According to many sources, the word “otaku” can most closesly be associated with the term “geek”. Naturally this would have to extend to a smiliar term in “nerd”. However, after watching the 1994 documentary on the subject; the word seems to mean something much more. Throughout the course of the movie we see “otakus” who are into video games, comics, buying underwear, making dolls, crafting airplanes, and watching their favorite idols (celebrities). While this collection certainley seems odd to me and probably most of you reading this article; it’s apparently the norm of what you could find in Japan. Other than seeing how unique, perverted, and odd some of these obessions were; we also get to listen to many interviews with locals about their interactions with otakus as well as their lives as otakus. Many are blocked off from the outside world, and in one case, a man verbally expressed his wish for a Godzilla like monster to bring Tokyo to it’s knees. Weird, right? It’s because that guy was a monster-otaku. He even has a book about his childhood. Anyway, I tried to compare the culture of Otakus to something in America and the only thing I could think of was the Hip-Hop culture in New York. Possibly maybe even the anime, gaming, and sci-fi conventions that take place throughout the year all over the United States. Yeah, those were the only things that I could compare this weird “otaku” phenomena too; and I still feel like it’s not enough. Perhaps the movies most interesting bit is toward the end. There is a discussion on how Japan as a country has no real goals and ambitions anymore. At one point, Japan’s goal was to achieve prosperity. Now that it has that it seems to have lost sight of what it really desires. That’s just the opinion of one guy they interviewed on the movie. But when you look at the state of Japan today, and start to hear how people would rather live their lives single; then you can’t help but wonder. No one seems to wanna get married, and few seem to even want kids. The decreasing population in Japan is not something thats only talked about in this movie either. In fact nearly all the documentaries I’ve watched address it in some shape or fashion. Is it possible that Japan is a Otaku itself? I dunno, but the question is an interesting one posed in the movie here. As usual it’s available for instant watch on Netflix, for how long I don’t know.
Here’s a clip from the movie. The guy is a music-otaku(?)