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Otaku Surrogate

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So that's where she gets her strange ideas...
One aspect of Bishoujo Series, and the cause of many tropes such as the Unwanted Harem and an Improbably Female Cast, is that you really shouldn't have too many important male characters. However, the assumed male demographic supposedly has trouble relating to female characters.

So instead, why not have a girl who likes the things that they do? You may not want to use a crossdressing girl or even a tomboy — just give her a Fan Boy personality.

A lot of this depends on what the current stereotype of a fan is and finding a fandom that is noticeably gender-skewed (Moe and Humongous Mecha are popular targets) but the cast will still have only one character who is a fan of something stereotypically coded male, and especially for obscure older things the adult audience immediately recognizes.

Another bonus to this is that the character's "masculine" characteristics are technically arbitrary, and easily tweaked to specific situations. Fans are very willing to put up with a lot of old tropes they wouldn't normally tolerate if the character was actually male.

Contrast Cosplay Otaku Girl and Fangirl. Often overlaps with Gamer Chick and is sometimes part of the Estrogen Brigade.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Yukari Tsukino from Ai Kora turns out to be a member of a doujinshi circle, and is also into cosplay and video games.
  • Kaoruko "Kaos" Moeta from Comic Girls is a high school girl, but her interests are more similar to that of adult male otaku. This is lampshaded when it's pointed out that her desk (which has figurines of female anime characters all over it) looks like it belongs to a 25-year-old man.
  • Gabriel White Tenma from Gabriel Dropout, once a perfect overachiever angel before she get drawn into online gaming addiction and became a full-out slacker otaku obsessed with an MMORPG.
  • The title character of Ganota no Onna, Ganota Utsuski, is a beautiful businesswoman and a major Gundam otaku, with a particular obsession with Zeon and Char. There are a lot of other Gundam fans around and the manga has a lot of Gundam references, like her boss being Zabi Degwin.
  • Gender-inverted in The High School Life of a Fudanshi, where the whole point is to showcase the Fudanshi section of Yaoi Fans, with each chapter showing how a guy like him deals with and reacts to Boys Love.
  • Umaru Doma from Himouto! Umaru-chan, who isn't just an otaku but also a Lazy Bum, who idles around her house every day gaming and snacking on junk food. Though she hides this side of herself from the public and maintains a good image to the outside world.
  • Lucky Star:
  • Basically the whole point of Mangirl!: four girls are such hardcore manga fans that they create their own manga-zine.
  • Hikaru Amano of Martian Successor Nadesico: as big a Gekiganger fan as Akito. The English dub is even more specific: she writes Self-Insert Fic-type Slash Fic.
  • The titular Kobayashi from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is the female lead of a male-oriented manga who's obsessed with maids (though she prefers real maids over the kind typically seen in anime, as she drunkenly derides the latter as "just cosplay"). She also has many traits you'd expect from a male protagonist (masculine looks, stoic but hard-drinking personality, high career status in a male-dominated work environment, female admirers), likely to make her more relatable to male readers in general.
  • Hajime of New Game! is a tomboy (who also falls into Boyish Short Hair) that is a tokusatsu fan, and has a collection of model swords at her cubicle, including a lightsaber.
  • Tomoko Kuroki from No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! is a downplayed example, since she likes anime and video games aimed at male otaku (though she has stated she detests Moe) but she also likes things aimed specifically at girls, like otome games. However, at the same time she's also an example of this gone horribly wrong; her knowledge of perverted media only makes her that much more unapproachable, and because she's so obsessed with that stuff she initially had no idea how to approach real life and real people. She's horribly antisocial and judgmental, and even her closest kin, her brother, is annoyed with her. Luckily over the course of the series, she starts to get better, but she's still the universe's Chew Toy.
  • Kaede Mizuno from Nyan Koi! loves anything yakuza-related. A subversion on her part, since we're led to believe she's a Moe girl.
  • Noah Izumi from Patlabor is a borderline example. She loves Mecha — but in a very different way from most otaku. Polishing her Labor, naming it Alphonse, writing "This Labor is Mine" on its leg at one point, smiting an enemy mecha with her robot's severed arm as yelling "ROCKETTO PAUNCH!"...
  • Morinas in Simoun is a total Simoun otaku, who makes plastic models in her spare time is even planning to be male after going to the Spring.
  • In Strawberry Marshmallow, Nobue is jokingly described by fans as the Otaku Surrogate of manga author Barasui, due to her much mellower personality and tendency to hug little girls.
  • Saiko Yonebayashi in Tokyo Ghoul:Re. Her bedroom is plastered with anime posters and figures, and she would rather spend her days playing video games or goofing off online than doing her job as a Ghoul Investigator. In an omake, her introduction to her new mentor was a speech bubble taking up the entire panel, listing off her various geek-related interests. As the resident Otaku, she is a constant source of Shout Outs.

  • Haganai:
    • Sena Kashiwazaki enjoys dating sims that are clearly aimed at straight men and is usually seen playing them in the club room, though she claims it's because she has no female friends in real life and gal games allow her to get close to female characters.
    • Rika is a more extreme case with her love for mecha porn doujin...though by "mecha porn," we literally mean porn involving mecha having sex.
  • Haruka of Haruka Nogizaka's Secret—beautiful, popular, and... an otaku (the eponymous secret).
  • Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! has two of them, the titular Nyarko being an Anime and Toku fangirl while Cuuko is a Gamer Chick; distracting them is as easy as luring them through an anime shop and waiting for them to spot a limited edition figure to fight over.
  • Kirino from Oreimo is a closet middle-schooler otaku and a popular fashion model. Kuroneko and Saori are these, too—little wonder they met in an online community called "Otaku Girls Unite". However, though Kirino is mainly into H-games that are obviously aimed at a male demographic, she's also a big fan of Show Within a Show Stardust Witch Meruru, which is a Magical Girl anime primarily aimed at young girls.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Beetleborgs: Josephine "Jo" McCormick is one of the three typical average kids who love to read comic strips.
  • Degrassi teacher Mr. Simpson says, "Toby Isaacs, meet Kendra Mason, my biggest anime fanatics."
  • Wendy Watson in The Middleman knows a great deal about sci-fi and comic books, especially years-old series with predominantly male fandoms.
  • 7th Heaven's Simon was going to get his first kiss from a pretty and experienced girl but when they were supposed to be kissing they started talking about comic books.

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    Web Original 

    Western Animation