[Hynavian] Round-Robin: Otaku Stereotypes and Perception

I’m participating for this round’s R-R and the topic is "Otaku Stereotypes and Perception". I actually view this topic differently. Instead of how non-Otakus stereotyped and perceived Otakus, I’m going to touch on the norms and perceptions that Otakus have. What do Otakus have in common? Is there any "unified ideology" among Otakus? What about in the anime arena? Do Otakus share misconceptions too? To start off, I’ll define the term "Otaku". It’s actually tough to define it but there’s what I think the word means. A person is an Otaku if he fulfills any of the below.

An Otaku is someone who…

  • thinks that he, himself, is an Otaku. (duh!)
  • has knowledge of a handful of anime, manga or figure.
  • collects anime, manga or figure.
  • enjoys anime or manga as a hobby.
  • blogs on anime, manga or figure.
  • is up to date on the "in" happenings or all that’s happening in the anime, manga or figure sphere.

Below, from the point of view of an Otaku, are some of the common perceptions and stereotypes.

Perception #1 – Otakus have self control, they can quit being an Otaku anytime.

"Window shopping only, I’m not going to get any manga from my local manga store"; "I’m not going to get that cool looking Rei figure"; "The limited edition Shakugan no Shana DVDs are too expensive, I’ll pass" are what the majority of the Otakus would say but before they know it, they’re swapping their credit cards at a rate faster than the mirages of Phantom Miria. I’ve seen many bloggers commenting on their impulsive spurges, some with regrets while others with fulfillment, but it’s a phenomenal that has been happening since Otakus come into being.

Perception #2 – Specific genres are for specific gender.
Some of the common conceptions are;

  • Yaoi are for girls.
  • Yuri are for guys.
  • Shoujo are for girls.
  • Shounen are for guys
  • Ecchi are for guys
  • etc

The above is definitely not true and not all Otakus think so too. However, such misconceptions do exist. It just seems so easy to equate shoujo for girls and shounen for guys. I go buffet style, read and watch anything that I can get my hands on. However, my preferences is a different thing altogether.

Stereotype #1 – There are different "types" of Otakus.
Some of the many stereotypes are;

  • Hikkomori
  • Yaoi fangirls
  • Yuri fanboys
  • Lolicons
  • Naruto fans
  • Female bloggers
  • etc

Like it or not, there’s bound to be categorization in all arenas as categorization is not limited to only Otakus. We see it happening everywhere, be it the workplace or school. In schools, we have different streams; Arts students, Science students, etc. Hopefully, Otakus don’t over-do with the categorization and start some inter group flaming battle.

Stereotype #2 – Stereotypical characters for specific genres.
After reading lots of manga and watching many anime, Otakus can’t help but set super standards for characters. The female characters must be super kawaii in a shoujo flick while the male lead of an action flick has to be no push over. The new season is here, what do you think the female lead of "Nogizaka Haruka no  Himitsu" will turn out to be? It’s a romantic comedy flick and when I come to know of it, the word "kawaii deshou" flash across my mind.  What about "Ikkitousen Great Guardians"?  "Females fighters with great b00bs" would  be what I think it will be.  I somehow have my own expectations when it comes to the various genres. I expect  female characters from a shoujo flick to be kawaii and demure while those from an action flick to be GAR as ever.

The ladies who touched on this topic before me are;

EDIT – The other lovely ladies with entries still coming in are;

12 Responses to “[Hynavian] Round-Robin: Otaku Stereotypes and Perception”


  • [they’re swapping their credit cards at a rate faster than the mirages of Phantom Miria. ]

    Thank god I don’t have credit card, lol.

  • Irrelevant part: HAH! Talk about Yakumo…

    relevant part: that’s like “a crazy person knows that they’re crazy, or vice versa,” or something like that. I am an otaku if I know or think I am one? I don’t know, that may depend on its semantics.

  • I guess I’m kinda like Hynavian with the “buffet style, read and watch anything I can get my hands on.” Though I’m a guy, I definitely prefer non-shounen series over shounen and edge away from the excessive ecchi.

    True enough on impulse buying >_>

  • Like it or not, there’s bound to be categorization in all arenas as categorization is not limited to only Otakus. We see it happening everywhere, be it the workplace or school.

    True. Categorization is almost automatic in our everyday lives. When a certain thing happens like a pattern, they get labeled. It is the same with the love for anime and otakuism. In most cases, they are really not that aware that their anime fixes belong to what most people would label as “normal”… but then again, society usually dictates what are supposed to be set as “normal”, sans the anime culture that is spreading.

  • “…before they know it, they’re swapping their credit cards at a rate faster than the mirages of Phantom Miria.” I just love that sentence. And I definitely think it’s true. :] Luckily I can’t use my credit card or else Mommy won’t fund the rest of my schooling, haha.

    and I agree with the whole “I expect female characters from a shoujo flick to be kawaii and demure while those from an action flick to be GAR as ever.” … come to think of it, i don’t think i’ve ever seen a big and hideous anime girl as the main character. I’d like to. :] Adds a little difference, I think.

  • Am kinda sad, when people label their hobbies into one camp.. hmm when you mentioned how much of a different groups of liking are brought about, that is sad… although kinda true. I believe though fangirls/boys go through phases.. of what they like.

  • I like that female bloggers are their own category under otakus

  • Go buffet style! (Go buffets, while I’m at it XD).
    As much as I hate the concept of stereotyping, it’s the number one ‘sin commited by every one of us in this age, very much so within the otakusphere. Funny how there are fundamentally different sets of stereotypes for non-otaku perceiving otaku and otakus perceiving otakus as you’re pointing out.

  • [An Otaku is someone who…]

    Aw nuts. And I always though myself to be just a fan O_o

    By your definition I’m hit 4 out of 6. >_

  • I never once thought of quitting my otaku hobby. I don’t go around parading the fact but I don’t feel the need to hide it, either. Let alone quit :p

    Though I must admit, I do set certain expectations for certain titles and genre, though not to an extreme.

  • I’m a gosh-darned proud Yuri Fangirl~! *shakes fist in air* I’m breakin’ the stereotypes, whoo! Though I will say I pick up for Shoujo Stuff then Shonen stuff. =3= I like my Mahou Shojo.

  • Take a look at the number of pingbacks this entry has been linked back to.

    I guess the aftermath of the Akihabara incident is the realization that, far from being the aggressive, antisocial people that never conform to society’s norms, (sorry, The Anime Blog), I can definitely say that most of the commenter and anime blogger community here do not at least harbour the same twisted mindset that the murderer Kato had in mind, before and during the murders.

    So, this reflection of the state of “anime fandom” — if the common perception that the word “otaku” has taken more of negative connotations lately — is a good exercise that: a balance of both your escapist needs and conformity to your local, societal norms is needed to sustain a healthy personality.

    Sure, it doesn’t hurt to be wildly imaginative and go on a random rambling about Kamina’s GARness, or how /b/ is going to be shut down, but you do need to communicate with other people not like you. Therefore you are going to spend some time thinking and doing about other things, too. This is the reality of life: you can’t communicate with others not like you, good luck in your buying, negotiation, socialising and, perhaps, dating powers. There’s a reason why networking with others gives a job applicant more advantage than the other, generic job applicant of the same qualifications and standing as the former.

    …I guess that’s probably stating the obvious, now isn’t it?

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