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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Someone who is obbsessed, and has no life outside of their obbsession. It's an insult in Japan. Mostly said like "anime otaku". Someone who is obbsessed with Japanese animation.
Not all otaku are bad.
by C-chan November 06, 2003
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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
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A Japanese slang word for someone who devotes so much of their time to a particular activity that it is detrimental to their social status; a nerd.
"What an otaku; sitting at home always playing Starcraft."
by The Legend Never Dies August 08, 2013
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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
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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
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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
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An even sadder version of a Weeaboo
"So i ask John if he's a weeaboo and he said UM OMG its call being otaku!"
by Koler2000 February 15, 2017
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