Think of it this way: ‘Otaku’ is to Japan what ‘Brony’ is to us.
i thought these tags were important
THIS THIS THIS
I have a lot of thoughts about this. I personally identify as an otaku because it feels right for me; it’s the word that best describes the passion I feel for my fandoms. I also think it’s interesting that people have taken it on themselves to remind people not to call themselves otaku, which implies that many people DO call themselves otaku.
The first time I realized I was an otaku and not a geek was after I read Patton Oswalt’s Wired column, “Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die" in December 2010. Oswalt outlined the nuances between the generalized "geek" and the specialized "otaku." As the definition of "geek" has become increasingly watered down, it was important for me to find a word to better describe my lifestyle, and that was otaku.
Being an otaku is not always a good thing. The other side of the coin of such passionate interests is a tendency toward isolation and anti-social behavior. But I’ve chosen this label knowing fully what it means.
Labels have a lot of power, and we shouldn’t use them lightly. But the thing about language is that it is constantly evolving. It’s been a long time since anybody has taken issue with my use of “otaku,” and these bursts of fury come fewer and further between.
Maybe you’re the reason anime is dying
Gone are the good old days of anime. Anime is dead and moe killed it. Or if you like, anime is dead and an anime that panders to women killed it. (Seriously, where were these guys when Black Butler was airing?)
And to the people who make this argument, I say, maybe you’re the reason anime is dying.
In my Otakon review for Otaku USA, I referenced Evan Minto’s fantastic feature on how Homestuck fandom growth is prompted by an almost evangelical recruiting strategy, it’s “Let me tell you about Homestuck!” “[I]t inspires me to fire back with my own, equally welcoming reply,” says Minto. “Let me tell you about anime.”
If anime is dying it’s because fans feel a need to be gatekeepers. To say certain kinds of anime or anime fans aren’t legitimate. To use words like “Narutard” or “Fake geek” to keep people out of our cliques. So much has been written about geek policing, but here’s an academic explanation of just how petty and predictable we can be.
Read the rest on my blog.
This year I decided to release 8 reporting guides especially for geek and fandom journalists in our modern age. Just released number 5.
Did I mention they’re free?
Yes, that’s a real Star Trek hotel room you can stay in, and more in today’s linkspam.
Why fandom sucks. Because I’m in a weird mood and I feel like playing devil’s advocate.
Otaku Journalist: How to interview celebrities at a fandom convention
- Let the convention get you in touch. If the celebrity is attending a convention as a special guest, that means you’ll need to work with a press liaison or Guest Relations volunteer to organize your interview. Celebrity guests have busy schedules at conventions—autograph signings, panels, and more. If you try to write directly to Vic Mignogna’s agent about his Otakon schedule, he’ll be just as clueless about it as you are! Usually writing to press@[insertcon].com will get you in touch with the right person to arrange the interview.
- If you can Google it, don’t ask it. I always cringe when I hear somebody ask an anime voice actor, “What was your first voice acting role?” This is a simple piece of knowledge that anyone could figure out with a quick Google search, or by scanning the celebrity’s IMDB page. Make sure to research your subject beforehand and only ask questions you can’t find out any other way. A good rule of thumb is to ask the celebrity about her opinions, favorites, and other subjective material instead of readily available facts.
- Be ready to go off script. While it’s important to prepare questions in advance, you don’t want to be married to those questions if the conversation goes off in another direction entirely. There’s a joke I heard in journalism school about a flustered cub reporter carefully sticking to a prepared script of questions:
Reporter: When did you become president of the company?
Interviewee: A few months before I murdered my wife.
Reporter: [sticking to script] And can you tell me about your newest product?
Don’t miss the forest for the trees. If your subject is telling you a lot of interesting things about a topic you didn’t even prepare for, let her go on about that instead of cutting her off to ask your next question.
Check out the rest of my advice over at Otaku Journalist!
(Photo by excalipoor.)
True gender equality is actually perceived as inequality. A group that is made up of 50% women is perceived as being mostly women. A situation that is perfectly equal between men and women is perceived as being biased in favor of women.
And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never been a married woman who kept her family name. I have had students hold that up as proof of my “sexism.”
My own brother told me that he could never marry a woman who kept her name because “everyone would know who ruled that relationship.” Perfect equality – my husband keeps his name and I keep mine – is held as a statement of superiority on my part.