Types of Otaku

Otaku is a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, commonly the anime and manga fandom. Otaku may be used as a pejorative; its negativity stems from the stereotypical view of otaku and the media's reporting on Tsutomu Miyazaki, "The Otaku Murderer", in 1989. According to studies published in 2013, the term has become less negative, and an increasing number of people now self-identify as otaku.

Otaku subculture is a central theme of various anime and manga works, documentaries and academic research. The subculture began in the 1980s as changing social mentalities and the nurturing of otaku traits by Japanese schools combined with the resignation of such individuals to become social outcasts.

The subculture's birth coincided with the anime boom, after the release of works like Mobile Suit Gundam before it branched into Comic Market. The definition of otaku subsequently became more complex, and numerous classifications of otaku emerged.

 Nomura Research Institute divided otaku into twelve groups and estimated the size and market impact of each of these groups. Other institutions have split it further or focus on a single otaku interest. These publications classify distinct groups including anime, manga, camera, automobile, idol and electronics otaku. The economic impact of otaku has been estimated to be as high as $18 billion.
A person can be otaku about practically any hobby or interest.

The most common types of otaku in Japan are:

 1. Anime / Manga Otaku
This type is also very common. It's hard to define anime otaku because even the people who watch a lot of anime might not be considered as otaku. It depends on what kind of anime you watch. People who watch all genre of anime are definitely otaku.

 2. Cosplay Otaku
Cosplay Otaku are into wearing costumes and role playing. In many cases cosplay otaku are highly social and gain friends through cosplay activities. They may spend large amounts of money attending events and buying costumes. In many cases, they learn to make their own costumes (sewing etc..).

 3. Game Otaku/Gamer
Game Otaku spend much of their time playing games. They usually establish social connections in virtual worlds with people they may never physically meet. There are many gamer communities around the world. Many of these take the form of discussion forums and other virtual communities, as well as college or university social clubs. There are different categories of gamer which I will dwell sometime in another post.

 4. Idol & JPop Otaku (Wota)
They are relatively new type pf otaku. New idol culture was established about 10 years ago. If you are interested about this culture, google "AKB48" which is the most succeeded idol group in Japan. This type of otaku buy a lot of same CD to get the tickets for shaking hands with idols. They also create dance for the songs of idols'.

 5. Anime figure otaku
This type is also very maniac. They collect character figures of their favorite anime, manga, and game. Some figures cost more than $100 in US dollars. People not only buy figures but get them by crane games in an arcade.

 6. Train Otaku (Tetsudou Otaku)
This type of otaku is very deep. They go to stations to take the pictures of the trains, record the sounds of the trains, buy stuff related to the trains, ride on and take the pictures from the trains... In a nut shell, the people who love trains. I don't think we have this type of otaku here in Brunei.

7. Robot Otaku
Japan invests far more than any other country in robot research. Many Japanese robots are frighteningly advanced. Robot Otaku are interested in popular culture related to robots. They may also take interest in robot research. In extreme cases, they're involved in building robots (as a hobby). There's a shop in Akihabara that sells nothing but robot parts.

8. Pasokon Otaku
Pasokon Otaku are obsessed with computer technology. They study hardware and software specifications in detail. They enjoy discussing the latest devices. They may spend large amounts of time configuring and customizing software. In some cases, they become experts at computer programming or network security.

9. Wapanese/Japanophile
Wapanese comes from the English "Want to be Japanese". They are non-Japanese people who have a obsessive interest in multiple aspects of Japanese culture. They may develop an incredibly positive view of Japan that's somewhat unrealistic. Some become skilled at Japanese language and/or martial arts. These type of otaku are everywhere, even in Brunei!

10. Female History Otaku (Reki-jo)
Reki-jo are female history buffs. They're interested in pre-industrial Japanese history. They view this period as an ideal age of innocence and adventure. Reki-jo often form social groups that gather to dress in period costumes. They may adapt the speech and mannerisms of old Japan.

11. Voice Actress Otaku (Seiyuu Otaku)
One of the many sub-types of Anime Otaku. Seiyuu Otaku are obsessed with the voice actors and actresses from Anime productions. Shoko-tan is one of my favorite seiyuu :3

12. Military Otaku (Gunji Ota)
Gunji Ota are obsessed with military uniforms, hardware and war stories (often in manga form). I have a cousin who is a military otaku. He's really into war stories, guns and literally everything military-related stuff!

So which type of otaku are you? :)

Via Japan Talk, Wasabi

Photo credits to their respective owners :)