One thing I like about Twitter is the way a tweet can explode, with everyone reacting to it and sharing their own experiences. The other day we posted a tweet that asked, “Have you crossed the Otaku Line of No Return?” And everyone replied, explaining when and how they officially crossed the otaku line, falling into orbit around Japan’s anime, manga and game culture.
Have you already crossed that line? pic.twitter.com/zZs14VqefS
— J-LIST (@jlist) April 1, 2019
I found the replies fun to read through, because everyone comes from a slightly different place. Some of the comments included…
“I crossed that line when I bought my first Hug Pillow, I think.”
“That line is crossed the first time you buy a figurine of your waifu/husbando or the first time you order a physical copy of your favorite doujin.”
“I was never normal. What’s that even like? 😫”
“I got into anime around 13 years old. Ever since then I being a fan. I was never called normal. I’ve always been geeky. Lol, otaku for life!💪”
“I haven’t crossed the line to otaku, but I definitely crossed some lines.”
In my own case, I grew up watching all the early anime titles on American TV in the early 1970s, from the Tezuka classic Kimba the White Lion to Speed Racer to the thrilling adventure of Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers. But I wasn’t a part of any otaku culture (e.g. have friends to geek out with and believe I was part of a social movement) until the mid-80s, when anime clubs became a thing, and every month 50 of us would gather at a local university and watch 8 hours of anime on a Saturday…without subtitles, naturally. This feedback loop — more exciting anime to watch, more people around me experiencing it at the same time — was what led me deeper into the anime rabbit hole, making me an otaku forever.
One of the best things about the world we live in now is that we’ve got the peace and prosperity to pursue our obsessions, like collecting anime figures or building the ultimate Gundam model or perfecting cosplay-making skills. Or as one responder in the Twitter thread said, “You can have a normal life and be an otaku as well,” which reminds us that yes, it’s perfectly okay to blend the geek and normal worlds. Like those hybrid “brotaku” guys who get swole at the gym while wearing their One Punch Man muscle shirts, or the lawyer who pulls up in his Mercedes-Benz every Sunday to buy the new issue of Weekly Jump from my in-laws’ rural liquor store. Perhaps the best kind of fan is to be an otaku and have fun, but also do what’s important, like going to school or work and maxing out your 401(k).
Have you crossed the Otaku Line of No Return? What kind of otaku are you? Tell us on Twitter!
The Internet has changed the way we buy games, and we’re happy to offer instant DRM-free download purchases of our English visual novels through the J-List and JAST USA websites. Since a lot of fans prefer to buy physical games, so they can have them in their collections and re-install them any time, we also stock most games in physical form, and this week we’re having an awesome Physical Eroge sale so you can pick up your favorite games. Don’t have a CD-ROM drive anymore? Most titles have download codes inside the package, and for ones that don’t, you can contact us and we’ll set you up. Remember that package games won’t stay in print forever, so grab the ones you want today!