Discussion Point: -We Are Poisoning The Word Otaku-

In contrast to what was written  in our previous discussion point, we are poisoning the word Otaku. Now before you take to your tanks, planes and burning pitch-forks, we love anime as much as the next person. There is always a sad side to any hobby that is always an unfortunate truth. The reason we have so much negativity thrown towards us, is the fact that we set ourselves up for the flak, for that spewed negativity because we allow ourselves to play out the typical stereotypes. Let’s analyze one shall we? A early twenties male, a bit over-weight, likes anime and games and spends most of his time viewing and playing said items. I fit into every single one of those categories. Do I let it get to me? I feel the non-existent glares and side-ways glances. Do I mean to fall into that stereotype? No, but it is something I paint on my back every time I talk to people about anime and the likes. I add more fuel to the already flaming fire.

An example of a person often associated with an Otaku, doesn’t represent every single Otaku. *Image sourced from JapanToday*

Now, I do not want for this to sound like an article labeling all Otaku as complacent (which to a fair degree we sort of are) in giving the word more negative weight but rather we need to not stereotype ourselves and rather show them that the weight that is already added is not applied to everyone. However, there are those out there that will continue to live out the rather dangerous lives that give the negative weight to the word, Otaku. Now, I am sailing out on a raft, into quite the dangerous storm but no one can say that they are a fan of something without realizing that we do add a bit to a lot of connotation to the already shaky foundation that we all stand on. What do you think of when you find someone that is really passionate about sports? Do we associate them with the game winning riots and such? Personally, I have always seen sports fans as a rowdy bunch of trouble makers. unfortunately, this is the view I have had due to preconceived notions that a lot of fans play into. The same is spoken about us. About us loving Otaku that cherish anime and the games that it spawns as a result.

We often always dig a pit that is bigger than we can actually see and it is far reaching. What one small portion of the fandom does, it becomes fuel for the greater fire. It affects us all the same, even if we are not trying to playing into the open hands that just want us to foul up. I tell myself everyday that I am different, that I am not playing into a hand that is waiting for me to do what I normally do. The fact of the matter is, I run a website that covers anime and games, so naturally my time will be spent with those two areas of interest. As such it indirectly deals a card to the opposite team. The terms of what actually happens is often construed in convolution and it causes every single one of us grief.

This type of thing frustrates me to no end…

Another aspect of us poisoning the word, is the in-fighting the goes on. I love images like the one above. I didn’t know there was a resume that had to be submitted to prove that one was an Otaku. Then again, I use the word in a slightly different sense. Think about K-Pop. If you are a fan of BIGBANG then you are a VIP. If you like 2ne1 you are a Blackjack. To me Otaku just means you like anime and the related material. There isn’t a required criteria, going around saying things like, “If you are an otaku then anme all of these characters or list me 20+ anime that are not main-stream”. By doing that you are painting yourself as that stereotypical otaku. You are just giving others something to fawn over and say, “Look, I told you, they are all like this.” it is something that one just has to think about when being vocal. But that’s the catch, to show passion for what we love, we are often very vocal about the stuff we are into and the things we love. It is often the case of our passions leading us down a one way tunnel. It can clot our vision and make us realize what we said and how it seems to others only after we have exited that tunnel. But the in-fighting may also help, in a very small and odd way. It helps us realize that the bad apples are a smaller minority and that we can still show others that we are not all like this one person.

We hate to hear the fact that we are wrong about somethings. We hate knowing that there is always a sad truth to what corners of our fandom are actually doing and how much animosity is created to those parts. I have read the articles and we have all played a hand in sitting by, complacent to the doings of our own fandom. It matters not if you are an Otaku or if you are a sports fan, there are always the rotten apples. Now, this doesn’t mean every apple is rotten. The folks at Crunchyroll, Viewster’s Omakase & us here at Otaku Gamer Zone, want everyone to realize that there are those of us who love this fandom for all it has. We love anime and we want everyone to know that we love it all, regardless of the preconceived notions. It is only when we realize that we are still contributing in one fashion or another, that we will truly be able to say we are fans. As fans it is also our duty to stem out the stereotypical views and show the rest of the population that not everyone is a bad apple.

This is a very hard topic to comment on since I love and am invested into this sort of fandom. It is rough for anyone person to be invested and have to talk about the aspect that we are in essence adding poison to the word. I just needed to acknowledge the unfortunate truth that we all hate to talk about or even give breathe to. I hope you all still enjoy this none the less. Let’s continue to give otaku a more positive and more accepted notion rather than one that continues to be the target of stereotypes. I do understand this type of article may ruffle a lot of feathers but sad truths always need to be heard. Plain and simple. We however love to hear your comments and input as well. I want to hear what you all think about those of us that give off the preconceived notions of an otaku and what you all think about it and as always, thank you for reading.


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