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Old 10-26-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
dokool
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Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

So as my first act of Contributing Something To 91.8 other than bumming around on the IRC chat, I read this article last night and decided it was too amusing (and true) not to share, so here's my translation:


A warning: I've now been in Tokyo for almost 4 years, and let me tell you: this article is absolutely, 100% true. Japanese otaku are creepy.


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Because an "otaku" is someone whose knowledge in one particular field is extensive, to be an otaku is not necessarily a bad thing. But, that "otaku-like" attitude can backfire when it comes to romance. We polled women asking when they are turned off by "otaku-like" behavior, here are nine of the most common responses:

[note = the ~20's, ~30s etc after quotes indicate the age range of the person quoted. In Japanese polls they never give more than the approximate age, gender, and maybe occupation.]


1. Excessive wearing of anime tee-shirts, display of goods

"If it was just logos it'd be okay, but guys who always wear shirts with moe characters just scare me." ~20s

"When their room is full of moe characters and anime goods, you can only wonder..." ~20s

When you wear your fandom on your sleeve, as it were, women cannot help but think you're an otaku. It's okay to like something, but knowing when and when not to show it off is probably important.



2. Mastering of "Ota-gei"

[Note: Ota-gei = the synchronized dancing and yelling that you see at J-Pop concerts]

"When my friend sang an idol song at karaoke, this one boy knew the dance perfectly... it was scary." ~10s

Women also appear to be surprised at the ota-gei phenomenon. While some men use ota-gei to improve the atmosphere, when done too well it can have the opposite effect. We suggest cracking your officially-branded glowsticks in moderation.



3. Talking endlessly about the cuteness of anime characters

"I don't understand it when guys talk about how a picture is godlike" ~10s

"When they start talking about how cute the characters are, I stop thinking of them as men" ~20s

Men who get fired up about anime in conversation are often met with a chilly reception. Women tend to be repulsed by guys who think that anime characters are simply two-dimensional humans. Even if you like an anime character, when meeting someone for the first time or talking to a recent acquaintance it shouldn't become a topic of conversation.


4. Referring to videogame characters as one's bride

"When someone refers to a girl in a game as their bride, that's my limit. Even if they're otherwise a cool guy it's too creepy!" ~20s

"When I think about how I could possibly satisfy the needs of someone who's in love with 2D characters, I feel sick!" ~30s

While some guys may find the idea of falling in love with anime characters innocuous, those who responded to our poll most certainly do not approve. There may be some characters we can't help but fall in love with, but let's work on keeping that to ourselves.


5. Grinning and laughing while reading manga alone

"Guys who read ero/moe manga and smile the whole time are disgusting! It's as bad as erotic novels, I wish they wouldn't read it in the classroom." ~10s

"When you see a guy reading moe manga and wonder if he's getting off on it... it's just gross." ~20s

According to those polled, the only thing more uncomfortable than guys reading "stimulating" manga in public places is the same guys not hiding their enjoyment at all. When reading such material, remember that there's a time and a place for everything.


6. Adding anime-esque inflections to the end of sentences

[Note: this refers to stuff like Naruto's "(da)ttebayo"]

"When someone uses made-up phrases like 'de gozaimasu-zo,' '~narii,' and '~danya' in conversation, I realize he's probably an otaku.' ~20s

"When guys use anime-like expressions or tones in their email, I get irritated and don't want to reply." ~20s

How you speak tells women more than you'd think about your otaku sensibilities. Even if you use such expressions as a joke, someone who hasn't known you for long may take it seriously. As with all jokes, there's a time and a place.



7. Using affected mimetic words in speech

[Note: a mimetic word mimics something that makes no sound, such as a butterfly's wings flapping - think of the 'sound effects' you read in manga like that of gears turning in someone's head and you've got the idea.]

"He was really hot... but when he said stuff like 'mogyu-mogyu' while he was chewing his food, any attraction I had to him disappeared instantly." ~10s

"When talking to a male friend on the train, he would say stuff like 'ho~e' and 'fumufumu' [note: these are used in manga to indicate someone is following the conversation] and I'd think 'this guy is such a geek.'" ~30s

Once again, speech patterns affect how men, otaku or not, are perceived. These mimetic words got enough comments from non-otaku women to warrant an entry of their own, so guys take heed!


8. Using anime-esque nicknames for oneself or others

"When this guy I wasn't quite dating asked me to call him "Go-shujin-sama" [Note: "Husband" - this is what maids at maid cafes call customers.], I ran." ~20s

"Some guy I'd just met called me "○○~nyan," I got goosebumps. Creepy!" ~20s

Unsurprisingly, women find men who use moe-esque nicknames for themselves to be incredibly unattractive. Even worse is when guys give female acquaintances nicknames that they don't like. If you feel compelled to give someone a nickname, make sure it's one that compliments their character.


9. Using fake singing voices in karaoke

"When this guy used his falsetto voice to sing all these songs by female vocalists, I started to worry..." ~20s

"Guys who bring helium spray cans to karaoke specifically to sing in high voices and sing nothing but fast-paced anime songs make me feel really uncomfortable." ~20s

[Note: They sell such spray cans in variety stores, specifically for this purpose.]


Many responders described guys who sing nothing but anime songs as killjoys. It's well-known that women will evaluate guys for potential romantic compatibility based on their song selections at karaoke, so keep this in mind during the second round of your mixer party and try to avoid marathoning your favorite idol.



Overall, we found that women didn't object to the idea of being an otaku, so much as they don't like it when guys feel the need to demonstrate their otaku level at all times. What do you think?

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