The word otaku has been overused to describe someone who has an immense love for a culture, typically the anime and manga culture. The best thing about this subculture is that we all have specific quirks and even actions that instantly make you recognise one of our own people when we walk pass them or hear them talking or even by the acts they perform that resembles an anime in your memory.
You know what we're talking about, so we came up with a list. From having traits of being a weeaboo to having anime themed mobile wallpapers music, count with us and reflect on how many of these feelings and quirks are you guilty of.
Being in General - a Weeaboo
Admit it, to love this culture, we all must have a certain level of weeaboo in us. If you're with a group of friends, this is probably how a conversation might sound like:
Friend 1: SHIMATA!! We are running late!
Friend 2: HONTO DESU KA?? OH NOOO!!
You: You two are such weebs...
Friend 1: Says the person wearing that Sinon shirt...
This is just one of many variations of how you would probably speak to your otaku friends. Oh and don't even claim that you are not one. You wouldn't have clicked on this article in the first place.
Buying Merchandise and Refusing to Open it
This is especially painful if you bought, say, a figurine of your waifu/husbando and you refuse to open it, lest you ruin the purity and innocence of your beloved. More often or not, if you're a collector, you most likely will have a shrine of opened merchandise, and then a shrine of unopened boxes of limited edition merchandise.
Mum: So you spent your money on these toys again...
You: Mother please... for the twenty-seventh time today... it's anime...
Mum: You never open any one of these anyway (reaches out in an attempt to open)
You: WOMAN ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!
Yeah... Owning merchandise is a painful process... almost like the 3 ownership rule - 1 for daily use, 1 for loaning, 1 for sealing and archiving. And since we are on the topic on buying toys...
Explaining the Difference Between Cartoon and Anime Before Finally Giving up and Blaming All the Gaijins
People who grew up with Western media will always ask why are you so into cartoons. To them, anything that is animated is dubbed as cartoons. They have the dictionary support, animations = cartoons and vice versa after all. We are not an exclusive society such that we go around condemning people of their choices but it gets to the point in time when you've realised you actually grew so much with the culture that it insults you.
For example, anime, no doubt that it is a short form of animation (which eventually means cartoon), is perceived to be a concept or a movement that goes beyond the simplicity of any simple cartoon. This is where we probably get mad because everyone just assumes that we are watching a cat chasing a mouse.
It irks us to no end when we hear someone asking this next "oh okay, then if that's the case, what anime are you watching now, I heard that there is one with the red haired character?". That's as good as saying "HEYYY, I heard that the show with the humans is a pretty good show! what's the title again?".
Don't get us wrong, we are not dismissive, just tired of the generality that people assume upon anime. And for the record, anime is not cartoon, we really believe that its status can be equated to something like an art form or a cultural movement.
Waiting for a New Episode to Be Released or a New Manga Chapter
You know that dreadful one week wait before an episode gets released is extremely frustrating and once it gets released, you might even stay up just so you could be the one of the first to catch it. If everything else fails, you'll just skip ahead and read the manga but know that it wouldn't provide you with the satisfaction as the anime.
Likewise for manga, chasing chapters can be very tiresome, especially if it ends on a cliffhanger or in the middle of an arc. But that's okay! When the new chapter gets released, you have the feeling that entire day just went right for you.
Choosing Dub over Sub
There are two kinds of people. One that prefers Dub, and one that prefers subbed anime. Whether you choose the correct one can determine the friendship between otakus. While inarguably prefer sub, there is always a curiosity in us that compels us to try the dub version. While some can be done quite well, most of them in fact are quite bad...
Either way the Dub or Sub caused much discussions on forums, but if you ever considered this question or already know the answer to the question, welcome to the club. This topic is as controversial as choosing between Kirisaki and Onodera from Nisekoi. It's a digression, but Team Onodera FTW!
Picking a Waifu/Husbando
Speaking of waifus, you know you are an otaku when you have a specific waifu/husbando. You know that one special character that is particularly memorable to you and that make you squeal and let out your inner weeb? Yeah that.
You have wallpapers on your phone, your email may contain that character's name, you might even want to be associated with that character in any way. After all, 2D over 3D!
Being Overwhelmed with New Anime in the New Season
When it is the new season, you can dread or you can rejoice. That usually means more anime to indulge in, but also reminds you that you probably have to put the previous season of anime in your backlogged list. Does not help that you also have a To-Watch list. If only time manipulation was a reality, we wouldn't have this problem. Most of the time the solution to that problem is...
Lying to Yourself That You Will Be Watching That One Last Episode
Picture this, you have school/work the next day but you promise yourself that you will only watch one last episode before turning in. Believe it or not, it's not just one episode, but maybe one whole season that you are probably watching. In the end you get so tired and exhausted when you are done and ask yourself: since when is the sky pale blue when it's only 2AM?.
This happens way too much for most of us...
Realising That You Spent Your Whole Day off Watching Anime and Feeling No Regret
Having a Music List in Your Phone Solely for Anime Openings and Endings
You have a tracklist or a playlist dedicated for anime openings. Sometime you just set it on repeat and that can be your music fodder to and from work/school. The world just looks 10 times more awesome while on the highway and “Only My Railgun” plays. Note: Lightning bolts are not actual railguns.
Wanting to Visit/Stay in Japan
Because it's where anime originated from, you will most likely want to visit Japan one day. You might even want to visit Akihabara or the places mentioned in your favourite anime. You just want to live like your anime characters and walk the same places that they have walked before.
Finding a Total Stranger with the Same Interest as You, Even Better Loves the Same Series as You Do
There is no greater satisfaction than finding a comrade amidst a world of judgmental people on your choices and taste in media. So when someone comes around and got a reference to an anime that you love, the feeling is immeasurable and could be the greatest satisfaction that you have ever felt.
And that, boys and girls, is how an irreplaceable friendship is formed.
Post Anime Depression Syndrome (PADS)
The dreaded feeling that you get when you just completed perhaps the best anime in the season or a beloved classic. You constantly worry what will you do now that the show of your lifetime has been completed and you're left with nothing. Now that you will no longer have a chance to connect with your waifu/husbando, what would you do? You just feel empty and lost.
You can even go on forums to keep the hype alive by professing your love and dedication to the anime, but all good things come to an end. Well, if there's anything, the anime industry never ceases to amaze us by bringing in something new for us to worship. Recent years have shown great works being made such as Shigatsu, Kill la Kill, Charlotte and to date, One Punch Man.
And lastly, we will leave you to think about how many of these you actually do or happen to you. Do share with us the common experiences you feel and what you think defines you as an otaku.
There is no doubt that anime is a niche hobby and some might even feel that it is an isolated community. But we exist, and passion is what allows us humans to strive on to even greater heights. We dare say that this hobby has allowed some of us to even have a fresh new outlook on life. Discrimination and ostracism only helps us become stronger and find a stronger passion in this hobby. A message to all otakus - we're here for all of you along with the lovers of anime worldwide!