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Old 10-26-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
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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.


----------------------------

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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Old 10-26-2010, 10:31 PM   #2
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

Guess being an otaku makes me creepy then T~T

some of it I dont really agree, but at the same time I do agree(i dont make sense at all)

sure some otakus do some of those, but still they're human beings

I just dont like the idea of people talking down on Otakus(It breaks my heart)

people are starting to thinks Otakus are just perverts, but in fact they're just being true to them self and wont let anyone change them to something they are not

for me an Otaku is a nerd or a geek but in a very high level

Plz dont hate on Otaku

~ IMO

Btw People should start watching or reading Welcome to the N.H.K.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:43 PM   #3
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

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Originally Posted by ZshadowX View Post
Guess being an otaku makes me creepy then T~T
It sounds like you've missed the entire point of the article; that it's not necessarily being an otaku but how you present yourself that people remember.

This was not an opinion piece, but a poll of Japanese women (I would guess they solicited 500-1000 responses, I'll see if I can find the data).


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Originally Posted by ZshadowX View Post
people are starting to thinks Otakus are just perverts, but in fact they're just being true to them self and wont let anyone change them to something they are not
Someone being a pervert and being true to themselves are not mutually exclusive concepts. If you are honest about liking loli characters, you are being true to yourself. You're also a pedophile. That's how life works.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:33 AM   #4
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

haha, I can barley find anime shirts that fit me, I only have 1 anime shirt, and thats a shirt with "L" on it'

But good I have a chance, I could never do any of that, it's personally embarassing for me to do any of that...
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:01 PM   #5
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

Quote:
Originally Posted by dokool View Post
It sounds like you've missed the entire point of the article; that it's not necessarily being an otaku but how you present yourself that people remember.

This was not an opinion piece, but a poll of Japanese women (I would guess they solicited 500-1000 responses, I'll see if I can find the data).




Someone being a pervert and being true to themselves are not mutually exclusive concepts. If you are honest about liking loli characters, you are being true to yourself. You're also a pedophile. That's how life works.
Mine Oh mine, arent you quick to judge

and they you go, you just made my point

when people starts talking about otakus, they label them as pervs or freaks

~ geez buddy leave the poor otakus alone, its not like they offend you or something <_<
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:42 PM   #6
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

Ok ok ok, lets not get into a huge argument here children.

Not everyone who likes Lolicon/Shotacon(Shotakon?) is a pedophile, some people are just more awkward then others. Despite the results, It's important to be true to yourself without a care as to what anyone thinks, because if a woman/man is attracted to you when your not true to yourself, then they truly do not know you and are just along for the ride.

As someone who was utterly betrayed after changing so much, I say "Don't Change" because if there is "love" then the definition is a connection despite hell or high waters.

Statistics are just supposed to be "FYI"s, don't take them all too seriously.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:25 PM   #7
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

We automatically apply a negative connotation to the word "otaku". Frankly, such a stereotype can't be singularly male, seeing as I've seen more than my share of females guilty of a lot of what was described above. As you suggest, there is a time and a place for everything, and in most cases overly flaunting your otaku-pride isn't necessarily attractive but it's tolerable when it has been reigned in. Being an "otaku" isn't a bad thing nor is it gross or unattractive, it's knowing one's limitations in normal social situations that seems to escape some of our "offenders", so to speak. I know plenty of uber nerds that can carry themselves in everyday society.
Ok ok, someone stop me, because I'm in a particularly ranty mood tonight and I could go on for a while. Also, way to be awesome, being in Japan. What I wouldn't give to study the social norms and patterning there.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:16 PM   #8
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

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Originally Posted by Mollybibbles View Post
Ok ok, someone stop me, because I'm in a particularly ranty mood tonight and I could go on for a while. Also, way to be awesome, being in Japan. What I wouldn't give to study the social norms and patterning there.
-puts a muzzle on Molly and pets- That a girl...
you can relax now
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:31 PM   #9
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

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Originally Posted by Mollybibbles View Post
We automatically apply a negative connotation to the word "otaku". Frankly, such a stereotype can't be singularly male, seeing as I've seen more than my share of females guilty of a lot of what was described above.

You could make that argument, sure, but this survey was specifically asking women about male otaku. I'm sure if you asked men to describe their issues with female otaku there'd be much different answers (although quite frankly I'd be hard-pressed to guess what they'd be; women here are generally less open about it than men or at least better at hiding it, except when they're tearing through the doujinshi racks at Mandarake).


I think what many American otaku (particularly the younger generation who have grown up with it being so readily available) also fail to realize is that there's a HUGE difference between how the concept "otaku" is percieved by the US and Japan, mostly because the barriers for entry are so different. In Japan, you can read One Piece or watch Macross F or see the Eva movie in theaters and, to your friends, still be considered a normal dude who simply likes that particular show. If you get a K-ON! cellphone strap or change your ringtone to the theme from Lucky Star, your friends may make a joke or two at your expense. If you proudly show off your collection of figures and talk about how you're spending your year-end bonus at Comiket? That makes you an otaku, and that's when girls stop returning phone calls and it's all downhill from there.

No matter how far the West has come in terms of distribution and quality of releases (even getting into simulcasting and the like w/ CrunchyRoll etc), some people don't realize (or refuse to realize) that anime is and probably will forever be a niche subculture. However, it's a successful subculture because it exists in a society that permits it. America's had large-scale science fiction conventions forever. Geek is the new cool, cons flourish because they allow nerdy kids to make friends without shooting up the school, and the normals at the hotel get a fun story about the goofy kids in costume to tell your friends.

But that sort of event doesn't exist in Japan, where conformity is encouraged and nonconformity that cannot be controlled to some extent is the root of all that plagues society. Comiket is basically an Artist's Alley the size of several football fields, and the industry events run by studios are nothing more than canned interviews and preview rolls. Anyone remember AX 2004 Tokyo? They tried to export the US concept of an anime con to Japan and got around 4,000 attendees. This, in a country whose biggest convention (Comiket) gets 200,000 attendees per day. What's wrong with this picture?

The article is an accurate picture of male otaku in Japan; you could probably write a similar-sounding one for otaku in America but with a few changes allowing for differences in environment. We've all seen That Guy at anime cons, and we all generally understand that That Guy isn't the ideal. The question is, should That Guy be praised and encouraged (which is what some in this thread apparently think), should That Guy be shunned and permitted to do his thing as long as he does it by himself (which is pretty much what happens in Japan), or is there a third way?


tl;dr Molly gets the point (or is at least the closest to it), everyone else strikes out hard. I weep for the future of the fandom.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:25 AM   #10
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

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tl;dr Molly gets the point (or is at least the closest to it), everyone else strikes out hard. I weep for the future of the fandom.
Don't you think thats a bit harsh, you could offend someone
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:40 AM   #11
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

*Walks in wearing his Miku hat*

So, what did I miss? Quite frankly I don't give a flying poo what people think about me. I wear / watch / talk about what I enjoy and I do so in hopes to find others who feel the same way. Thats really what makes 91.8 so special for me. I don't have to go and dress up like Naruto and run through a shopping centre screaming "Believe it" I have a group of people who share my feelings and thats all that matters.

If any one wants to look down on me, bring it

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Old 10-28-2010, 05:52 AM   #12
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

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Originally Posted by Zero Gravity View Post
Don't you think thats a bit harsh, you could offend someone
*shrug* would you prefer everyone live in a bubble where they are free from any notion that challenges their worldview? Must yours and everyone's life be free of offense?

I found this article absolutely fascinating because it shows how otaku in Japan and in the US (who aren't even the focus of this article, as everyone but maybe Molly seems to realize) live in completely different spheres. In the US, otaku (the western variant) basically interact with their own kind and are accepted (insofar as there are various levels of 'accepted') for who they are among that kind, and rarely pop out elsewhere. In Japan, they're somewhere near burakumin and foreigners on the low end of the totem pole, because societal pressures kept them from ever really receiving that kind of 'support group'. I was actually hoping for a genuine discussion on this, instead there is herp and derp from most sides.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:03 AM   #13
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

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Originally Posted by dokool View Post
*shrug* would you prefer everyone live in a bubble where they are free from any notion that challenges their worldview? Must yours and everyone's life be free of offense?

I found this article absolutely fascinating because it shows how otaku in Japan and in the US (who aren't even the focus of this article, as everyone but maybe Molly seems to realize) live in completely different spheres. In the US, otaku (the western variant) basically interact with their own kind and are accepted (insofar as there are various levels of 'accepted') for who they are among that kind, and rarely pop out elsewhere. In Japan, they're somewhere near burakumin and foreigners on the low end of the totem pole, because societal pressures kept them from ever really receiving that kind of 'support group'. I was actually hoping for a genuine discussion on this, instead there is herp and derp from most sides.
Kinda how a conversation works....

Person 1: Herp!

Person 2: Derp?

Person 1 Herp Herpa Derp!
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:19 AM   #14
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

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Originally Posted by EagleEyes View Post
Kinda how a conversation works....

Person 1: Herp!

Person 2: Derp?

Person 1 Herp Herpa Derp!

This post alone has about as much cultural value as about 95% of what gets posted to the internet, sadly. But you're also not bothering much to debate my point so I take it as a moral victory if nothing else.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:44 AM   #15
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

Yes EE was being culturally inane. But these are anime radio forums. You jus gotta chillax dude, before EE sics his wallabies on you.

I don't really think anyone who grasps he concepts you're talking about will argue most points with you, so I doubt you'll get much debate. But there are a lot of people who don't understand the Japanese connotation of the word otaku and call themselves otaku because Westernized it means "anime fan" so people may become offended or given the wrong idea. A lot of people here are younger and maybe haven't done the research into Japanese culture to make that connection.

Although I have to say, when you do general polls like that you'll get a lot of people who I think a lot of people wouldn't want to date anyways? yo look at the wording of some responses and it feels like they are the type of person you wouldn't want to pay any attention to in the first place, although for the most part the activities and attributes are definitely suitably odd enough to be truly labeled as otaku. Of course, if you had a girlfriend in Japan and she was into anime as well a lot of those probably wouldn't apply.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:53 AM   #16
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

After having cooled down since last night, I have to admit that though excessive displaying of anime all-knowing is a tad out of place in outside social practices, this is a place where we accept all degree of "otaku", being awkward or not. Again, there's a time and a place for everything and THIS is the place. I still stand by what I ranted last night, but we could all stand to breath a bit.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:11 AM   #17
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

Quote:
Originally Posted by dokool View Post
What do you think?

----------------------------


Quote:
Originally Posted by ZshadowX View Post
Guess being an otaku makes me creepy then T~T

some of it I dont really agree, but at the same time I do agree(i dont make sense at all)

sure some otakus do some of those, but still they're human beings

I just dont like the idea of people talking down on Otakus(It breaks my heart)

people are starting to thinks Otakus are just perverts, but in fact they're just being true to them self and wont let anyone change them to something they are not

for me an Otaku is a nerd or a geek but in a very high level

Plz dont hate on Otaku

~ IMO

Btw People should start watching or reading Welcome to the N.H.K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dokool View Post
It sounds like you've missed the entire point of the article; that it's not necessarily being an otaku but how you present yourself that people remember.

When one asks for another's opinion, it usually isn't an opportunity to assess if they are correct or not. Or does not abide by your predetermined rulings of "genuine discussion"


Quote:
Originally Posted by dokool View Post
This was not an opinion piece, but a poll of Japanese women (I would guess they solicited 500-1000 responses, I'll see if I can find the data).
Just a thought but isn't a poll a collection of opinions?




I am all for an actual discussion but informing people that they have missed the point with their own opinion of a source, which supposedly, was never an "Opinion" piece to begin with is just plain ludicrous.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:19 AM   #18
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

I think EE is right, the way responses were and how they addressed others wasn't necessarily kind. I mean this is a place on the internet that distinctly focuses on a Western audience and how they react to Asian music. In fact, my Asian Music Education panel was the whole basis of this.

I don't have much to say on the subject personally since it's a matter of cultures and not so much how it directly effects an American audience, but I would like to say that if your whole point was what this thread was for then perhaps you might wanna state it in your initial post for those who aren't familiar with Japanese culture (besides the anime spectrum)?
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:23 PM   #19
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

Quote:
Originally Posted by dokool View Post
I think what many American otaku (particularly the younger generation who have grown up with it being so readily available) also fail to realize is that there's a HUGE difference between how the concept "otaku" is percieved by the US and Japan,
You ain't kidding. Nearly all the newfans i've run into in Vegas have been from the CN generation. We've existed long before that.
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:07 PM   #20
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Re: Japan's thoughts on creepy otaku

Quote:
Originally Posted by dokool View Post
You could make that argument, sure, but this survey was specifically asking women about male otaku. I'm sure if you asked men to describe their issues with female otaku there'd be much different answers (although quite frankly I'd be hard-pressed to guess what they'd be; women here are generally less open about it than men or at least better at hiding it, except when they're tearing through the doujinshi racks at Mandarake).


I think what many American otaku (particularly the younger generation who have grown up with it being so readily available) also fail to realize is that there's a HUGE difference between how the concept "otaku" is percieved by the US and Japan, mostly because the barriers for entry are so different. In Japan, you can read One Piece or watch Macross F or see the Eva movie in theaters and, to your friends, still be considered a normal dude who simply likes that particular show. If you get a K-ON! cellphone strap or change your ringtone to the theme from Lucky Star, your friends may make a joke or two at your expense. If you proudly show off your collection of figures and talk about how you're spending your year-end bonus at Comiket? That makes you an otaku, and that's when girls stop returning phone calls and it's all downhill from there.

No matter how far the West has come in terms of distribution and quality of releases (even getting into simulcasting and the like w/ CrunchyRoll etc), some people don't realize (or refuse to realize) that anime is and probably will forever be a niche subculture. However, it's a successful subculture because it exists in a society that permits it. America's had large-scale science fiction conventions forever. Geek is the new cool, cons flourish because they allow nerdy kids to make friends without shooting up the school, and the normals at the hotel get a fun story about the goofy kids in costume to tell your friends.

But that sort of event doesn't exist in Japan, where conformity is encouraged and nonconformity that cannot be controlled to some extent is the root of all that plagues society. Comiket is basically an Artist's Alley the size of several football fields, and the industry events run by studios are nothing more than canned interviews and preview rolls. Anyone remember AX 2004 Tokyo? They tried to export the US concept of an anime con to Japan and got around 4,000 attendees. This, in a country whose biggest convention (Comiket) gets 200,000 attendees per day. What's wrong with this picture?

The article is an accurate picture of male otaku in Japan; you could probably write a similar-sounding one for otaku in America but with a few changes allowing for differences in environment. We've all seen That Guy at anime cons, and we all generally understand that That Guy isn't the ideal. The question is, should That Guy be praised and encouraged (which is what some in this thread apparently think), should That Guy be shunned and permitted to do his thing as long as he does it by himself (which is pretty much what happens in Japan), or is there a third way?


tl;dr Molly gets the point (or is at least the closest to it), everyone else strikes out hard. I weep for the future of the fandom.
In Confucian thought core to a East Asian System is the belief of "Striking down the standing up nail" This is true in Japan because of its conformity, strong emphasis on education, and stern family social mobility. However, anyone that says that Japan is "random", "weird", "crazy" because of the complex subcultures around Ikeburo and at the conventions isn't seeing the full picture. The subcultures are still that... a sub-strata of society just like the sci-fi conventions in America.
My belief is along yours and Molly in agreement. However Japan is an interesting place in that the rural vs. urban aspects, the old vs. new, west vs. Japan, asia vs. Japan and more combinations of cultural norms collide in Japan. Though things in Japan are different because Japan's history and culture are so complex. When conformity doesn't give kids the answers they go to subcultures for acceptance, entertainment, and what ever these things give you.
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