Explaining The Difference Between Male And Female Otaku

Explaining The Difference Between Male And Female Otaku

In Japan, there are male nerds and female nerds. And there are key differences between the two, besides their gender: The way they shop and interact with fandom are not the same, reports Excite Bit.

An individual connected to otaku (geek) goods told Excite that there’s apparently a discrepancy in how much male and female otaku spend on items. The example given was that male nerds would be willing to spend up to, say, ¥9000 ($107) on a hug pillow cover for a cute character. What’s more, male geeks in Japan are apparently very particular about quality and are willing to pony up extra cash for that quality.

Female geeks, on the other hand, are more grounded in reality with their nerd shopping and supposedly max out at ¥3000 or ¥4000 ($36 to $48) for an otaku CD. Things like inexpensive clear file folders apparently also do well.

Another key difference, the Excite piece adds, is that female geeks like characters and the voice actor who brings that character to life — the voice actor must “suit” the character. Male otaku, however, are more willing to embrace the character independently.

As many Kotaku readers will probably know, there are numerous kinds of otaku (train otaku, gun otaku, movie otaku, etc). In Japan, there are many female otaku who follow musicals and spend large sums of money to see them. The Excite piece is more centered on anime, manga, and video game otaku, and it didn’t take into account these big spending musical otaku. Ha, musical otaku! That sounds nice.

グッズ関係者が語る「男のオタクと女のオタクの違い」 [ニコニコ via Yaron!]

Picture: 電車男


  • I hate to say this but femtakus obviously ain’t otaku enough.

    I don’t mean to sound sexist. However female otakus are something of a subset of the anime otaku culture. Something male otakus on occasion dream about once done with 2D and kawaii hug pillows. Also being a minority the serious femtakus have less need to pay for things such as expensive hug pillows and doujinshi.

      • You need 10 otaku points to count as an otaku. GIrl otaku only have 5. They need to otaku more if they want to be counted as proper otaku. Until then, they won’t really exist outside of guy otaku fantasy.

        I think that’s what he means, at least.

    • I hate to say it, but you are wrong. (On the internet of all places)!

      Otaku does not apply to anime exclusively (the article even says that!), nor does it mean someone who buys all the things. Otaku in its original form (not the meaning adapted by Westerners) is a term used for people who are into a certain thing above the levels of a normal person. Something akin to those we’d label geeks. They are usually fairly knowledgeable on the subject and tend to gravitate towards that culture over others.

      Both sexes have the same appreciation for a particular thing (Just like our Western geeks), they just express it in different and equally valid ways with neither sex being a “subset” (whatever that even means) of the other.

  • To be fair, the more expensive items are not designed for female consumers of any geek or Otaku status. Given that figurines/statuettes and 90% of hug pillows are designed with the male gaze in mind (the more expensive figurines are often very fan service oriented and few adult women probably want to go to sleep hugging a pillow that looks like a prepubescent girl), there’s probably a very good reason that most female Otaku don’t feel comfortable spending large sums of money on the goods. I don’t know if it exists or not, but it would be interesting to see if female Otaku would spend the same amount of money if there were items designed for them – like say hug pillows with their favourite bishi-boys on them.
    My female friends, geeks and otaku’s, are very precise on quality when there’s something made for them. One friend spent several hundred dollars on a Jarred from the Labyrinth figurine, and many have paid top dollar to get custom made plushies or figures of their favourite characters, and all of them are far more willing than me to pay large sums for good convention tickets and meet and greet extras at those cons.
    Granted, it’s a small subsection of women that I have access to, but my point is that when the product is there and appeals to women and doesn’t make them feel sickly to look at they more than happily spend as much as any of the male geeks I hang out with if not more.
    Interesting article but as happens so often in issues of gender and gaming, I think the source article may have a bit of a data collection bias (people quite literally cannot buy what doesn’t exist).

    • No, that would be an unflattering generalisation. And besides, girl otakus (and girl geeks in general) can be very, very creepy. I once sunk into the world of fanfiction, a world that’s like 95% women and 200% creepy. I’ve read things, things that I can never wash from my brain no matter how much alcohol I drink.

  • So basically males will spend more for something quality made where as females will spend money on cheap crap… and how does this only apply to otakus…

  • I wonder how many otaku (or even non-otaku) males are buying these more expensive gifts for their otaku girlfriends and wives?

  • “female geeks like characters and the voice actor who brings that character to life — the voice actor must “suit” the character. Male otaku, however, are more willing to embrace the character independently.”
    Dear god, I’m a woman!

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