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
Often used as an insult in Japan for someone who is obssessed with anime, manga, video games etc.

Used in western culture to identify who reads manga and watches anime. It is sometimes confussed with weeaboo-ism, in which said person has an infactuation with japanese culture, i.e. everything including manga, anime etc.
Otaku boy: Did you read the latest chapter of Naruto?

Otaku girl: Yeah, did you see Minato completly own Madara with a Rasengan, Youndime 4 ever *fist pump*
by ShadowScream July 29, 2010
Otaku are smelly, furry, plump creatures that are usually found in their natural habitats: their own mother's basements or in their dark rooms where the only sources of light are the bright glow of their computers or television
my friend is an otaku, he stays in his room on the computer and TV all day
by Amos Nusheg February 19, 2008
1: Another version of the word "you" in Japanese (which includes anata, omae, kimi, and so on) this word when used by someone, connotes that that person would like to stress the boundaries between your relationship. You are only to be acquaintances and not friends.
2: A new slang term, rooting from the first definition, referring to fanatical or obsessed people, usually known to be withdrawn in many cases.
by kei_blue June 22, 2003
An otaku is a type of nerd or geek who loves anime. They also like anime related games or just video games in general.
I am an otaku and so are my friends.
by catato September 09, 2015
In literal, it means "house"

Otaku is a Japanese name or title for people who are obsessed on anime, manga, drama CDs, etc.

It is also a word for obsession of anything (e.g. car, toys, transportation)

Although the people who are entitled to this didn't mind or being welcomed by the people or the society outside of Japan, this name is an insult or a taboo in Japan. Primarily because of their behavior and their lifestyle. The main issue is the "Otaku Murder Case" in the 1980s, where the case is that a man killed more than 5 girls because they are look like of this idols.

Otaku may or may not related to Weeabo.
Western Otaku: My friends and I are having a sleepover, talking about what anime we should watch next or how great Levi is.
Japanese Otaku: Who needs friends? Anime will take me someday!
by twofacedanonymous March 05, 2015
an otaku is a word commonly used to describe someone who is either obsessed with Japanese culture or a geek who spends all his/her time watching anime and never leaves the house. these are both false; that is the definition of a weaboo. an otaku is simply a fan of anime and manga and stuff like that. not a geek who has no life; not a weaboo. but sometimes, otakus try too hard and do turn into weaboos. for a better idea of the difference between otakus and weaboos, read my definition on weaboo.
~Pauly-T-Swizzle
me: hey, do you watch anime?
friend: anime sucks.
me: no, you suck. anime is good.
friend: your such a weaboo.
me: no, im an otaku.
by Pauly-T-Swizzle April 20, 2013
A term that is miss-used by both the Japanese and other countries.

In Japanese its the honorific of home. meaning the person is a shut-in. They also refer to a community that visit certain places such as akihabara, Tokyo train station, ect. Otaku in America and other places is a term to describe fanatic fans of a certain thing ,mostly anime. In japan there are also other types of otaku such as train otaku "IE train station", Bridge otaku, anime otaku, music otaku, ect...

In America people think that it is being used wrong, but in actuality its just being used in the alternative term.

In japan the term is sometimes refereed to as something really bad. But their is a growing population that take the name otaku with pride. Demonstrations are being held. ect ect...
EX. how can a train otaku be an "otaku" if he actually leaves his/her house to go look at trains.

EX. how can an anime otaku be and "otaku" if he/she goes out to cosplay shops, akihabara, and other social events such as cons, "maid cafes", where the person HAS to meet other people.
by KoDuu July 16, 2010
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