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written bij Ari-Matti Sari (saren @ anime.jyu.fi)

It has been said that anime is not a hobby - it's life-long dedication to poverty.

This is not true.

A man once came to a Zen master saying: 'I own nothing! I am free'. The master answered him: 'Only when you have given up the idea of owning nothing, will you be truly free'.

The True Otaku is not attached to the idea of poverty. To True Otaku monetary situation is like weather; it is constantly changing, it has direct and on-direct effects on one's well-being - but it has no intrisinct meaning or value in itself.

Nor is the True Otaku attached to their collection. What matters to them is not what anime they DO have, but what they DON'T have - yet.

The True Otaku is only attached to the idea of seeing all existing anime - and once they have seen it all, they will be truly free and can reach enlightenment.

Study this well.

There are many schools of Otaku-do.

Some emphasize the material side; the pen pads, the lunch boxes, the trading cards, the posters, the phone cards, the garage kits... If the followers of these schools are not careful, they will become attached to their collection and eventually their collection will be more important to them than anime. They will be no different from any other collectors.

This is not the Way of the True Otaku.

There are Otaku-do schools that say 'you only need tentacles', or 'cute is all there is', or 'thou shall only watch mecha'.

This is not the way to enlightenment.

The True Otaku watches all anime and looks for the Higher Truth hidden under the surface. They understand that everything is part of the Way, and the Way is part of everything. This is the way to enlightenment.

Study this well.

Komori Ryu Zen Otaku-do is the way of the True Otaku. It was originally formulated using many of the techniques of Tetsuwan Atom Ryu and Uchu Senkan Yamato Ryu Tiivii-jutsu, supplemented with those derived from early Ova-do schools. It stresses the importance of watching all available anime. It is practice-oriented; form should never obscure function, nor should quality be in way of quantity. In other words; it doesn't matter HOW you watch anime or WHAT anime you watch as long as you watch LOTS of it.

Komori Ryu means 'the bat style'. The name was chosen to illustrate some typical aspects often seen in dan-level Otaku-do stylists.

  • - Nocturnal lifestyle, which tends to produce the tell-tale signs of
    • - Red eyes
    • - General dislike of bright light and sunshine
  • - Limited ability to hold on to money, which leads to;
    • - Leathery appearance (from blowing all your food money on anime).
    • - Considerable skills in hanging around (around you friends place at meal times that is).
  • - Acute hearing (in time it gets so acute you can spot anime references even where there is none).
  • - Komori Ryu stylists enjoy gathering in huge flocks to pack themselves tightly into small caves (we call them 'video all-nighters').
For all of the above reasons Komori Ryu stylists - much like our namesakes - are abhored by some narrow minded and ignorant members of the opposite sex.

In this section you will be able to read all about Otaku. Clear explanations on Otaku and all other relevant info can be found here. There's even a quiz about possibly being an Otaku. By all other means: want to know all about Otaku? Read on and select one of the articles below.

Here are some possible reasons why male Otaku never have girlfriends (^_^)

1.She hears you talking with your otaku friends about your true feelings for Min-Mei.
2.Most women are scared off when you request that they call you "Tenchi-sama" in bed.
3.She drops in unexpectedly when you're watching Wandering Kid, and is not convinced by your claims that it is an art film.
4.It's against your religion to have a girlfriend; you have devoted your life to Belldandy.
5.Locking yourself in your room all weekend with the Orange Road LD Box Set and a case of Sapporo Ichiban isn't the best way to meet women.
6.SHE didn't think that she would "look cute" in that sailor fuku.
7....or with her hair dyed green.
8.She didn't like the way you mumbled "Noriko-chan... SUKI DA!" in your sleep.
9.The shrine and burning incense around your original Tendo Nabiki cell was "just too damn weird".
10.Four words: Misty May Garage Kit
11.That complete set of Video Girl Ai telephone cards is not as much of a "babe magnet" as you had hoped.
12.After spending your grocery money for the next five years on the Urusei Yatsura LD 50, you're really not in a position to be taking girlfriends out for romantic dinners.
13.You still feel bound by that childhood oath to marry Elle ...no no, wait... that was UY Movie 1, wasn't it....?

In English, Otaku has come to mean anyone that "is really into" manga or anime. Do not use this word in a Japanese setting, as the connotation is very negative.

You should be very careful around Otaku. Some are extremely sensitive. But don't worry, most don't bite. Here are some general rules to follow. I emphasize general.

1.Always speak in clear, concise sentences.
2.Have a copy of The dictionary, so you can decode their reply. Otaku do not like being ignored or asked "what do you mean?", since they think everyone who understands them "is enlightened" (Otaku term for understands the way they talk) and anyone else "does not comprehend reality (Otaku term for Anime/Manga)".
3.Do not stare. Try to appear taller, but do not wave your arms or legs repeatedly. Do not make any sudden movements.
4.Do not turn your back. Face the Otaku at all times.
5.Do not use hand signals. Many Otaku use a code of certain hand signals, for instance if a guy extends his little finger he is referring to his girlfriend. Also certain circles have their own hand signals for identifying their own members. If you make hand signals they are likely to be misinterpreted by the Otaku.

I think the real, primary qualification for the Psychotic Fan is that they have no realization when they've gone too far. In other words, when they take the thing they're Fanning about so seriously that they are no longer capable of even accepting that other people might think they're weird.

To help with proper Fan identification, we here at the department of extraneous levels and tables have constructed the following Fan-O-Meter to rate how dangerously whacked a given Fan is.

1.Casual FanAcknowledges that anime has it's moments, and will watch if other people are. Would rather knaw off own leg than have anything to do with fringe stuff such as Sailor Moon.
2.FanOccasionally pokes about in "fan material" in 'zines and web pages. Owns a few commercial tapes. Pokes fun at hard-core fans. If local to an anime club, attends meetings whenever they're showing something cool and there's nothing better to do.
3.Big FanOwns a few fan subtitled tapes. Occasionally takes part in "fan politics" discussions such as wether Lopa should be strung up by her toes, wether fan-subbing is 'moral', and on the merits of sub vs. dub. Pokes fun at hard-core fans. Will watch 'fringe stuff' like Sailor Moon and 'Doji, but will be a bit uncomfortable in doing so, and will generally poke fun at it.
4.Big, big fanChibi otaku. Owns many subtitled tapes. If in college, also owns a TV and VCR setup -- and does watch things other than anime on it. Sometimes. Can talk for hours and sometimes days about "fan politics" issues. If local to an anime club, attends every meeting unless there's something utterly cool that takes their attention away from anime. Pokes fun at "hardcore" fans somewhat half-heartedly, as the jokes are starting to get close to home. Will watch 'fringe stuff', and secretly kinda like it. Will generally have a few posters of 'mainstream' anime on their walls. Attends Cons whenever possible.
5.Big, big, big fan. OtakuOwns enough anime tapes to stun unprepared observers. Is generally either an officer in the local club, or the President. Gets heated up to the point of violence by "fan politics" issues. Is recognized by name on most anime newsgroups. At this level, may actually have attracted followers of lesser fanboy nature by sheer magnitude of fannitude. Pokes fun at "casual" fans. Openly hostile to anyone who pocks fun at the One True Medium. Has a pocky stick or two on their person whenever possible. Unabashadly a fan of 'fringe stuff'. If female, will often dress as Sailor Moon or other 'fringe' characters. Has large, expensive, full-wall posters of their favorite, generally fairly obscure, show.
6.Huge fanHas connections with every fan-subtitler around. Will often subtitle their own tapes. Owns multiple laser disc players and large numbers of subtitled Laser discs. Has a non-trivial amount of people who follow them around because they're such a big fan. Openly scornful of "fanboys", and incapable of realizing that they are one. Maintains at least one or more standing good-natured feuds with people whose tastes in anime run counter to theirs (ie Mecha Fans vs Sentai Fans). Has life-sized wall hangings of the entire cast of their favorite series. Is not only the President of the local club, but the acknowledged authority on anime in the area. Attends so many conventions that they're considering buying a house in California to live at during "Con Season".
7.Ludicrous Fan. OtakingTheir home anime-watching theatre is so superb that it costs more than their house. Are considering attempting to get THX accredition. Are attempting to subsidize UPS by having daily packages from Japan sent to them. Speaks Japanese fluently, working on learning Zentran. Knows more about the Far East than the people who live there. Has everything -- *everything* that relates in any way to their favorite show, including the $1000-value B-Club Special that went out of print before they had even become a fan, and the complete set of animation cells that were smuggled out of AIC headquarters by a ninja commando team. Is far too cool to get involved in any "lesser" affairs. Feels completely comfortable dressing as a Sailor Senshi (even if male). Owns property near every major con area, and lives off the rent from those places when it's not "Con Season". Considering funding terrorist attacks on dubbing studios. Completely and utterly insanely addicted to anime.
8.Burned-Out FanNo longer capable of prying themselves away from the television for more than 10 minutes at a time. Has replaced 50-80% of their body's fluids with caffeine. A living repository of all anime knowledge. Is insane enough to put most 'lesser' fans off of anime forever merely by presence. Possible head of underground religious cult or other such wackiness. Terminal sleep deprivation has convinced them that they are the reincarnation of their favorite character. Spends almost every waking second submerged in a world of anime. Memorizes soundtracks in their sleep.
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