Because I like beautiful girls.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Societal Impressions of Otaku, Gyudon, and Saikano Ultimate Edition

SOME CONTEXT : If you understand otaku, oteiku and all that just skip down to the main point

Here in America, Otaku has two meanings. The first is a "badge of honor" positive happy title for a anime fan. Used like : "OMG I'm such an otaku!!!!! I watch 50 episodes a week!". Cartoon network and shonen jump create many of these fans. Those people annoy me but are generally harmless and a lot are good people on the inside. Hereby referred to as oteiku because a lot of them simply can't pronounce otaku.

The other meaning is closer to the Japanese one : a nerdy introverted person who spends a lot on thier interests and likely has encyclopedic knowledge on thier favorite fandoms. Often having to try to explain their purchases to confused non-otaku friends and learns to keep quiet around non-otaku because explaining gets old. Stereotyped as socially-inept and a failure in life (not true in many many cases!) and close to the virgin DnD comic book nerd of American lore. The book/film Densha Otoko shows this well. Commonly but not exclusively used for anime fandoms. You can be a military otaku or a train otaku or any type of otaku your passion leads you to. Not a badge of honor: a fairly negative term.

For the sake of this blog I'll note Akiba-kei, Akihabara-type. A subset of otaku that hang around in Akihabara and like anime/games/etc. I prefer the term Akiba-kei when describing myself because it is more specific, less negative, and avoids possibility of confusion with oteiku.


I went to Book Off with Aki and I got the Saikano Live Action Ultimate Edition DVD. It will probably suck but I can't buy the standard edition for Saikano. I love it. Brilliant series. Aki bought a Junjo Romantica Boy's Love artbook (18+; Nice art ^_^). Then we went to Yoshinoya because it was a) right behind bookoff b)cheap c)not a burger. Aki takes the artbook inside and is paging through it while I order food. She's talking to me about the art when a lady employee walks behind our cashier:

Lady Employee : "Oh! Otaku! Shes a Japanese Otaku!"

Us: "........................"

Cashier: "Oh they're otaku. You're an otaku aren't you??"

We just kinda freeze at this point. They continue giggling or whatever (its hazy)

Me: " Uh... Yeah I'm an otaku... ^^;" *tries to laugh along and holds up Haruhi wallet* "Here's the money."

*gets change and sit down*

Yeaaaah.... the staff up right up laughed at us. For an artbook. An no it wasn't a "hey you like that stuff too?" kind of thing. I've gotten that at bookoff and its very different (and nice to see other eroge fans! :D). This was more of a "lets make fun of the stupid people" thing. Right to our faces, not in the breakroom later, but "oh they won't mind! if we talk about them while they try to buy lunch!". I don't think I've ever gotten worse customer service anywhere. I've been treated with more respect when getting lunch in cosplay.

But its Yoshinoya so I'll go back XP

UPDATE: Email customer service is gonna open a cup of whoop ass. After this post, I just forwarded it to them and said I like beef bowl. XD (cause its so good!)

Dear Ms. [name removed]:
Thank you for contacting Yoshinoya America, Inc.
I apologize for any inconvenience. It will be reported to the Store Manager at Kearny Mesa, as well as the District Manager right away so they can take the necessary precautions to prevent this from happening again.
We appreciate your feedback to continually improve our products and services.
Please do not hesitate to contact us in the future.
Thank you for choosing Yoshinoya and have a nice day.

[name removed]
Customer Relations Specialist
Yoshinoya America, Inc.
[phone number removed]


Jon Fawkes said...

Aw, poor Kat-chan :o Those employees need some training in respect or something

amateur_cameko said...

Of course being next to a Book-Off, you're probably not the first customers the Yoshinoya people referred to as otaku...but still it's like calling out the people in red shirts on Gay Days at Disneyland because you know they usually wear red shirts during that one weekend in October (they may not be gay but actually Angels fans)...