Otaku in Anime: Chiaki Hoshinomori

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It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so allow me to give a quick refresher: I love otaku character’s in anime. Whether just for the sake of meta jokes, or deeper self/genre-referential commentary, I absolutely adore characters through which an author can show off their nerdy street-cred. These wonderful conduits for which to funnel greater contextual meaning always shoot to the top of my favorites list, but not for that reason alone. Put simply, I connect with them because they are like me, and when done really well, end up taking up quite a bit of my emotional real-estate. Like any other type of character, however, otakus can’t all be great. Some of them fucking suck. Some of them are just painful illustrations of the popular misconceptions of otaku culture, spouting Dragon Ball references in hopes that audiences might grow attached to this character because “they are like me”. Some otakus are Subaru from Re:Zero, and deserve nothing less than an endless loop of agonizing death. Anyway, I like thinking about otaku characters, and pointing out the one’s I love or hate. And today, I’ll be telling you all about an otaku I’ve come love way too much, from an anime that had no business being as fantastic as it was: Chiaki Hoshinomori from GAMERS! Continue reading

Otaku in Anime: Kirino Kousaka

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In anime, I find the portrayals of Otaku to be quite fascinating. Often written by Otaku themselves, this personality trait that originally started in a derogatory sense (and still is to some) is now the most likely type of character to resonate with fans of anime (probably). It’s certainly one of my favorite characteristics, being that Otaku characters are more than just something to relate to: They are a means of which creators can show their understanding and admiration for genre and culture through. When written exceptionally, Otaku characters are a beautiful love letter not only to fans, but to the culture itself. While there is no definitively “right” or “wrong” way to write creatively, there are some Otaku characters out there that can be so poorly realized, it honestly begs the question “Was anime a mistake?”. But then you just shake it off and think “No. Anime wasn’t a mistake. Subaru from Re:Zero was a mistake”. But he’s not really what I’m here to talk about today. No, instead I’d like to focus my attention on an orange-haired girl from Oreimo. Continue reading

Otaku in Anime: Keima Katsuragi

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Here’s a topic I’ve been meaning to get around to for quite a while. It all started last summer anime season when I was watching This Art Club Has a Problem!. During it, I couldn’t help but notice what I thought was an annoying flaw in an otherwise decent comedy show. My problem with This Art Club Has a Problem! was one which involved the portrayal of Otaku. Now, I’m not saying the show was bad due to its inability to see Otaku culture for what I see it to be. Rather, it failed to define its own perspective in a way that was anything more than a pretty basic stereotype. The character Uchimaki is shown to be a head-in-the-clouds waifu-lover whose simple passion serves to be the butt of most of the show’s jokes. Usami (main character) goes throughout the entire show not trying to look deeper into his hobby, but rather spends most of her time scoffing at it and questioning why she had to fall in love with such a weirdo. Continue reading