Japanese anime culture has been going on for decades, and like all cultures, anime and otaku have changed over time. There were things that used to be an integral part of otaku life, but these are no more. Life has changed for a more modern, far more advanced way than it was 30 years ago. All in all, it has made many changes, and here are 10 of the biggest differences between the life of otaku of the last century compared to modern otaku.
1. There are not as many cosplayers today
Cosplay today is so popular that it even has its own professional organization, but in the past, it was just a small segment. Before the development of the internet, no matter how beautiful you were or how many special tips to complete an costume, no media and blog meant there was no way you could share your accomplishments. to anyone else, if any, the number of people approaching and known is extremely limited.
2. Watch anime on tape
In the 90s of the last decade, not only anime but also favorite entertainment programs that were broadcast on television could be recorded on VHS tapes. You will watch it over and over again, until one day when you start to hear the sound of scratches showing the tape being scratched from overuse. The saddest thing is that when you discover that your tapes are bent or even broken, they won’t be viewable anymore. And today, everything can appear on the Internet.
3. You have to rush home, because the anime is only shown during the regular time
Anime shows are usually only available during the first hour, so you should always be aware of the time if you don’t want to miss your favorite anime episode just because of some social conversation after school / work. The otaku world today is the opposite, trying to stay up late to watch anime that airs the night as soon as they air.
4. Idol singers do not openly state that they are otaku
Shoko Nagakwa – aka Shokotan – is one of the most famous singers in the otaku world.
It can be seen that the idol and anime industry has a very close relationship today, but it was not like that. It is because of the audience and what the two areas exploit almost completely separately. The explosion of otaku culture accidentally coincided with the development period of the second generation of idols, which brought up interferences, with a large number of loud idols claiming how much they loved anime (though we don’t know). How many of them are just using the anime label as a tool to promote themselves).
5. The author’s real name and address are printed on the back cover of doujinshi
These sensitive personal information is printed on the back of doujinshi. Why? – That’s because …
6. You must buy doujinshi by mail
Now if you want to buy and sell doujinshi not through public events and festivals like Comiket, you can buy and sell online. However, before the online payment method appeared, the easiest way to exchange purchases was by post. That’s why doujinshi needs to have the author’s real name and address.
7. When you say you like anime, people will look at you strangely
You can feel extremely proud when standing in front of people to show your understanding of anime. Nowadays even people who don’t watch any anime will be interested in other related products, like live action or drama. Anime culture has crept into every corner of life. But in the past, anime used to be an uncommon part of Japanese entertainment, you would get a strange look from the opposite person if you identified yourself as an anime fan.
8. People don’t call themselves otaku
“Otaku”, like “geek” or “nerd” in English, has undergone a major change in meaning and understanding in the last 10-20 years. Originally, otaku was completely boycotted. No one claims to be an otaku, especially when in public. Nowadays, anime fans identify themselves as an otaku, in a way like a really computer-friendly American who calls himself “geek”.
9. Not “BL” but “yaoi”, and not “fujoshi” but “doujin onna”.
The story of gay love in anime today is called “boy’s love”, abbreviated to “BL”. Fans of this anime series are “fujoshi”, which literally means “feminine”. But before, the commonly used terms were “yaoi” and “doujin onna”. Today “yaoi” is still used overseas while Japanese only use “BL”.
Why is this change happening? Previously, the manga was based on an existing character called “doujinshi”. Anime about homosexual love produced by professional studios mainly appears under the name “doujinshi”. “Dojin onna” refers to doujinshi-loving girls, male-loving couples.
For “yaoi”, it stands for “yamate oshiri ga itai”, which means “stop my butt hurt”. It is not difficult to understand why people support a less clear term.
10. If you like anime, people will think you are bored
You will be surprised when this tops the list. 30 years ago, even in Japan it was not easy for anime fans to find and meet each other. You have to enjoy it all by yourself. With the rise of the internet and media, finding people who are passionate about it now takes just a few clicks or keystrokes. Not all user interactions have received positive results, but it certainly helped the otaku community to become part of the community.
This helps create a positive effect. Not long ago, Akihabara was once a bad name in Tokyo, where otaku dragged around shops to buy whatever they wanted and went back home to plug their heads into television in solitude. What about now? It has become one of the busiest places in the city. Otaku locations are also available in many other cities.
There are people who have no interest at all, those who are passionate about anime, and becoming an otaku means that you share that passion with a large community. Maybe you can find some good friends among them, instead of being alone.