An otaku is very commonly mistaken for a weeaboo. (read my article on what a weeaboo is here: ). So what exactly is an otaku?

An otaku is anyone that has an obsession with something, however it is mainly used for those who are obsessed with anime. They tend to keep to themselves, and don’t leave their rooms which makes their obsession rather unhealthy. However, outside of Japan it mainly means those who love anime, but can mean other things as well.


However, if you do go to Japan, it isn’t exactly something to be proud of. Think of it as how geeks are viewed here. They’re sort of frowned upon, rather than liked and accepted, and are considered ‘weird’ for not following societies ‘rules’. So don’t go running around bragging about being an otaku.

Otakus are also common in anime, examples of characters include Konata from Lucky Star, Izumi from Love Stage! and Umaru from Himouto! Umaru-chan.

How do you recognise an otaku? The first thing to look for is any anime merchandise that they may have. Not all otakus may own any merch, but most do. Maybe find them on social media, they might post anime-related things from time to time, or they may talk about it to their friends.


What is the difference between an otaku and a weeaboo? An Otaku just likes anime and/or manga (though they may like Vocaloids too, and other various media from Japan). They’re not disrespectful of Japanese culture and don’t act as if they are Japanese.

It’s very easy to confuse the two, since both otakus and weeaboos can like anime and manga. Just one is obsessed with Japan as a whole, whereas the other is obsessed with a certain hobby (such as anime,manga and games) instead of a country and its culture.

Is being called an otaku a negative thing? It really depends on how you view the word, and what you believe it means. I personally see it as positive, since I’m not ashamed of liking anime, but others might see it as being negative due to the negative assumptions it may bring.


There are also various definitions of what an otaku is, so not one definition is the only correct one as there are many correct definitions. Otaku also started as a derogatory word for someone who lacked common sense and a social life, where it has evolved into what it means today.

So what is your opinion on otakus? Are you an otaku? Leave a comment below!