Otaku Fetishism

Topic started by gia on March 14, 2009. Last post by HeeroYuy 6 years ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

The Asia Times article suggests that otaku aren't innately as fetishistic as some anime and manga porn would imply, but that rather the off-beatness of these types of pornography are a major part of the draw. Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
What, really? No thoughts?

It's sort of a chicken or the egg question, but I definitely think that one's view and expectations of oneself has a HUGE impact on taste and buying. For example-- you might find a song catchy and tap your foot to it, then find out it's Britney Spears and be horrified. You, after all, are not a Britney Spears fan, and therefore you wouldn't like her music.

Similarly, you might go to the bookstore and buy, say, the Iliad, because you self-identify as a nerd and feel that you "should" read it more than you just plain "want" to. How often do you buy something at the store that you think you SHOULD read/watch/do and then not get around to it? It's common enough.

Similarly, people in Japan who self-identify as otaku-- particularly the relatively younger ones who grew up with Japanese society's view that otaku were all fetishists and lolicons --may subconsciously be drawn to said materials more because that's part of the identify they've established than because they actually intrinsically "like" the stuff. (Which, by the way, would explain a lot about reports that pedophiles don't respond to lolicon materials like they respond to real little kids-- it's really targeted at different people.)

Now, this may sound like something negative, that you don't "really" like the stuff that you like, but I don't feel that way. I think this is just a natural part of building an identity, and that this sort of subconscious act leads you to stuff you DO like more than it "makes you think you like stuff you don't" or something like that.
Post by HeeroYuy (1,210 posts) See mini bio Level 12
In relation to the question of whether people are attracted to anime as a result of fetishes or the other way around, I believe that the case tends to be primarily that anime stands as an independent variable, and that fetish attachments sometimes result from heavy exposure to anime - not the other way around.

When comparing the demograph of preferential tastes between the non-fetish affected peoples (whether they be just normal people or anime fans) and those that are (more commonly hardcore fans), there is an apparent shift in taste over time. Normal males for example may prefer large breasts or rears (I don't understand the whole large butt thing personally...) and/or an overall cute composure. My personal theory in what influences the shift is anime's tendency (especially in visual novles) to coincide many of these afformentioned tastes with certain traits, such for an example, the playful tomboy characters being large breasted. In many cases, shifts can be Pavlovian; for example, many times the most popular female characters that wear short skirts and look good in them may wear very high socks as well. Eventually the combination of the two develops into a taste for Zettai Ryouiki. Another example may be found with the nekomimi phenomena. Starting once again with "normal" tastes being enhanced in particular instances with the addition of cat ears for cuteness, or tight fur clothing with skin exposure, eventually the traits themselves may evolve into being of their own nomenclature.

Although this does not explain all fetishes, it does explain a good portion of them. Many others (as the article you linked to Gia) are most likely a result of strange sexual tastes coming to surface, and my assumption is the exposure to it through many parts of Japanese culture (since exposure to it is far more prominent there than in the US) is the primary cause of it's association to anime fans. Sort of like how the word 'otaku' in Japan can mean a fan of all sorts of things, yet over here it tends to just mean anime fan. That said, I cannot explain what about these kinds of fetishes makes them spread. The allure of bondage comes from the implementer having a feeling of power over their victim and doing whatever they want to them, which in its most fundamental form (greed, power, and lust combined) is really not all that strange. The method of presentation may seem strange though at first glance, so that's why it tends to be dismissed as a fetish. Tentacles are a combination of an extension of bondage and also creative legal dodging, where since in Japan certain body parts cannot be shown uncensored even in porn sometimes (I have no clue what the exact rules are on it), artists would use tentacles to represent basically the same thing and get around the censorship issue as a sort of legal loophole.

As for the concept of lolicon.....honestly I really don't fully understand it. I suppose perhaps it could be for some of the same reasons as bondage, but at the same time the whole "innocence" aspect that many of them seem to talk about doesn't compute into any of the theories I can think of, unless it were some insanely far off evolution of having a taste for cute, but I really don't think that's the case.

(I hope I'm not too late posting this...am I?)
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