What Are You "Otaku" For? (OR How Do You Otaku? You Fight For Otaku, You Plug Otaku In)

Konata scouts for otaku!

Konata scouts for otaku!

As I’m sure everyone in the goddamn universe is aware by now, the phrase ‘otaku‘ as it is used in modern Japanese slang refers to a person who has obsessive interests. The earliest definitive otaku self-declarative work, Otaku no Video, explains how there are anime and manga otaku just as there are special effects otaku, weaponry otaku, and cosplay otaku. While you may cross otaku ‘classes,’ to be an otaku about something, you must be obsessed with it to the point that no matter how you look at it, it’s a major part of your life. You know everything about it, and you are constantly engaging in practices pertaining to it. But while there are a lot of kinds of otakudom that are pretty close to the conventional anime otakudom, such as video gaming and film appreciation, I also know a lot of people who are anime otaku have other, more distant otakudoms. So I’m here to ask, what are you “otaku” for?

I got the idea to make this post when my brother and I were bike riding through a new area yesterday. We came upon a road leading into a neighborhood that looked like it’d been laid down just weeks ago. It was smooth, black as the night, and wide, so we immediately altered our course to head down this road. The road was rather long, but we road it to the end, fanboying the whole time about how it was such a beautiful road and how we’d have to come back sometime. We ended up doing a whole 15 minute detour just to admire this beautiful road, and as we were heading back, I said mockingly to my brother, “dude, you are a total pavement otaku.”

If only I looked like this on my bike :p

If only I looked like this on my bike :p

And it’s true. My brother and I both ride bikes and rollerblades, and over the years we’ve naturally learned that some pavements are much more pleasing to ride on than others. Especially on skates, because a smooth road can be the most fun you’ll have all day, while a rocky one will be instant diarrhea. We’ve plotted skating routes based on the kind of pavements we’d encounter, or the kind of inclines we’d have to face, or bike routes that involve dodging certain obstacles in ways only we’ve figured out for maximum fun.

Now, I don’t ride my bike enough to be called a bike otaku, even having been riding more since I graduated a couple weeks ago, however, my brother is definitely one. He has a specific hour-long route that he’s ridden every day for almost a year now, and he gets all bitchy when he misses his daily ride. And he’s definitely an anime otaku, too, seeing as he’s made cross-referencing nico meme videos and spends most of his time listening to Fuzakenna TV. I find it quite interesting, because most people wouldn’t associate that image with otakudom. He’s a fucking good-looking dude too, strong and thin and he’s been building on muscle lately, too, but that same guy can hum the Ryuuseigun and do the Hare Hare Yukai dance like the rest of em.

Personally, as much as I really wanted to be able to say that I had other otakudoms, I can’t really say I do. I am obsessed with blogging and directing and writing, but all of it is directly influenced by anime. While I do enjoy physical activity, I am not really obsessed with it, and my interests in any sort of ‘normal’ things never tend to go beyond a passing fling. However, I do have something I want to become an otaku for.

Parkour. Or ‘freerunning’. I really, really want to be able to do parkour. Jumping from building to building, hoisting myself over ledges, etc. I have a huge love for urban architecture and exploration, so I’d love nothing else than to be able to run and jump my way through a cityscape. However, it’s going to take a hell of a fuck of a lot of training. Currently, I’m a little fat and a lot of weak, and I can’t even lift my body weight (not 1 pull-up. My bro can do 4, that fucking bastard.) However, I plan to eventually be able to do parkour, and become an otaku of the city.

So, what are you Otaku for?

Related Posts:

1. Ghostlightning talks about his obsession with tennis. Hilarious and fun post.
2. The Thoughtscream tries desperately (and fails :p) to balance his anime otakudom and his politics otakudom.
3. Danny Choo is totally a storm trooper otaku.
4. It’s kind of unclear if Baka-Raptor is a football otaku, or just a ‘hating Eli Manning‘ otaku.
5. At Kritik der Animationskraft, Animekritik neatly ties together his loves for anime and extremely complex philosophy.
6. My best friend Zerodyme proves that drug otaku do exist over at You Were But A Ghost In My Arms.
once again, this post’s title is an extremely obscure reference to an album by De Facto. that I’ve made before >_<

15 thoughts on “What Are You "Otaku" For? (OR How Do You Otaku? You Fight For Otaku, You Plug Otaku In)

  1. that’s a good question. people have criticized me for not focusing on one thing, just jumping from one to the next, getting really into one thing and then dropping it completely. could i be a fad otaku? i’m definitely a japan otaku and a history otaku. beyond that i’m too unstable.

  2. Definitely music otaku as of late. Slowly fine-tuning my post-rock (and its offshoots) preferences in my attempt to be the biggest music snob that I know, and there’s something positively repulsive about vocals sometimes after all those hours of vocal-less music…

  3. @ak: lol, the ADD otaku

    @owen_s: Isis. They have vocals, but the lead singer once said ‘i think it’s important to have vocals, but not important for you to understand them.’ He basically says vocals are there to add power, emotion, and a sense of structure, so he uses completely unintelligible growls that are pushed back in the mix but still add to the musical experience. But not all of their songs have lyrics. I’ve been meaning to try and get you to listen to their song Weight, which I think you’ll love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUAhfyMf59s

  4. Ah, nice. I haven’t seen you online for quite some time, but I’ll take a look at that song just as soon as I’ve had some sleep. You can never have enough music!

  5. Anime otaku definitely, with manga coming second. Perhaps you can say I’m an NBA basketball otaku because I will geek the shit out of you. I really can’t say I’m a tennis otaku. Despite how often I play, I don’t follow the sport anywhere as close as I do the NBA (ironically I can’t play basketball to save my life).


    You have NO IDEA how obsessed I am with Parkour. I’ve been running a shitload and getting in shape just to start doing it. I’ve even adapted a workout plan based on those learned from this movie:

    (I personally just downloaded the pull movie).

    The whole reason this started was because of Mirror’s Edge (best game for the Xbox 360, hands down….btw never by an Xbox 360 on ebay, they break….you’d think that that would be common sense). Unfortunately, I don’t live anywhere near a city, and the only place I can run/jump/climb etc is the cliffs in my backyard (which I do use….there’s actually a lot of gaps and stuff that are pretty good….no walls though). I also sometimes use my former High School, although I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. I also feel like I need a group of people that actually want to do parkour, otherwise I’ll just look like a weird kid running around by himself, jumping off shit and climbing shit.

    Of course, to answer you’re question, I’m probably just a regular anime otaku, if anything. I don’t usually stay focused for long on one thing. I mean, I haven’t done anything Parkour related until you just mentioned it in this post (I’m going to go outside and jump off my roof now…..okay never mind a huge fucking thunderstorm is now smashing my zone over here).

    I have been re-inspired!

  7. @ghostlightning: I don’t think you have to watch tennis to be otaku for it. Neither my brother nor I gives a damn about bike racing on TV, we just want to ride ourselves. We aren’t very technical about it, anyway. It’s like genres on anime, kinda.

    @BR: haha. I did call you ‘not an otaku’ though I’m pretty sure in that statement, I more meant it in the sense that you don’t like the same things a stereotypical otaku likes i.e. moe and shit.

    @Glo: Nice, cool shit bro. Mirror’s Edge was pretty fucking awesome. I learned about parkour from one of those latenight shows they have on like Spike or G4 where they show people doing cool ass shit in urban areas around the world. I have an obsession with urban settings, so it caught on with me quickly.

  8. Probably a music otaku. I would say a sports otaku as well, but I wouldn’t say I’m that obsessed with sports. Though I watch them a lot and sometimes play them and stuff…

  9. Outside of anime, I’m just more of a fan of things than anything else. Nothing that I’m truly obsessive with yet.

    “Parkour. Or ‘freerunning’. I really, really want to be able to do parkour. Jumping from building to building, hoisting myself over ledges, etc. I have a huge love for urban architecture and exploration, so I’d love nothing else than to be able to run and jump my way through a cityscape.”


  10. Pingback: The Anime I Just Never Talk About « Fuzakenna!

  11. Parkour. I lol’d at this, because I clicked on the preview (not mentioning parkour at all) meaning to make a post very freaking close to the way you described it. Except for I’d mention the feeling of unthinking, “flow,” which happens when you look back and realize you can barely remember what you just did. About the school, just keep running until someone says to stop, then explain what you were doing and hope they let you at it again. I’m a gun otaku. Repair, accuracy, anything I can work at.

    Postscript: Sorry for the slight WOT. If I’ve broken any customs of this site, forgive me. First ever post!

    • WOT=Web of Trust? Anyway, you’ve done nothing such – on this site, I pride myself on honesty and hope to get the same from my readers, so I’ve got no complaints about however you feel. Thanks for the comment~

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