Understanding the otaku

From Bleach to Crayon Shin Chan, every single anime has its own share of Otaku. We often wonder why anime is so popular, however, little or almost never do we acknowledge that one of the most important reasons for their success is their strong fan base. Hence, to understand the reason behind this global phenomenon, first and foremost we shall seek insight into the world of their supporters, the Otaku.

An otaku is usually used to describe a person who is overly fanatic about anime and manga.1 It used to have a negative connotation attached to it. Often it is used to describe an unshaven fat man, who is totally obsessed with anime and manga and goes around while holding a doll of his favorite characters on his hand. However, nowadays and recently in Singapore, the term Otaku has gained an escalation of respect.

Due to the recent attempt to make Singapore the world gaming hub2, the Otaku has been pushed from being an outcast in the society into a profitable target market. Manga and Anime play a very important role here, as most of the gamers started up as fanatics of anime and manga. The term of Otaku since then has slowly become a person who is fanatics in anime and manga, but at the same time is an expert in multimedia technology and computer.

We will know to try to take a peek into the world of the Otaku and investigate the reasons behind their fascination towards manga and anime. Firstly, despite many available animation series in the market, the reason they might be so attracted to anime might be because the Japanese anime dominates up to 60% of the world anime. Hence, with more variety choose from and wide availability, it is understandable that they become the no. one choice. Fans would not exist without the source of their admiration. Especially now with the world shrinking due to technology, anime is no longer the exclusive right of the Japanese consumers. As the viewers are constantly bombarded with various anime, no wonder they become loyal supporters.

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However, without any distinctive characters of its own even if the viewers are always bombarded with anime, they might not grow to like it. So what makes them so attractive to the Otaku? One of the reasons is the content of anime itself. Compared to other animation media, anime covers almost every genre imaginable. Moreover, with a large portion of its fans who have already reached adulthood, many of the Otaku turn to anime due to its more complicated storylines and imaginative plots. With the fast paced life of the modern society, the important of entertainment has escalated into a necessity in our daily lives. While growing up watching cartoons, many of the Otaku at one point in time lost the relevancy they have towards the simple child-like story line of most of the cartoons. While searching for relevancy while still retaining their interest in animation media, many turn to anime and manga. With more grown-up themes of anime, it has since then become the chosen medium for daily escape into the world of imagination.

One other reason of why the Otaku is so attracted to anime and manga is none other than their strong cultural reflection. Many of the anime and manga, even without the creators and producers themselves realizing it, are full of many Japanese cultural images and practices. The most obvious example will be Pompoko of Studio Ghibli production. Not to mention, even the latest anime such as Naruto and Bleach are so Japanese in nature. This can be observed in the importance assertion and constant portrayal of Bushido spirit in them. For those who are interested in Japanese culture anime has provided an enjoyable window into it. It is no wonder that even among the scholars today, even analyze anime to discover the condition of the Japanese society.

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In conclusion, anime has become so wide spread that it penetrates almost every paths of our lives. The reasons of why we are attracted to it are so many, but for sure, the most important reason of all is that it is sure enjoyable to watch. So what are we waiting for?

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About the author

Nadia Petrova

I'm running this blog because I love Japanese culture, especially the art of geisha. When I was a little girl, I used to dream of becoming a geisha myself. In my spare time, I enjoy watching good anime and reading some manga.

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