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
A Manga, Anime, and video game (particularly RPG) fan who is obsessed with anything Japanese and Japan in general because of anime and manga. The literal term in Japanese is derived from home, so basically it means a person who stays at home all the time. They shut themselves away from the world as their ability to socialize to normal people slowly deteriorate and even if they are not Japanese they want to be Japanese so badly. they learn Japanese so that they can watch raw anime episodes and read raw manga. This is the main golden achievement an Otaku can do especially when other Otakus are jealous of this amazingness. They wear clothing with Kanji and their favorite anime characters. They collect anime figurines, fill their walls with posters of their fav anime/manga, life size anime characters, manga library collections, and DVD boxsets (there is much more trust me). They probably have played every single Final Fantasy Game out there. Their favorite food to eat it Ramen, Ramune soda, pocky, sushi, and other various foods that come right out of an anime. They include words like "baka" and "nee~" or "Kawaii" in their everyday lives, yes, even if they do not speak Japanese. Basically just picture a creepy dude with glasses reflecting the glare of light from his HD TV in a dark room, eating ramen and everything anime filling the room. But not all otakus are like this! there are different levels of otakuness.
Otaku hentai dude
by nerdwad3000 May 21, 2010
Otaku is a Japanese word used for foreigners who are obsessed with Japanese culture. A lot of confusion has been made over the years, and people are starting to think Otaku is someone who stays home all day and does nothing but watch anime and jerk off to pictures. This is called a Hikikomori. The difference is that Otaku get out, and have a life, and pass in school, regardless by how much, and talk to other people, depsite the topic. Hikikomori are shut ins, and do leave the house for anything and don't socialize. For any reason. Whatsoever.
*Knock Knock*
Delivery Man : You there?
Hikikomori : *Fap fap fap fap*
Delivery Man: I have a package for a Mr. Smith
Hikikomori : *Opens door naked* Thanks! *closed door and faps*

Otaku 1: Hey, did you hear? They're coming out with a new season for Naruto!
Otaku 2:Naruto is gay, you have to watch anime that deals with Japanese life, like Clannad. You're a fake.
Fake-Otaku 1: No way, Bleach is better than anything.
Otaku 2: Whatever.
Japanese Guy 1: God-damn-it. I hate those Otaku's
Otaku 2: OMFG A REAL LIFE JAPANESE GUY!!! HIIIII!!!!
Japanese Guy 1: Fuck.
by ReaperFi April 12, 2010
In Japan, the term OTAKU is normally deragatory, meant as an insult. It basically means 'lifeless loser who never leaves their house'.
In America and Canada, though, it is used to refer to anime/manga fans and sometimes video gamers. It is used to refer to somebody as a geek, opposed to a loser, and is not a deragatory meaning.
So it is important that if you go to Japan that you do not use the word without clearly stating what you mean.
Canadian: I could tell you ANYTHING about anime!
American: You are such an Otaku!
Candian: I know, right!
Japanese: Canadains and Americans are a little...odd...
by in-the-stars February 28, 2009
Japanese word/adjective which roughly translates into "infatuated", "extreme fanatic", or "obsessed to the point of being borderline deranged."

mainly used to describe the Wapanese people who watch ridiculous amounts ofanime. they, in turn, will use the word to dsecribe themselves, as if they are actually proud of being otaku. they don't know that the word has a negative meaning to it.
1: I'm so otaku, I have all the latest Yu-Gi-Oh things, and I just bought the new Ayumi CD! So ureshii!

2: Jesus Christ...
by KRHimself September 03, 2004
One who obsesses about something or someone to an unhealthy extent, sacraficing most, if not all, of their social life.

Often used (incorrectly) by American anime fans as a trendy term to describe themselves.
Correct usage: anata wa otaku desu. (You are a nerd.)

Incorrect usage: I like anime, so I'm an otaku. (This is, however, correct if the person saying it has no life outside of anime.)
by Nosferatu June 20, 2003
This word is often misused by white nerds. Apparently they think that it means "Anime Fan". They are so grossly wrong. In reality it is the Japanese equivalent to nerd. In Japan the Otaku is the lowest social rung.
White Nerd: "I am an OtAkU!!!1111!!!!!1111"
Actually Japanese person: "I laugh at your obvious non-japaneseness"
by looeee-kun March 27, 2008
Originally a Japanese term for "your house," "otaku" now refers to that bizarre suubculture that is obsessed with Japanese culture.

At least, that's what the otaku themselves would see it as. In reality they are a group of weirdoes so socially inept and obnoxious that other weirdoes cross the street to avoid them (on the rare occasions the otaku ventures outside). They really only like manga and anime, and seem to think that reading a comic or watching a TV cartoon originally intended for Japanese infant school students while wearing a too-tight shirt with random kanji characters emblzoned on it makes them a venerable Eastern sage.

The otaku believes that millennia of Japanese history, art and philosophy is irrelevant compared to a comic about bug-eyed schoolgirls battling robot space ninja goblins.
Otaku: "Worthless peasant gaijin! My weird enjoyment of comics that were written for children, despite the fact that I am a pasty grown man, means that my wisdom far outstrips yours! Can you smell sweat?"
by Muttering Master March 06, 2007

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