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Old 2009-07-29, 12:10   Link #1
Sinestra
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The quirky terrain of an otaku mind

So i read this today and found it quite interesting. Everyone including me is pretty quick to throw the word Otaku around, iv been doing it since the 80's. I actually learned something new about the word. I never knew in the past part of the translation consisted of "snobs"

Well i thought the article was interesting any thoughts?

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0090726a1.html
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Old 2009-07-29, 19:57   Link #2
Yamada
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I guess this is an example of how the meaning of words can change from one generation to the next, or from one culture to another. I think a lot of American anime fans think of the Japanese otaku as a sort of uber anime lover - someone who's complete obsession to the cause is to be admired, whereas the majority of the Japanese society look down upon them because of that very obsession. I guess it really depends on who's using the word. At least that's my thoughts on the matter.
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Old 2009-07-29, 20:16   Link #3
Slice of Life
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As I read it, the text only says that according to Mr. Azuma otaku were snobs. Not that the word "otaku" ever had a meaning of "snob".
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Old 2009-08-01, 23:43   Link #4
einhorn303
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
As I read it, the text only says that according to Mr. Azuma otaku were snobs. Not that the word "otaku" ever had a meaning of "snob".
I've read the book myself, and really liked it. To clarify, he doesn't really use "snob" in a negative sense...he uses it in a specific, codified academic sense. This is something you always have to watch out for in academic writing, which sometimes uses common words in uncommon ways.

Also, that Alexander Kojeve is only one small part of the book...it's weird how much the review focuses on it, Azuma's book goes into lots of other different theories.
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Old 2009-08-03, 03:37   Link #5
Kafriel
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Soo, according to that link, otakus got the same meaning as they do today. That was a waste...
The book itself might be good, I haven't read it, but that passage was just bashing a certain otaku, throwing a reference to seppuku and saying that otakus only do what they do in anime (that is, talking about eroge and going to maid cafes...)
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Old 2009-08-03, 05:32   Link #6
Slice of Life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by einhorn303 View Post
I've read the book myself, and really liked it. To clarify, he doesn't really use "snob" in a negative sense...he uses it in a specific, codified academic sense. This is something you always have to watch out for in academic writing, which sometimes uses common words in uncommon ways.
That is all true but what does that have to do with what I said?
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Old 2009-08-03, 10:18   Link #7
Kylaran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafriel View Post
Soo, according to that link, otakus got the same meaning as they do today. That was a waste...
The book itself might be good, I haven't read it, but that passage was just bashing a certain otaku, throwing a reference to seppuku and saying that otakus only do what they do in anime (that is, talking about eroge and going to maid cafes...)
Azuma uses seppuku as an argument for snobbery in the book, so it's not entirely incorrect. However, when taken out of context, it just sounds like a bashing of traditional Japanese culture.

To quote the article:

Quote:
Azuma may take his analysis to questionable extremes — using "girl games" (a type of otaku soft porn) and other relatively minor phenomenon to illustrate wider trends within the otaku world — but his overall argument — that today's otaku are going for the same instant gratification from the cultural smorgasbord (or as Azuma terms it, "database") as the derided American "animals" — is persuasive.
This author has no idea what he's talking about. All he likes about the book are its theories on capitalistic consumption and Azuma's interpretation of Kojeve, yet he refuses to understand the reasons for Azuma's argument. Fail. Just another person trying to pass judgment on a subculture they know nothing about. Really, how can you ignore Evangelion and visual novels? Stupid.

By the way, I suggest Azuma's book for everyone. It set the groundwork for a complete change in otaku studies, especially in the awareness of Evangelion as a social movement among otaku, and the current growing prevalence of visual novels. He even wrote a book specifically looking at the later in 2004 (I think), which is another book to look forward for.
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