Geek Taxonomy: Manga Version

Topic started by gia on Jan. 5, 2009. Last post by HeeroYuy 6 years, 1 month ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

So, I came across an article on NPR (fangirl squee!) on comic geeks, separating them into grazers (those who read through their comics in whatever order they appear in their box in) and stackers (those who arrange their comics in a particular order to read).


Now, western manga and anime geekdom has expanded during the age of the Internet-- doubtless in some part because of the Internet. As such, we don't have any such ritual as the weekly trip to a comic shop to pick up our volumes. Au contraire; some of us buy online, some of us buy at book stores, some of us do in fact buy at comic shops, and some of us-- ahem –don't buy at all (tsk tsk!).

Nonetheless, this lack of a common purchasing method and location doesn't mean we don't have our own splits. Here are a few that I've noticed-- and keep in mind that these are generalizations, so there are naturally exceptions!

Anime Fans and Manga Fans – In my experience, most anime fans also read manga, or at least are open to reading a manga here and there. By contrast, I have definitely come upon plenty of manga fans who don't watch anime very much, if at all. It's also been my observation that people who are fans of just manga are more likely to also be fans of a much wider range of comics (i.e. they're more likely to be fans of western comics as well). It also seems to me that manga fans are less likely to be into cosplaying, fanfiction, and some of the other common community activities.

Social Otaku and Non-Social Otaku – Note that I say non-social, not anti-social, though of course there are some of those in the otaku world too. But for some people, watching anime (or even reading manga) is a social experience: you do it at anime club or with friends at home, you do it so you can join discussions online; for these people it is as much about the community as it is about the content itself. Other otaku like what they like without having much interest in what others think. They may participate in online forums, but usually more because they're driven to create fanart or fanfiction, or even photograph and document conventions, than because they're interested in socializing.


Casual Fan and “True” Otaku – I'm including this one because I think it's important that we, as the hardcore fans who spend all this time talking about anime and manga in the 'net, the ones who attend conventions, cosplay, write fanfiction, whatever, acknowledge that there are fans whose views are rarely represented on sites such as these. These are the fans who drum up numbers for Naruto and Bleach but don't participate in online forums, don't delve out into more series that are less mainstream. It's an interesting phenomenon, to watch the industry attempt to cater to both of these groups with certain titles, to varying degrees of success.

These are just a few distinctions I've come upon throughout the years-- have you noticed any? Also, of these, I'm an anime-social-otaku.

Post by omo (113 posts) See mini bio Level 2
I see the same with my manga-heavy friends as well, versus anime types. At the same time I think the stacker/gazer distinction also happens with anime/manga viewers. Some people like to do slowly and spread out and some people do marathons. That is if we're not limited by our means.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
omo: I bet we'd see that with mundanes and their netflix account, really. :) But I was trying to think of some of the more anime-specific stuff.
Post by RedRoses (1,437 posts) See mini bio Level 14
I'm a manga-social-"true" otaku.
I'll watch my occasional anime but I really prefer reading manga because then I can put my own voice for each character in my head, ya know what I mean? Sometimes I'll read something and then I watch the anime and I think to myself how the character sounds so off because of how I imagined the voice in my head. Though I do love anime that tries to be artistically different or just a different approach that manga can't do. Like for FLCL, I watched the anime and read the manga. I prefer the anime because it's more dynamic feeling than the manga.
As for social, I don't go to our Japanese Club because it's full of weeaboos but I do like to discuss anime/manga with people (both real life and online). But I don't revolve all my anime watching and manga reading to discussions. There are some series that aren't deep enough for me to bring it up in the first place other than "it's a good/crappy series and that's basically it."
I'd like to think myself as the "true" type but I think that's a subjective opinion since a "true" otaku means different things to different people. I like to go to cons and cosplay. I love to look at fanart but not necessarily draw (since I suck) and I'll read fanfiction if it's good. I don't really spend all my time talking about anime and stuff though, I have other interests so ehh...
Post by HeeroYuy (1,210 posts) See mini bio Level 12
I was originally thinking I'd be in between Social and Non-social due to having qualities of both, but I think I only really fit into the "true" otaku category since I'm basically a jack of all trades with not too many aces in any in particular. I've done a few cosplay (one of which won the best of newcomers award) but I don't go too overboard with it, I've built a large number of model kits but I don't get too into detailing and I don't have a HUGE collection, I've got a few figures and check out figure blogs but don't have a blog like that myself, and I've got a fair amount of online community activity. The other thing is although I watch some anime series with friends about twice a week, I also watch a number of shows by myself since I feel I can enjoy them better that way. And yes, I buy manga and have a fairly sizeable collection, but it's not gargantuan and I tend to read volumes consectively but in very sporatic short bursts.

And then there's weird things about me that don't really fit into any of that, like how I've imported consoles to play some japanese games, or how I've made anime-themed mods for games and remixed my own music...

It's basically all over the place, so I don't really know what other category I could fit in...
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