What the heck is an Otaku anyway?
This applies across the board.
Are we called OTAKU?
Before I answer the question that makes up the title of this article, let me just clue you in on one very important facet of human nature and interpersonal relationships. You have to understand that whenever a group of people get together and agree on a certain subject matter, they always instinctively look for leadership. They always look for somebody who somehow, someway embodies everything and anything related to that subject matter they’re all equally fascinated about. This applies across the board. This is not just an anime fan thing. This is not just something that you see in comic cons or any other cosplay-type anime engagements or gatherings.
Instead, this applies to just about anything. For example, when lawyers gather together, they focus on a few names who are supposed to be the legal eagles in their specialization. These are people who are supposedly the movers and shakers in that particular field of the law, whom everybody respects or fears. If you are talking about bankers, the same dynamic applies. Again, people don’t necessarily have to wear special costumes, but everybody knows which bank to watch. Everybody knows which investment bank is behind – either the best and the biggest deal or is an up-and-coming contender for the mover and shaker in that particular industry.
People are always looking for hierarchy. People always look for guidance because let’s face it, people at some level or another are essentially sheep; seriously. We like to talk a big game about how much of a non-conformist we are. We like to talk about how we march the beat of our own individual drum but hey, let’s not kid ourselves. If you’re interested in a particular genre, chances are you are looking for somebody whom you’re going to measure yourself up against or somehow try to keep up with.
Accordingly, when you go to an anime convention, there will always be at least one or two people who seem to know everything and anything related to a particular anime series, anime comic book or some sort of anime content. This applies across the board. Don’t think that you’re looking at something abnormal or weird. Don’t think that this is something that drops out of the sky or happens once in a blue moon. It happens all the time because it’s part of human psychological reality. We’re always looking for hierarchy. We’re always looking for totem poles. We’re always looking for flags to salute and realities to delineate and draw official boundaries around.
Given this background, an Otaku is somebody who is all about anime. This person knows anime studios, cartoon storylines and cartoon series evolutions like the back of his or her hand. In fact, these people not only show up in costumes but also go out of their way to let people know what’s up regarding an anime storyline or anime character series.
Now, as you can well imagine this pisses off a lot of people. You talk about irritating. The last thing many people want to deal with is, of course, a know-it-all. They want to figure things out on their own. They don’t want to be dictated or somehow made to feel dumb. But like it or not, Otakus get a lot of respect because you can waste a lot of time trying to figure stuff out on your own or you can just get ahold of an Otaku. He or she will (It’s normally a he) break it all down for you and guess what, you’ll end up saving a lot of time, effort, and brain cells from trying to figure things out on your own. Now that’s not all that bad, isn’t it? Just keep this in mind because Otakus don’t necessarily have to be some sort of a super nerd or socially inept idiot. They can really just be useful and informative people.