Okay ~ This is my first Round Robin post since I didn’t participate in the first one. As obviously pointed out by the title, this time around “otaku” are the topic. Otaku is a japanese term to refer to people with an extreme obsession in their hobbies and interests and its particularly used for people who love anime and manga.
Where I live, the majority of people don’t even know the word “otaku” exists. Because of that, I never really questioned myself about it … though I can say with certainty that I am a Fujoshi.
No one has ever reproached or criticized me for being an anime fan aside my parents. More than anything, I’m criticized for liking yaoi and being a Fujoshi. Though, what’s at fault is probably the fact the most of the people here don’t even know of the word “otaku”. The small majority of people who know of the word are the weaboos, whose existences I just ignore [because of how damn annoying they can get with their “Saskay”s “Baka!”s and “Kawaii”s].
Actually, I didn’t even learn about all the stereotypes concerning Otaku until recently (about a year). I didn’t think much of it though so I don’t really have a fixed opinion on the matter. But Otaku is just another label, right? Between “Otaku” “Emos” “Preps” “Gangsters” “Goths” “Nerds” I don’t see much of a difference. Like all labels Otaku have stereotypes against them. They aren’t necessarily true but they can be true. There are people who never leave their rooms and spend days living off instant noodles or something [hikikomori] but not all anime fans are like that. Hell, you don’t even need to be an anime fan to be a hikikomori or a NEET or whatever. It’s just that that image was fitted to the word the same way other labels create a stereotyped image in our minds.
I guess you could say that, to me, the word “Otaku” is completely irrevalent. They aren’t “great gods of anime” like the weaboos think and they aren’t anti-social people who never leave their homes either. They’re just like any other human. There’s nothing special about Otaku the same way there’s nothing special about Emos and goths or whatever. Maybe it’s my naivety speaking but we’re all human. Labels are basically the creation of the first impression people have on others. First impressions aren’t necessarily true but because of that people still make stereotypes and stuff that don’t change unless they really get to know the person in question. Everyone has prejudice and everyone labels a person upon meeting them. It’s just the way it is. So in reality, it’s just the same with Otaku. When the average person meets an anime fan, they can come down to the conclusion that you are a no-life and never talk to you again. But not everyone is like that. If everyone relied on the whatever first impression they have of a person then everyone will find themselves alone one day. Proof is that I still have friends even with the prejudice against me for liking yaoi (though here people just say “japanese animated gay pr0n”) But I falling out of the subject …
Having never myself been victim of criticism for being an anime fan, I can’t really “empathize” with people who are insecure with their liking anime. At the very least, I can sympathize with them. I’ve always been very open with being a Fujoshi (and anime fan before that) and I never really found the need to hide it either. Everyone I know are relatively open-minded people and aside the humorous reproaches and few insults I get from some I’ve never really met a close-minded person (except perhaps a certain girl in my class)
As for the Akiba-killings. It’s a really really dreadful thing. I was at school when I learned about it and was really surprised about it. It’s one thing to kill ONE person but to kill and injure so many. I was half-shocked and half-disgusted.
I don’t understand why people would blame such an incident of the violence found in anime and manga. Why anime and manga in particular anyway? It’s no the only place gore and violence can be found after all. Anime isn’t excuse for what that man has done. He had problems and just decided to take it out on outsiders. It doesn’t matter if he was exposed to a lot of violence or not. Some people can watch gore 24/7 and it doesn’t necessarily make them homicidal.
Well, no matter what anyone says, it’s not going to change the prejudice made against Otaku. Some people are still going to call them “no-lives” and some are still going to blame anime for heinous acts. This isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Links to the others who wrote on this subject too: (wanted for more posts before linking)