Otaku characters in anime

If you know me, you know my favourite characters in anime are the otaku ones. I’m not sure it’s because I can relate to them or just because I like the idea of watching anime peeps watching anime. Animeception.

Recently, Crispy has written a blogpost about Kirino Kousaka aka That-bitch-from-OreImo. You can go ahead and read the article here.

I got triggered because, unlike Crispy, I don’t see Kirino as a real life otaku. That’s because I never met a straight A student, very much into fashion and all that jizz, very preoccupied about their social image – to actually be an otaku. It takes too much time to do both. The fact that she is spending all her money on really weird anime and eroge games doesn’t help it either. This is not what happens in real life. And, come on, we all know the thing with the brother. (<- this is me trying to avoid spoilers)

Even though we most often get the extremes when it comes to anime, here’s a short example of what I find to be realistic otaku characters.

The best case scenario

Konata from Lucky Star

konata-gif

Say what you may, but I think she is the perfect image of the ordinary otaku. She likes anime, manga and video games, she has her group of friends, she’s partly lazy, doesn’t care about much, but she’s well aware there are some things she needs to do. She’s very into her hobby and everybody knows that. Doesn’t feel the need to hide it just to preserve an image that she clearly doesn’t want to project. Like most otakus, she also invests in her otakuness, but doesn’t hide it in a secret drawer. How can you not relate to her?

The bad case scenario

Madarame from Genshiken

madarame

I wouldn’t say that Madarame is more of an otaku than Konata or the opposite. They both are equally as nerdy. What he has and Konata doesn’t, however, is a high dose of social anxiety. It might be because Genshiken takes a more mature approach on the otaku life than Lucky Star does, but Madarame is actually interested in the outside world. While Konata doesn’t give too much of a shit about what’s going on around her, as Genshiken progresses, the characters start having grown up issues: the reality of finding a job, not having enough free time and being as foolish as to fall in love with the wrong girl (<- me trying to avoid spoilers again). The approach is rather natural in Genshiken, however. While some of the characters make it work, I think Madarame has it the worst as being a skinny ass nerd with a weird personality and not the most attractive physique, obsessed with anime and video games. But he plays it cool. 

The worst case scenario

Tatsuhiro from Welcome to the NHK!

tatsuhiro

Let’s just leave the whole plot aside for one minute and focus on what kind of human Tatsuhiro Sato is: the worst. I’m not saying that from a moral perspective specifically, but from a social one. He’s a college dropout. He doesn’t have a job. He’s living off of his parents’ money. Doesn’t have any friends, doesn’t speak to anyone, has no human interaction. The only things he does is play video games and be obsessed with his conspiracy theory.

Tastuhiro is extremely depressed and suffers from a severe form of anxiety. The one that doesn’t allow you to leave the house. Sadly, there are way too many people who end up like this. What society needs to understand is that this issue is not caused by playing too many games or fucking watching anime, but because of a disorder. Is that easy to live with? Doesn’t seem like it.

Some people might pick Tomoko from Watamote as the worst case scenario. After all, Tatsuhiro can speak to other people. I tend to disagree. Tomoko is not that much of a realistic character either. She’s designed so that she’s so cringy it becomes funny.


I know there were several other things I wanted to mention when I started typing this post, but I’m way too tired to remember them and I also want to keep my articles fairly short – I am aware of my attention span and, if there are more people like me, I don’t wanna get you bored. If I remember what I wanted to stay, I’ll make a part 2.

In the meantime, though, I want to know what’s your perspective regarding this issue and who do you think is the best otaku character out there.

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About Ruki

Pissed off blogger
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7 Responses to Otaku characters in anime

  1. crispyn64 says:

    Oh, I see the misunderstanding here. I never meant to appoint value to the level of which a character is portrayed in comparison to reality. Kirino is by all means not a realistic Otaku. Her life is far too perfect for that. I merely found her to be an interesting interpretation of Otaku, as it touches upon the aspects of shame that some might feel when having a hobby such as her’s. She also portrays that uniquely obsessive Otaku trait, and shows it through her continued dedication of buying games, DVDs, and other collectibles. Not only that, she refuses to give it up when her father threatens to remove all her “smut”.

    Of course, the amount of money she would have to spend to achieve such a collection must’ve been obscene, and it’s insane that she managed to hide it all for such a long time. Also, her complete and utter reliance on her brother is absurd. It almost makes me want to hate him more than her, but then she has to go and be completely ungrateful about it too. She’s annoyingly perfect, and just when you think things aren’t about to go her way, her brother manages to save her.

    I was interested in seeing what direction you were going to take this, because I wasn’t sure whether your first response meant you loved Kirino or hated her. I personally hated her when I first watched the series, but after coming back to it, I did start to see some good in her. Not enough to make up for all her head-splittingly irritating stubbornness, but you know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Artemis says:

    While probably not the socially best otaku characters, how about Okabe and crew from Steins;Gate? They don’t suffer from any crippling social disorders, they’re hella smart despite whatever delusions they’re under, and they basically use their otaku powers for good.

    Like

  3. Cat says:

    Dang, you’re making me want to watch Lucky Star now, I loce otakus in anime too, but have to be well done!
    I’m a bit like Tatsuhiro, okay I don’t do conspiracy theories, that’s it. But anime, games, etc, is how I escape my issues or when I feel really depressed, give me strength and energy.
    I do feel like there’s space for all kinds of depictions of otaku tho. For example, I don’t broadcast or tell people I am one, don’t really see the value or need for it. What they think isn’t going to change what I do, or maybe I’m just in denial, who knows 😹😹😹😹
    Loved this list btw, definitely need to check some of these out 👀👀👌

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Finally Returns !! Lita’s Blogger Feature Friday + Post A Rama – LitaKinoAnimeCorner

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