Friday, November 19, 2010

So you think you're an otaku?

Old posts are old, but if you haven't read this article, I would highly recommend that you do if you're interested in this topic.

After seeing the swift and rather no-nonsense reply to this topic, I am reminded of a certain remark by a few people on how I am an 'otaku'.

If you have been following some of the posts here, you'd notice that I would often dismiss myself as being an otaku. Now the reason is not because I am ashamed of being one - rather, as pointed out in the article, I am nowhere worthy of being called an otaku.

First and foremost, let me clarify one thing. I am not an otaku. I never was an otaku, and I never referred to myself as one. I have never been a hardcore fans of animes/mangas; I just like to watch them, but never to the point of obsessive interest. Even though this blog is mostly about Japanese anime news and such, I just did it for fun. - linkinstreet

Of course, I think the guy there would beat those so-called otaku when it comes to the subject which the latter claim to be obsessed with (well, they should know that by claiming to be an otaku, they should have a degree of obsession with anime/manga/games/figurine collecting etc)

I guess it's natural for the newfags to automatically assume that otaku are people that watch anime, read manga, and/or collect figurines, and would unashamedly label themselves as one. But, upon further pondering, I guess the term has now been applied rather loosely, even among the more hardcore anime/manga fans (but not yet an otaku??).

I mean, heck, what would they refer to the others that share similar interest with them? Casual fans of anime and manga? People that watch and read Japanese cartoon and comics? Appreciator of Japanese arts? Japanophile?

You tell me, man. You tell me.

The funny thing is, just like the last video in my last post, I am still awake at 4 AM, (trying) to do my revision for the finals (but without any success at doing so). Ahahahahah...



  1. Damn, my other comment got lost to the nether.

    After reading that article, I suppose I'm not a true otaku. However, I doubt I'll ever be able to match that article's description of a real otaku, seeing as I'm too poor to have everything I could want, and I'm too lazy to dedicate myself truly and entirely to my hobbies.

    If you ask me, that guy's just placing the title of "otaku" on a pedestal; the obsession doesn't need to run through your veins like burning magma to know that you're a true fan of what you do.

    I really like your blog by the way. I'll definitely be following what you write.

  2. I guess at the end of the day, it's just a case of to each, his own. Even among the 'real' otaku, I'm pretty sure there's a lot of dispute when it comes to showing who is it among them that are the real deal (moe anime vs gar anime, anyone?)

    The guy is just pissed off at the posers, it seems. Happens in other hobbies too, no doubt about it. Still, this is an example from here - the situation may be different in other parts of the world.

    Thanks for the support dude; the stuff that I write is pretty much random, as you can see... so remember to take it easy~

  3. >The guy is just pissed off at the posers, it seems. Happens in other hobbies too, no doubt about it.

    It sure does, you can't really do much about it. I think he is being a bit unreasonable though. You HAVE to know all the voice actors? Maybe I just don't care for anime as much anymore, but I think that's stupid. If you were a fan of voice actors or one in general, that's another story.

    I don't consider his idea of "you HAVE to buy every official item of the thing you like" to be reasonable either. Not everyone has spare cash to fund their hobbies. If money wasn't an issue, I would buy god knows how many figures.

    I also feel like he considers the term "otaku" to be some sort of high ranking title to be respected by others.

  4. After looking at some of the thread in question that he is not really impressed with, I can understand where he is coming. But yes, as someone else mentioned, at least those 'otaku' try to support the industry, even if the items in question are not the real deal. In the long run, they'll either drop the hobby, or continue to pursue it more seriously by buying the genuine stuff.

    He coulda take it easy, tho. Coulda take it easy.

    Haha, well, if he consider otaku as a high rank, then that'd be somewhat ironic, since the otaku are generally despised back in Japan

    Still, just as what Ore no Imouto shown, despite all the disagreement, we're still sailing in the same boat.

  5. Damn I'm so tired I replied to the old post.

    Basically I don't think you need to buy everything to be an otaku. Originally the term is used by the anti-social, withdrawn and obsessive crowd. As long as you love what you like, to a certain degree of expertise then you are one according to most of Japanese society.

    Most American "otaku" on the other hand seem to only be compulsive buyers that like to show off. On the contrary I only buy what I really like, and what I feel will enrich my daily life. I also buy authentic copies of Touhou games, and stuff, but doujinsoft is not too expensive.

    For years I would deny being otaku to avoid any association with the kind of people that use the term in the US and EU. But around the time Miku Hatsune was released into world, I realized my hiki lifestyle could not be ascribed to anything but an otaku.

    tl;dr - If it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, and tastes like a duck; it's probably a duck.

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  7. >Basically I don't think you need to buy everything to be an otaku

    Yeah, I agree on the part where you don't actually need to buy everything. I don't know if that's what the writer of the article had in mind when he asked the otaku to buy the real stuff, because obviously, not all of us have the money for it :|

    His biggest irk seems to be the casualfags claiming themselves to be otaku. Kinda like how the newer Touhou fans claiming themselves to be expert on the series, as you pointed in the other post.

    If we are to follow the writer's classification of otaku, would the division be something like this?
    -Otaku wannabe/weaboo
    -Casual otaku
    -True otaku

  8. >-Otaku wannabe/weaboo
    >-Casual otaku
    >-True otaku

    Eh, maybe that's more of an internet trend? But flip the situation around, make it Japanese arguing about casual and true nerds. It doesn't really make sense since it's mostly a derogatory term used in a variety of ways.

    It isn't about what you buy, or what you claim to be, but what you do. If someone in Japan knows you aren't a child but like games, anime, robots, dolls, or whatever, they'll label you as otaku without thinking about it more than a few seconds.

    Buying bootlegs or being a Narutard doesn't make you a casual or non-otaku, it just makes you an idiot too.

  9. >It doesn't really make sense since it's mostly a derogatory term used in a variety of ways.

    When you put it like that, would those who claim themselves to be otaku (in a proud kind of exclamation) are no similar than someone claiming that they are cartoon nerds? It does seem that way...

    >Buying bootlegs or being a Narutard doesn't make you a casual or non-otaku, it just makes you an idiot too.

    I lol'd

  10. I think that guy exaggerates a bit. As said, not everyone has the money to buy all anime series they like on BD/DVD, all merchandise related to the series, and so on, how passionate they now may be. I think it has more to do with how passionate you are about your hobbies than just burning of money and compulsive buying. Or something.

    And I would never call those who think they're oh so cool hardcore otakus just because they've seen 10 episodes of Naruto, read a chapter of Bleach online, listens to a j-rock band and can say three words in Japanese, an otaku. That's just sad.

  11. @Link: Yeah, I guess most of us rather take it seriously on the part where he pushed for the purchasing of the real thing. On hindsight, it is more on those 'wannabe otaku' rather than 'you ain't an otaku if you're not...'

    Heck, I dunno, he was really pissed off when writing that, can't really blame us for taking it in a different context yeah?