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
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
Otaku is a term used for anime fans. However lately it is a word used only for "eleet" followers of the genre. Most of us have liked " Japanese anime" in one way or another but it is the Otaku that knows what happens in each and every episode of every anime series ever to have existed. The problem is Otakus have broken off into their own snobbish inner circles. They get angry when someone gets a small fact wrong about a certain show and they insist on adressing each other with words such as "chan". They also get very angry and impassioned in meaningless debates such as who would win in a fight between Darth Vader and Sephiroth. Naturally they will always vote for the most girly metrosexaul inspired male character with a huge sword in any discussion pitting famous characters against each other. In the end Otakus are not unbarable because they dress in cosplay or draw fan art. They are unbarable because they are over obcessed, shun originality, and spaz over trivial bull crap. It could be argued the new gen otaku are far more extreme then their first generation counterparts. Older appreciators of anime on average are more laid back despite their eccentric habits.
I enjoy anime casually but it is the otaku that sleeps with a life sized sailor moon doll and quotes Naruto word for word!
by BrokenHierophant February 27, 2008
1. A person who is a big fan of anime.

2. An anime fanboy or fangirl.
Person 1: "Are you an otaku?"
Person 2: "Yes."
by TheAnimeLover1 October 17, 2014
A person who spends most of his/her life watching anime, reading manga, playing video games, staying up on the computer and the such.
Most people would say that an Otaku would have no social life except for online communications.

B. The Japanese word for "House"
A.
Samantha: *types furiously without looking at keyboard and playing an MMO*
Elizabeth: *waiting for samantha to pick up phone*
Samantha: *talks to herself* "Sooorrryy Elizabeth, i'm kinda busy here!!! *says to self*: right-left-SPACEBAR!!! SPACEBAR!!! JUMP!! JUMP!! NOOO!!!! *still talking to self*: Yeah thanks a lot Elizabeth! You ruined my whole frikin game!
Elizabeth: *leaves a voice message* -sigh- Samantha, you're such an Otaku.

B.
Joe: I'm moving into an Otaku in Japan and going to college there next year.

Bob: You're moving into a crazed computer freak?!?!

Joe: -_-'
by SamanthaTehPwner July 10, 2008
a 12 year old that watches Bleach and Naruto and thinks they are completely immersed in japanese culture. See Weeaboo
Bob: I know all about japan because I watch Naruto!
Bill: no u are a weeaboo
Bob: No I'm otaku and proud
by sylveon November 24, 2013
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
Many people assume that one who enjoys Japanese anime and manga is automatically labeled as an 'Otaku'. This is completely untrue. Cosplay and the love of anime and manga does not make you an otaku.

An otaku is simply one who over-obsesses a certain hobby, in most cases anime and manga. Typically, this is a negative thing to be called in Japan, although North Americans have begun to take a liking to the word.
American person one: Steve knows everything about Love Hina. He's such an otaku.
American person two: Yeah, he'd be so glad to hear that.
---
Japanese person one: That Tsutomu Miyazaki sure was an otaku.
Japanese person two: Yeah, what a psycho.

by Kchan March 06, 2006
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