Otaku come in many flavors, but one thing can be said for each and every one of them. They've each staked out their own favorite thing, and they obsess over it relentlessly. Regardless of other intelligence, an otaku will have an obsessive, unhealthy, and almost encyclopedic knowledge of their chosen topic.
There are almost as many flavors of this type of character as there are things under the sun, but a few of the major ones are:
- Anime or Manga Otaku (which is what most people think of when they hear the term "otaku")
- Cosplay Otaku
- Gaming Otaku
- Idol Otaku (wota)
- Military Otaku
- Technology Otaku
Essentially, someone could be an otaku about just about anything: politics, sports, history, etc. When otaku is used by itself by a Westerner, 99% of the time it will mean "anime/manga otaku".
Neither geek nor nerd is an adequate translation. However, in modern use, both words may carry a shadow of the right connotations of obsessive interest and/or social ineptitude; see the geek and nerd pages for details. Think of the older, more pejorative senses of geek and you're on the right track. The British term anorak and the Internet term neckbeard are also close translations. Speaking of The Internet, in more dickish online communities, autism-related terms get slung around in a similar manner. The closest troper-speak cognate would be "Loony Fan." In Japan, the term doesn't carry a positive meaning at all. One of the first things most Japanese language classes often have to teach people is that calling yourself an otaku in Japan is a very bad thing. (Although it must be said that in more recent years this sense is mellowing out, to the extent that more Japanese are self-identifying as otaku. See The Other Wiki's page on this for more info.)
A related term is hikikomori, which refers to a teenager or young adult who withdraws completely from society for an extended period, typically isolating themselves within their parents' house and becoming psychologically fixated on particular hobbies; hikikomori in media are usually otaku of some sort. Hikikomori are also critically viewed as lazy and outright creepy, which doesn't help the perception of otaku much - especially after 1989, when serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki was shown to be both an otaku and hikikomori, leading to a moral panic.
Otakuism is associated with men, with the notable exceptions of the Fangirls, Wrench Wench, the Cosplay Otaku Girl, and creators of a certain kind of comic. However, females seem to be either getting more common lately or becoming more relaxed about showing it.
The term itself comes from the very polite form of "you", which can come off as socially awkward. The best guess as to how the term became associated with obsessive fandom is that the word was an inside joke among the production staff of the anime series Super Dimension Fortress Macross in 1982, and that they would have characters (notably Lynn Minmay) use the over-polite form of address, even when inappropriate. Fans picked it up and used it in conversation between each other even well past the point when they would use other forms of "you", such as "kimi" or "Anata" or "omae". A writer for a Japanese magazine noted the meme and wrote an article that cemented the term as being used for obsessive fans.
- Graham Aker from Gundam 00 is a Japanese culture fanboy. A VERY badass Japanese fanboy who manages to avoid being an Occidental Otaku if only by virtue of the fact he is totally serious about his passion and has hardly any traits of the Occidental version aside from the fanaticism.
- Gundam Build Fighters gets pretty Meta about this. Since the entire sub-franchise is about people building custom model kits and battling them using a simulator-like machine, most of the cast are Otaku for the Gundam franchise itself. Original Build Fighters protagonist Sei Iori is a stand-out example: in one episode where he was put under hypnosis, he proceeded to recite Amuro Ray's dialog from Mobile Suit Gundam...all 43 episodes of itnote .
- Nearly the entire casts of Otaku no Video, Genshiken/Spotted Flower, and Comic Party, shows about fandom.
- Staz, the main protagonist from Blood Lad is a Vampire of Royal Lineage, ruler of a portion of Makai, and a self-confessed Otaku who loves human entertainment, particularly Anime and Manga, and is a proud Dragon Ball Z fanboy who idolizes Goku.
- Sergeant Sousuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic! is described as a military otaku by Kaname, before she finds out he really is in the military. However, Sousuke is still a military nut even though he's a real soldier, since he's completely clueless about anything that doesn't have to do with fighting or the military and always acts as though he's on the battlefield. Shinji Kazama is a straighter version of the trope, specifically a military AS fan.
- All-around badass Belfangan Clouseau's guilty pleasure is moe anime. During the climax of the story, he monologues about how he's going to survive so that he can retire, move to Akihabara, and spend the rest of his life translating said anime so that everyone can enjoy it.
- Sgt. Keroro, the alien frog protagonist of Sgt. Frog, is a Gundam otaku. It's one of the reasons why he doesn't blow up the Earth when he gets the oppurtunity to do so.
- Kaoru's two male friends in Ai Yori Aoshi are a cosplay otaku and metrophile, respectively.
- Midori Days: Takamizawa is a fanatic when it comes to cosplay figures and has an entire showroom, which includes everything from limited edition models, to one-of-a-kind originals. It's just missing one thing: Midori, herself. But since he's unable to add her to his collection (for obvious reasons), he does the next best thing, by making a perfect likeness of her in the form of a hand puppet.
- Patlabor has Noa Izumi and Shige.
- Noa is a huge fan of Labors, which is the reason she signed up for duty with the newly formed second Special Vehicles Unit - in hopes of being able to pilot one of her very own. She had even chosen the name "Alphonse" for it, before ever being accepted as part of the division. So, for her, being a Labor pilot is literally her dream job.
- The same can be said in regard to Shige. The difference being, whereas Noa wants to pilot Labors, Shige is a gearhead who wants to study them in order to better understand how they work, so he can optimize their efficiency. Which is why he became a mechanic at the SVU.
- During the "dinosaur" episode of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Sasshi is briefly depicted as the ultimate negative Japanese stereotype of the otaku: solitary, overweight, bad complexion, and with the implication of poor hygiene, body odor, and paraphilia. (See image above.)
- Paranoia Agent features an otaku who patronizes (as in, he pays the hookers for sex, not treat them in a condescending manner) hookers that play to his cosplay fetish. It turns out to be a plot point later on.
- Rozen Maiden: Traumend features Micchan, a double rarity: a female otaku who isn't a Cosplay Otaku Girl, and who seems to have a "real" job as a corporate executive. The protagonist of the show is not only an occult otaku but obviously a hikikomori, although this isn't said outright.
- Houshakuji Renge in Ouran High School Host Club is so obsessed with the fictional Dating Sim videogame Ukidoki Memorial (a rather transparent allusion to the real Tokimeki Memorial games) that she decides to redesign the personalities of the Host Club members to better match the characters in the game.
- It's more insane than that. When she first saw a photo of one of the members (he bore a very close resemblance to her favorite character), she instantly declared she was going to marry him and transfered to the school. Keep in mind the school is in Japan and she lived in Paris.
- Lucky Star:
- Konata, another exception to the Cosplay Otaku Girl rule, who seems to be primarily a gaming otaku (specifically, MMORPGs and eroges), though she also talks about anime, manga, and Collectible Card Games.
- Patricia Martin is a parody of the typical American weeaboo, knowing nothing about Japan and its culture besides what she learned from anime, manga and yaoi. She learned most of her Japanese from subbed anime, only listens to Japanese bands whose songs have been used as anime themes, and believes Akihabara is a more important cultural landmark than anything else in Japan. Needless to say, she's way geekier than even Konata.
- Yamazaki Kaoru from Welcome to the N.H.K.. Although he comes off as slightly less severe then some of the other characters, he's treated with the same humorous objective criticism as everyone else.
- In the anime version of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, the serious and sensible Rina is given a rather ridiculous vice: she's a plasma TV otaku. This is used without fail to allow the writers to dangle a TV in front of her and ignore any situation where she would take the Idiot Ball from her friends and punt it somewhere else with her good sense.
- The main protagonist of Kekkaishi is a cake otaku. Another person lampshades this. This is made funnier when his feelings for an older childhood friend and briefly gaining a Stalker with a Crush of similar age to said childhood friend has given him a reputation for being fond of older women, which other characters have also pointed out.
- Nagi from Hayate the Combat Butler is a manga otaku, and has been drawing her own ever since she was six years old. She's also a Gamer Chick. Gotta do something with all those hours inside, right?
- Wataru (a.k.a. "Waka") works as a clerk in a video store, giving him plenty of opportunities to indulge in his hobby of action anime.
- It's arguable that Hayate himself is one, seeing as he's been in many positions that other otaku would kill for. And the fact that he redrew Nagi's manga chapter into one that would appeal to many otaku. Then again, he might just be too dense to be one.
- Gym teacher Kaoru is given his own chapter, titled "Lost in the Path of the Otaku". He is a Gundam otaku, his room filled to overflowing with Gundam models (he built them himself), but the main focus of his character isn't about this part of his life.
- Kotetsu is shown to be this way over trains, his fascination with them is used to put the 'dark side' of Japan's outlook to a lampshade when two girls, who previously were discussing how Bishōnen his looks are, are visibly squicked when the camera he's pulling out of his bag is used to take pictures of the trains going by, and quickly leave.
- Tama and Rin in Bamboo Blade are also toku fans, and eventually become Promoted Fangirls when they get a chance to go on the set of the Blade Braver movie.
- Sakura in Penguin Musume, a Cosplay Otaku Girl and hardcore fan to the point of being loony.
- Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth loves video games (specifically RPGs), and uses terms such as "experience points" and "treasure" when she and the other girls receive their first mission from Presea.
- Codename: Sailor V (the manga that would eventually give birth to Sailor Moon) actually has a one off character called Takurou Ootaku, whose name is a pun roughly meaning "wandering otaku". He's a Game Otaku who refuses to believe a girl could be better at games than he is. He flips out at the idea of Minako even going to an arcade (which he considers a "castle for lonely boys") and accuses Minako of being a man in drag when she beats his highscore. He even demands she take off her clothes. When she tries to fight him as Sailor V he tries to look up her skirt, so she kicks him.
- Petshop Of Horrors: Tokyo has a sight gag panel in which Count D turns down a stereotypical otaku's request for a Catgirl Meido.
- The titular character of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. Being an infamous Ojou, she had to hide the fact that she's also an Anime Otaku, otherwise people will look down on her... and then the male protagonist caught her red-handed and she became completely scared that he'd use that knowledge to that advantage (turns out he didn't). This is an in-anime example where people do look down on anime Otaku, if it gets blown out of proportion... like the male protagonist's best friend, whose otakuness is shown right off bat.
- Eitarou, Professor Stein and Agaliarept in Magician's Academy are all otaku in the purest sense of the word. Except they're also all powerful mages, mad scientists and hold positions of at least some power at the Magician's Academy. When magic and fandom combine, all that can be said is Hilarity Ensues.
- Rumi from The High School Life of a Fudanshi is one for BL manga. She's passionate about manga, has friendly arguments about certain pairings, and is familiar with the Seme and Uke terms.
- Winry of Fullmetal Alchemist is an automail engineer and a "gear junky". Edward lampshades this, and is promptly accused of being an "alchemy freak".
- Dragon Ball GT features a deceptive cult leader, Dolltakkii, who is creepily obsessed with dolls, even turning girls into dolls for him to coo over, and his cult revolves around bringing a giant killer doll to life by sacrificing his followers. His very name is even a pun on the term doll otaku.
- Highschool of the Dead: Hirano is a gun/military otaku, turned specialist after spending a month training at an American Blackwater firing range. As such, his expertise makes him invaluable to Takashi's group as he often lays down cover fire, during engagements, and even begins teaching the others how to use firearms.
- Maken-ki!: Kimi Satou and her best friend, Akaza Chacha, first met through their mutual love of manga and cosplay. Chapter 60 delves deeper by featuring them cosplaying as Alena and Manya, from Dragon Quest IV, at a schoolwide manga convention, during which, Kimi tries to sell some of her own doujinshi.
- Fumio from Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo prefers reading Manga to insignificant things like studying, making friends, or not going Axe-Crazy.
- Japan from Axis Powers Hetalia is an anime and games otaku; he has stated he prefers 2D to 3D and is a direct parody to Japan's (the country) otaku culture.
- France of all people seems to be one for manga as well. He's shown shopping for manga with Japan in one strip, mentally compared Germany to Light in another and was in one live event told by Japan that if he doesn't behave, he wouldn't let him have any more manga. Justified Trope since France imports more manga than any other nation.
- Tashigi from One Piece could be classified as a sword otaku, among other things.
- Chiaki from Niea_7 loves investigating UFOs, and it's just her luck that aliens have landed on earth. It also makes her bond with Niea very well.
- Hiroshi Akiba of Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs is stated by the manga to be a pop-idol otaku turned dog otaku. He knows more about dogs than the title character.
- Keima Katsuragi, the protagonist of The World God Only Knows, is a dedicated dating sim otaku who gets recruited to help capture runaway spirits. He's not generally well-liked by his fellow students - which is fine with him, because he doesn't like engaging with them.
- His sidekick Elsee is an otaku too, although she's rather quieter about it than Keima. Unusually for the trope, she has two specialities: Idol Singer Kanon Nakagawa... and fire trucks.
- Probably as a Gender Flip homage to the above example, Tomoko Kuroki of No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! is an Otome otaku who tries to gain popularity in school in the same way that Keima does his job. Unfortunately for her, things are not what it seems...
- Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden was described by the author once as "fundamentally an otaku"...of many things presumably, given the extent of his library (has a bit of everything, not sure on his definition of a bit) and art/sculpture/weird things from the lower world collection.
- Tsutomo Sasaki from Domu: A Child's Dream failed to get into college for three consecutive years because he spends all of his time building model airplanes.
- Walker and Erika on Durarara!! are big anime/manga otaku who don't really distinguish between fiction and reality; in fact, they fit the negative stereotype that otaku are psychotic, although they're still basically "the good guys".
- Kiko from Darker Than Black. In a world where murder and superhumans with insane abilities are rampart, and people have fairly normal looks, she is a pink-haired sidekick to a bad private detective.
- Megane Kakeru in Inazuma Eleven. At least he's not that bad, and can be even awesome at a time, especially when he's compared to another soccer team made of otaku who use their traits to cheat matches.
- Emerging: Mori, the office manager for the Department of Virology in the National Institute for Infectious Diseases, is an otaku for, of all things, deadly viruses. Especially Ebola.
- Most of the cast of Princess Jellyfish are otaku of some variety (jellyfish, dolls, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, etc). Of particular note are Kuranosuke and Hanamori, who are more-or-less obsessed with fashion and Benzes, yet avoid most of the other negative stereotypes and are generally not lumped in with the other otaku.
- Shinichi Kudo from Detective Conan is both an Amateur Sleuth and a huge fanboy of mystery and crime novels. He's sometimes referred to as a suiri otaku aka a mystery otaku. (Particularly by his "not girlfriend" Ran.)
- In a filler case, Shinichi/Conan investigates a murder that took place in a gathering of tokusatsu fans. The victim hits many, if not all the stereotypes of the "bad" otaku: obsessive, a borderline hikikomori, bitchy, lives in an apartment that's chock-full of memorabilia, etc. It turns out that his most valuable merchandising piece was stolen from a kid... who later was hit by a truck while trying to retrieve it. And the boy's older brother, the leader of the fans club, is who killed the otaku, to punish him for the horrible incident.
- Officer Chiba is a milder example. He's often seen reading a manga about a pretty girl detective and it's strongly suggested by Takagi that his room is full of character figurines and models. When we do get to see his flat, almost every exposed surface in the living room has figurines or other merchandise, but Conan finds it excessive rather than creepy. Chiba's collections seem to be mostly superhero and kaiju related, and naturally, the Detective Kids love it.
- In the filler Séance Locked Murders case, one of the suspects is an otaku named Yutaka, the president of a deceased Idol Singer's fans club. He at first seems to treat the deal as a game, and when a fellow fangirl is found strangled to death he happily and melodrmatically claims that the singer's spirit has come to take revenge for her own strange death.
- Touhou Fuhai from the Rosario + Vampire manga wasn't always one, but as his youth began to fade and women started to leave him, he came to the following realization:
Touhou Fuhai: 2D girls last forever! They would never betray me!
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai. Ikuyo Suzuki, head maid of the Technology department. She writes and sells her own manga.
- Cowboy Bebop: The episode "Speak Like a Child", which is about a time-capsule videotape, features an otaku with an interest in VCRs and other obsolete video equipment.
- Kankichi Ryotsu of Kochikame has a past time of collecting toy models. Judo fighter Sakonji is obsessed with dating sims and miniature female figures.
- Rei of Otasuke Miko Miko-chan is a lighthearted parody.
- In Bokurano, Maki Anou and her father are milder examples. They both love anime and military stuff, but they dearly love each other and Maki manages to bond with her fellow Pilots as well, specially Takami and Kana.
- Haruo Osawagi (Kotetsu's older brother) in the gag manga Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku. College aged and overweight, is obsessed with magical girl anime and Hollywood movies.
- In Tonari no Kashiwagi-san Sayaka and Kazuki aren't otakus, which is the fastest way of describing how prevalent the character type is there. This makes it easier for several of them to form friendships. It's mostly about watching anime and reading manga, with one character being an artist.
- Gonna Be the Twin-Tail!! has an entire set of antagonists who are basically this: The Ultimaguil, who are one part extra-dimensional invader, one-part Emotion Eater, one part Dirty Old Man, and lots of helpings of Otaku. Heck, each has their own native "fetish", from twintails, to bloomers, to little girls holding dolls...
- Tomoya, Eriri, and Utaha of How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend are all otaku to a large degree. Tomoya is very open about it, Utaha doesn't bring it up, and Eriri tries to hide that aspect of her from the public.
- The majority of the cast of Shinozaki-san Ki wo Ota Shika ni! are otaku. The series is notable in that otaku are generally shown in a more positive light. The only character shown with any real prejudice toward otaku is Akina Shinozaki herself, who's faking being an otaku to get close to a girl and introduce her to normal hobbies but ends up Becoming the Mask. Perhaps best demonstrated in a sports day chapter where her classmates, at worst, regard her as a Bunny-Ears Lawyer when her growing otaku-dom slips out during a soccer game. They don't particularly mind her doing things like calling them by "PrePure" colors, since she's carrying the team at that point.
- In The Rising of the Shield Hero the four Legendary Heroes are all Japanese otaku, as were previous generations of Legendary Heroes. The reincarnated pawns of Medea are also otaku, but notably less sane.
- The josei manga Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku deals with romance between different types of otaku. Momose Narumi is a fujoshi while Nifuji Hirotaka, her boyfriend, is a video games otaku. Their friend, Koyanagi Hanako, likes crossplaying. Kabakura Tarou, Koyanagi's boyfriend, is an anime and manga otaku, but he isn't as passionate about it as the rest of them.
- The Nishigori triplets from Yuri!!! on Ice are figure skating otaku despite being only six years old; they already have a reputation as the "Skate Otaku Sisters" due to how passionate they are, and their shared Instagram account is even called "sukeota3sisters", with "sukeota" being short for "skater otaku". Their mother Yuko may not be quite as obsessive about the skating world, but she's been a huge fan of famous Russian skater Victor Nikiforov since she was young, and the fact that the triplets are all named after figure skating jumps definitely says something about how much she loves the sport.
- In Action Heroine Cheer Fruits, Ann Akagi is a major Tokusatsu otaku, not just of the action heroine shows that drive the show's plot but of real shows like Super Sentai, Kamen Rider and more, as evidenced by the Shout Outs she delivers. Contrary to the stereotype, she's actually exceptionally fit for a high schooler, which is precisely why she gets cast as the "Red Ranger" when the girls of Hinano start their own action heroine show. Roko Kuroki, another member of the team, is a railfan: her father is the stationmaster of Hinano's train station, she actually lives in a train car converted into a bedroom, and she's shown to enjoy the smell of diesel; no points for guessing what she suggests when the girls are brainstorming for themes for their show.
- Kaoruko of Comic Girls might be an Older Than They Look high school girl, but her hobbies are more similar to male anime / manga otaku in their twenties: Schoolgirl Series manga, figurine, and seiyuu-chasing. This has been pointed out by one of her roommates, as the only other time that roommate saw a desk like Kaoruko's was of a 25-year-old man.
- Izuku Midoriya of My Hero Academia idolizes Pro Heroes and aspires to be one himself. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of all Pro Heroes (even obscure ones like Eraser Head who tries to avoid appearing in the media) and takes obsessive notes on any detail regarding heroes. His bedroom is also covered from floor to ceiling in All Might merchandise, his favorite Pro Hero.
- Shigeru Mikami in Not Lives is a gaming otaku, and he is even called out for being one. He later uses his gaming skills to defeat the other players in 'Not Alive'.
- My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!: The "monkey girl" and Atsuko loved anime, manga, and otome games. After the monkey girl reincarnates as Katarina, she begins reading Chivalric Romance novels with gratuitous Courtly Love to fuel her addiction, bonding with Sophia due to their shared tastes and even get Mary interested in them too. However, given that Sophia is a reincarnated Atsuko, this is most likely not a coincidence.
- Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Italy and Japan are both otakus for Death Note to the point they decided to cosplay as Light Yagami and Teru Mikami respectively and say their signature lines before bursting into laughter. Germany is not amused.
"That's true!" The brunet laughed. "'Boku wa Kira janai!'"Japan played along. "'Sakujo!'" The two burst out into laughter, clutching at their sides."...Okay." Germany so doesn't get anime.
- In Ashes of the Past, members of the Squirtle/Wartortle/Blastoise evolutionary line are all Otaku of one thing or another, usually anime. Ash's Squirtle and Gary's Blastoise are obsessed with Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, May's Wartortle is a huge fan of the Disney Animated Canon, and a Squirtle that sees May's Blaziken in action decides to take up kickboxing and become The Strongest Squirtle. And then there's the Hidden Village of the Turtle...
- Kung Fu Panda has a rather hilarious take on the otaku phenomenon, with Po as a Furious Five enthusiast. Not only does he know all the tales of their exploits, recognize each sacred or amazing artifact in the temple with ecstatic glee, and pour out gushing praise of Crane in his bedchamber to the point he hovers outside the door waiting for the master to speak again, but he confesses to them that he has all their action figures—which of course are much smaller than the real thing, except Mantis who is "the same size." The fact he is chosen to learn kung fu at their side and becomes the Designated Hero is probably an example of an Ascended Fanboy as well—the artifact-examining scene certainly smacks of it.
- The title character in Muriel's Wedding is a hard-core marriage otaku, who makes it a point to go to every dress boutique in Sydney with fake stories about comatose family members to score pictures of herself in various wedding dresses.
- Several of the people featured in the Documentary Special When Lit come across like this. The most prominent example is Sam Harvey, a former bowling operator who lives alone and spends his days working on his collection of 400 pinball machines, complete with meticulous logs of owners' histories.
- In A Lullaby Sinister, Kaito Inoue is obsessed with anime, manga and video games to the point of it invading his everyday conversations. He is unaware that his references typically go over everyone's heads.
- In Another Note, Beyond Birthday is into manga. He (as Rue Ryuuzaki) spends an entire paragraph gushing over Akazukin Cha Cha. He also tucks an important clue into the set of that manga title in one of his victims' homes.
- In the Discworld novel Going Postal, Apprentice Postman Stanley Howler is an obsessive pin collector, to the point (no pun intended) that all the other collectors in Ankh-Morpork think he's "a little weird about pins". After the main character invents postage stamps, Stanley takes up stamp collecting... with pretty much the same obsessiveness he had for pins.
- Don Quixote makes this Older Than Steam. Even before he goes crazy enough to actually try to become a knight, he's arguing with his friends over which knights are the strongest, overthinking all the technical aspects of the chivalry stories, and even being tempted to write Fan Fiction of one of his favorites. Disturbingly similar to some modern-day fandoms...
You must know, then, that the above-named gentleman whenever he was at leisure (which was mostly all the year round) gave himself up to reading books of chivalry with such ardor and avidity that he almost entirely neglected the pursuit of his field-sports, and even the management of his property.
- You can see this quote in Chapter I, Part I:
- Family Skeleton Mysteries: Madison Thackery quite happily refers to herself as one.
- Apart from wanting to be a sumo wrestler, Shoji from I Knocked Up Satan's Daughter also carries a Dragonball Z backpack and has a sketchbook full of anime characters. "Demon Girls" are apparently his favorite.
- Annie Wilkes of Misery fame may be the best example of this trope, at least in the west. She's also an Axe-Crazy Hikikomori.
- The Dutch series Pindakaas en Sushi has this trope as a major theme, centering around a main character who gets more and more involved with the anime and manga community.
- In Rolitania, a good portion of the population in the titular country are otaku. Their interests vary widely, and they all seem to get along for the most part. It helps that their Queen is an otaku as well.
- In World War Z, there is an Otaku of the hikikomori type who is so obsessed with studying the Zombie Apocalypse on the Internet that he doesn't treat it as something to worry about until it reaches his apartment building, stuck with useless information and trapped in a very zombie-friendly Japan. He manages to survive, finds a genuine katana from a WW2 veteran's flat, and takes a level in badass.
- And then he gets trained by a blind swordsman, and gains a couple thousand more levels in badass.
- Densha Otoko centers around a group of otaku who meet over an online message board, and their attempts to get one of their number to win the heart of a lady.
- The geeks in Freaks and Geeks as well. One episode has them cosplaying for a convention as Luke Skywalker, Yoda and the Fourth Doctor.
- Western (sort of) example: Hiro from Heroes. Even if is japanese, Hiro is an avid fan of western superheroes and science fiction.
- Kamen Rider Fourze uses the term several times, in reference to female lead Yuki Jojima (an outer space and rocketry fangirl) and Goth girl Tomoko Nozama (a fangirl of insects and the urban legend of the Kamen Rider).
- Nearly every character in Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger in an Otaku with varying degrees of obsession. Justified since the show is set in Akihabara, which is the center of Otaku culture in Japan.
- Dempagumi.inc, a Japanese idol group, is said to be made up of ex-otaku, with each member having their own otaku "specialisation". Whether this is true or just a marketing ploy is unclear, but it is worth noting that all the members were employed at the well known "Dear Stage", an otaku hangout, in Akihabara, Tokyo's well-known otaku district.
- In New Dynamic English, Kent Moss once interviewed a Superman fan who has "100 Superman comics", would only read Superman Comics and said that he even wants to be Superman, to the point where he wears his costume. His current passion of Superman is questionable, because he's selling the comics and he said he read them when he's a boy.
- Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
- While they try to hide it out of embarrassment, Ivy and Luna are both big fans of anime and manga, and bonded specifically because they both had an interest in it.
- Vivian has a lot of nerdy interest, ranging from anime to musicals, that she's both deeply invested in and deeply embarrassed if anyone finds out about.
- Nikolai from Luminous Arc is a witch otaku, who is in heaven when Witches start joining your group.
- Kaph from Luminous Arc 2 is the editor of a magazine about Witches and, well, pretty much loves being in the party with all the Witches around for him to create his art and took pictures of. Hell, his class is W-Otaku!
- A sidestory from Final Fantasy Tactics A2 states that Horne is an item maniac (in Japanese, in English, he's referred as an item aficionado).
- An unusually sympathetic and well-lampshaded example is Otacon from Metal Gear. His nickname, of course, is derived from Otakon, the Otaku Convention. The first lines he says to the main character, Snake, are a very melancholy invocation of the trope, and sets him up for some very unusual and well-played parallels between the loneliness of a reclusive soldier and the loneliness of a reclusive otaku -
Otacon: Are you one of them?
Snake: Not me. I always work alone.
Otacon: Alone? Are you an otaku too?
- And again in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, when Snake communicates with him while fighting R.O.B.:
Otacon: In North America, R.O.B.'s body was grey, like the NES. But in Japan, he had a white body and red arms, the color of the Japanese Famicom.
Snake: Huh. You sure know your geeky tech stuff, Otacon.
Otacon: (chuckles) Well, you know...
- And again in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, when Snake communicates with him while fighting R.O.B.:
- Travis Touchdown of No More Heroes is a shameless otaku, and wears an anime t-shirt under his more traditional badass-anti-hero leather outfit. He uses otaku slang terms, including moe. Unusually, though, despite his fandom, he's an outright bruiser more than capable of winning any fight he's in; and he also lacks the gentle, shy personality associated with the stereotypical otaku, instead having been inspired by the rather violent and foul-mouthed anonymous frequenters of the anime boards on the Japanese message board Nii Channeru (2chan).
- Flonne from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is a huge Toku and anime otaku — Enough that she can be bribed into beating the crap out of people with the promise of a Super Sentai DVD box set. One of her super attacks in Disgaea 2 is called "Flonnezilla", which turns her into a cute fire-breathing, plushie-monster-wearing terror. She also has a similar attack as a secret character in Makai Kingdom.
- Almaz in Disgaea 3 is also an otaku, but focused completely on heroes. Mao is a closet hero otaku as well (he refuses to admit it).
- Francis from Super Paper Mario is a giant chameleon who kidnaps Tippi in order to take pictures of her with his new "high-technical" camera, stockpiles video games and anime, and is overall a geek of the highest order. He also has an army of robot cat maids.
- In Rockman.EXE, Higure/Higsby is described as a "Battle Chip Otaku". Considering his obsession with the things, it's not hard to see why.
- In Touhou, The shrine maiden Sanae Kochiya, though we don't hear about it until the fighting games - she's excited to track down Hisentoku, which is essentially a magitek mech, because she loves giant robot anime.
- Ashton Anchors from Star Ocean: The Second Story is a barrel otaku. In the anime version, Star Ocean EX, he is able to identify not only the year and location any barrel was made, but what it's been used for, on sight.
- 9-Volt and 18-Volt of WarioWare are massive Nintendo fanboys.
- Raine from Tales of Symphonia is utterly obsessed with ancient ruins, though the game hints that that may be a result of her tragic backstory.
- Hubert from Tales of Graces is one. It's implied that a couple of his moves - including the staple series attack, Tiger Blade - were ones he taught himself from comic books. And then, of course, there's his transparently closeted obsession with the sunscreen rangers:
Hubert: Tonight we feast on dead seafood! Pow Pow!
- Hubert from Tales of Graces is one. It's implied that a couple of his moves - including the staple series attack, Tiger Blade - were ones he taught himself from comic books. And then, of course, there's his transparently closeted obsession with the sunscreen rangers:
- The protagonist of Danball Senki needs to recruit the help of an organization of Otaku, who double as hackers. An Occidental Otaku and a group of sentai heroes wannabes also appear as opponents in tournaments.
- The Pokémaniac trainer class in the main series Pokémon games. There are also Poké Fans, which perhaps kind of borderline it. They carry around Poké dolls along with their Pokémon, and the maniacs are always in Pokémon costumes. And many do wear glasses.
- In Undertale, nerdy scientist Alphys is the Underground's resident otaku. She keeps a large collection of anime and manga under the considerably inaccurate label of "human history."
- Wilson Fisk in Spider-Man (PS4) has a very large collection of Japanese art and artifacts in his office and personal museum. He started his business front by importing Japanese spices and even learned sumo techniques overseas. His collection of katanas and armor come from men who went to any lengths to protect what they cared about, which may be how Kingpin sees himself.
- Kaine in A Profile is an anime and dating sim otaku, and quite open about it. Despite this, he's even more popular than the main character.
- Takumi Nishijou;, the protagonist from Chaos;Head, is a hikikomori and a massive otaku (Dolls, Anime, and Gamer) to the point of spending all of his time in his room (a cargo container on the roof of a building) and vastly preferring the company of his anime-based dolls to any real girls; this preference exhibits itself most strongly (besides his constant exclamations to that effect) by him having delusions of his favorite anime waifu talking to him and acting as a companion/influence of sorts, talking to him virtually all the time. Ironically enough, it turns out that Takumi himself is a delusion-made-real, answering the age-old question, "Can dreams dream?" with a very emphatic "Yes." Evidently, the trouble is getting them to stop.
- Daru from Steins;Gate frequently uses terms such as "waifu" and "tsundere." In the English dub of the anime, he uses catchphrases such as "unreadable code is unreadable" and talks about his 2-D harem. Throughout the anime, he can be seen playing visual novels and eroge.
- Hifumi Yamada from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is the Super High School Level Doujin Writer (or Fanboy, in some translations). He's a fat teenaged artist whose work sells in the tens of thousands, disavows any interest in 3D women and aims to become a famous sculptor (of anime figures, of course). His dialogues are liberally peppered with references to anime and video games.
- Sal Manella from the game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a stereotypical otaku, whose Japanese name is Uzai Takuya which literally translates into "annoying otaku".
- In Spirit Hunter: NG, multiple characters are big fans of the Idol Singer Momo Kuruse (who is secretly Kaoru Hazuki, one of the main characters). Of note are Maruhashi, one of the main group who's unaware of Momo's true identity, and Kagawa, an officer worker whose password relates to the idol CDs he owns.
- Parodied with Teen Girl Squad's "Japanese Culture Greg", who constantly shouts out random Gratuitous Japanese and makes Animesque faces.
- RWBY's protagonist Ruby Rose is a weapon otaku, especially regarding the Swiss Army Weapons common to the World of Remnant. When she first arrives at Beacon Academy, she promptly goes ga-ga over all the cool gear new new classmates are carrying around and has to get pulled back to reality by her Cool Big Sis Yang.
- Lamar of Meta Runner is primarily a anime/manga otaku. He's most noted for his collection of body pillows, whom he has a Companion Cube relationship with. He'd qualify as a gaming otaku too if gaming wasn't the big-name thing in the Meta Runner world.
- Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki, which frequently parodies anime and manga tropes had an otaku as a recurring antagonist in several holiday specials.
- Piro and Largo from Megatokyo. The first is a rather straight Western anime otaku, while the second is a videogame otaku with a feeble grasp on reality.
- Phil from Yosh!, to the point of being able to quote a specific panel from a given manga.
- Furry Experience: Cat loves anime and manga to the point of getting up at three in the morning on Saturdays to watch them , and sometimes explains certain aspects of them to Ronnie and Dawn. Extends to live-action shows as well, such as knowing why the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon equivalent show has a hand-puppet for the Luna-style character. She also decides to do her art research paper on Japanese comics.
- Ronnie of Whomp!, to the point that he once called his roommate Aegrias "baka!" because she wouldn't understand a more nuanced term that he'd picked up.
- In El Goonish Shive, Greg, to the point that he once watched 168 hours straight of anime.
- Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.
- The Powerpuff Girls episode "Collect Her" features a negative example in the from of Lenny Baxter, a fan who spent much of his spare time collecting Powerpuff memorabilia. When Lenny finds out he has obtained every known piece of merchandise, he goes insane at the prospect of not being able to add more items to his collection, leading him to steal the girls' personal belongings and, eventually, kidnapping the girls themselves.
- Interestingly, there's a minor character on The Legend of Korra whose name is Otaku, due to his great love of Air Nomad culture.
- Panda from We Bare Bears. He has a tendency to draw nothing but generic Animesque caricatures, he owns a body pillow with a cute anime girl he calls "Miki-Chan", and a glimpse at his laptop in "Everyday Bears" reveals that not only does he have an entire folder titled "manga" on his computer, but his banner on the social media site he uses is an assortment of random anime characters, also possibly drawn by him.
- Ronaldo Fryman from Steven Universe frequently mentions weird fictional anime he likes, such as Princess Koala and Beautiful Girlfriend Satan, on his Character Blog Keep Beach City Weird, and brags about owning a $300 replica sword even though it's not even sharp enough to cut through a juice box.
- Perri Rhoades, the author of SpectralShadows was an Otaku at one point in their lives. This can be seen by visiting years older submissions on their Live Journal page.
- Shoko Nakagawa, famous blogger, cosplayer, and TV personality in Japan. You may know her for singing the opening and insert song for Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
- "Seito Sakakibara" (his real identity is sealed) was a fourteen-year old Serial Killer and otaku. In his late twenties today, he's most famous for decapitating a mentally handicapped ten year-old and spiking the child's head to his school gate. "Sakakibara" contributed a lot to the moral panic that otaku were mentally unhealthy.
- Tsutomu Miyazaki, also known as the Otaku Killer, was a Serial Killer and an anime and horror film otaku who preyed on little girls. There's a lot of debate on whether or not he liked anime at all. The horror movie collection is true, though.