We all know what an Otaku is. Using the definition of Otaku in wiki
- “Otaku is a Japanese pejorative term used to refer to a variety of geek, fanboy or fangirl, particularly one obsessed with such hobbies as anime and manga. When applied to a person, the word generally has negative connotations which it has yet to completely shake, though it can have either positive or negative connotations depending on the situation and the person using the term. Sometimes also otome, specifically denoting a female otaku.”
Are you an otaku by the definition? We all know that being an otaku is very hard. Firstly, if you watch Densha Otoko, you should know the limits of these otaku in which they will pursue their goals. They literally spend their money on figurines and do in their means to go for all the conventions that they can ever go. They parade around and it is almost clear that they are otakus. You can even tell from their scent and the things that they have that they are otakus.
Honestly, using such a strict definition, I am not definitely not even 10% otaku. Still, I believed that there is a sub-species of Otaku, called the Potaku where I reside in.
What is a Potaku? Read on to find out…
Potaku, under the definition of the ID (Impzie’s Dictionary), represents the breed of otaku that are not as hardcore like the true-blue ones, but have enough signs to show that they are well on the path of Otaku. Rather than calling them infants or begineers, the term Potaku or in the full unabbreviated version (Poor man’s otaku), is used to describe them.
They are less apparent than the common otaku, with the fact that they do not have many accessories compared to the normal Otaku. You will probably find one or two figurines in their houses but that is hardly otaku material. They do watch a lot of anime, sometimes with a wide scope of fetishes that can literally compete with the real otakus. However, their knowledge is limited and not deep, compared to an average otaku.
The brief differences of an otaku and a potaku will be explained in the following notes in the pointers below.
3 key differences of an Otaku and a Potaku
1. A potaku is poor. Instead of collecting 1/6 figurines, exclusive DVD boxsets and expensive limited editions of posters, they succumb to collecting cheap HP accessories, pencil boards that have no apparent use and download subbed versions of the anime that they watch and burn it to blank DVDs. They generally try to hide this fact as they do not want to be seen as a poor person that cannot even save to well save their lives. They are also the ones swooning and salivating at the true otakus when they see the collection of the real otakus.
They are often depressed about this, but they knew that they have no choice. They are potaku, after all. Their rooms are poorly adorned, looking like a room of a normal human except a few accessories here and there. They are often cheaper alteratives and they might have 1-2 exclusive sets of items, but that is about it. They have low purchasing power.
2. They generally know much less compared to a real otaku. A real otaku can tell you what seiyuu a character has, the various roles that the seiyuu has done (at least three) and they generally can read Japanese like a 133t character. However, the potaku do not know that much. The fact that they do not speak/understand most Japanese except baka/mu ri/dekkai and other key phrases meant that they are not proficent enough to know the full details. They do not search for hours about each phrase as well as the many words that are used in context.
For example, they will never spend two hours understanding Jung’s collective unconscious theory that was shown in Lain but will depend on others to explain it in a simpler term. They generally surf websites for such information instead of being the one that spreads the news around. They also cannot rant out information like a machine gun, with more abstract phrasing.
3. Potakus wear normally and you cannot distinguish from a mile, unlike real otakus in which you can scent them away from a mile. You usually do not see tangling accessories and fasteners on their bags. They do not have thick bulky spectacles that are used to magnify the anime accessories. Generally, undistinguishable from the public.
I admit that I am a potaku. Yet, being a potaku is the only way I can go. It is sad but true that the lifestyle of an otaku is a high life and I cannot afford it. Sigh, I almost feel like ranting already.
Oh well, i will keep mum. For all the otakus out there, I admire you. For all the potakus out there, lament together with me!