I wrote this for school and thought I’d post it here too.- TheBigGreen
“Otaku” is a Japanese term used for someone with an “obsession” such as the “Densha Otaku” (Train Otaku). Anime fans in America use this to describe themselves in a positive way, but in Japan, it is almost shameful to be called an otaku. This has to do with issues in Japan involving sick and twisted individuals that do not represent the majority of otaku, and I will not be getting into such a topic but I do want to ask a question. When you think of an anime fan what do you see? Do you think of a fat, hairy, stinky, grown man that lives in his mother’s basement? Many people have this view, even when considering those who do not fit this description. Any and all anime otaku are considered weird or a loser, sometimes we are considered to be creepy, pedophiles, autistic, and sometimes worse. All types of otaku are people, but today I am going to represent anime otaku.
One argument I see against otaku is that they are fat, creepy men who live in their parent’s house. I do live in my parent’s house, but that is because I’m a minor. I’m not fat, I’m pretty well built if I do say so myself. Otaku come in many shapes and sizes, there are even female otaku. Most people neglect the fact that a vast majority of Americans are overweight or obese, I used to be one of those considered obese. It’s considered normal to be overweight, but it’s not when you like anime. This notion is just one of the many ways people force their opinions against anime and its fandom.
“It’s weird to be obsessive about something” If that is the case then what are you passionate about? When you are passionate about something a majority of your life revolves around that thing. If you’re passionate about cars, but you’re telling someone that they should get rid of all their manga because it’s weird, you should get rid of all your car related books and magazines. If you have model cars get rid of those too because they are the equivalent figures which are considered to be “Toys”. You can’t have car posters, nor can you go to car shows, or watch car-related movies or television shows because it’s weird to be obsessed with cars. An obsession is “an idea/ideas that constantly preoccupies one’s mind” If you’re always thinking about cars you’re obsessed with cars. If you’re always thinking about how many likes you got on that post you’re obsessed with social media. If you’re constantly thinking about your self-image and how you look, you’re obsessed with yourself. This same principle applies to sports, cooking, clothing, comics, movies etc.
One concern many people have is that anime promotes pedophilia and that someone having posters or shirts with cute anime girls on them are weird. Anime often puts much focus on young girls and youth period, some shows in which they are sexualized. Many shows are not like this. This is a touchy subject and I won’t get too much into it, but pedophilia put simply is a sexual attraction to young children. This usually has to do with the individuals’ mind and how they think. It is true that more you look at something the more you want it, but those who are actual pedophiles are quite disturbed and otaku should not be lumped into such a category unjustifiably. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having high schoolers male or female on posters, hats, or shirts. Think about the vast majority who would want a Saved by The Bell or Boy Meets World T-shirt or poster. Anime characters aren’t real, but actors are. Does this mean it’s alright to have a poster with real high school girls on it, but it’s wrong to have an anime poster of the same thing? It should make no sense that someone can wear a Justice League T-shirt but it’s weird to wear a Dragon Ball Z shirt. I’m going to be very frank with this next point to be as concise and clear as I can. It’s none of your business what others do, nor is it mines or anyone else’s. It is unfair to mind other’s business and judge them on what they like.
I have to admit that most anime otaku are introverted and sometimes anti-social. They love their hobby so much they always want to be able to enjoy it. We sometimes distance ourselves from others for this reason, but that isn’t the only one. Most otaku have been or don’t want to be bullied and ridiculed for liking anime and otaku culture. Everybody gets bullied, but otaku can’t go anywhere in the real world or online with being bullied for liking anime. Many have been verbally or physically abused to the point of suicide because of the constant bullying. We are constantly being attacked from all sides. Our peers sometimes call us losers, our families sometimes look as if we’ve failed them, and social media and new stations call us pedophiles and rapists in some cases. Most otaku of any fandom has had a waifu. A waifu is often defined as a fictional character one really likes, or going so far as to wanting to be in a relationship with them. A majority of anime fans like cute girls, me being one of them. I have waifus who are female characters that I think are either well written and aesthetically pleasing, or if I have respect or look up to that character in some way. There are a lot of otaku who take this to the extreme and make it as if their waifu is real. They buy body pillows or games in which they can have a relationship with fake females. Everybody wants a significant other, but for some otaku, and others involved in a fandom, it is difficult to build romantic relationships with those of the opposite sex. Why would that be the case? It may have to do with the badmouthing, slander and misguided opinions toward otaku that I have been talking about. Opinions spread like wildfire, and even if what others are saying isn’t the truth it will be seen as such in time.
Animation and anime is not just for kids. Though anime is not necessarily considered to be adult animation, it caters to audiences of all ages. For some reason being an adult in people’s eyes means you can’t have fun or enjoy something the way you used to. There are many adults who watch SpongeBob, the Amazing World of Gumball, and cartoons like Transformers, all of which are made for children. This is a weak argument, if animation is a child’s medium of entertainment why do we have adult animation like Rick and Morty or South Park. Arguments further just how ignorant people can be. Some have no drive to learn things they don’t know about. Sometimes people don’t think hard enough before forming an opinion. Many find something they can’t get into or don’t like, then try to justify such opinions with arguments like this. I feel like if you’re so mature and grown up you wouldn’t think of such biased opinions towards other people. Teasing people, bullying, and profiling is something that ignorant children do.
The reason I believe people see otaku as lower beings is because they simply don’t understand it. They don’t understand and can’t into anime which is fine. Anime is not for everybody, it’s not a one size fit all. I’m not saying all otaku are perfect angels, there are many otaku who ruin the fandom experience for others involved in it. Elitist think that they are otaku supreme and try to rule over their underlings. You have the hipsters who call any popular anime terrible and bully others who enjoy it. Then the “Weaboos” make total fools of themselves and everyone else. There are some fans of anime ruin our image, but we can’t do much about it since it isn’t any of our business what they do. These people don’t account for all otaku. But the bad reputation also lies in the fault of those who lack understanding and make face value opinions about something. Society is made out of a majority of people. Thousands of people make up and average city. There are certain things that are considered normal in societies eyes, and if you go against that norm you are a societal outcast. I haven’t gotten into all the misconceptions regarding otaku, which is a bad thing because it shows just how many unwarranted grievances people have toward us. We are regular people who have taken an interest in something. This has united many people, formed lifelong relationships, and created careers, some of the things all humans need. We are also people, we don’t want to be viewed as the opposite or as any lower than your average Joe. Otaku are people too, people just like you.