Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are you an Otaku?

"Otaku is Beautiful" indeed
This post is basically me setting the scene for a discussion about the role of the otaku guys and gals during the earthquake and tsunami disaster, but getting it all in one post might  be a little too much so I'll start with the basics on the otaku first.

So the first question that might come up is "what is an otaku?". There is a common misconception here that those sweaty dudes that hangs around Akihabara (and always calls it "Akiba", never the full name of "Akihabara) enjoys maid cafes and watch cartoon rape porn are the only type of otaku. 

This is not the case, being an "otaku" is more about having one's life revolving around a certain interest or hobby and dedicating most of the available time and money on the topic of interest. The actual topic of fixation can be basically anything from dieting, fashion, AKB48, rape porn, AKB48 rape porn, music, model trains etc. etc. I'm not completely sure here, but I would think that being a paid professional on the subject in question kinda disqualifies you from the otaku label as it's no longer just an interest or hobby.

Basically, "otaku" is not a slur or insulting in principle, but since investing the amount of time, money and effort into a single subject is borderline obsessive it usually means that the otaku is not "normal" from most perspectives. 

To help you do a quick diagnosis of someone you believe might be an otaku but you're not completely sure, I have here devised a formula for you to apply to people you suspect of being otaku:

Amount of free time spent on subject
(<20% 1, ±40% 2, >60% 3, ALL available time 10)
Amount of disposable income spent on subject
(<20% 1, ±40% 2, >60% 3, deliberately cut down all other costs to spend all money on hobby 10)
Percent of friends similarly into subject
(<20% 1, ±40% 2, >60% 3, Could NEVER be friends with someone not into subject 10)
Family situation
(has a girlfriend but not living together 1, single living alone 2, lives with mother to save money to spend on hobby 3, has wife and kids, not divorced -10)

A result of <8 would show that the person is not an Otaku
A result of 9-12 shows that the person is a borderline Otaku and might cross the line
A result of over 12 gives a fullblown Otaku

So there you have it! Now you can investigate the people around you. Generally I have nothing against otaku's in general, but I do find these "Akiba" type of otaku extremely creepy...

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