Different Otaku in Japan | Motivist Japan


What is an Otaku?

Otaku is the word used to describe people with deep interest in anime, video games and manga. Often portrayed as guys with nerdy glasses, wearing t-shirt of their favorite JPOP idols or anime character carrying bags with ridiculous amounts of key chains attached.

Some said the word Otaku was derived from お宅 (おたく) which means one’s house. They said otakus are often anti-social and usually are just inside the house locked in their own room.

In 1988, the case of Tsutomi Miyazaki known as the Otaku Murderer shocked Japan. People believed that his obsession with anime, lead him kill young girls. He lured little girls into his car, to kill them and molest their dead bodies.

He was caught in July of 1989. After his arrest the police raided his house where they found video tape of his victims, as well as his collection of anime and horror films. Because of this, the media labeled him as the Otaku Murderer. 

There are different types of Otaku in Japan. Though they are somewhat interrelated and it is still good to understand their difference.


From the word manga, these otakus are a big fan of Japanese comics. They read and collect all the books of their interest. A manga otaku can also be an anime otaku which is also into watching anime and into collecting anime CD soundtrack and DVDs. 

Manga Collection


A person who is very much into watching anime. They can sit and watch for long hours. They also collect merchandise related to the anime that they watch. For some anime otaku, watching is not enough so they cosplay their favorite character.


Costume play or Cosplay is an activity where people dressed up as their favorite characters. They are called cosplayers. They cosplay everything from anime, cartoon and video game character. Every year there are different conventions held in Japan for cosplayers to showcase their talent in dressing up as the character their portray. Slowly, the people interested in cosplays started to rise. They attend every available convention to have a picture with their favorite cosplayers.          


These people are into online gaming. When they are home, they are mostly spending their time on their computer playing online games. They invest on good gaming PC and game consoles. Video Game Otakus are not just teens, they can also be adults who prefers playing computer games rather than going out and socializing.

They can spend hours and hours playing sometimes until the following day just to keep up with their game levels.


Maid Cafés are one of the popular cafes in Japan. Instead of having traditional café staff, they employ young, petite and attractive girls to dress up in cute French maid outfits. They can be classified as a subcategory of Cosplay otaku. As the cosplay activity became mainstream, the maid cafes also became popular to the point that they had their own following. Maid otakus are people (mostly men) who are into women wearing French maid costumes. They are regular visitors of the cafés willing to spend some money for food and drink just to have a picture with the maids. Some cafes also offer mini concert inside their cafes for a unique café experience.


Commonly known as Wota from the word Wotagei (ヲタ芸) meaning cheer and dance performed by the fans.

JPOP Otakus are people into boy band or girl bands in Japan. They are members of their fan club. They buy their CDs and every available merchandise that the band will release and basically present in all their concerts. You see them doing in-sync choreographs during concerts and always present in meet and greet.