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More poll Q&A
Do you think you're past your otaku phase?
I like to think I never hat an 'otaku phase'. For many years I've told people to not call me an otaku. Otaku is an insult. I'm an anime fan, but it doesn't run my life. I would like to think I have social skills and I function well outside of some tiny area of fandom. Which otaku do not. I don't understand why American fandom embraced the term - no, wait, yes I do - ignorance and stupidity. "Oh, otaku, that means, like, big fan, right? Yeah! We're otaku!" No, it means 'fanboy' in the more derogatory manner possible, only moreso.

Early in my anime fandom, in the late 80s, anime was harder to find and it was a smaller community. So yeah, I got more excited about getting my hands on something new. These days I have hundreds of DVDs, VHS, and LD - probably a couple dozen I haven't even watched yet. And I watch most of my anime these days off of my TiVo from Cartoon Network and TechTV. So there isn't a lot I get excited over just because I manage to see it now.

I am: sleepy sleepy
Current Media: quiet

z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: November 8th, 2003 11:36 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
"My brother is a pathologicaltechnofetishistwithsocialdysfunction."

"... A what? Turn off your autotranslator and say that again."


"Oh. Yeah, we have those in the States too."

- paraphrase from memory, from William Gibson's best book, Idoru
mercyspeaks From: mercyspeaks Date: November 9th, 2003 03:18 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Otaku just means geek.
etherial From: etherial Date: November 9th, 2003 08:55 am (UTC) (Direct Link)


Otaku means overly obsessive (anime) geek.
mackys From: mackys Date: November 9th, 2003 09:36 am (UTC) (Direct Link)


Are you native Japanese, born and raised, etherial? ;]

etherial From: etherial Date: November 9th, 2003 10:53 am (UTC) (Direct Link)

Of course not.

But I can tell the difference between a Japanese word and a word we stole from them.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 9th, 2003 11:52 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I think the point is that Mercy is native Japanese, born and raised, to borrow Ben's phrasing. ;-)
mercyspeaks From: mercyspeaks Date: November 10th, 2003 09:34 am (UTC) (Direct Link)

Re: Of course not.

It doesn't matter if you think that you stole that word from Japanese. That doesn't take away from the fact that it stil translates to geek. Just beause you translate it incorrectly doesn't change the actual translation of the word.
chiieddy From: chiieddy Date: November 10th, 2003 10:00 am (UTC) (Direct Link)

Re: Of course not.

Serious question here. We've always been told that the term 'Otaku' is considered highly derogatory in Japan. However, people here in the U.S. often proclaim themselves 'geeks' in what they do (i.e. I'm a computer geek or I'm a math geek). So, when someone is called an otaku (or geek) in Japan, does it continue to keep it's derogatory nature, or do people wear the title proudly, as do some geeks in the U.S.?
mercyspeaks From: mercyspeaks Date: November 10th, 2003 10:28 am (UTC) (Direct Link)

Re: Of course not.

Otaku is taken the same way geek is. It's worn with pride by some and used as a derogatory term by others. The reason why some people might think that otaku is more derogatory than geek is because a lot of Japanese geeks take their geekdom to fascinating new levels.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 10th, 2003 11:40 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I think 'otaku' carries more social baggage than 'geek', even though they have a similar root. I've never known an english speaker to use 'geek' with as strong a negative connotation as I've heard otaku used. And over the years of working anime cons, some of the Japanese guests have been very shocked that *anyone* would openly call themselves 'otaku'. Some of them were almost offended that anyone would walk around saying "I'm proud to be an otaku." The translated meaning I've received from them isn't as simple as 'geek' - kind 'totally obsessed and social dysfunctional geek'.

Though, like all language, it is mutable. So I imagine that over time it will lose its punch and more people will label themselves as otaku - as more people openly call themselves 'geeks' now.
mackys From: mackys Date: November 10th, 2003 12:09 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)

I think someone...

Might have been Carl Horn or Gav, posted to Usenet once that "otaku" is used with anime subculture the same way "nigger" is used within black subculture. Two people both in the culture can use it on each other playfully, but it tends to get pretty charged when used on or by someone outside the culture.

ObPedantic: Geeks were originally the weirdos at carnivals who bits the heads off bats. So I am not a geek - I am a nerd! (That is, I'm a technically inclined, socially misfitting, smart person.) I'm making an effort to create a mental distinction in my own head between the two and apply the terms properly in my own speech.

pawo From: pawo Date: November 9th, 2003 01:54 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Welcome, welcome, to You Beat Your Wife.
For fifty dollars, answer yes or no: have you stopped beating your wife?