Top 10 Reasons for Becoming an Otaku

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A survey of Japanese otaku and/or fujoshi reveals the reasons why they became creepy otaku in some detail.

Those surveyed were mostly high school students, and overwhelmingly female – thus the statistics are as much applicable to “fujoshi” as they are to “otaku,” although the survey questions referred exclusively to “otaku.”

The rather nebulous nature of the term “otaku” also means all kinds of otaku could be included in the statistics, not just obsessive anime fans.

What led you to become an otaku?

1. Manga (26%)

2. Anime (17%)

3. Friends (16%)

4. Games (8%)

5. Siblings (8%)

6. Boys Love (3%)

7. Novels (3%)

8. Seiyuu (2%)

9. Movies (2%)

10. Mobile Internet (2%)

Domination by manga is perhaps unsurprising given the scarcity of anime broadcasts at normal hours, showing that manga rather than anime seems to serve as the major gateway to the lifestyle.


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    Avatar of Barbarian of Gor
    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    03:09 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    As a tangent, if you are outside Japan, the "Otakus" there somehow think you have to be obsessed with Japan and into their culture...

    I'm not. I don't hate it, as a few WW2 surviving role models of mine did, but I don't idolize it or anything... Had a lot of anti-Japan attitudes, mainly from that and 80s paranoia so wasn't really into it until mid-90s.

    The reason I like anime/manga is that I like storytelling and visual/graphic arts. In that culture at least it's an acceptable means to tell a story, not "Kid's stuff" for the majority. It's helped turn that attitude around a bit and I like that.

    What really got me going was "Vampire Hunter D" and "Castle of Cagliostro"... Battle Angel for the Manga.

    Also, "Warriors of the Wind" but I knew Zip about how "Famous" the author was and how much he hated that edit and all "True otakus" should think it's more horrible than ET for the 2600. I actually thought it was European made, like "Light Years/Gandahar" (the video rental tape had lost some in the back credits) and just for economics they had the Japanese do the work, like they did with tons of American Saturday morning cartoons.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:40 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    No wonder they only have romance / highschool drama anime coming out lately. >_>

    Avatar of erochichi
    Comment by erochichi
    06:09 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Manga 30%
    Anime & Seiyuu 35%
    Games 20%
    Mecha & Figure Modeling 10%
    Novels 5%

    My reasons.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:33 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    games here, however its more internet and games combined

    Avatar of Sukunai
    Comment by Sukunai
    09:39 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't like the 'otaku' reference, way to Japanocentric.

    I KNOW I am a very definite round peg in a square hole world sort of person though.

    I don't play mainstream games, I play wargames (involved card board counters and detailed maps and very complex rules manuals). I'm a history nut.

    I don't build models of anime figures, but I do love models of tanks.

    I read science literature not Sports Illustrated.

    I can't repair your car, but I CAN fix your computer.

    I'm not really otaku any more than geek any more than nerd. But I do have interests in common with the three. I'm just not an extreme case in any.

    I don't stand on street corners or in front of bars or donut shops shooting the breeze about cars or sports. I don't watch sports on TV, and I don't drink beer to excess every weekend.

    My name is not Joe six pack eh.

    I AM interesting though. And frankly I consider most of mainstream fucking boring.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:44 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Aren't you a special snowflake.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:04 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You LIE if you could fix a computer i wouldn't dread you randomly calling me long distance!

    Avatar of Shitetsu
    Comment by Shitetsu
    23:45 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    well, i did not notice that somehow i am becoming an Otaku..lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:33 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon 23:45 :

    Yes, that's what happened to me, though I'm probably only 50-75% otaku.

    It started when bought a copy of "Mahoromatic" in a local big-box store.

    I started watching, got to the bathtub scene, and was shocked. "Holy crap -- they're naked!" Then I thought, "Calm down, this is just some Japanese thing where they're not body-shy and are just being realistic. It's not like it's gratuitous nudity."

    A while later, at a different ecchi scene, I thought, "Holy crap -- it _IS_ gratuitous nudity! Huh. Well... let's just see where this goes..."

    Fourteen years and 1000+ anime DVDs later, I realize I've acquired a hobby of sorts.

    But it's not like I'm a hikkimori, or even an extereme otaku. I get out into the real world and interact with friends. Once a week, I get together with some friends, and we watch anime at their house, and sometimes I get together with some friends from work, and we set up a LAN and play first-person shooter games, and ...

    Avatar of denkikoiji
    Comment by denkikoiji
    00:21 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    is a western otaku i started when i was 7 watching anime, then all my friends were too, for the first 6 years only had 6 friends who were into anime then, after that it became 38 friends who were into anime being an otaku and we made a club ^^ that was fun

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:24 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Zutto Anime, Game, Manga!

    Avatar of BlaqCat
    Comment by BlaqCat
    23:35 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Can't say the results are very surprising. Though I did expect anime to edge out on top of manga.

    Avatar of SnooSnoo
    Comment by SnooSnoo
    23:19 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh please. We all know that you don't become an otaku. You just are.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:13 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why not include a "People won't try to understand me and/or I've become too cynical" category cause that's most definitely why I escaped to the 2D world for comfort in the first place.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:58 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bullshit. What. you think you're extra special? You do not force people to understand you. You reach out and become someone who's worth understanding.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:26 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Everyone's lives are different, I may not know how successful your life is, but I think you should stop thinking you understand what it's like for everyone's different situations. Thank you.

    For someone who has tried as hard as they can and has been discriminated upon by many people for being a different race, as well as for my hobbies, I think I would understand the pain I'm going through, rather than your opinion of me when you don't know me and have only read one of my comments.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:31 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Also, I would like to add that:
    I don't mind what your opinion is, but do realize that you're just another person who isn't trying to understand someone else, because I'm just another anon and I'm insignificant.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:53 12/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So serious =P

    Avatar of Reo
    Comment by Reo
    23:16 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The reason i became otaku is Visual Novel, anime, manga...and others.

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    02:35 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    BL's the only sex option... Genshiken hit close to home when it talked about those who just have a 2D complex - of course the rest of your hobbies are going to follow that.

    Of course I can't say that's my only motivation - when I got into anime it was all so different from most things I'd grown up with. It was just endless novelty and originality (hard to imagine these days!)

    Avatar of domination
    Comment by domination
    01:27 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What led you to become an otaku?
    -> HENTAI!!!

    Avatar of motaku96
    Comment by motaku96
    01:27 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nice, but I'm a bit disappointed that model building is nowhere to be seen. Has it gone out of style?

    Comment by Pyrus
    10:20 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Otaking -- My antidrug!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:41 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    OBJECTION!
    This survey could not be true! because...
    OTAKU HAS NO FRIEND!

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:02 12/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anime. I got into anime because of Gatchaman or as it was known back in the mid 90's, G-Force (later Toonami came alone to feed my inner otaku). And I still love it to this day. I even like the 3 episode OVA, though I have reservations about Jun's makeover. Even their redesigned costumes and gear were cool (Jun's not withstanding, of course)! There was a part of me hoping they'd use them in Tatsunoku vs Capcom instead of the originals (I haven't played the game yet so for all I know they could be alternate costumes).

    Speed Racer was also on a lot when I was a kid. I didn't like it. If there was going to be a show that would get me into anime it would be Speed Racer.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:49 25/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    2 and 3 are mine but now i like 1 the best

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:32 04/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    For me it was manga, first "GTO" then "3x3 eyes", you can't imagine how it was for me to be ignorant of the existence of this culture, and then hop all those great titles are suddenly available, and all the otaku folks that you suddenly come to relate to, man it was like a sudden revelation a new world of new exciting things, in 1~2 months I became an otaku, and I am proud of it. as for anime I didn't like what I saw much, well there are titles out there that would gross you away and you never get to the good stuff, but I came across some really good ones like GAINAX's NGE & FLCL, but it's the manga primary that got me addicted.

    Avatar of Neko
    Comment by Neko
    13:04 01/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    1. You watched bleach and saw orhime'(spelling?) huge boobs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:38 02/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow a maplestory fan, and bleach? Pft that was a late anime I saw and disliked (even though I'm up to the latest chapter in the manga)

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:10 02/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm also following Bleach, i liked it at first but now i only do it because i cant just read 400+ chapters and then drop it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:48 11/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anime for me.
    Manga is not very big in Canada, but anime used to be played on TV all the time. Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, Digimon, Yugioh, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptors, Gundam, etc.
    Of course, I didn't realize any of this was Japanese until a friend introduced me to the original Bleach anime. Then i went bonkers for the stuff.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:38 30/04/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    only 87% showing?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:18 26/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't know if friends mean lack of or influenced by

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:53 29/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    (2) Anime should be above (1) Manga..

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:24 12/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    THE TRUE REASON IS: because you don't have a wife.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:34 12/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or your wife's as frigid as they come.

    Avatar of Pacpon
    Comment by Pacpon
    14:45 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    haha this is so me!!! pic saved

    Avatar of kotaro
    Comment by kotaro
    14:04 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have no friend.
    That is MY reason.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:49 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where's the option, "Pathetic lifeform"? That describes most of everyone here in SanCom.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:17 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Chicken/Egg conundrum at play here, man. Too deep.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:16 12/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    #3 surprised me for a second. Then I realized that common viewing patterns leads to commonality.

    Avatar of ventlus
    Comment by ventlus
    00:13 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    started with anime that lead to manga xD

    Avatar of Y10NRDY
    Comment by Y10NRDY
    09:04 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who the f*ck compiles these? Artie, get over here! Hentai isn't even ON here!

    COME ON(!)

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:15 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Asuka Langley was my reason.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of alex251
    Comment by alex251
    18:41 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    you sir are my hero :)

    Comment by Schrobby
    22:17 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Asuka is an excellent reason. I commend you.

    For me it was Tenchi Muyo and Oh! My Goddess, especially Sasami and Skuld.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:02 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It was Rei for me but Asuka wasn't far behind. Never really paid it much attention until I saw them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:13 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    dont need a reason to be an otaku!!!!!u just are :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:58 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Answer not on the list:

    Girlfriends/Boyfriends

    Comment by Nin
    18:00 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Isn't it obvious why?

    Comment by Schrobby
    22:10 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What about cyber sex? ^_^






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