buy 100s of their CDs so I can vote for Minami-chan as the no.1 girl of all of them; I bought the dating game for PSP cause I wanna know the feeling of dating Minami-chan and etc."----resource, my classmate who loves AKB48 that he even sings their songs even during class.

And I have many classmates that are considered otakus. For one is my seat mate who loves anime, she would vulgarly speak about BL games anime and would even doodle in her desk. Another is the guy i mentioned above who loves akb48 like its his life etc. But they're not those types that would close theirselves to the real world, and mock up in their own room. I could even say that they bust it out and proudly claims how they love their hobby or, er, in other words, their otaku-ness. So being an Otaku doesn't mean you close your doors to the real world and go to dreamland, but I dunno, maybe it varies on people. :/

Wow, did I go out of topic X.X
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#8 Post by Showsni » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:50 am

It's pretty much the same as the English word "fan," right? (As in, short for fanatic). If you're fanatic about something, you're obsessively interested in it; but these days, being called a football fan or a tennis fan or whatever doesn't have such negative connotations any more.

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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#9 Post by azureXtwilight » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:36 am

redcat wrote:@azure--> If you're obsessed with otome games (not just playing & collecting hundreds of them, but also making some and persuading your friends to play otome games), then you ARE an otaku!!

J/K... :D

Why bother? let people call us with what they want. It doesn't change what we are.
LOL XD (I don't understand japanese! I can't collect hundreds of them! Rrraaaage!)
Apparently, there are some friends of mine who share the same hobby and I make games because they want to see my stories ;P I talk different things with different circle of friends~

Mainly because I find otaku has an insulting meaning, that's why I ask -_-
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#10 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:51 am

I think among the English-language community, it's perfectly alright if we refer to one another as "otaku" in the sense of "anime/manga/J-stuff lovers". There's the term Hikikomori which could be used to describe one of the obsessive types that "otaku" can also mean, so I think we shouldn't have any problems differentiating between the two of them.
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#11 Post by GLACIER » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:52 pm

In terms of general perception, the label may carry a negative connotation - after all, obsessive interest in something so non-practical doesn't conform with social norms. However, those who openly identify themselves as "otaku" embrace the term as a matter of pride and fellowship.

Most likely, western fandom picked up on the latter usage, which is widely used by hardcore anime fans in Japan (and let's face it, most of today's output caters to the hardcore of hardcore, who are the ones sustaining the industry). Currently, "otaku pride" drives the sale of DVD/BDs with customers spending ridiculous amounts of money as a form of certification.

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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#12 Post by PervertPrince » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:06 am

I remember a friend of mine once said, "It's people like this that give otaku a bad name!" and I had to explain to her that otaku is a bad name XD

And isn't an otaku an obsessive fan of anything, not just anime? Like you can get a music otaku or a movie otaku.

Although, by the looks of it, people see the word otaku as refering to anime exclusively these days.
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#13 Post by LVUER » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:36 pm

Otaku means bad or have bad connotation. But that doesn't mean otaku must be a bad person. I think that is what she means.

Some people do very bad things (like raping lolis, brutally murdered some women, etc etc) and then people conveniently blamed it all to (or to being an) otaku.

Personally, I admire some otaku since they could give their all into one thing and could do some feat that impossible for normal human.
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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#14 Post by Efreet » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:50 am

I think in Japan the word has more of a derogatory meaning, as Sapphi stated herself the media used it to label that little girl murderer - they found out he had a lot of loli anime and slasher tapes in his bedroom.

In the Western countries I suppose it's a fad to use labels, like geek, nerd, dork and similarily now otaku (strictly related to anime, even though otaku is more 'obsession' and can be put to other mediums).

I wouldn't want to be called an otaku personally as I'd like to hide my powerlevels.

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Re: Wondering about the term "otaku"...

#15 Post by papillon » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:11 pm

Meanings change over time and within the groups that they're being used. I mean, just look at the differences in what "geek" and "dork" meant over time. It's not necessarily relevant that it's a less polite word in an entirely different culture.

... it takes an otaku to care more about what the word means in Japan than what it means in eir own culture. :)

In Britain you sometimes get the term 'anorak' which has some similarities. As far as I can tell it's usually meant insultingly, for someone with an obsessive interest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorak_%28slang%29

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