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Thread: Do You Look Down on "Otaku"?

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    anti-semantics Pub Quiz Champion tsurara may be famous one day tsurara may be famous one day tsurara's Avatar
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    Do You Look Down on "Otaku"?

    I know that the word "otaku" has taken on a far more positive meaning in the United States than it has in Japan, but an interaction with some students today made me ask myself an interesting question...

    I was giving an introduction lesson to a new class of third graders when the question and answer portion of the class came up. The "cool" kids asked me the usual battery of questions: which sports I like, what kind of movies I'm into, if I have a boyfriend, etc. Then the more "geeky" students started to venture some "safer" dorky questions: "What kinds of video games do you like?", "Do you read comic books?", etc. The students who asked these questions often got teased a little by their classmates... and sometimes I'd get chuckles or the question "are you otaku?" for answering positively.

    Thing is... all the students were required to submit questions on paper too. They knew that these questions would be returned to them without their classmates seeing.

    A sampling of common questions:

    Do you like anime?
    What comic books do you like?
    Do you know Gundam?
    What video games do you like best?
    Do you have a Wii?
    Have you ever been to Akihabara?
    Do you know Evangelion?
    Do you build models?

    This lead me to ask: how would I answer these questions if I were asked them in front of everyone else?

    Would I lie? Would I play down my geekdom? Would I admit to weekends in Akihabara? Having played dating sims? Watching Gundam 00? Having seen the Evangelion movie?

    I'm honestly not sure how "geeky" anime is considered where you all live. But do you consider yourself a "geek" officially? an "otaku" even? And if so, would you ever admit that to everyone else around you in your day to day life?

    Have you ever been teased for your hobbies?
    Have you ever joined in teasing or looking down on others for similar ones?
    Are there some people that even you consider "geeks"?

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    Otaku Dune Bashing In Dubai Champion, Yetisports 10 - Icicle Climb Champion, Yeti Bubbles Champion overload is off to a good start overload's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Look Down on "Otaku"?

    Well Tsurara, i get the impression that you are asked this quite frequently from the class you are teaching, right? and a simple question could have a hundred meanings to the kids that are asking the questions.
    plus I think it is better to tell the truth than to lie to anyone, but I am not saying that it is the best course of action. sometimes it is needed to tell a lie now and then.

    Have you ever been teased for your hobbies?
    Have you ever joined in teasing or looking down on others for similar ones?
    Are there some people that even you consider "geeks"?
    as to the questions you have asked us here are my answers.
    yes I have been teased for my hobbies and it hurts, when they look at you like you are some sort of freak.
    NO I think that teasing someone else is uncalled for and it hurts their feelings, as for looking down upon another person, I am ashamed to say yes, I have looked down upon another person.
    now this is quite a difficult question to answer as I have been branded with the same contempt as people show towards "geeks", but no I do not see people as geeks because they are just like you and me.

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    Newbie Kenshinzen is off to a good start Kenshinzen's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Look Down on "Otaku"?

    Honestly, since I have no idea what the American view/term for Otaku is I cannot really comment on that. But, I can throw my 2pence worth in still.
    Why play down on your own 'geekdom'? Some people find it cool (even though I hate that term), some don't. Its all down to personal taste. Would the kids your teaching hold you in any less regard if they knew you were a 'geek', or would they look at you and think 'one day, I'll be like that'?

    As for the questions about teasing, yes I have been teased over my hobbies. I have been seen as a nerd, geek, etc. And thats thanks to DnD and Warhammer, never mind the joys of anime and the like. But it doesn't bother me, as its waht I enjoy. That and when you agree with them they really lose face. As for teasing someone about there hobbies? Well, to a complete stranger - no. To wind up my friends and have a laugh - yes. Its always nice, and a bit of fun, if you do it with close friends as you know it wont be taken personally. So it all depends on the situation, at least for me.
    Hope this hepls, even if it doesn't make sense
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    anti-semantics Pub Quiz Champion tsurara may be famous one day tsurara may be famous one day tsurara's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Look Down on "Otaku"?

    To make one thing clear: I'm not worried about my kids teasing me. I'm a big girl and I can take a few 13 year olds :P

    But I honestly DON'T consider myself "otaku"... I even make fun of people who I think are "out there" in their dorkdom. I comment on the foul smell hanging in the air at Comiket and the local Animate ("aahh, smells like otaku"). I laugh when the school sports day relay race includes a backpacked, hachimaki-wearing, MOE-poster toting nerd costume or when comedians on tv dig into "otaku". I roll my eyes at people I meet who can't hold a conversation about anything but Naruto... I've even avoided people on purpose because their geekiness was just too much for me.

    Obviously, some of my kids are the same way...

    They're making fun of dorks... but they have dorky interests of their own: which, if they voice, will get them teased by their peers and potentially labelled "otaku".

    Meanwhile, the kids who ARE vocal about their interests are teased... sometimes brutally... to the point that they'll do anything to play down or hide those interests just to protect themselves.

    It's an issue of degree, perception and the way we treat one another...
    not so much one of who's actually a nerd and who isn't.

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    Anime Online's Lesbian SasuraiHell may be famous one day SasuraiHell may be famous one day SasuraiHell's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Look Down on "Otaku"?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsurara View Post

    A sampling of common questions:

    Do you like anime?
    What comic books do you like?
    Do you know Gundam?
    What video games do you like best?
    Do you have a Wii?
    Have you ever been to Akihabara?
    Do you know Evangelion?
    Do you build models?
    [in respective order]
    -Yes
    -a number of them if i get a chance to get them
    -I do
    -Rpg,action,first person shooter
    -hell no
    -"otaku central?" nope, but it does send a creepy chill down my spine
    -i do, but i think im the only one here to actually finish it.
    -nope. no interest. neither do i collection figurings,

    given my answers you can vaguely understand that im a closet "otaku".,
    i dont tell my friend i like anime and the like, not because im really ashamed of it. only because theres no occasion or situation where anime is brought up(they dont watch it regardless), but i would think their reactions wouldnt reach the "OMG you creepy freak!" stage, one of them has a friend who likes anime openly and is totally cool with it, and the other wrote a shortstory one time in highschool that was almost in the dbz themed area. a little suspicious but i know he's probably watch it at some point. XD.

    As far as my own feelings towards an "otaku", its probably around the ok state. i dont mind them, in fact its a little reassuring to see em around. i do find them to be very brave though, (one holloween, this guy dressed up as a 'shinnigami' from bleach, and i was the only one to noticed, i didnt tell anyone, it wouldnt matter if i did or not, but it was pretty cool). fyi i come from a anime oblivious community (i only know a handful of people who are open about thier otakuness, i just prefer to stick to my own social circle rather than to talk anime , though it would be nice to every now and then)

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    Re: Do You Look Down on "Otaku"?

    I've always worn my personality on my sleeve and yes I used ta get tease all of the time for it, but I never could; and still can'; help bein' me. The fact is that I don' care 'bout what others think of me, I don' try ta impress any1. I'm not sayin' that I've never tried at certain points in my life, jus' that for the most part; I never really cared. If people r gonna like me, it's gonna b for who I am; not for who I am not. If they think that I'm "Otaku," then they're gonna think that I'm "Otaku" regardless of what I have ta say 'bout it and I'm not gonna worry myself inta havin' a bunch of ulcers over what others think that I am. Besides it's gettin' ta where the term "Geek" is becomin' less derogatory and more acceptible as "Kool" term, so much ta the point that ppl want ta b a "Geek." I think that the same is happenin' ta the term "Otaku," at least here in the States. Live and let live, is what I say and who cares what others think. They're gonna think it anyways, regardless of what one has ta say 'bout it.

    Sanity doesn't exist, it's just an excuse cooked up by crazy people to justify their actions. My myspace page: www.myspace.com/joemage

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    I'm all ears. Hassun has disabled reputation
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    Re: Do You Look Down on "Otaku"?

    I use the Japanese definition of Otaku and in that regard I do look down on them. Just like extremist/obsessive fans of anything else.
    Now, by "looking down on them" I do not mean I go out and search for Otaku to pester. People can have any hobby they want as long as it doesn't negatively affect others.

    E.g. I was once thoroughly pestered by an otaku in a comic book store. I was just browsing through the manga section and he kept annoying me with his obsessions. Even when I made it clear that I didn't want to know.

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    One Man Army Ochi Gate is off to a good start Ochi Gate's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Look Down on "Otaku"?

    err... it kinda depends on my mood. usually, ill be like, Hell yeah, i like gundam! but ussually only around ppl i already know (ie my skool). but in a foreign area, i play it down a lot. is that bad?

    and how could i look down on being a geek when i am one?

    "You will only have eyes for Me!"

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