This is one of various statistics. Yano Economic Research Laboratory investigates and compiles statistics on the number of ‘Otaku’ every year. They look forward to the results of 2012 because Otaku has increased sharply to 2011. According to the statistics of Yano laboratory, 25.5% of participants answered in the affirmative about the question, ‘Do you think you are Otaku? Or Have you been called by other as an ‘Otaku’?’ One in four participants answered yes. This is mainly because the negative meaning of Otaku has decreased while the number of 'Light Otaku’ has increased. Light Otaku means ‘light’ Otaku, literally. Their appearances are not different from ordinary people and are just simply ‘fans.' So, people call their surrounding fan ‘Otaku’ for fun. Korea is also not different from Japan. Korea has been the biggest importer of Japanese animation. Although there has not been formal research on the number of Otaku, the number has definitely been increasing in Korea. Do you have any Otaku around you? The person who has a ‘Naked appearance’ is Otaku.
Definition of ‘Otaku’
‘Otaku’ is a person who focuses on one field. In early days, it referred to people who had profound interest in a specific field but was unsociable and ill-informed about other fields. However, the meaning has been expanding since the 1990s and now it means any expert in a specific field, positively stretching the meaning from just being a fan or mania.
Let’s introduce the wonderful face about ‘Otaku’!
①The Successful Otaku
There is a saying among Otaku, which is: “People can’t belittle the successful Otaku”. In other words, successful Otakus exist all over the world. In last London Olympic, Yang Hak-sun, a gold medal winner in gymnastics, touched so many Koreans. In an interview, Yang said that his hobby was watching Japanese animation and comic books during his break time. He especially loved the comic, ‘We Don’t Know The Name of Flower Seeing That Day’. From his response, Yang seems to be a ‘Light Otaku’, at the least. The play ‘Kisaragi Miki Zzang’ which was performed at Daehangno until September was doing well thanks to its humor. One of the actors of this play said he was a real Otaku who loves the comic ‘Sliver Soul’. He is a successful Otaku as well.
②Life lessons from Otaku?!
During the 2011 Nexon Developer's Conference, Kim Hyun-suk, a researcher of Nexon said that he learned lessons from Otaku. “Because of prejudices about Otaku, we have undermined the fact that we can learn some valuable lessons from them.” Although some of Otaku cultures have big commercial values, companies cannot develop them because of the public's negative view. That is, some of cultures, which Otakus enjoy, have a big commercial value. Therefore, relative companies need to learn and develop them as a commercial product!
③ Independent study!
Whatever someone does, one can get the biggest effect when one enjoys it. The best example is Otaku. For example, Computer Otakus are sometimes better than students who major in computer technology. An Otaku studies a specific field in depth independently. Because of this characteristic, people often think Otaku is a Hikikomori, a social recluse. However, as previously mentioned, there are many sociable and successful Otakus around us if we take a chance to look around.
Influence by the increase of Otaku
In accordance with generalization of Otaku comics, animations and games, etc, relative subculture would be important and evaluated positively. In addition to evaluation, it is a tendency, which takes advantage of this Otaku subculture. In Japan, the popular idol girl group ‘AKB48’ hosts an annual event for Otakus to rank each member's popularity. This vote is so big that is considered as Japanese three votes with election of the prime minister and member of the National Assembly. Because its scale is too big, politicians want to abuse this vote. If Korean Otaku also increases, this phenomenon would happen. The increases of Otaku affects economy. This is why ‘The suitable product business for Otaku is developing such as Super Junior diary, Arashi bag, pencil cases, and so on.
Generally, many people think Otaku has a dark and unusual characteristic like that of a Hikikomori. However, most of Otakus have a normal social life, except for a few. They just like their habit excessively. Besides, there are Otakus widely dispersed around the world. Are you one of them?< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >