[EVA] Clairification: "Otaku"
sun1jack at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 29 02:07:52 EST 2000
>What exactly is an otaku?
Straight from the "Otaku no Video" liner notes from good ol' Animeigo:
"Otaku no Video" (lit. "Your video") is a phrase that was overused among
videophiles. Since they overused the word "otaku" (a very formal, unusual
way of saying "you," or "your house," normally used by housewives) so much,
they were dubbed (by the media, perhaps) "Otaku-zoku" ("Otaku-tribe") then
later just "Otaku," which in this context is roughly equivalent in English
to "maniac" or "hardcore fan." Thus, the title has another meaning--"Otaku's
video" or "Maniac's video."
Unluckily, most Japanese have heard of the term "Otaku" because of Miyazaki
Tsutomu, a serial killer of children, who was also a pornographic video
collector, so "Otaku" had, for a long time, a gruesome connotation attached
to it. Eventually the word did become much lighter in concept. The word has
since migrated to the U.S., where its meaning is much more restricted; an
American Otaku is specifically a dedicated fan of Japanese Animation.
In Japan, one can be an Otaku of any genre, as the "Portrait of an Otaku"
segments, and some of the specialties of the characters themselves,
demonstrate. There is in fact a TV quiz show called "Cult Q" which is
basically a show for Otakus of all kinds--whether they are experts of
tropical fish or ingredient labels of over-the-counter drugs!
>Does it specifically relate to anime as in: "that person knows >everything
>about anime! S/he's an otaku",
In North American usage, yes. People on this ML are otaku. Kubo is Otaking.
>or can it be on any subject matter: an otaku of cars, an otaku of >fine
In Japanese usage, yes. Kensuke is a military otaku.
MugenHunter! "I wish _I_ was Otaking..."
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