Don't call yourself an otaku, please

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you can also be an otaku about anything, if you like gun allot then your a gun otaku
really here we have pretty much taken the word otaku and made it kind of like the word nerd or dweeb or something, essentially something not to be ashamed of.... kinda.... sorta... I guess.... I dont know, whatever

thenamelessloser:

toriver:

A random person:

On that note of geekdom, I'm of the impression that anime in Japan is like Star Trek here; many people like it (supposedly, manga really is quite popular over there, accounting for a very large percentage of their book sales), but the enthusiasts who dress up and whatnot are considered freaks.

Manga is indeed pretty popular, but there is a much greater variety of manga to choose from here. What gets published in the West is only the tip of the iceberg, and a good 90% of those are just the manga for kids and teens here. If you walk into a manga shop, you would be amazed at the eye-breaking amount of books on offer, and the variety of audiences they appeal to. Manga is not the issue.
Anime, on the other hand, is mostly seen as being for kids and teens. By the time they are adults, just about every Japanese person I know "grew up" out of their interest in anime. Even the teachers I know couldn't count the popular anime of today that they know on one hand. It's just not seen as an "adult" thing in the popular culture here, and has been relegated, much like cartoons in the West, to being something for children. If you're over 18 here and you still like anime, that's seen as weird. And despite what you see from Western sources like blogs and such about Japan, weird is unacceptable, at least in public. If you do like unusual things, you just don't talk about them in public. At all. Gotta keep up that social harmony, you know.

So, anime such as Monster would be the exception there too? Well that was a manga first though come to think of it.

I had to look it up to even know what it is, so yeah, I don't think it's all that well-known here. But, I haven't really been looking around anime or manga places in a good long while, so maybe I just missed it. Like I said, I've been kinda "growing up" out of them myself in the past year or so.

toriver:

thenamelessloser:

toriver:

A random person:

On that note of geekdom, I'm of the impression that anime in Japan is like Star Trek here; many people like it (supposedly, manga really is quite popular over there, accounting for a very large percentage of their book sales), but the enthusiasts who dress up and whatnot are considered freaks.

Manga is indeed pretty popular, but there is a much greater variety of manga to choose from here. What gets published in the West is only the tip of the iceberg, and a good 90% of those are just the manga for kids and teens here. If you walk into a manga shop, you would be amazed at the eye-breaking amount of books on offer, and the variety of audiences they appeal to. Manga is not the issue.
Anime, on the other hand, is mostly seen as being for kids and teens. By the time they are adults, just about every Japanese person I know "grew up" out of their interest in anime. Even the teachers I know couldn't count the popular anime of today that they know on one hand. It's just not seen as an "adult" thing in the popular culture here, and has been relegated, much like cartoons in the West, to being something for children. If you're over 18 here and you still like anime, that's seen as weird. And despite what you see from Western sources like blogs and such about Japan, weird is unacceptable, at least in public. If you do like unusual things, you just don't talk about them in public. At all. Gotta keep up that social harmony, you know.

So, anime such as Monster would be the exception there too? Well that was a manga first though come to think of it.

I had to look it up to even know what it is, so yeah, I don't think it's all that well-known here. But, I haven't really been looking around anime or manga places in a good long while, so maybe I just missed it. Like I said, I've been kinda "growing up" out of them myself in the past year or so.

Really damn? The animation, art, and writing are all rather good and it is about an adult subject matter. Really surprised, that isn't well known in the country that created it.

Worgen:
you can also be an otaku about anything, if you like gun allot then your a gun otaku
really here we have pretty much taken the word otaku and made it kind of like the word nerd or dweeb or something, essentially something not to be ashamed of.... kinda.... sorta... I guess.... I dont know, whatever

Sort of on the "it can be about anything" front but a definite "no no no no no" on the "nothing to be ashamed of" front. Those wanting to claim "otaku" need to realise that it's not so much about what you like, as it's about your lack of ability to function in normal society. It's about literally living in a basement and obsessing over one single thing until it affects your ability to communicate with friends, you ability to go out, and even your personal hygiene. Otakus stink like street bums, they're only one step up the rung from homeless people, and that's actually how a lot of them end up.

The misappropriation of the word otaku in the West is kinda interesting because it pretty much captures everything that weeaboos are doing wrong. Their view of Japan is so warped that they actually take something that's viewed pretty negatively over here and celebrate it.

Maxieon:

Psychosocial:
I'm currently studying japanese in school, and my teacher told me something quite interesting in one of our lessons.

The teacher does this thing where he asks the students if he'd rather that he calls them by some sort of nickname, so a guy in my class yells out that he wants to be called "otaku". The teacher starts laughing at him, and then asks if he knows that he'd be making quite the fool out of himself if he referred to himself as an otaku. Otaku isn't being someone who likes japan, or being just a geek. It's pretty much being a basement dweller, someone who has a passion for something and for that thing alone. Being an otaku is according to the japanese not something to be proud of.

So, rather than just taking one word away from you, I'll give you a replacement. Refer to yourself as a "manga tsu" instead, that pretty much means that you're someone who really likes manga, but not on the extreme level of an otaku. Now of course, if you actually don't have any life other than sitting in your basement, with no friends, watching anime and reading manga all day, go ahead, call yourself an otaku. Otherwise, you'd do best not to...

Just something that's been bothering me, and hopefully this will get at least one person to stop calling himself an otaku.

I fully agree with this. I am in my third year of Japanese at my school and the amount of people who do things that are very disrespectful and literally have stated that they learned it from anime and manga. You never refer to a teacher as "chan" never say "Damatte" or "Dame dayoo" to them either. Are you just beginning your Japanese lessons or have you studied it for a while? I remember my Sensei actually stated about this issue about calling someone an "Otaku" at a Japan Club meeting we'd had a couple of weeks ago. So many people did not know what it really meant at all.

People do that in 3rd year Japanese?

BonsaiK:

Worgen:
you can also be an otaku about anything, if you like gun allot then your a gun otaku
really here we have pretty much taken the word otaku and made it kind of like the word nerd or dweeb or something, essentially something not to be ashamed of.... kinda.... sorta... I guess.... I dont know, whatever

Sort of on the "it can be about anything" front but a definite "no no no no no" on the "nothing to be ashamed of" front. Those wanting to claim "otaku" need to realise that it's not so much about what you like, as it's about your lack of ability to function in normal society. It's about literally living in a basement and obsessing over one single thing until it affects your ability to communicate with friends, you ability to go out, and even your personal hygiene. Otakus stink like street bums, they're only one step up the rung from homeless people, and that's actually how a lot of them end up.

the point I was making is that in this country we have redefined it, but in japan it still means the same thing

i think the term is a regional term. Im the north it is an insult.....but in the west its a good thing.

boholikeu:
The misappropriation of the word otaku in the West is kinda interesting because it pretty much captures everything that weeaboos are doing wrong. Their view of Japan is so warped that they actually take something that's viewed pretty negatively over here and celebrate it.

Maxieon:

Psychosocial:
I'm currently studying japanese in school, and my teacher told me something quite interesting in one of our lessons.

The teacher does this thing where he asks the students if he'd rather that he calls them by some sort of nickname, so a guy in my class yells out that he wants to be called "otaku". The teacher starts laughing at him, and then asks if he knows that he'd be making quite the fool out of himself if he referred to himself as an otaku. Otaku isn't being someone who likes japan, or being just a geek. It's pretty much being a basement dweller, someone who has a passion for something and for that thing alone. Being an otaku is according to the japanese not something to be proud of.

So, rather than just taking one word away from you, I'll give you a replacement. Refer to yourself as a "manga tsu" instead, that pretty much means that you're someone who really likes manga, but not on the extreme level of an otaku. Now of course, if you actually don't have any life other than sitting in your basement, with no friends, watching anime and reading manga all day, go ahead, call yourself an otaku. Otherwise, you'd do best not to...

Just something that's been bothering me, and hopefully this will get at least one person to stop calling himself an otaku.

I fully agree with this. I am in my third year of Japanese at my school and the amount of people who do things that are very disrespectful and literally have stated that they learned it from anime and manga. You never refer to a teacher as "chan" never say "Damatte" or "Dame dayoo" to them either. Are you just beginning your Japanese lessons or have you studied it for a while? I remember my Sensei actually stated about this issue about calling someone an "Otaku" at a Japan Club meeting we'd had a couple of weeks ago. So many people did not know what it really meant at all.

People do that in 3rd year Japanese?

Well no, the second years still do. You see due to budget cuts they had to combine years 2, 3, and 4. I study with the year 4s. But yeah it gets really grating to the older years and sensei ignores it because she knows they'll get yelled at and that some of the kids don't even attempt to pass.

thenamelessloser:

toriver:

thenamelessloser:

toriver:

A random person:

On that note of geekdom, I'm of the impression that anime in Japan is like Star Trek here; many people like it (supposedly, manga really is quite popular over there, accounting for a very large percentage of their book sales), but the enthusiasts who dress up and whatnot are considered freaks.

Manga is indeed pretty popular, but there is a much greater variety of manga to choose from here. What gets published in the West is only the tip of the iceberg, and a good 90% of those are just the manga for kids and teens here. If you walk into a manga shop, you would be amazed at the eye-breaking amount of books on offer, and the variety of audiences they appeal to. Manga is not the issue.
Anime, on the other hand, is mostly seen as being for kids and teens. By the time they are adults, just about every Japanese person I know "grew up" out of their interest in anime. Even the teachers I know couldn't count the popular anime of today that they know on one hand. It's just not seen as an "adult" thing in the popular culture here, and has been relegated, much like cartoons in the West, to being something for children. If you're over 18 here and you still like anime, that's seen as weird. And despite what you see from Western sources like blogs and such about Japan, weird is unacceptable, at least in public. If you do like unusual things, you just don't talk about them in public. At all. Gotta keep up that social harmony, you know.

So, anime such as Monster would be the exception there too? Well that was a manga first though come to think of it.

I had to look it up to even know what it is, so yeah, I don't think it's all that well-known here. But, I haven't really been looking around anime or manga places in a good long while, so maybe I just missed it. Like I said, I've been kinda "growing up" out of them myself in the past year or so.

Really damn? The animation, art, and writing are all rather good and it is about an adult subject matter. Really surprised, that isn't well known in the country that created it.

Any "mature" anime is pretty much only watched by otaku over here. The only anime that most adults will admit to watching/enjoying is Gibli.

ninonybox360:
i think the term is a regional term. Im the north it is an insult.....but in the west its a good thing.

As someone living in western Japan I can tell you it's pretty negative here too.

MasterOfWorlds:
Otaku, weeaboo, NEET, eh, they all need to lighten up a bit and get out more. Weeaboos at least have some semblance of normal life.

I like Japan, I'd like to visit someday. I practiced Aikido, which came from Japan and listening to my Sensei talk about his experience in Japan made me want to visit. The history is also really interesting. The food is good too. Some people would say that because I have an interest in all that, that I'm a weeaboo. I don't see it myself, but it seems to be a fairly broad term.

That's because the internet uses weeaboo (and its root term, wapanese) as a catch-all insult for anyone who likes anything Japanese ever. For liking some JRPG's and anime series, I'm also a weeaboo by this very loose usage, even if I also like western things and facepalm whenever someone suggests our educational system should be more like Japan's (because extreme stress also partly responsible for the aforementioned hikikomori problem is totally worth higher math scores).

toriver:

Manga is indeed pretty popular, but there is a much greater variety of manga to choose from here. What gets published in the West is only the tip of the iceberg, and a good 90% of those are just the manga for kids and teens here. If you walk into a manga shop, you would be amazed at the eye-breaking amount of books on offer, and the variety of audiences they appeal to. Manga is not the issue.
Anime, on the other hand, is mostly seen as being for kids and teens. By the time they are adults, just about every Japanese person I know "grew up" out of their interest in anime. Even the teachers I know couldn't count the popular anime of today that they know on one hand. It's just not seen as an "adult" thing in the popular culture here, and has been relegated, much like cartoons in the West, to being something for children. If you're over 18 here and you still like anime, that's seen as weird. And despite what you see from Western sources like blogs and such about Japan, weird is unacceptable, at least in public. If you do like unusual things, you just don't talk about them in public. At all. Gotta keep up that social harmony, you know.

So they have an animation age ghetto there too, eh? At least some of the studio's can break it for us audiences that have too (my having broken the "it's kiddy" instinct also helps).

Mind, I'd still think they're somewhat better about it, as anime played a huge role in partially disproving it here (this is part of the reason Akira's well-known here, while from what I know it's pretty obscure in Japan).

As for manga, I'm aware that Naruto is hardly a representation of the variety in the medium, and that there's a genre for every demographic from little kids to middle-aged businessmen (though I've heard that shonen's surprisingly popular among the latter).

Lastly, on a general note, I'm glad we're having a civilized discussion about Japan and its cultural trends vs. how the west perceives it, instead of just several "lol Japans weird" responses.

boholikeu:

thenamelessloser:

toriver:

thenamelessloser:

toriver:

A random person:

On that note of geekdom, I'm of the impression that anime in Japan is like Star Trek here; many people like it (supposedly, manga really is quite popular over there, accounting for a very large percentage of their book sales), but the enthusiasts who dress up and whatnot are considered freaks.

Manga is indeed pretty popular, but there is a much greater variety of manga to choose from here. What gets published in the West is only the tip of the iceberg, and a good 90% of those are just the manga for kids and teens here. If you walk into a manga shop, you would be amazed at the eye-breaking amount of books on offer, and the variety of audiences they appeal to. Manga is not the issue.
Anime, on the other hand, is mostly seen as being for kids and teens. By the time they are adults, just about every Japanese person I know "grew up" out of their interest in anime. Even the teachers I know couldn't count the popular anime of today that they know on one hand. It's just not seen as an "adult" thing in the popular culture here, and has been relegated, much like cartoons in the West, to being something for children. If you're over 18 here and you still like anime, that's seen as weird. And despite what you see from Western sources like blogs and such about Japan, weird is unacceptable, at least in public. If you do like unusual things, you just don't talk about them in public. At all. Gotta keep up that social harmony, you know.

So, anime such as Monster would be the exception there too? Well that was a manga first though come to think of it.

I had to look it up to even know what it is, so yeah, I don't think it's all that well-known here. But, I haven't really been looking around anime or manga places in a good long while, so maybe I just missed it. Like I said, I've been kinda "growing up" out of them myself in the past year or so.

Really damn? The animation, art, and writing are all rather good and it is about an adult subject matter. Really surprised, that isn't well known in the country that created it.

Any "mature" anime is pretty much only watched by otaku over here. The only anime that most adults will admit to watching/enjoying is Gibli.

ninonybox360:
i think the term is a regional term. Im the north it is an insult.....but in the west its a good thing.

As someone living in western Japan I can tell you it's pretty negative here too.

i meant east and west. like japan and america

Dango:
I kind of already knew that, which is why I've never referred to myself as an otaku.

I think you're just a Dango, no matter what. ♥

I believe people can call themselves whatever they want. We have the choice for a reason. :)

Japanese Otaku refer to themselves as Otaku openly.
Yes, they are basement dwellers who focus their lives on a singular hobby-based obsession. I should know, I spend enough time with them I probably am one.

But it's "normal" society that thinks of Otaku as a bad thing. The actual Otaku themselves wear the word to thumb their nose at the mainstream. Seriously, you think they give a shit if people like them or not?

EDIT: Oh, and as for them being one rung above homeless and stinking like garbage, those people do exist, but you have to realize these people are a spectrum, not a fixed type. Several of my otaku friends here are very clean, well-mannered, and have the good grace to know when it's acceptable to talk about anime and when it isn't. Their apartment walls are still plastered with eroge posters and every surface is covered with figures, and they have almost zero chance of getting married ever, unless they marry an otaku girl.

Also, keep in mind, 30-year-old unmarried men with hyper-obsessive hobbies is a growing demographic in Japan. As the population shift occurs, and the number of young people dwindles, the market is beginning to cater more and more to these people. These are the very people not getting married and not having children that's causing the negative population growth. Pachinko parlours are already half-filled with anime themed machines, convenience stores are openly displaying special contests for Macross Frontier figures and Evangelion goods.

People are right to say that being "otaku" is not something to be proud of in mainstream society, but attitudes about it are shifting. And anyways, everybody knows a true otaku never cares what other people think about them, because the ONLY thing they care about is their hobby and nothing else. If the screechy 2nd years keep being turds about in Japanese class, they're actually doing it right. As long as they don't complain about not getting laid.

I always thought Otaku was a person who was obssesed with a single thing. From Video games to clothes to Russian Dolls.

Question: If a western person calls themselves an Otaku, doesnt that make them a Weeaboo?

Grimrider6:
Japanese Otaku refer to themselves as Otaku openly.
Yes, they are basement dwellers who focus their lives on a singular hobby-based obsession. I should know, I spend enough time with them I probably am one.

But it's "normal" society that thinks of Otaku as a bad thing. The actual Otaku themselves wear the word to thumb their nose at the mainstream. Seriously, you think they give a shit if people like them or not?

I suddenly have a degree of respect for them, as they seem to have an actual rebellious disregard for social norms instead of the "rebellion" you see from many punk fans and Hot Topic shoppers (protip: fashion is trying to elicit responses from the general public that sees you. If it's a fashion, it's pretty much the opposite of rebellious).

Not that I'm all that concerned about how "rebellious" I am, just something that had to be said.

Mr Pantomime:
I always thought Otaku was a person who was obssesed with a single thing. From Video games to clothes to Russian Dolls.

Question: If a western person calls themselves an Otaku, doesnt that make them a Weeaboo?

Depends: do they automatically believe Japanese things to be superior to western things by virtue of being Japanese? If not, they're not weeaboo's, contrary to the very loose usage of the word that's all too prevalent.

Why do people need these idiotic labels? Why should they be proud of liking a hobby (one which is controversial)?

I dislike what I have seen of Japanese culture.

Couldn't we just call these people weeaboos?

stinkychops:
Why do people need these idiotic labels? Why should they be proud of liking a hobby (one which is controversial)?

I dislike what I have seen of Japanese culture.

Couldn't we just call these people weeaboos?

Gotta be proud of something. For some people it's family, for some people it's country. Me? I liek my hobbies. A lot.

I just call myself Master of the Universe destroyer of worlds. I think it sums me up pretty good lol.

OT: I just thought an Otaku was someone who loved all things Anime. Then again i never really cared enough to read up on the term.

Grimrider6:

stinkychops:
Why do people need these idiotic labels? Why should they be proud of liking a hobby (one which is controversial)?

I dislike what I have seen of Japanese culture.

Couldn't we just call these people weeaboos?

Gotta be proud of something. For some people it's family, for some people it's country. Me? I liek my hobbies. A lot.

That's fair enough actually, I guess I just dislike self labelling.

Okay, a GUN Otaku would be fucking dangerous. Locked up in his room with enough firepower to level a building complex, and paranoid that someone will burst in on him? Recipe for disaster.

I just found this out from reading "My little sister can't be this cute" manga.
What does that say about me?

Daystar Clarion:
I still think weeaboos are worse...

and the comic to go with it.
image

In the US otaku has become something like the N word is to blacks, kinda... A insult taken and made a badge of honor.

If you want to call yourself an otaku, go right ahead. I certainly can't force you not to. I, myself, never saw the point in labels. But, if I had to, I'd say I'm somewhat of a nerd. I like anime, love it even, but it's not the only thing I enjoy. Sadly, there are people who don't know how to enjoy what they like in moderation.

JJMUG:

Daystar Clarion:
I still think weeaboos are worse...

and the comic to go with it.
image

damn ninja

On a related note, stop calling leukemia that, as is isn't a disease that makes your blood turn white, nor hemophilia, as having it has nothing to do with loving blood. Also stop using gay for homosexuals, it is more akin to happy. And never say that you like the Mona Lisa, it's La Gioconda. I could go on, probably, but you get the point.

When using otaku on English, or most Western countries, there is a conotation. You're not using the Japanese word, it is our cultures adapatation of the word. It seems stupid from the original culture, yes, but is happens. Live with it. Just be clear on the division, as using your adaptation on the original culture will make you look really stupid. Your acquientance or classmate or whateever broke that division, but that we are going to change our culture.

Yeah, the Japanese aren't really proud of Otakus at all for that reason. So yes, don't do that.

I don't refer to myself as an otaku. Mostly because I took three years of Japanese and I've seen how far otakus really take it. I'm a slight Japanophile, true, and I'm a geek at heart, but I don't define myself as an otaku at all.

Psychosocial:
I'm currently studying japanese in school, and my teacher told me something quite interesting in one of our lessons.

The teacher does this thing where he asks the students if he'd rather that he calls them by some sort of nickname, so a guy in my class yells out that he wants to be called "otaku". The teacher starts laughing at him, and then asks if he knows that he'd be making quite the fool out of himself if he referred to himself as an otaku. Otaku isn't being someone who likes japan, or being just a geek. It's pretty much being a basement dweller, someone who has a passion for something and for that thing alone. Being an otaku is according to the japanese not something to be proud of.

So, rather than just taking one word away from you, I'll give you a replacement. Refer to yourself as a "manga tsu" instead, that pretty much means that you're someone who really likes manga, but not on the extreme level of an otaku. Now of course, if you actually don't have any life other than sitting in your basement, with no friends, watching anime and reading manga all day, go ahead, call yourself an otaku. Otherwise, you'd do best not to...

Just something that's been bothering me, and hopefully this will get at least one person to stop calling himself an otaku.

I love your teacher.

I've met far too many people who believe otaku = anime/manga geek. My friend went to a grammar school which had an Otaku Club. I told her to tell them that wasn't the best choice of name for an anime and manga club. Not that anyone would care (the students there are pretty ignorant).

The OP is not strictly correct. Just like English words like "nerd" and "geek" or "phile", which can be used with a variety of nuances, so too can the word "otaku". "Basement dweller" is not really the meaning of he word, though being an otaku can imply such a living and social situation. In my decade of living here in Japan, I have seen changes in the perception of Otaku culture. Otaku is not a clear cut word or concept. Many people refer to themselves with that word in the same way that English speakers use the above English words. Yet, just like those English words are used, Otaku can also be used in an insulting manner.

Incidentally, o taku is a homophone and is used to refer to a person of the same status but whom the speaker is not close with. I have been told that this is possibly were the other otaku has come from, ie, such people are loners and antisocial in ways.

Soviet Heavy:
Okay, a GUN Otaku would be fucking dangerous. Locked up in his room with enough firepower to level a building complex, and paranoid that someone will burst in on him? Recipe for disaster.

To be fair, Japan has pretty strict gun laws, much more so than the US. Rednecks would be much more dangerous.

stinkychops:
Why should they be proud of liking a hobby (one which is controversial)?

I think being controversial is more likely to result in proud self-labeling, hence "rebellious" fashions and right-wingers who put "politically incorrect and proud" bumper stickers on their trucks.

In America, I'm just a nerd. I'm fine with that distinction.

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