25% of Japanese Now “Otaku”

big-sight-otaku-pilgrims.jpg

A recently published study on the “otaku” market finds that as many as 25% of Japanese may now consider themselves otaku, an increase of 5% on the previous year.

According to a multi-channel survey of 10,102 people undertaken by the Yano Research Institute, Japan’s oldest market research firm, 25.5% of those asked whether they consider themselves otaku or have been labelled otaku by others responded in the affirmative.

Compared to the 2010 edition of the same survey, this represents a 5.1% increase in the otaku population.

The survey also noted much growth in certain “otaku” markets – online gaming saw a 40% increase to 299 billion yen, and the market for dating games grew 30.2% to 11 billion yen, although these increases are attributed to the rise in social gaming and dating simulations marketed to women on mobile phones – hardly qualifying as “light otaku,” let alone “otaku.”

The market for digital comics also saw dramatic growth, although this is widely interpreted as the result of long-delayed technological change rather than actual growth – traditional manga sales continue to decline.

The market for idols, long considered the preserve only of the very creepiest otaku, is also growing, although this has been attributed to more efficient exploitation of existing otaku rather than an increase in the number of consumers.

Yano’s conclusion is that the “otaku” market is growing, but that it is also being heavily supplemented by the participation of non-traditional otaku – although with a limited population available in Japan, they stress the need to market more to non-Japanese markets.

There is some scepticism about their results when it comes to otaku population size, although Yano is a credible market research company and other studies have found similar increases in populations identifying themselves as “otaku” in recent years.

As the survey seems comparatively sound, those who are sceptical of such vast growth in the “otaku” population tend to identify the fact that such surveys invariably base their results chiefly on respondents self-identifying as “otaku.”

The term “otaku” has no real objective definition and has increasingly found itself used by non-traditional otaku to mean “anime and manga fan” rather than the more classic “obsessive maniac” – this has led to a lowering of resistance to the label and large numbers of normals identifying themselves with a now trendy label, runs this line of thought, commonly espoused on 2ch.

As a result of this, terms like “kimo-ota” (“kimochi warui” or “kimoi” otaku – “creepy otaku”) now take on the negative nuance once so strongly attached to “otaku,” whilst (amongst some at least) identifying as an otaku becomes a point of pride.

There is also some disdain on traditional haunts towards “self-proclaimed otaku,” who are regarded merely as fad-following normals rather than true obsessive maniacs.

Whatever the case, critics cannot help but note that such dramatic increases in the otaku population do not seem to have been accompanied by similarly sized increases in anime and manga sales, or even any increase at all…


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    214 Comments
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    Avatar of JSRF
    Comment by JSRF
    18:47 26/10/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Being an otaku is a way of life. Do I regret it?

    Not one bit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:17 27/10/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Once you've chosen to follow the Way...Glance back once...then never look back.

    Avatar of H-Ero
    Comment by H-Ero
    23:57 26/10/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    I have no regrets. This is the only path.

    Avatar of caiooa
    Comment by caiooa
    04:12 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    my whole life was

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:29 27/10/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Unlimited NEET Works!

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:28 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Unlimited Maid Works!

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:44 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    i dont regret it at all

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:14 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Unlimited Blade Works!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:24 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Unlimited LOLI-FAPPING Works!

    Avatar of Lannando
    Comment by Lannando
    08:32 28/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Unlimited escape of FBI works!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:23 26/10/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Otaku=/=Anime Otaku

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:44 26/10/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Isn't anime Otaku the "main" Otaku in Japan?

    Avatar of shiroki
    Comment by shiroki
    23:54 26/10/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    That is questionable

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:18 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Doubt it.

    But how the hell is a figure of 10,102 people supposed to be a good number to even imply anything about Japanese as a whole?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:50 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    there are a lot of train otakus in Japan

    i can't tell you the exact percentage of anime otakus within the otaku population

    I guess, if you add anime + video games, you would get more than 50% of otakus

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:06 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @anon 03:18

    It's a sample size, that's how you do surveys.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    10:50 28/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I sort of do, only because I am heading for neet path to unemployment which does not bode well for my future devotion to Otaku.

    It I was a bit less otakuish then perhaps I could find a good job to sustain my devotion. Vicious cycle.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:59 28/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know how you feel. Actually I'm already there. The past three years I haven't went to college, got a job, or done much of anything.

    Avatar of Otame
    Comment by Otame
    02:03 28/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    .... like a boss

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:07 26/10/2011 # ! Drivel (-0.7)

    Ok then let's screw Aya Hirano and Aki Toyosaki! Fellow Comrade.

    Avatar of JSRF
    Comment by JSRF
    21:39 26/10/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    It's ok, I got 2D, thanks for the offer though.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    05:27 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Draw them, then I'll screw them. They're less bitchy that way and also 2D!

    Double win!

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:59 26/10/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    if 25% of japan are otaku then those who can vote should vote against ishihara in the next election.

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    01:44 27/10/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    I don't know if it's true, but I've heard that in Japan, you don't typically get any time off work to vote, so most of the voters are retired.

    Also, otaku aren't always of anime or manga. Basically you can be otaku about anything you can be a geek of. So you bet there are insect otaku and train otaku too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:10 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    It's true. My wife's coworkers were in their 30s and 40s, mostly, and they were surprised that she was voting in the American election because voting was for old people (she was 24 at the time).

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:47 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Toilet otaku?

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    05:45 27/10/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Toilet geek?

    But I'm sure there are - there have been various designs through history, and Japan has some fancy seats...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:02 26/10/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    arise my brethren we otaku shall take over this 3D World!

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:11 26/10/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Hell yeah!!!

    Comment by The Scarlet Devil
    01:51 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Also can someone with money get to work on making Gundams real.
    We already got some people in the US making private space flight and space stations a reality.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:43 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    megarich otaku are hard to find... everyone start spamming the children of every multibillionaire with anime n manga in hopes they become otaku >| then... lets make a gundam

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:28 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think making a Gundam is that easy.
    Coming up with how to enable the pilot to input full body movement alone is giving me headaches.
    Flying a helicopter is already crazily complex, but a Gundam would be a whole different world of complexity.
    Uncle Sam poured a crapload of money into development of the F22. Compared to a Gundam a F22 would be a toy. I don't think anyone has the money atm.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:09 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Typical pathetic poorfag otaku faggot, the world doesn't care about you, so go watch some anime and die alone.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:52 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    let's make a gundam and say: if you guys don't ban Ishihara we'll take over the world!
    also: where's Otacon when you need him!? :(

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:37 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Long live the Otaku Republik of Japan

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:01 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    All Hail Ottania!!

    Avatar of Satou Tatsuhiro
    Comment by Satou Tatsuhiro
    22:57 26/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, ain't they hypocrites. 25%? I bet there is some more, but so what? No one is gonna do ANYTHING to save japan culture hallmark. Most japanese probably don't even know that Ishihara ain't just depriving his country of manga and anime, its the whole world we are talking about! I love reading manga, and I love watching most types of anime, One Piece, Bakuman, Clannad, Mushishi and so on.. Do you all want to watch american or european animation because of no other choice? Sorry, I don't.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:44 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Hey western cartoons were a big part off my childhood, wanker!

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:08 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    since when was anime japan culture hallmark?

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    03:11 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Its not always those who are into Anime,Manga,and Video games its also those who are into History,Guns, and Cars maybe French films.

    Avatar of Michael
    Comment by Michael
    03:04 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    what have you done to save /Japanese culture/?

    Avatar of Satou Tatsuhiro
    Comment by Satou Tatsuhiro
    07:44 28/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    well, someone says word "anime" and you instantly think japan it is not? Im not saying that western cartoons are shit i love em too but if i had to choose I would pick anime.
    And all of you smartasses like Michael, think before you write, only japanese can save anime and manga industry by for example don't vote for this fuckhead Ishihara, or riot, or... hell I dont know. I know it's easy for me to talk because I'm not japanese, this is just all what I think about recent events.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:42 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It should be now.

    Avatar of Senjou
    Comment by Senjou
    20:03 26/10/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.1)

    We are already converting a lot of normals.

    We are already taking over the 3D World as we speak.(on the internet at least)

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:05 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Otaku is the new Black

    Avatar of Vespertine Aspergerian Nincompoop
    18:07 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ... as in... sexy?

    I suppose it might be inevitable, but it's sure hard to imagine the day.

    Avatar of Anohreul
    Comment by Anohreul
    20:57 26/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    If everyone is an otaku... no one is

    Avatar of AngelOrDevil
    Comment by AngelOrDevil
    20:41 26/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The time of the normals will be soon over.

    A new era is waiting for as (>.<).

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:47 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anohreul, that is actually true. But it is somewhat desirable.

    Like the TV-game trend among young people.
    We want it to be culture, like books or games.

    Avatar of Noodlestein
    Comment by Noodlestein
    23:27 26/10/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    This reminds me of the whole Nerd thing in the states picking up steam, most people looked down on nerds/being called a nerd. but now you see people (someone who would seemingly look rather popular etc) wearing shirts that either say Nerd on them or have rather nerdy references.

    I do approve of all this. :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:48 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The "problem" is that when labels like Otaku or nerd start to get cool, people who only have the slightest bit in common with actual nerds may be labeled, or even label themselves, as such.
    25% Otaku is pure bullshit, a real nerd is someone obsessive with one or more specific things, not someone who plays a dating sim now and then.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:57 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Too bad voter apathy and otakuism seem to go hand-in-hand.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:32 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nice idea. Alas, they've got have alternatives that aren't also rubbish, and then jointly agree on one, as a split vote won't accomplish much.

    Avatar of Ishihara Shintaro
    Comment by Ishihara Shintaro
    01:58 30/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good luck with that. I will not go down that easily!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:27 02/11/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    We will see about that Ishihara. This is only the beginning of what we have in store for you.

    Avatar of ナイジェリアの王様
    04:26 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    >Implying that all otakus read loli-incest manga.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:30 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    But it's good for your soul.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    10:53 28/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    But otakus are deviant beings, they like the pain so Ishihara is allowed to remain in office. He only exist to stroke otaku's perverse jollies.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:26 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Unfortunately, of that 25%, 10% never leave their rooms, 10% are too young to vote, and the remainder are too busy stalking seiyuu to care.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:48 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    If I remember correctly, the alternatives to Icky-hara were were actually worse than the porn writer.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:40 26/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree. Even if not all of those are actual hardcore otaku, but more like people who kind of like anime and manga and choose to put themselves into that category because of that... those are still people who would vote against ishihara and his hilariously pathetic bullshit.

    Let's hope more and more people will choose to identify themselves a such.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:31 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The fact that they don't makes them incredibly pathetic in my eyes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:39 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Rise of the Otaku.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:48 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    (d)evolution

    Comment by Anonymous

    We need to take 75% of votes!
    Then Ishihara might just crawl to a graveyard and die.
    We then assemble nuclear weapons in Japan, and bomb all bastards who dare say anything to that!

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:50 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because nuking the source would stop all our problem Nero.

    You are madder than the roman emperor with the same name. And that guy was batshit crazy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:56 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nukes have stopped a war problem before.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:49 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know you'll probably kill yourself in the blast radius or destroy the people who make your ero with nukes right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:54 28/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nukes should empower houses and public buildings like schools, hospitals, police staitions, firedepartments and such. Not distroying them.







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