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Know Your Otaku
By His Lordship Chaos
So there I was, watching a National Animegraphic special on TV about "When Mobile Suits Attack." Currently the scene was featuring a particularly vicious Deathscythe Hell Custom turning on its OZ captors and proceeding to wipe out a whole battalion of Leo's. Hey, it was either this or another rerun of Haunted Jyuban, starring Toilet Haruka. Come to think of it...why wasn't I watching that?
Quickly flipping through the channels, I was suddenly interrupted by a knock on the front door. A package awaited me in the hallway, sent courtesy of FedEX/1999. Postman Fuma was very courteous and friendly. Right until he snapped, pulled out his sacred sword and tried to run me through with it.
Yet he was no match for me. I called a quick Time-Out and then stepped out while my stunt double shot the scene for me. Not exactly thrilled with yet another ritual disembowelment, our helpful and immortal 'Wu' Yakumo nevertheless needed the money to chase after Pai in China.
So as Fuma repeatedly stabbed Yakumo, puzzled why this guy wasn't dying, I bounded into the living room to open my package. Assuming it was my new Victoria Senshi catalogue, I eagerly tore open the box...only to see it was a mail-order Digimon. Not exactly impressed, I slowly turned to look at my resident psychotic gerbil, Tamagoyaki.
Chaos: "And I suppose this is showing up on my credit card bill?"
Tamagoyaki: ^-^ "You suppose right!"
Tossing the hapless critter over my shoulder for Tamagoyaki's amusement, I was ready to return to the Haunted Jyuban episode where Red Michiru removes her mask and everyone becomes smitten by her radiant beauty.
(Rule 3 gags naturally ensue)
However something caught my attention. It appeared there was something else in the box--and thankfully it wasn't from the Digimon. I picked up a small device with a flip-open lid and a small viewscreen inside. Thinking the little rodent of an obligatory mascot had stolen my pocket daytimer again, I accessed the miniature computer...and then heard a strange voice. Well, actually it was more of a hysterical squawk, followed by the maniacal laughter of Tamagoyaki accompanied by the sounds of a razor shaving said Digimon bald. But the small device in my hand had said something else.
My curiosity piqued like any average catgirl, I turned to Tamagoyaki.
Chaos: [???] "What's this supposed to be?"
SD Xellos-chan: ^^ "Sore wa...himitsu desu!"
Chaos: --;; "How did you get into apartment?"
SD Xellos-chan: ^^ "Sore wa--"
And so as Xellos proceeded to open his eyes--not a good thing, if you do recall what I said in my Bad Boys of Anime rant. If you've forgotten what I said...read my rant again! And then send me money. Lots of money. Slower than Hell Anime fansubbers were right when they stated 'Anime. Yeah, drugs would be cheaper'!!
But I'm ranting yet again!
So where was I?
Ah yes, Xellos opened his eyes and turned me into a flaming li'l otaku. I was forced to douse myself in the sink with a jug of cold water. And then I remembered just one sight gag too late that I was still under the curse of Jusenkyo's Spring of Drowned PenPen. Lucky for me, Tamagoyaki was still busy with the Digimon to bother shaking me bald.
Anyhoo, after rinsing myself off with the ever-present pan dimensional kettle o' warm water, I waved the device in question in front of Tamagoyaki and asked what it was.
Tamagoyaki: "Oh, that? It's an Otakudex."
Chaos: [sweatdrop!] "A what?"
Washu-sensei: "An Otakudex."
Chaos: [recoiling in surprise] "Where'd you come from?!"
Yes indeed, much like Ines popping up in Nadesico whenever a question was asked (she's got a 6th sense about such things), there was Washu-sensei garbed in her black teacher's uniform. She proceeded to give a quick multi-media lecture to those of us in my apartment. Namely Tamagoyaki, myself, a bald Digimon, and Xellos.
I don't think I'll ever be able to figure out how she got the desks and the chalkboard into my living room so fast. But it was safer than going through another sac-beating session with 'Ask Mister Uber Exploder Wizard'.
"We all know of the Pokedex," Washu-sensei explained. "That little info-tech pad that gives you data on the different species of Pokemon you encounter. And there are over 150 of those Beanie Battle Babies out there too."
She held her pointer at one of the multi-media screens, whereupon the screen changed images to reveal a large chart full of SD versions of countless...otaku?
In all honesty, I was more concerned with the fact that Xellos was hogging all the popcorn, but that's not really essential to the rant. Ne?
Washu-sensei continued, explaining how Anime conventions in particular should have an Otakudex handy to identify some of the wondrous and frightening variety of obsessive Anime fans out there:
KAMI-SAMA: perhaps the most evolved and powerful Otaku in existence, a lifetime subscriber to Anime and all its related avenues. This otaku has a godlike status...not to mention countless art books, manga, doujinshi, CDs and fansubs. The Kami-sama otaku typically has an intermediate to advanced knowledge of the Japanese language and culture, and has been to Japan at least once.
They are familiar and probably grew up with Astroboy, Robotech and Starblazers. Sometimes known to have very definitive websites on the Net (ie. Hitoshi Doi), the Kami-sama Otaku is endowed with knowledge of almost any Anime series you can name, and is ritually worshipped for their rare Anime purchases. Of course, they also enjoy being sadistic every now and again, making lesser Otaku beg for those hard-to-get fansubs.
Most quoted as saying, "It's safer and less time-consuming to ask me what Anime I haven't seen. I can count those babies on my fingers."
COSPLAYER (GOOD): the chameleon Otaku. More often than not, their natural environment is at an Anime convention where they can dress up and not given funny looks. The Cosplayer (good) otaku is one who takes their work seriously at costuming themselves to resemble an Anime character. Usually said character is one of their favourites, and shares a slight resemblance to them.
The Cosplayer (good) will not hesitate to go to great lengths to detail their costumes as accurately as possible. This includes dying their hair (a shame light purple isn't a natural colour), fashioning accessories and battle armour, and even taking on the same nuances and mannerisms. It should be noted that not even their friends or family remembers the Cosplayer (good)'s natural hair colour.
These thrill-seeking Otaku are very friendly and love having their pictures taken. Not to mention they are notorious for their warped sense of humour and have been known to cross-dress on occasion. True to character, they might beat you up in the process, but it's always worth it.
Safety tip: those who dress up as Jinnai or Naga are known for their dead-on maniacal laughs. Best to avoid if possible, lest paralysis ensues.
NEWBIE: the annoying otaku. Waxes ecstatic about the two or three Animes they have seen (usually the dubbed versions) and acts as if they are on the same level as the Kami-sama Otaku. Cute but only for a short while, the Newbie overcompensates for their lack of experience by talking too much and trying too hard to impress their fellow otaku.
Swearing at them in Japanese (ie. "Anata no bakayaro") will prove utterly useless, since they won't know what you're saying. Not to mention this otaku will hound you to figure out what it means. The final indignity will come after you've caved just so their incessant whining doesn't cause your head to turn into yogurt (a la Gourry); the Newbie will begin to incessantly use their newfound Japanese vocabulary to unwittingly create more enemies.
Now admittedly all Otaku were all this young and stupid once, and we are trusting that the majority has moved into the more advanced levels. After all, the Newbie usually doesn't live long. They either evolve to something less agitating--or true to natural Otaku selection, they are devoured messily by the larger, powerful and more territorial Otaku, and are never seen again.
DIVX: this otaku, much like the less-than-intelligent dodo bird, thought that DIVX was the wave of the future for Anime. The species has been subsequently rendered extinct. And there was much rejoicing by their natural predatory enemies, the DVD Otaku.
FEMME: the female Otaku. A lesser known and thus more mysterious breed of Anime fan out there. Known to enjoy shojo (girls' romance) stories, and the "bishounen" pretty boys of Anime. The Femme Otaku tends to faun over such shows as Fushigi Yugi, Ruruoni Kenshin and Gundam Wing, and dreams about owning her personal harem of bishounen. Can also be more obsessive than their male Otaku counterparts.
Any additional information on the Femme Otaku is still being gathered and researched.
HENTAI: the perverted Otaku. Known for enjoying bikini shots, nekkid flashes, bathhouses and fanservice (all in no apparent order). They worship the likes of Jyako Amano, Happosai, Kintaro Oe and Minni-May...and are no doubt studying the art of Sexcraft. But we're not going there, since Newbies might be reading this, and their exposure to the sukebe side of Anime might cause them to have geyser of a nose bleed and pass out from the loss of blood (we lose more Newbies that way every year).
If you have to ask what the words Urotsuki Doji mean, the Hentai shall ask you quietly leave the room before a nubile young lady has to smack your ass with a whip.
An interesting trait, at least in the North American otaku domain, is that you can have two types of Hentai Otaku. One is (ironically enough) the cultured hentai. This fan has seen most every hentai video, and has a vast collection of hentai manga and doujinshi. And their standards for a "good" hentai Anime are surprisingly high. Anything that fails to make the grade will be mercilessly riffed and torn to shreds.
The other is the sukebe variation. Naughty tentacles are a way of life. Do not get into close proximity of the "sukebe" Otaku variant. Especially if you're a nubile young lady wearing tear-away clothing...or a high school sailor fuku uniform. Sukebe Otaku are known to frequent "Private Junior Colleges" after all.
COSPLAYER (EVIL): just as thrill-seeking as the Cosplayer (good) version, but ultimately they bring death and destruction to Anime conventions. The Cosplayer (evil) generally looks nothing like the character they're portraying, or else have a shoddily-made costume. Either way, they have the effect of causing other Otaku to run away screaming.
Case in point: a 300 pound, metal bikini-clad Naga Cosplayer. Barring that, a Sailor Senshi who hasn't shaved his legs, chest or armpits since birth. Avoid this Otaku at all costs. Therapy bills resulting from such an encounter with the Cosplayer (evil) are usually quite expensive.
NO-LIFER: this Otaku is slightly more psychotic than the Kami-sama, though just as powerful. Typically the No-Lifer has yet to see the light of day, encasing themselves in their tiny apartments where they have amassed gratuitous amounts of any Anime-related product (such as the Hello Kitty Gym Shorts--thought not to be confused with the Lucky Kitty Ones--or else the Barbie Boomer doll).
No-Lifers consider Anime the epitome of existence, can sing along with virtually any Anime or J-Pop song, and dreamily write many a fanfiction about their favourite series. Usually are regarded in need of being committed.
Tamagoyaki: "Hey, this sounds like you!"
Chaos: "Only if you count the light-hearted and completely innocent, cross-dressing antics of the Cosplayer (good)."
Xellos: ^^ "Question, then: why are you ordering the black lace teddy from page six of the Victoria Senshi catalogue?"
Chaos: o.O "Um...it's for my girlfriend, the Femme Otaku! Really!"
Note: the No-Lifer Otaku has no girlfriend. Femme Otaku avoid these guys like the plague. If a No-Lifer claims otherwise, it is obviously a happily delusion that you should feel free to shatter upon a sadistic whim.
Tamagoyaki: [slowly turning to Chaos] "I'll call the guys in the white coats."
Xellos: ^^ "I'll get more popcorn, and call all my friends."
Chaos: --;; [stomping on the Otakudex] "Was I asking for a commentary, you stupid machine?!"
Washu-sensei: "Can we get back to my brilliant lecture?"
MECHA FREAK: "Gundammit Janet!" This is the essence of the Mecha freak's marching song. These Otaku are well-versed in all technical terms and concepts of the Gundam universe, and are known to rant about such things to the point where everyone else quietly leaves the room. Not fully realizing just how much they're misunderstood, the Mecha freak loves modeling kits, and will become very defensive if their favourite mobile suit is challenged. At this point in time, running from them is the only way to ensure survival. Epic property damage is something that the Mecha Freak excels at invoking--even without a Gundam.
SKEPTIC: Evil hellspawn who knows nothing about Anime, but thinks it's stupid anyways. Laughs at all otaku for enjoying "kiddie cartoons." Typically shuts up permanently after you show them something along the lines of Ninja Scroll, EVA or any hentai.
On the plus side, if a Skeptic shows up at a convention, they make an excellent substitute for a Pikachu piñata!
[And now we come to the end. Go home. Seek help.]
[We mean it.]
[What are you still doing here?! Are you that obsessed with Anime?]