Japanese term (sometimes pejorative) for fans that pass a large part of their time and resources in a hobby they are passionate about and that directs their life at home, such as animes, mangas, video games and elements of modern Japanese culture

Otaku is a Japanese slang word, deriving from the honorific "お宅[1]" (otaku), meaning "your house". It has come to mean someone who obsessively exerts time, money, and energy into a hobby. Otaku have a deep, complex knowledge around a particular subject or area of study It is oftentimes (esp. in the West) used to refer to avid consumers of anime and manga. The term can also be compared with Hikikomori.

The Akihabara district in Tokyo is a popular gathering site for the otaku subculture.

In Japan, otaku is generally regarded as an offensive word, due to the negative cultural perception of withdrawal from society. However, the otaku philosophy of living has gained traction among Japanese youth and adolescents, likely as a reaction to the established culture of intense work and academic studies. Under 30’s have developed a neo-otaku identity with more positive associations of being a geek or nerd.[2][3] In the West, the word usually describes an anime or manga "fanatic". It is not typically seen as derogatory.


  1. "おたく - Wiktionary". en.wiktionary.org. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  2. "Why Japanese Youth Want to Be 'Otaku' and What It Means | Guest Colum…". archive.is. 2017-03-27. Archived from the original on 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2017-03-27.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. McCurry, Justin (2015-02-22). "Clocking off: Japan calls time on long-hours work culture". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-03-27.