Bits of Understanding: Repression & Dominance

As our class saw in a Genshiken screening during our class on otaku masculinities, the concept of “otaku fictions” have to do both with the perception through which otaku audiences, particularly male ones, really have and are portrayed to have. Anime like Genshiken provide the otaku members of their audience with a variety of relatable characters, from the newbie who seems shy of his otakuness to the sempai who have fully embraced stereotypical traits of an otaku. These traits range from staying inside all day watching anime to less more characteristically perverse hobbies, like collecting sexually compelling anime figurines with realistic panties. As Thomas Lamarre contemples in his paper Cool, Creepy, Moé: Otaku Fictions, Discourses, and Policies, generally otaku characters in anime hide their otaku-ness, ashamed, fearful of exposure. Therefore, living a double life between social repression and secret indulgence in vices plays a huge role in otaku culture and understanding– a role that impacts their understanding of eroticism. Continue reading