/ot/ - Otaku Tangents
This is a board for topics that don't fit on other boards, but that are still otaku/hobby related.
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25966 No. 25966 [Edit]
Hi, brohnos! This is my first thread.

What does "otaku" mean to you? Is it a hobby, a way of life, a philosophy perhaps? I was thinking about it earlier, and I can't really think of a comparable Western equivalent. People like to say otaku is just the Japanese for "nerd", but that's not really accurate - while both have a set of stereotyped interests assigned to them (comic books, cape hero movies and Western vidya for nerds, and of course anime, manga, figures and Japanese vidya for otaku, they're not really that similar. The "nerd" tends to just be a socially well-adjusted person with a hobby that had a reputation for being a losers' pass-time 10 or 15 years ago. The otaku, at least in terms of how the Japanese like to portray them, treat their interest as something to be taken highly seriously. And while the Western "nerd" fandoms definitely do have the extreme fans who grab up all the merchandise and have a room dedicated sololy to their favourites, it's not common for them to do so - for the otaku, it's practically mandatory.

To me, it seems like when you take on the otaku lifestyle, you integrate the 2D world into your 3D life wherever possible, while the "nerdy guy" simply complements his existing real life with some power fantasy cape comics or gory triple-A vidya.

I saw some article ages ago (can't find it again, sorry) where they interviewed this shut-in otaku who worked as a bug tester (I think the article was really old, too). The guy talked about how his entire life was based on finding obscure old tech and seeking the bugs in it. He also talked about his friend whose devotion was in idol music, and one idol in particular - even though his friend didn't care much for idol music. He just learned all about idols because he felt compelled to do it. That's what "otaku" is to me; watching the show ten times over, knowing the idol's songs by the first three seconds, finishing every route in the VN to completion. Becoming a hobbyist like no other.

Sorry for ranting - I've had this thread idea for a while. Anyway, what does "otaku" mean to you?
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>> No. 25968 [Edit]
Otaku - オタク Common word, Noun, Colloquialism

definition: geek; nerd; enthusiast
>> No. 25969 [Edit]
I thought it was more to do with extrema obsession in a particular niche field.
>> No. 25970 [Edit]
And isn't that the definition of nerd?
>> No. 25971 [Edit]
These days 'nerd' seems to be tossed around for anyone that so much as even likes something none-mainstream.
>> No. 25972 [Edit]
The guy who took that pic has great tastes.
>> No. 25973 [Edit]
I would define otaku as the Japanese version what a nerd used to be; somebody who dedicates most of his life to relatively non-mainstream hobbies.
As noted, nerd and geek nowadays mean somebody who likes what was considered non-mainstream years ago. In modern times, comics and video games are pretty much as mainstream as anything else.
>> No. 25978 [Edit]
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Otaku is what nerd used to be. Someone who is dedicated to their non-mainstream hobbies, rejects, and is rejected by, the greater social world.
>> No. 25981 [Edit]
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>I would define otaku as the Japanese version what a nerd used to be; somebody who dedicates most of his life to relatively non-mainstream hobbies.


>Otaku is what nerd used to be.

These, 'used to' being the keywords in both cases. Otaku are what nerds were before being a 'nerd' started to be a 'cool' special snowflake badge.
I don't think there's more of a meaning behind this. If anything the first thing that came to my mind is that if you use 'otaku' in English normally you'd refer to somebody who has interest in anime/manga/Japanese games etc. etc. while there's a need to be more specific if you're using otaku in Japanese as the area of interest can be anything. You wouldn't call somebody a 'comic book otaku' when talking in English for example.
>> No. 25984 [Edit]
I don't think nerds have ever been cool here in Europe. Most people hid their hobbies or only talked about it to their small group of friends in school. Sure some games like counter-strike were popular but their players weren't nerds either.

If there were any vocal autistic "such nerds" they were heavily bullied for that.
>> No. 25985 [Edit]
I think I would be too lazy and apathetic to qualify. I've never heard of a sleep otaku or an imageboard otaku.
>> No. 25986 [Edit]
It's a fairly recent thing, been going on for no longer than 7 years or so around here I think.
>> No. 25988 [Edit]
You're right. People tend to use 'Otaku' just as casually as 'nerd' these days.
>> No. 25990 [Edit]
Obsessive fan.
>> No. 25997 [Edit]

I think English speakers just have a tendency to water down just about everything (and I have a tendency to generalize a lot, heh). If you know how to install a program on your computer you're a 'nerd' and if you're feeling a wee bit down you're 'depressed'. I wonder if there's any other language in the world where people make this light of legit depression. I bet it's also what fuels the 'who cares if you're depressed, pull your shit together' mentality.


What >>25986 said more or less. Depends where you live really but it's a bit of a thing in Western Europe nowadays. The thing you need to keep in mind is that it has to be done in moderation. Being vaguely familiar with some video games and comics might be 'cool' but once you cross some obsessiveness barrier you'll get back to getting the same treatment nerds got ~20 years ago.
In a way I miss those times, though. Nowadays the mainstream 'nerd' culture isn't really about being a nerd becoming an acceptable thing or anything like that, it's about special snowflake normies warping it in a way they see fit (which pretty much means 'ruining it').
>> No. 26144 [Edit]
He's had a very difficult life though ;_;

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