I Am Not an Otaku
I love anime. I tend to watch it daily some weeks. I will marathon it, create wallpapers, read aniblogs, lurk on anime forums, purchase DVDs, figurines, and talk about it to anyone who listens. But I am not an otaku. Depending on where you look, otaku is a derogatory term, meant to insult those with an obsessive interest in anime. An otaku cannot possibly have a significant other; because where would they find the time? Admittedly, my interest in anime has freaked a couple of guys out. One even asked me why couldn’t a just be a “normal” person. Another told me it was “creepy”. Keep in mind, I don’t watch hentai; these individuals watched porn a lot but I didn’t call them creepy pervs which they were. However, it is a false assumption to presume that otakus don’t have significant others.
Another image that comes to people’s minds when they think of an otaku, is an overweight,pale, disheveled, glasses wearing male. Granted, I’m sure many otaku look this way but there are many others who do not. Some people do fit the stereotypes as these two males who work at a non-anime store that I frequent. I pegged them at first glance as anime geeks. One had on a Naruto wristband and the other had on a mini-drill necklace from Gurren Lagann. They were neither pale or overweight; quite the opposite actually. They were also extremely awkward and made terrible jokes. And upon further conversation, they played card games. They didn’t pick up that I was a serious anime watcher until I noted they were and it surprised them. Because I don’t match the stereotype.
Seeing as I am a serious anime fan, I view otaku as a term of endearment for those who take their love of anime to the next level. Those whose lives revolve around anime and will save money to spend it on anime and anime related goods. Is that weird? Its no different than someone who buys all the paraphernalia to their favorite television drama. Granted, there are some weird otaku but that’s humanity in general. There are always your outliers.
I do have other interests outside of anime; I’m a reader. I don’t read much manga because its expensive to buy and my local library doesn’t stock up on it. The manga I own has come from second hand bookstores. I also own a few figurines; with two on my desk at work. They are of Gintoki, one of my favorite characters next to Vash. Would I have more figurines if I could afford it? Absolutely. Would I own more of my favorite series? Absolutely. However, I’d rather not go broke because of a hobby. But a girl can still dream.
Do you consider yourself an otaku? Do you think it is an insult or a term of endearment?