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The term "otaku" seems to have been introduced to anime fans in the US and other countries via Studio Gainax's "Otaku no Video 1985," a self-parody film.
Otaku, meaning probably "venerable house," refers to someone who has a devotion to a subject or hobby (not necessarily anime) to the point of not leaving home. For instance, an otaku fan of a particular movie star could quite possibly know all of the films s/he has been in, their birth date, time of birth, shoe size, favorite toothpaste, etc. Generally speaking, calling someone an otaku in Japan is an insult, implying that their social skills have atrophied or never even developed, due to their manic involvement in their chosen fandom.

In America, the term is used to denote a zealous fan, usually of anime and/or manga. Due to its introduction to most people's vocabulary through its tongue-in-cheek use in Gainax's film, "otaku" tends to have a much less dire definition overseas.

When dealing with Japanese people, however, it may be best to keep in mind the modern Japanese image of an otaku -- Someone who only leaves their home to eat or shop, if at all, with an overwhelming and unhealthy obsession about something. It can as easily refer to a stalker or sociopath as it can to a harmless anime buff.

Best to avoid the word altogether if one is not sure of the context in which it will be received.
Positive: "Oh, wow! Check it out: Neck-through, Floyd Rose locking tremolo and an optional push/pull coil tap!" (slaps forehead and laughs) "Man, I am such a guitar otaku, aren't I?"

Negative: "Stay clear of Toshi, man. He's such a RQ otaku, always online. Bet he's never actually even talked to a real-live girl before... You never know when he's gonna' snap, right?"
by Cobweb February 23, 2005
2052 464
A non-Japanese person who has an unhealthy obsession with anime or manga. See zealot, Wapanese, fanboy.
by otaku killer June 23, 2003
15 29
japanese for geek or nerd. Someone who will remain a virgin ( well very likely) and lives in a computer world. Social retard!
" Mervin, is way otaku!"
translation: "Mervin is a geeky, outcast to society and an embarassment to modern civilization!"
by the_rebsiqueen August 28, 2005
9 26
The word, "otaku," is often used to describe die-hard fans of anime and manga, meaning that these hard core fans live and breath to read Manga and watch anime.

as defined by wisegeek.com, see www.wisegeek.com/what-is-japanese-anime.htm for details
otaku isn't just a negative definition , but atleast this source can be trusted to be unbias.
by Bettermann March 10, 2005
25 44
A total anime addict, who is also a luser that thinks they are a sysadmin or computer tech simply because they know how to use IRC or usenet to leech their 500 gigs of garbage anime every week while infesting said computer (usually their dad's) with various worms and trojans in the process.

An otaku REFUSES to have a job unless it involves some connection to anime. An otaku generally has no social life outside of anime as they will break up with any decent girl/boyfriend who is intolerant of their anime addiction. Also, most male otakus have a secret fetish of being female or are gay/bisexual.

Otakus can generally be identified by their suitcase-sized CD/DVD case, filled with 1000+ episodes of d- grade amine series. Naturally, the 1000+ blank disks they're burned on were stolen from dad or a friend, becuase the otaku won't even try to get a job.

Many otakus are now or have been homeless for a year or more, getting kicked out of everywhere every 2 weeks after they are caught stealing CD-R's to burn anime on.

Most are total losers who will never amount to anything more than a homeless statistic, welfare slob or "that kid down the block" who lives above his parent's garage.
"There's no way I will work at Taco Bell. I'm an otaku!"

Tom: "I'm such an otaku! I've got 2458 anime CD's now!"

Bill:"Otaku indeed! You're just a 11 year old moronic kid in a grown man's body!"
by ultrakill plus January 21, 2005
25 45
Someone who will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever get laid and are a social fucktard. Honestly, if you have to beat of to an anime girl you should honestly just die because your life will always suc. And for God's sake move out of your mom's basement!!!!
If you do Cosplay, you are definately an Otaku. You suck at life.
by tnic May 30, 2005
199 221
These are people in american culture who watch anime all the time. They buy ever peice of anime style cloathing that they can get their freaky hands on. They stay at home, surfing the net, only socialising with people over message boards, and very rarely at cons, or conventions. They have no 'life' or a love life. They enjoy staying up late to watch that gundam episode for the 45th time.
People who go to the anime club at my school, they scare me.
by The Dutch Dictionary December 05, 2003
11 33
Otaku is usualy known as a "Nerd" But really is a type of hentai/yaoi. Otaku means "Love of little boys" And not a nerd.
Ew! Were you looking at Otaku again?

I was looking at Otaku yesterday
by Jacob1 May 27, 2005
1 25