Variations in “Otaku”
Until recently in the Western world, media, anime, and/or comic conventions had not been a more widely accepted annual event for people to look forward to. It is a place for people to gather and express their appreciation and fandom for an for of art or literature. There are panels where one can show expertise on something like “how to make your male designs cuter” or “name that theme song”. The scent of pocky and potato chips fills the convention space of the hotel, and some attendees even dress up and act out their favorite characters. These convention goers (especially anime con) are sometimes labeled by a term that might be a bit unfamiliar to us– “otaku.”
In the Western world the word “otaku” refers to an individual who frequently watches anime or enjoys manga and/or comics often. However, the origin of this term is something quite different from what you would expect. In Japan, “otaku” specifically as a word is defined as an individual who is nearly obsessed in learning more about particular topic. In this way, showing interest and a willingness to look uncool for the sake of learning new things and improving– can be seen by many in a positive light.
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