Times change and technically so will people. Strangely enough, one thing that remains stagnant is usually the stereotype we have of a group of people and seeing I can be classified as an Otaku, let’s see if anything about “Otaku” have changed since let’s say the 1990s stereotype. And put your seat belts on, it’s a long journey.
So if you use google and combine it with too much time on your hands, the general idea of an Otaku is a fat slob who lives in his parents basement, going around carrying anime posters and well, not doing anything productive. And somehow this turns girls away from them, leaving them to be forever alone. Wonder why.
But have Otaku changed to deserve to no longer have that label of “disgusting” stuck to our backs (and foreheads and arms and legs). More on how much people dislike Otaku later, for now we’ll see how we have changed.
As the title suggests, the term I have coined for that is “New Age Otaku”. Now that I think about it, that’s a horrible name, but it serves its purpose. I mean most Otaku are no longer just restricted to “nerds” and the like and so we can say it is somewhat of a new age. But “new age” I might name it, but is there any change compared to the” old age”? Well the first thing that I can notice is the fact that the general demographic of Otaku has changed. And the fact that we aren’t unfit “geeks” anymore.
For a start, the demographic we have is no longer restricted to the stereotypical middle aged men but has spread out not only across the ages, but the sexes as well. Little by little, the number of female Otaku is steadily increasing and that’s an interesting thought. Over the years, people have changed so much. Though seeing I’m not an expert in Otaku history, I have no idea when fujoshis came about, but still it is interesting to see how much this Japanese pop culture has branched out.
Seeing that (I was too lazy to check every google search result) and that most things related to the history of Otaku culture is really hard to find, I’m going by general thinking here, but there are also more and more sub-groups popping up here and there. Not exactly WOTA (idol fans), there are a group of people who are fan of the seiyuu themselves and there are Otaku who are like fan of certain genres which are not exactly in the spotlight. Like the male counterparts to the fujoshis the… yuri lovers I guess?
Otakus have made a great change as compared to 10 years ago or so, but have we really changed on the inside? Well, seeing that anime 10 years ago had a different style than the ones we usually see today, the general anime preference has changed gradually, though many argue that it is a change for the worse and that the 1990s will always have the greatest anime made etc etc etc. Moe and fnaservice has definitely come into being something we see in almost all anime that we see today and while people might argue that it degrades the show as a whole, you surely cannot deny the fact that the anime companies are making money off it. And businesses do what it takes to make money.
But back to the changes. Other than the Otakus changing over the years, how about the people around them and the way Otaku are viewed nowadays? If you check the internet and various other sources of pop culture news, people have became more socially lenient to Otaku, but still people are… disgusted by the general Otaku behaviour. Even close friends and sometimes (most actually) family members might find you being weird and shun you because of that. Or say directly to your face how creepy and weird you are.
So yes you could say that we have made giant leaps and bounds from being the NEETs of society to becoming people who can safely balance our work and interest at the same time. Some things change, some things just take a much longer time to change. So maybe when I look back at this post a few years from now, I might be able to get a blast from the past. Or maybe then I have stopped all anime and this serves nothing more as blackmail people can use against me. (insert reaction to bad reference here)