A Japanese word describing a person beyond the realm of fandom but into mania that is improperly used by American fans.

In Japan the word "otaku" has become taboo because of Miyazaki Tsutomu who went on a toddler murdering spree in the 80's, video taping the young girls he had murdered from an obsession with lolicon (female pedophilic manga).

Americans use this term to call themselves "fanboys" or "fangirls" with almost no knowledge of the horrific roots behind the word.
American Fangirl: "I have a huge collection of Macross, NGE, Sailor Moon, yaoi, and many other anime! I'm such an otaku!"
Non-anime fan: "...Uhm, you do know about that word right?"
by Erin December 19, 2003
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Japanese: An insulting word meaning someone who is completely obsessed with something. They are the type that generally live in their parents' basements at 30 years old and have no social life.

English: A term meaning someone very into anime/manga/Japanese culture. It can be taken as either a compliment or an insult, depending on the recipient (I take it as a compliment, for example).
J: Man, that otaku needs a bath, he's been in his basement for a week without one.

E: Wow, look at all these otaku at the convention, dressed like their favorite characters! They're having so much fun!
by Sailor KnightWing April 27, 2004
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Otaku is the honorific word of Taku (home).

Otaku is extremely negative in meaning as it is used to refer to someone who stays at home all the time and doesn't have a life (no social life, no love life, etc)

Usually an otaku person has nothing better to do with their life so they pass the time by watching anime, playing videogames, surfing the internet (otaku is also used to refer to a nerd/hacker/programmer).

In the Western culture, people confuse otaku to be something positive like "Guru". If you think about it, it's not really good to be called a guru if it means you are a total loser who can't socialize with other people except through the Internet.

Other Japanese words which have been confused by Westerners also include but not limited to: Anime, Manga, etc
otaku no jinsei ha yabai na! (it sucks to live the life of an otaku!)
by death_to_all April 07, 2003
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JAPAN:In Japanese was "Otaku" very polite form of "you" (literally your house). During the time the meaning has changed to hardcore fan of something usually manga and anime. Otaku has became used in meaning : nerd or jerk. Nowadays in Japan is the meaning returning back to non-offensive usage because of econimic trends.

ELSEWHERE: Out of Japan is the term "Otaku" used in the meaning of hardcore fan of anime and Manga. Many of anime fans call themselves otaku despite knowing it's meaning in Japan.
I'm otaku and i'm proud of it.
by xpozitron April 11, 2005
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In American culture, 'Otaku' means 'One who is obsessed with Japanese culture, entertainment, etc.'

It literally is the honorific way to say 'House', and is used to mean 'Someone who stays in their house all the time'.

It's not usually a good thing to be called an Otaku, but others take pride in it.
Person 1: I love anime!
Person 2: You're such an Otaku!
by Darkinuhanyou September 01, 2006
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A word that simply refers to people with an obsession for anime, video games or anything kinda like those things. Has developed a taboo because often times otakus are seen as the scum of japanese manga society. This taboo has been reinforced by otakus committing mass murders, rape and other crimes. In america to some people it is known as simply a fan, which for the most part it is, but also as an unhealthy obsesser. In japan their really isn't quite as much taboo since a huge portion of society reads manga, probably about 80 or 90% of males between age of 5 and 40 read manga on regularly. Even their Prime Minister, taro aso, who is an avid manga reader, refers to himself as an otaku, so really it isn't meant to hav any negative meaning.
Oh yeah hes an otaku
oh.... better make sure he doesn't get a gun
naw dont worry hes not one of those hes just a big fan
ohh... ok... but really make sure he doesn't get a gun
by Kevin's dictionary May 05, 2009
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An extremely negative Japanese term, referring to a shut-in or someone with no social life. It also implies that the person's entire life is molded around fictional characters (usually anime and manga).
In America, the term has been embraced by anime fans, who (as they do with many Japanese words), use the word incorrectly as a positive term for fanboy/girl.
1. "God, that kid is such an otaku. He won't leave the basement unless it's to buy new Dragon Ball fansubs."
2. "I, like, so totally love Sailor Moon! Serena rawks! I am, like, the ultimate Sailor Moon otaku!"
by Charon May 21, 2003
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