Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Mon Jun 25 22:14:08 UTC 2001

My son corrects and amplifies my comments as follows:

   Actually, 'otaku' is second person and extremely
rude/informal. Imagine the kind of pronoun an arrogant
samurai would use when the same beggar is coming after
him for money the third time in an hour. (Which
actually often mirrors otaku behavior at conventions,
but that's another story. Also, my knowledge of this
part is sketchy enough that I could be off.)
   In Japanese, 'otaku' is used to refer to any kind
of deeply obsessive fanboy, be he an anime fan, a
science-fiction fan, or even a game-show fan.
(Although to be fair Japanese game shows are
frequently far stranger than their science-fiction.)
The term is rather derogatory. However, in western
anime fandom, the term has been taken up by two main
groups: the group who knows the Japanese meaning and
wears their 'otherness' as a badge of pride, and the
group who doesn't know its Japanese meaning.
   Spoken by someone who knows what he's saying, 'Boku
otaku yo' means a combination of FIAWOL[*] and 'I am
you'- a declaration of fannish unity, with the
derogatory effect of otaku's informality offset by the
extremely informal construction of the sentence.
Spoken by a n00b (informal derogatory construction of
'newbie'), however, it means very little.

(As usual, feel free to pass on the information I gave
you, but don't fwd the whole thing to whichever list
the discussion was on.[**] ;p Also, I don't know how
widespread this particular usage of 'Boku otaku yo' as
a phrase is among the anime community at large.)

* FIAWOL: an acronym used in the science fiction / fantasy fan community,
Fandom Is A Way Of Life.
Antonym: FIJAGH, Fandom Is Just A GodDamn Hobby. Not as much in use now as
some number of years ago (10/15/20/+?)

** He says this much of his message is okay to pass along.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   FIJAGH! Now, *filking*, on the other hand...

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