Thursday, September 11, 2008

Otaku are often misunderstood


I just finished lucky Star a while back and I often find myself comparing situations in anime to real life, especially if it involves Otaku.

The scene pictured above, is from Lucky Star. I recall on Danny Choo's member news, there are often threads of people discussing experiences of Otaku facing the opinions of 'normal folks'.
Otaku is normally used as a degenerative word but, among those who are hobbyists, it's more like a title of some sort (like a name tag).
Most people refer to problems they experience just because they enjoy their hobby but, has anyone experienced other forms of prejudice?
(Being criticised for liking anime and being a certain race, religion, gender or nationality).

It's quite depressing to read that even among Otaku, there are those who are shunned for being 'DEEP' or uncommon Otaku hobbies.
Stereotypes are probably another bad habit among certain Otaku. As a female Otaku, I don't enjoy Yaoi or Shounen-ai but, if one is stereotypical, I would be a Fujoshi ^^;

There are more stereotypes and bad habits but, listing all of them would allow this post to become far too depressing.
Instead, let's think of ways to avoid stereotypes and bad habits.

How would you educate others about Otakuism and avoid stereotypes?

Till we next meet,


JF said...

Oha~ Len-Vesper here :o

I'd say it's a two way street. Many otaku that I know seem to have thoughts already pregnant with the idea they will be rejected outright by everyone, or have a sort of subtle complex of inferiority. I take a different approach to it, though.

First thing I've seen people do wrong is sort of hit two extremes. Either they gush on others about their otakuness, or they turtle up. Both extremes are more harmful than good, it's just better to be natural and calm. I mean hell, I work in a professional workplace, and I have Figurines on my desk. People ask me about my links to anime all the time, and they accept it.

It's a matter of two important things: Context and Perspective. It's not something that's simple to do, I had to work years to build up my confidence (after getting picked on quite a bit in school at that), but only the lowest 1% of the populous out there is out to be disruptive to otaku types, take a deep breath and relax.

Heck, just a while ago, I had my boss come to ask me about the video post I did on dakimakura (yes, the people at work know of my blog XD)

We joked on it, but everything's all good. Hobbies are hobbies, good people know there's a line to be drawn. There are going to be people out there that will make it a point ot be asses about it, but that's the part when one can prove they are above the scummy types that have nothing better to do than bug others: Ignore, move on, and smile twice as much when you look at a pretty figurine.

Whoa... I'm wordy! Hope you don't mind ze spammy comment!



k said...

patience i guess. i don't shun people with different interests. it is just that. they make different choices have different interests. it is just that. i do find it refreshing and interesting when i find unique interests that others have... as long as it's not criminal. ^^

suki said...

@ jf. I don't mind the wordy comments, gives me something to think about as well ^-^
You raise some interesting and very true points.
It's good to read that you can smile and talk freely about your hobbies, after all, your passion about everything Japan is inspirational to us all!

@k. It does take time for people to accept things they don't understand, so you're certainly right on that.
We've got to make sure that we're patient too, of course ^^

Q said...

It's a sensitive subject. Took me a while to think about it (again), but to no results.

I've faced racism the most when it comes to prejudice. It's not a good feeling when you're the minority and they take the mick of you in every single way they could, while in reality they're the ones who are being narrow and close-minded. You just have to find some way to blend into them if you have anything in common with them.

As for the Japanese subculture, I only share the interest with the people I talk to, otherwise I'd only let people to know about it on the bare surface. Boasting about it won't work unless you're very well known, as you'd be discriminating yourself from others. I suppose let things take in slowly for the outsiders if you want to show them your interest, but I have to know where to draw the line, for example my military friends don't mix well with the otaku friends at all!

Not much out of it. I think Len has said the major stuff out already. It's good that you've made this topic though.

suki said...

@ q. You're right when you say that those who are quick to judge are actually the ones who are narrow-minded.
It's amazing how non-otaku friends can take to your hobbies if they're open-minded, just shows that being yourself and enjoying your hobby quietly can be a good thing ^^