Just to make tis clear, I’m not going to list 5 awesome anime otakus such as myself, I’m talking about anime characters who also happen to be otakus. And this is going to be a very though list to put together
Normally, I might choose subjects for these lists that are very niche, and I have to bend definitions in order to get 5 entries. But this time, I have the opposite problem. Anime is chock full of great otaku characters and It’s honestly not possible for me to narrow it down to just 5. So despite the title this isn’t actually a list of top 5 otaku characters but rather 5 otaku characters I happen to like in random order among so many more… Not my finest list making moment.
5. Mikoto Mikoshiba (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun)
It’s been too long since I’ve talked about Nozaki-kun on this site so we’re going to start things off with adorable Mikoto. Mikoto is the (self)designated prince of the series. A real looker and a lady killer…at first glance.
If you actually talk to him, you’ll see pretty quickly that he’s a painfully shy boy who can’t talk to girls and instead lavishes attention and love on moe characters. The classic Otaku with a pretty face. Aren’t we all?
4. Tsukumi Kurasita (Princess Jellyfish)
When we (western anime fans) adopted the term otaku, we pigeonholed it to mean anime and manga enthusiast. And although otaku can certainly be that, the term is actually something closer to “fan” only a bit more obsessive and negative in connotation. Stan maybe?
So even though Tsukumi doesn’t share most of our hobbies like anime and gaming, she does have something that she cares almost obsessively about. Jellyfish! And you know what, as far as getting really into something goes, I think Jellyfish is a pretty good choice. I am also an odd animal otaku; I am really interested in hyenas. If you ever want to talk in way too much detail about all 4 different species, hit me up!
I also really like Princess Jellyfish which is a show about learning to embrace your unusual passions, so it definitely belongs on this list.
3. Keima Katsuragi (The World Only God Only Knows)
I still can’t explain why I fell for this show. I just couldn’t stop watching it and enjoyed it to bits. On paper, it’s a fairly stereotypical harem and yet, I couldn’t put it down. OK, I can name one reason, it’s called Elsie.
In any case, Keima is sort of the traditional anime lapsed otaku. He knows his obsession with 2d girls and dating sims is not something to be proud of and is likely going to earn him ridicule and derision but he’s past caring. He’s, for lack of a better term, blackpilled. He has given up on any sort of real-life relationships, declaring 3D girls inferior in every way, although in his case it’s really all 3D people not only girls and he actively just delves deeper into his gaming worlds shutting out reality. Until reality comes at him with a scythe.
A sort of cool and collected but bitter otaku archetype who learns to open up and love all dimensions of people throughout the story.
2. Beatrix Amerhauser (ZOM 100)
This is my most recent addition and I’ve fallen for Bea in a big way. For those of you unfamiliar, ZOM 100 is a manga detailing a zombie outbreak in Japan. We don’t know if it’s actually all over the world since the character are isolated as usually happens in zombie outbreaks. Around the third volume, the characters mean Beatrix Amerhauser, a German tourist who landed in Japan just as the outbreak was spreading.
Bea is a super Japanophile. A European otaku of all things Japan. She has a replica samurai suit that she enjoys wearing around, she wants to try all the local snacks and delicacies, and she’s likely to take a break while running away from zombies to take a selfie with a nice landmark.
In many ways, Bea is the standard caricature of what the Japanese think that foreign otakus are like. But, she’s also really cool. She’s shown as not only attractive but also very capable and kind. She has a relaxed attitude towards her passion, embracing and honouring Japanese culture and history rather than obsessing over it. I have rarely seen such positive depictions of otaku, let alone of foreign ones. So even though not many people are likely to know this character, she makes my list.
1. Itaru Hashida (Steins;Gate)
Steins;Gate is sort of a story about Otakus for Otakus, isn’t it? And I personally will have a soft spot for the game probably forever. And of all the otakus in Steins;Gate, Itaru is the undeniable king. The man can manage to stir up a passion for just about anything and everything. So far the only CERN big hydron collider otaku I know. And he’s the old-school type, by which I mean pervy. There’s always a touch of sexiness to his obsessions.
But Itaru is also proud, jovial and respectful. His love of 2d never soured him on 3d. His obsession with one subject doesn’t make him put down another. He’s sort of the ultimate positive otaku, reframing all the more worrisome aspects of otakus into something harmless and jolly. Just a guy who loves a heck of a lot of stuff. And if otakus were always that way, I bet they would have a much better reputation!
There we go, 5 random otakus for you all to enjoy. Do you agree with my picks? Considering they’re random it’s sort of difficult not to huh?
Ok, let’s do this another way, comment about an anime otaku character that should be on the list. Maybe if I get enough comments, this can become a more definitive top list!
13 thoughts on “Top 5 Anime Otaku Characters”
Nice list. I like the girl in Zombie 100. My favorite otakus will always be the ones in Genshiken: The Society to the Study of Modern Visual Culture.
For some reason that show slipped my mind but all those characters definitely fit the bill
Itaru’s back-and-forth with Kurisu about being a Tsundere always makes me chuckle. You can tell that, at least by the end, it’s more of an in-joke between them than anything malicious 🙂
Itaru takes some getting used to but he is a pretty nice guy after all
Great list. I’ve never head of Zom 100; sounds like an interesting character.
I expected Okabe to make number one, and then when I saw the actual number one, I thought, oh, of course – I should have known. (Steins;Gate was a given; it’s a show populated almost entirely by otaku of one sort or anohter.) Daru’s great, though; a sort of otaku role model, if there ever was one.
Also, Kurage-hime is awesome, and watching the show gives you a pretty good overview what “otaku” means in Japan. Tsukimi was a great protagonist. (Incidently, I learned about inter-language puns from the show. There’s this scene early on, when Tsukimi meets Kuranosuke and they save that jellyfish. Tsukimi was nicknaming the jellyfish Kurara and imagining the scene from Heidi Girl of the Alps, where Klara was rising from her wheelchair for the first time on her own. It was the first time that I realised that writing Western names with kana can lead to puns. It was such an unexpected scene, and it took a while for me to realise that “Kla-” turns into “Kura”, and that Kurara = Klara. At first, the scene came totally out of nowhere, and it felt utterly random, but when the penny finally dropped the you-can-do-it-little-jellyfish aspect of the scene integrated much better, and the scene became brilliant instead of just fun.)
I just finished the manga and it’s absolutely full of word puns that are explained for the readers. It’s sort of endearing
Tell me about the hyenas!
We are going to be great friends! My favourite is the aardwolf. So cute
My questions is, why don’t we get to see otakus about martial arts? Given Japan’s obsession, and how they influenced the MMA and professional wrestling, you would think these would be quite popular at least among boys.
But I don’t see them as often as otakus for visual novels or dating simulators.
Oh I just saw a Judo otaku in sing a bit of harmony. He was my favorite character. There are also shows like bamboo blade or Hinomaru that are all about that if you’re interested
I’d probably put someone from Genshiken on there (either Ogiue, Angela, or Madarame – especially in Nidaime)
Oh yeah, that show is otaku central