The antics of otaku and their manic “otagei” are now the subject of some scrutiny; there is a catalogue of unhealthy incidents stemming from this hyper-enthused fandom, and we also had the pleasure of hearing an assertive voice demand their restraint (that of Yui-nyan).
But what constitutes otagei, and are the concerns about it legitimate, or mere media froth? Below there is a representative sample of “normal” otagei performances (no running amok), as compiled by Gigazine. It definitely looks as though the performances are in the eye of the beholder.
Their energetic and excitable performances do look as if they could easily descend into something more disagreeable, though we see nothing of that here.
Here we see the otagei from the periphery… a rather incongruous sight in the mall.
The idols involved must have nerves of steel, or a great deal of possibly misplaced trust in human nature.
Of course, this is only half the story; searching doesn’t turn up any videos of what happens when things get out of hand, but there are plenty of eyewitness audience reports floating around in response to some of the incidents, usually agreeing with the seiyuu account. Perhaps this sort of thing is just part of the business.
Harmless hijinks or the sinister work of obsessive maniacs?