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
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
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!
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.