William Gibson, one of the originators of the 'cyberpunk' science fiction genre, used the term "otaku" in his 1996 novel "Idoru". The meaning given, from a Japanese-translation computer function used by a character, was 'pathological techno-fetishist with social deficit'. The character so described spent much of his time online in a multi-user domain and subsisted on Ramen-type noodles and canned coffee. Although by Japan's rigorous social standards a "loser", the character was well-mannered and good-hearted.
"The otaku guys at my last school were into, like, plastic anime babes, military simulations, and trivia. Bigtime into trivia." -"Idoru", William Gibson
by Heather Cruikshank October 10, 2005

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From the literal translation of the word toku, meaning "house. In Japan, Otaku means somebody with an obsession. From anime, manga, vedeo games, computers, to things from train sets, stamps, spoons, ect.

In the 8o's, Otaku was used for a Japanese case where an obsessed fan murdered a voice actress for not sounding th way he invisioned his favorite character.

Otakus in Japan tend to be under-weight with poor hygen and little to no life outside of their obsession, i.e. only leaving outside of their home for their care or additions to their collection of what they are obsessing over. Thus, having their society look down upon them.

In the U.S., fans of anime and manga tend to mix up Otaku for "guru", or master. A large amount of the fans of products of Japanese entertainment tend to view Otaku as a good thing. Otaku, in the West, normally means "fan of anime/manga/video-games".

The "otakus" of the US. tend to be over-weight, have poor hygen, and have little to no life outside of their own obsession.

People in the U.S. tend to make jokes about "otakus" and their Western version of "Comic-Book Junkie" to live in their parent's basement while obsessing with their collectables.
I am such an otaku because I love manga's and Kishimoto-chan!

Yuu only leaves his house in order to get a new train set... He must be an otaku.

The Otaku had murdered the voice actress because he did not like her portrayl of his favorite character.
by Gaara_Baby_Eater June 01, 2009

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this word was originally used in japan to describe someone who enjoys anime and manga. the term later became derogatory when a japanese news station used it to describe a serial killer who had been a hermit and was obsessed with anime, manga, and doujn. When it crossed the pacific to America, otaku became a word popularly used to describe anime-con goers. the Japanese, who are always quick to pick up on American fads, soon used the phrase to describe a cool "geek chic" type of person, often found in the Akihabara district of Tokyo.
the kid who knew everything about Death note was a true otaku
by objectiveobserver July 10, 2008

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Someone with an unhealthy obsession for something. i.e. anime, cars, soap operas...

not necessarily anime but usually associated with it
by Ravyius November 08, 2003

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Otaku

A person who loves to watch anime and read manga and also admires the Japanese culture, but not to the point of denouncing their own, that would make them a weeaboo. Being an otaku is basically being apart of a whole new culture, an it's great! Just don't become a weeb.
"Hey, do you watch anime?" "Yeah!, I am an otaku, you?" "So am I!"
by CurrentSlang2014 December 07, 2014

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1. Japanese for "nerd."
2. A big anime fan. Unfortunately, the name has been disgraced thanks to the large majority of otakus being 240 lb, 30-year-old white men who don't have a life.
by dj gs68 July 08, 2003

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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

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Someone (such as me) who has an extreme love and obsession with Anime, Manga, Japanese Video Games, Cosplay and anything that has to do with Anime in general.

As you may notice most people define Otaku as someone who has nothing else better to do with their life but sit at home and watch/do the things I have listed above. Which is NOT true. We Otaku have many things to do, wether it's watching Anime or stressing over if our Cosplay is going to get here in time for the next Convention/Expo, I can assure you it is over infinity times better than what most of the people that say those things do. Which is most likely sitting at home eating them selves to death because they wish they had something to do.

And to note that in a previous definition of Otaku, that person said that the word "taku" means home and that that links to THEIR so-called definition. If you know Japanese at all you would know that Otaku (おたく) means "Geek" or "Nerd", which clearly shows our (being us otaku) love for Anime, Manga, Cosplay, etc.

I made this to show my love for Anime and to stand up for the TRUE MEANING OF OTAKU!!!!!!! >:O
Yumiko: "So, how much of an Anime fan are you?"

Sayuri (me): "I am a MAJOR "OTAKU!!!!!!!" ^ ^"
by otakueien July 09, 2011

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