For any anime fan, otaku is a familiar, relatable term used to describe basically anyone with a strong interest in Japanese pop culture. Yet, the otaku phenomenon is much more multifaceted than its literal meaning suggests. A particular image of otaku permeates collective consciousness and makes its way into the media celebrated by the community.
Even before anime was enjoyed worldwide, otaku created heroes of their own, replicating core character traits of this passionate, unorthodox fandom in the anime and manga they produced. These otaku heroes are now an archetype many fans feel strongly about, relating to their quirks and interests.
10 Konata Fills Lucky Star With References To All Sorts Of Otaku Passions
Back in the early 2000s, Lucky Star became a sensation among otaku, giving them a true hero of the entire community – the quirky lover of all things anime, Konata Izumi. A hardcore otaku leading a cutesy moe show was a rarity back in the day, so Konata quickly became an icon for anime fans at the time.
The show was full of references to real-life otaku passions, parodying such classics as Haruhi Suzumiya, Street Fighter, and Gunbuster, to name a few, which made Konata even more relatable.
9 Harunobu Madarame Is Proud Of Being A Diehard Otaku Despite Societal Misconceptions
One of the first shows to openly celebrate the merits of otaku culture, Genshiken introduces fans to an entire college club dedicated to otaku activities, the titular Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture. Filled to the brim with eccentric anime lovers, all Genshiken members fail in comparison to Harunobu Madarame, the club’s president and loudest supporter of the otaku lifestyle.
The most hardcore otaku of them all, Madarame prides himself on his dedication to his hobbies despite being broke all the time due to overspending on otaku memorabilia.
8 Erika And Walker Are More Interested In Gushing Over Their Hobbies
Durarara!! is a series jammed full of eccentric individuals, supernatural beings, and disturbing personalities. Yet, a pair of the most endearing comic relief heroes in the franchise is Erika and Walker, simple otaku caught up in conspiracies surrounding them all around.
Their love for anime and manga made the friends inseparable, constantly lost in fictional worlds together. As a diehard fujoshi, Erika even tries to apply her fantasies to real life. While other characters often disregard Erika and Walker as odd, the two indulge in their hobbies with no shame.
7 Keima’s Obsession With Dating Sims Overpowers All Interest He Might Have In Real Girls
The World God Only Knows
Keima Katsuragi, the hero of the hit harem romance The World God Only Knows, earned the title of the God of Conquest online through countless hours spent winning girls’ hearts in dating sims, his overpowering obsession. Gaming takes over Keima’s life, and he begins his quest utterly detached from reality, deeming it ugly and flawed.
The galge games otaku crowned undefeatable in the two-dimensional world, Keima has to put his skills to the test by winning over the much less predictable emotions of real girls.
6 Tsukimi Is A Devoted Otaku Who Shares Her Living Space With Other Fangirls
Arguably the most relatable heroine for many female otaku, Tsukimi Kurashita from Princess Jellyfish is a socially awkward aspiring illustrator who lives with an eccentric group of girls bonded by their shared interest in otaku media.
Her secluded lifestyle made her terrified of formal environments and attractive people, and anime and manga serve as a source of comfort and inspiration for Tsukimi. Thankfully, all inhabitants of the Amamizukan building are used to each other’s antics and never let any differences stand in between their friendship.
5 Shinpachi’s Love For The Idol Terakado Tsuu Makes Him Abandon His Composed Demeanor
As a member of Gintama’s eccentric Yorozuya, Shimura Shinpachi often has to assume the role of an upstanding man to keep Kagura and Gintoki in line. However, when it comes to his true passion, the famous idol Terakado Tsuu, Shinpachi turns into a diehard otaku.
For Sinpachi, supporting her is more than just a hobby. As one of Otsu’s first fans, he feels devoted to her beyond admiring her music. He seems to have all of Otsu’s memorabilia and even leads her official fanclub, the Terakado Tsuu’s Imperial Guards.
4 Kirino Remains One Of The Most Famous Otaku Heroines For A Reason
Famed OreImo heroine Kirino excels at keeping up a perfect facade in front of classmates and friends, looking and acting the part of a talented, gorgeous overachiever. However, behind closed doors, Kirino is an avid otaku with a passion for “little sister” games and all things moe.
Her secret coming to light to her older brother Kyousuke kickstarts the development of their bond. With Kyousuke’s help and guidance, Kirino gradually grows less ashamed of her hobbies, even finding real-life otaku friends and learning to accept her interests with pride.
3 Miyano Is A Rare Positive Representation Of Fudanshi In Anime
Sasaki And Miyano
Fudanshi, or male otaku interested in BL anime and manga, is a subgroup of otaku culture that rarely gets time in the limelight. The BL romance Sasaki and Miyano breaks those conventions, introducing the fans to a diehard fudanshi Yoshikazu Miyano.
While Miyano feels ashamed of being a fudanshi, his love for BL manga is directly responsible for kickstarting his romance with Sasaki, one of the first people to showcase a genuine interest in the boy’s hobby. Sasaki’s acceptance made Miyano way more comfortable in his otaku identity.
2 Daru Fits The Image Of A Archetypical Otaku To A T
For many anime fans, Itaru “Daru” Hashida from Steins;Gate was their first exposure to the otaku archetype. One of the most classic representations of an otaku hero, Daru is constantly seen behind his computer or shopping in Akihabara, he uses online terminology in real life, and proudly indulges in his otaku hobbies.
A computer whiz of Rintarou’s Future Gadget Laboratory, he’s often referred to as Super Hacker. At the time, tech skills were closely associated with hardcore otaku, making Daru’s image fit the archetype even better.
1 Strong Passion For Anime Inspired Asakusa And Misuzaki To Make Their Own Animation Masterpieces
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is Masaaki Yuasa’s love letter to the art of creating anime, touching upon the otaku passion that drives many artists to pursue this challenging career. Background artist Asakusa and character designer Misuzaki, the creative forces behind the animation club’s activity, are obsessed with anime, which inspires the girls to create it themselves.
Combining their unrestricted passion and artistic talents with their friend Kanamori’s materialistic business streak, the trio explores aspects that make otaku media so compelling to both authors and fans from within.
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