I can’t believe I had this annoyingly catchy song playing the whole time I was writing this. And since I’m writing this post at 2 in the morning, I know I’ll have probably have dreams about Pururin later…
But I had to play the Pururin song in celebration of Otaku-ness. I went crazy after hearing Leader Itsubun declare the new topic, cause Welcome to the NHK! and Genshiken are two of my favorite animes. As a warning beforehand: I’m biased. I have a crazy, unusual love for the people society label as otakus. And frankly, because of this bias, I have no idea how this post will turn out. Definitely expect more of Genshiken rants though, and excuse the unorganization or the spewing of thoughts everywhere. Now that you know, jumping right in: how do I define an “otaku”?
Actually, to be truthful, I don’t really know how to define an “otaku”. It’s one of those words that doesn’t have a definite set meaning to me, but instead gets categorized with other words. I actually just found out that the term “otaku” didn’t really have a negative effect in the past as it does today. According to Wiki, “It applied the term to the (then) recently caught serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki (宮崎 勤), who turned out to be a recluse obsessed with pornographic anime and manga and who lived out his rape fantasies on young girls, thus attaching a huge taboo to a formerly innocuous term.”
But I don’t see otakus as negatively as society sees them. Let’s just say that when you say OTAKU, I say Madarame.
I love Madarame. I love how he has an open personality. (As you can see, his open declaration for jacking off to anime.) He’s not afraid to express his love at all. And he probably isn’t the hottest person by society’s standards, but it’s his honesty that makes me like him. (If he were real, I’d ask him to take me as his girlfriend.) His character screams I LIKE ANIME AND MANGA AND ERO-GAMES AND KUJIBIKI UNBALANCE. And I don’t see Madarame as a recluse at all. Yes, he may stay at home to play an ero-game or read an explicit doujinshi, but who cares? He’s human. In my opinion, it’s the same as girls and their love for yaoi (lol. Mada x Sasa, Mada x Sasa). I look up to Madarame. His character of openess and honesty is something I want for myself.
I don’t know about you, but I’d love to be called an “otaku” to my face in real life. Unfortunately, not many people around me in my life are obsessed or hardcore over anime or manga, so they don’t quite understand the word otaku. But I definitely don’t think it’s a negative term. What’s wrong with being obsessive or zealous over something you like? Be honest with yourself. It’s a hobby, a passion. Like Madarame says, “You’re voice is just too small!” Tell the world you’re an otaku and that you like anime and manga. What does it matter? But I don’t want to be hypocritical, cause in a way, I have problems with this too.
How do I have problems with declaring my otaku-ness? For one, society doesn’t take on the same perspective. I typed in otaku on Google, and it led me to Urban Dictionary terms. As you can expect, an otaku isn’t quite received with cordiality in the world. As I scrolled down the page, I saw “total loser”, “nothing better to do with their life”, “lifeless nerd” and “Bet he’s never actually even talked to a real-live girl before”. And seeing as how society looks down on people lumped in with this term, I’m guessing the main insecurities otakus have is that they don’t like to be perceived as an otaku. I can empathize with this a little. Even though I’d love to be called an otaku because I don’t consider myself a total loser or a lifeless nerd, there are some things I can’t really tell others about. YES, my friends and parents and other family members know I have an insane obsession over Japanese culture. However, what they probably DON’T know is the fact that I love BL and hardcore yaoi manga and anime. It isn’t something I’d like to proclaim to them (like my parents would kill me because they’re really religious).
However, even with that said, some of my friends know that I like yaoi. My friend always tells me not to send him anything yaoi because I always threaten to, but he doesn’t have a problem with me reading it. To him, it’s acceptable. Besides, doesn’t everyone have a dirty little secret? Yaoi is what I consider mine. You’ll still find me wanting to be called an “otaku” by someone in real life. And although otaku is termed in with staying in the house all the time, I don’t do that. I go out regularly to hang out, and when the time calls for it, I’ll shut myself in my room and download the newest episode of whatever I’m watching at the time. Taking it from Madarame again, it’s not like we TRY to become otakus. It’s just a label for our passion and hobby: watching anime and reading manga. And it’s not like we can quit either.
As for the Akihabara incident? I can’t really say much about it because I don’t really know the details. But people have been blaming incidents like the Columbine shootings on videogame violence. I remember reading this one article on how games like Mortal Combat and Goldeneye can influence potential killers in kids. Ridiculous. Perhaps I’m being to harsh, but I seriously don’t think video games have anything to do with it. I own those games and couple of friends own those games, and for the record, I haven’t killed anyone, and neither have they. In the same way, I really don’t think liking anime or manga or being an otaku has to do anything with killing people. Even so, this will have long-term effects. People are going to look down on otakus probably even more. Like the “serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki” case that soured the otaku term, this incident has been, in my opinion, blown-up to greater proportions in pointing the finger at something else than it needs to be.
With that, I leave you with this clip. Enjoy~ (Wow. I don’t know if this makes any sense at all. Sorry if it doesn’t. It’s late. Yay for my first RR post.)
The Thoughts other Ladies have that You Want to Read Also:
How You Know You’re An Otaku (By NHK Standards)