Meaning of otaku in English:


Pronunciation /ə(ʊ)ˈtɑːkuː/

nounplural noun otaku

  • (in Japan) a young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills.

    ‘every other otaku can run on about their hobby endlessly’
    • ‘The report reveals that their interests can be shared with video game otaku or comic enthusiasts because animation shows, games and comics often have characters and content in common.’
    • ‘He had described it as ‘a gathering place for computer otaku,’ so I had a negative image about the place before seeing it.’
    • ‘Much of the media is currently smitten with the country's booming otaku culture.’
    • ‘In the otaku world, endangered humanity is frequently saved by children or repaired by magic.’
    • ‘For anime fans, this is a landmark production seen as marking the full emergence of otaku culture.’
    • ‘You just don't turn down 10,000 anime fans - from the most devoted otaku to surface plebs like me - with loads of disposable income.’
    • ‘Back when anime fandom in America was in its infancy, otaku (that is, fanboys - but we say that with only love) leapt at the chance to get any bootleg tapes they could from Japan.’
    • ‘You are one of the most complete otaku nutcases I have ever met!’
    • ‘The dysfunctionality of otaku appeared to prove the unhealthy nature of ‘individualistic’ lifestyles.’
    • ‘I don't have any trace of the fanboy otaku fetishization of things Japanese that seems to elevate some of the lamest Japanese culture-crud to cult status.’
    • ‘The series also satirized Japanese fandom, in particular the figure of the geeky ‘fanboy,’ or otaku.’
    • ‘I'll admit up front I'm no otaku; my interest in anime is more casual.’
    • ‘‘No, he usually just kept to himself or talked to the other otaku of the school,’ she said.’
    • ‘So the real otaku may find my slant and my knowledge on the naïve side.’
    • ‘That's one reason it's so easy for little companies like this to do just great with the early adopters with otaku.’
    • ‘I did indeed meet my high school otaku, my gothic girl, and my shy girl, in the same order, in almost the same ways.’
    • ‘They disgusted her but her sister idolized them with the passion of an otaku.’
    • ‘If all anime series coughed up seven episodes per disc, we'd all be happy, happy otaku.’
    • ‘It can definitely inspire a chuckle or two from even the most cynical and hardened otaku.’
    • ‘So if you did another signing, it would be very lovely and make many otaku very happy.’


Japanese, literally ‘your house’, in formal speech also meaning ‘you’, used by some anime and manga fans as an affectedly formal way of addressing others with similar interests.