42% of Japanese “Otaku”

ore_no_imouto kousaka_kirino gokou_ruri kousaka_kyousuke aragaki_ayase tamura_manami makishima_saori abec

Otaku are once again pondering statistics showing that of over 130,000 Japanese questioned, some 40% consider themselves “otaku,” with an even higher proportion – 62% – of teenagers saying the same.

When 137,734 Japanese were asked “do you consider yourself an otaku when it comes to a particular area?”, 42.2% answered they thought they were.

Admissions solicited from those who confessed ranged from a love of games or sports to soaps and seiyuu.

The statistics for those reckoning themselves otaku were further broken down by gender – with 45.7% of the admitted otaku being men and 38.1% women (what the remainder were is not specified) – and age:

Teens: 62.0%
Twenties: 55.6%
Thirties: 46.4%
Forties: 44.8%
Fifties: 36.7%
Sixties: 26.9%
Seventies: 23.1%
Eighties: 23.3%

Although “otaku” carries a generally negative if not highly discriminatory nuance and even in Japanese is strongly associated with stereotypical male anime fans or the idol otaku even they despise, it would appear the term still carries enough of its nuance of the earnest hobbyist, ardent fan or well-versed expert for it to be easily admitted to.

Just what proportion of those owning up to being “otaku” would also fit into the definition of “creepy otaku” is far from clear – although it seems extremely unlikely more than a fraction would have owned up to it had it been so worded.

Amongst actual creepy otaku there has been some resistance to so many commoners appropriating their label – the usual complaints being along the lines of “these are just brats posing as otaku” and “their definition of ‘anime otaku’ may just be ‘liking anime’ so it’s no wonder.”

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