21 Warning Signs That You Are an Otaku

By Donald Ash | Anime Corner

Karen is A Classic Otaku

Ever heard the term otaku before? An English student of mine once explained that オタク translates to mean mania or enthusiast, and later became associated with those endaring expressions “geek” or “nerd.”

You probably know the traditional nerd stereotype already: the glasses-wearing, fashion-aloof, pocket-protector wearing, Mark Zuckerberg-ish (sorry, Mark), man or woman who keeps to themselves and is so into a subject (usually, but not limited to, academic or electronic) that they barely notice the world around them. They are, more often than not, considered to be a bit awkward in social settings, they’d rather be absorbed in their own worlds than socializing in this one.
(Donnie palms his own face and sighs…”I’m so guilty.”)

The idea for this post came about because I remember that I would religiously, every single Thursday without fail, check online to find if the latest Naruto manga & anime episodes had been posted. After the Naruto manga ended (honestly not a fan of the ending) I felt so empty inside. What would I do to fill this void? Drugs? Sex? No…I, uh (cue the lip quiver) stepped out an Naruto with another anime…”NARUTO, I’M SORRY! YOU WEREN’T AROUND AND…”

binge the other day I started to wonder…am I transforming into an Otaku?!?

Here are the

21 Warning Signs That You’re An Otaku:

1. If you’ve ever had an anime night that’s lasted more than 2 hours

This means you’ve watched more than about four anime episodes…in one sitting.

If you’ve watched more than this, with no break…I suspect it may already be too late for you.

2. If you named your son or daughter after your favorite video game character

“Hi, I’d like you to meet my daughter, Robeast!”

3. If you own a giant robot that can only be controlled from a command center inside its head or chest

A la Voltron, the Power Rangers, Evangelion, etc.

4. If you live in Japan and voluntarily go to Akihabara (Electric Town) more than once a week.

Yep, even if you’re going just to pick up parts for you computer (every week?) that still counts. It probably counts even more if you’re out there building computers on a regular basis, Bill Gates.

5.If you’ve paid more than $100 for a Halloweeen costume or cosplay

I think paying more than one-hundred dollars to REALLY become that anime, manga, or video game character you want to be just for one day screams “OTAKU! Right here!”

6. If your Ipod or smart phone currently has more than five songs from an anime, video game, nerd-proven sources.

My guilty list of songs in my iTunes Library RIGHT NOW:
“Simple & Clean by Utada Hikaru”
“Megaman 2 Guitar Medley”
“Final Fantasy X – Piano Collections”
“Dragon Quest VIII Soundtrack,” “Yes the full soundtrack..” Donnie whispers as he hangs head in utter shame. LOL”
“All of the Samurai Champloo Music” (Those beats, though!)

7. If you exercise or go running to aforesaid video game music/anime music and imagine yourself being that video game or anime character…

When I’m running, I’m L’il Mac training for my match with Mike Tyson and there isn’t a damn thing you can say to tell me different

8. If you’ve ever cried during an anime or, even more extreme, got emotional during a video game cut scene

Let’s say like when —– dies in Final Fantasy VII. If you’re so into the story that it drives you to tears, it might be an indicator that perhaps you may have a one-way ticket to Otaku Land in your back pocket.

9. If you haven’t been to a social gathering of some form in 6 months or more

This means that you’re not leaving your house. You work, go home, and stay there…which potentially means more personal time for all things nerdy. Don’t feel bad if this is you…eye-twitch…I haven’t left my house in three days :O

10. If you pay more attention to your video games more than your girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband, or significant other.


11. If someone makes you angry, and you glare at them really hard and say…”Sharingan.”

12. If you watch Japanese anime in the original, Japanese voices but have no intention of learning the language.

13. If you missed your friend’s wedding to watch Attack On Titan.

14. If you’ve ever had a cartoon crush, or fantasy about a cartoon or comic book character

I’m sure it’s more common that people think…ahem…not that I’ve done it or anything. But if you’ve “masticated” to a cartoon or comic, you are on a whole ‘nother level.

15. If you’ve ever written the name of a person you don’t like on an eery, black notepad in hopes that something very “unfortunate” would happen to them.

16. If you snort when you laugh.

17. If you’ve ever been to any form of convention or event related to video-game, comic book, manga, or anime.

YES, This includes Comic-Con! Don’t think you get a pass just because cool actors are there. You ain’t slipping through the cracks there, sister. Or, in my case, it was this: the PLAY! Video Game Symphony that I went to back in 2006 (and kinda want to go to again). Having a date at this event would’ve made me feel a lot less geeky.

18. If I say “One-Winged Angel” and you-know-who, pops in your head…

19. If you got an erection, or got hot-in-the-pants, from the excitement of a nerd-related movie or game.

We can run a test really quickly on this one. If you watch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer below and at 0:53, some magic starts happening in your shorts, then you already know.

20. If you can name 5 Ghibli Films (particularly if you’re not Japanese) in under 10 seconds, without skipping a beat

Go ahead. You know you want to…I dare you.

21. If you’ve ever sung an AKB48 song

Yes, even if you’ve sung one in the privacy of your own home.

**You may be an otaku if you understood any of the references on this list**

The Wrap-Up

How’d you do? Did you see any similarities? Did any of these warning signs apply to you? It’s okay, you can tell the truth 😀

If one or two of these apply to you may have a very mild case of otaku poisoning,
But if the “オタク-ness” circulates through your system for too long, you may end up being an otaku…forever.

It’s not as bad as you think. You can still live a normal life.
Donnie flashes an evil, knowing, geek grin as he straightens his pocket protector and pushes his reading spectacles higher on the bridge of his nose.


Please share how many of these applied to you in the comments section below.
Any you want to add? You can write those in the comments section, too!!


About the Author

Donald Ash is an Atlanta, Georgia-born, American expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last eleven years. While in that time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator of thejapanguy.com blog. Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.

Copyright text 2017 by The Japan Guy.

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