Disappearing Women: Part 2

Step Two: Feminine Bodies, Masculine Masks

Title of this section is after Fanon’s Peau Noire, Masques Blanches

Our next category has fewer examples, but they are still a salient contribution to the self-image of women in the two countries. If women must give up part of themselves to be successful in a man’s world, then why not simply have it all by disguising themselves as men?

The manga ran 1996-2004, the 2007 drama was so successful that it was remade a mere three years later with a new cast but same set. The remake features a new subplot twists in which the school is facing financial difficulty, explaining the poor condition of the buildings and interiors. ouran1youre beautiful

Japanese examples which have seen international success include Hana Kimi (aka Hanazakari no Kimitachi E and Ouran High School Host Club, which both feature female protagonists who must crossdress and pretend to be male students in order to accomplish their goals.  This theme pingpongs around Asia, with Hana Kimi being remade in Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. The Korean television series You’re Beautiful, about a girl posing as her twin brother to be in a boy band, was remade in Japan and Taiwan. Even mainland China sees a version on this theme with My Bratty Princess (2005) in which a princess disguises herself as a ruffian to take down nobles a notch and redistribute their gambled money to the poor.

mulan twelfth

Western examples of cross dressing female protagonists are fewer, but just as impactful.  There are many permutations of and allusions to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and even Disney has a princess who cross dresses to find a “reflection of herself” that she feels is authentic (Mulan). The best playwright of the English language and the second largest broadcasting company in the USA certainly influence our culture on a massive scale.

Now we have female role models needing to pretend to be men, outright, in order to qualify for a possibility of success. With this even more broken self image, we see the need for women to completely put away their female identity in order to exist in certain spheres. This sets the stage for our third category.

 

Honorable Mentions for Feminine Bodies, Masculines Masks:

  • Victor, Victoria- In which a female singer crossdresses as a male singer who crossdresses as a female singer.
  • 2004’s ½ Prince, a Taiwanese Manhwa comic in which a female protagonist is granted the chance to be a male character in an MMORPG, in which all players’ avatars must be representative of their birth-assigned genders. ½ Prince became an underground international success.

Victor Victoria12 prince

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Disappearing Women: a three part study

Disappearing Women: Tracing Femininity and Women’s Gender Roles through TV and Film Media in the US And Japan

PART 1

In America,

books teach us how to imagine,

tv media how to interact,

music how to feel,

and videogames how to think.

 

I first gave this talk in January of this year. I was grappling with the multifaceted and often oppositional if not antipodal portrayals of and messages about women in visual media, which featured female protagonists and feminine target audience. After ruminating on the idea, I saw the emergence of three categories divided along the lines of how the protagonist dealt with the idea of femininity and her struggle with her  feminine identity. I saw a lessening in the depiction of women’s physical attributes/identity, while the mental and emotional side of women grew stronger. Lets trace this disappearance.

 

Step One: Breakthrough Women Breaking

 

The strong female protagonist, with whom the female target audience identifies, struggles with doing it all, and suffers a break–physical or emotional–from overexertion. The character tries to balance personal and familial life with professional ambition, and something has to give.

Popular in the US and Japan. In Japan, the manga began in 2000, anime ran 2006-2007, drama 2010.Popular in Europe, especially France, and Japan. In Japan, the manga started in 2000, anime 2006-2007, drama 2010.Popular throughout Asia, inspiring manga-based anime and j-drama in Japan, as well as dramas in Hong Kong, South Korea (2009), Taiwan (2001-2002), Indonesia (2002,) and Mainland China. In Japan, manga was published 1992-2003, anime 1996-97, film 1995, drama 2005-07.

In Japanese media, we see several examples of this in a range of popularity and across demographics. Japanese media targeting female audiences are split into two demographics: shoujo, which targets girls ages eight to sixteen , and josei, which targets women ages seventeen to fifty-five. Examples of shoujo media with this theme include The Wallflower, a story (released as a manga, anime, and j-drama) of a woman who hides away her femininity in her pursuit and love of all things horror. Also Kaichou wa Maid Sama (manga and anime) and Hana Yori Dango (the manga, anime, and j-drama of which have been popular for over two decades) both feature high school-aged female protagonists who at one point suffer exhaustion from working jobs, having active after-school lives , and studying, to the point of being hospitalized/given medical care to heal.

source: shinealightrose.blogspot.comanego

 

gokusen

For the josei demographic, we have the series Pride, where a woman has a good career and supportive friends, but lacks romantic development, eventually descending into a relationship with domestic violence; Anego, in which the career woman protagonist outright says her professional life gets in the way of her securing dates; and Gokusen, where the female protagonist must hide her familial life to keep her dream job as a teacher of high school students.

DevilWearsPrada-Web mona movie-dreamgirls-poster-backgrounds-wallpapers

In US media, the examples abound. With the narrow category of female protagonists who sacrifice personal/familial life for their professional development, there are major motion pictures such as The Devil Wears Prada (2006), The Iron Lady (2011), and Zero Dark Thirty (2012). Widen the scope of the dilemma and even more popular films fit this category: In Mona Lisa Smile (2003), the female characters are presented with a choice of professional (academic) ambition or familial life, but no depiction of a balance of the two is portrayed. Dreamgirls’ (2006) empowered women protagonists could have good careers or good family lives (i.e. good husbands) but not both. The first three installments of the Twilight saga (2008-2012) in an artistic twist of this theme, set up the choice of financial security or family (i.e. the ability to bear children.)  Even the acclaimed Frozen (2013) featured a female protagonist who, for 95% of the film, had hide her emotive side (often seen as a feminine trait) in order to be a good ruler.  

With all these examples of women having to give up part of themselves in order to be successful, are we addressing the struggles of women or teaching our daughters that they must adapt themselves in order to survive in a man’s world.

Making of a “Cool Japan” in Mainstream America

 

 

“We are programming your websites, making your senior executives look smart, and getting into your schools for free! That’s right, raise the bar! …[We’re] bigger than Japanese in rap songs, and yoga!” from Beau Sia’s “Asian Invasion”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diNLPGHZbGM

While I was working as an English Teaching assistant in an upper-crust, exclusive French high school, one of my students asked “In France, learning about the USA and studying English is cool. What country do Americans think is cool?”

In that moment, the idea of Japan flashed in my mind, but I responded with a generic “no particular nation is favored by ALL Americans. Many enjoy British TV, but there are many other groups of Americans that like films and media from other countries as well.” Continue reading

Intro to American Otaku Culture

It seems necessary to present an introduction from the most macro-viewpoint of national culture before getting to  further the nitty gritty details of the Otaku niche. Here are my explorations of the outermost layers of  US American otaku culture.

Mixing Pot vs. Salad Bowl Cultural Ideas

Many Americans learn in primary school that the nation is a “Melting Pot” of peoples. The metaphor relates how the cultural identities of incumbent immigrants are assimilated into the national identity, which is also impacted by the addition. The cultural identities “melt” like ingredients into a soup, maintaining many original tastes but also adopting more strongly the flavour of the base itself-the American national identity. The “broth” is also affected by the inclusion of these ingredients. This cultural idea has been part of how Americans define their culture for over a century. More recently, and particularly after the civil rights movement of the 1960s, an alternative idea of a “salad bowl” has become popular in academic conversations about cultural identity. In this model, different “ingredients” or cultural identities exist separately and juxtaposed to each other, still maintaining their unique identity while being an active part of the whole.

 

Anime Con Culture Overview

Much of the history related here I’ve learned through countless conversations with Anime Con “elders” (often only 40 or 50 years old) who recount consistently similar oral histories and stories about the rise of Anime Cons.

 

In the 1970s and 1980s, science fiction conventions often incorporated anime into their programming. Despite the fact that offering anime gave the conventions an additional draw to their membership, anime fans at sci fi cons were often ostracized, and their viewing rooms were often placed in an out-of-the-way corner or off a rear corridor of the venue. This act of “othering” is a common phenomenon in the crafting of group identity: we are this, because we aren’t that. Exclusion, therefore, is an exercise of community building. At sci fi cons, anime was included for drawing on similar themes (technology, robotics, etc.) but excluded for being outside the relative norm.

As anime became more popular and their isolated viewing rooms filled,  many of these anime-fan black sheep came together and split off the parent sci fi convention to form their own, smaller but independent anime conventions. The 1990s saw an anime boom as Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z (and later Pokemon) were shown on major network/non-cable channels. These shows’ popularity were even more bolstered by syndication on the Cartoon Network programming block “Toonami.” In anime con culture, the “Toonami generation” refers to this group of anime fans who were introduced to the art form from these popular 90s shows.

Anime cons have since become an edifice in US popular culture. The largest cons have over 30,000 attendees, and almost every city has an anime con on the East Coast. According to animecons.com, there are more than 150 anime cons in the US scheduled for 2015.  

I posit that these cons are gathering points for an unique cultural identity, the Otaku, which is a third-cultured mix of Japanese and US American cultures. The Anime Con serves as a homebase for these third-cultured individuals. A noticeable majority of anime conventions are education-oriented nonprofit organizations, and these cons are hosted by lay-people who often have no professional event planning experience. The staffers are volunteers, who put in hundreds of hours of planning and execution to pull off one-to-three-day events. The largest East Coast convention, Otakon, is a three-day event with over seven hundred volunteer staff that hosts more than thirty thousand members. While the event pulls in millions of dollars each year, the only paid staff are the outsourced accountants and the lawyers of the non-profit Otakorp incorporation.

All anime cons follow the same structure: con-goers can meet famous Japanese and American guests, attend lectures, concerts, dances, and workshops, as well as buy licensed and unique fanwork wares in the (“dealers room” and “artist alley”) markets.  Anime conventions represent the best of both Japanese and US American cultures: Japanese ingenuity and embracing of novelty with US work ethic, Japanese collectivity and team work with US ambition and self-motivation, Japanese fanaticism and American inclusivity.

Challenges to Otaku Culture: Conclusion

This is the concluding entry of a 5-part series on the threats to the cohesiveness and health of the Otaku community.

Top Five Challenges to Otaku Culture:

  1. Bullying of Adolescent Otaku
  2. Deletion of Racial Differences
  3. Body Shaming
  4. Reinforcement of Anti-Social Behaviors and Social Withdrawal: NEETs, Boomerangs, and Shut-in Hikikomori
  5. Misogyny and Madonna-Whore Complexes

Conclusion:

Politicians worldwide accept the power of media and artists. If one doesn’t respect them, one won’t remain a politician for long. There’s a reason why journalists and artists are the first to be imprisoned or killed when a dictator takes over.  Artists themselves tend to be wholly (blissfully) ignorant of the power they wield. Some are shocked into contemplating their effect on people’s psyches, a burden author J.D. Salinger grappled with after several murderers sited his fiction as impetus for their violence.

From what I’ve seen and experienced, all artistic creators face a dilemma: with each world or narrative you create, you either reinforce dominant paradigms or subvert them. If you write about a society free from racial differences, there will probably still be hetero-normality. If you create a story with nontraditional gender roles, you may ignore class. Higher up the food chain, major publishing houses and film production companies pick and choose which “progressive” elements to incorporate in each product, for taking all of them creates a story too slow in plot development or too much suspension of disbelief that it will no longer resonate with audiences. Art is powerful. It teaches us much about ourselves and molds our children. It can be the greatest unifier and the most destructive poison for our world.

Challenges to Otaku Culture: Misogyny

This is an entry of a 5-part series on the threats to the cohesiveness and health of the Otaku community.

Top Five Challenges to Otaku Culture:

  1. Bullying of Adolescent Otaku
  2. Deletion of Racial Differences
  3. Body Shaming
  4. Reinforcement of Anti-Social Behaviors and Social Withdrawal: NEETs, Boomerangs, and Shut-in Hikikomori
  5. Misogyny and Madonna-Whore Complexes 

Misogyny and Madonna-Whore Complexes (Note: This is now an edited version that has updated material 1/2015.) 

If one lets Japanese media speak for itself, it appears that Japan’s society leans more toward the binary, traditional idea of gender roles than America. In media designated for a general audience, female characters are relegated to being a prize or a nemesis. When they are integrated as members of a team of protagonists, their distinguishing characteristics are often purity, gentleness, and beauty. The population acts in accordance to such perceptions of women by emulating role models put forth by media. Thus, one would expect the societal and economic role of women to remain more firmly tied to domesticity than ambition. The Economist published an article in May 2014 proclaiming, “Women’s lowly status in the Japanese workplace has barely improved in decades, and the country suffers as a result.” The article went on to include explanation of the term the “bamboo ceiling” that bars women from promotion to the top of corporations, after the American “glass ceiling.” The bamboo ceiling, by comparison, is not nearly as transparent as the American equivalent, and much sturdier. While the media portrayal of gender roles is not the singular factor in the shaping society and economy, it remains a salient contributor to the molding of such norms.

Japanese media’s influence does not stop at the Pacific Ocean. We have seen many examples of the strong trade and importation of Japanese art and the ideas that come with it. For Americans, the transmission and edification of ultra-conservative gender roles influences our culture in different ways. Once again, reaction to this is split between healthy and unhealthy individuals.

Some react in healthy ways. Otakus, especially adult women Otakus, emerge from the influx of varying ideas of societal and gender norms as strong, assertive, self-assured individuals. I see similarities between women in the Otaku community and women in STEM: they are so well-acquainted with sexism and boy’s clubs mentalities that their confident personalities are forged into a no-nonsense, straight forward manner to boldly face all challenges, whether they be gender-specific or not. On the other hand, less strong women in both communities conform and defer to the normal gender roles and biases, sinking into the background with more demure temperament rather than rocking the boat.

If one follows the idea that the mixing and superimposing one culture onto another can influence the macro-psychology of a population, we end in the very alarming of concept of two distinct rape cultures merging to transmit very destructive ideas on a group of people.

Rape is an issue in both cultures, and is increasingly incorporated into narratives in both Japanese and American media. Shoujo has used rape scenes in character development so often that it has become a trope. Hana Yori Dango has at least five attempted rapes, and even the positively viewed Ouran High School Host Club features an episode revolving around the necessity for the female protagonist to not “ask for” being raped by engaging boy bullies. As for American major motion pictures, we recently saw our first on-screen rape attempt in which a girl protagonist was pinned down and straddled by a man who held a position of power over her in the film Divergent. Using such scenes is a double-edged sword: some will walk away feeling less alone in the knowledge that there are other rape survivors, and others will believe the idea of raping someone is normal.

More often we see examples of less violent aggression against women. As the roles women play in media are flattened to a binary, so is the consumer’s expectation of women in real life, consciously or subconsciously. The objectification of women has been a problem for both countries at least since post-World War II. In Japan, there is the perception that many salary men seek out paid companions to appease sexual appetites that their honorable wives do not fill. In America, we have the term “madonna-whore complex” to describe a person who sees women as either pure and wholesome or sexual and debase. This psychological complex is often cited as the reason why serial rapists commit their crimes.

As two cultures that are oppressive of women converge on a population, we may expect to see individuals with very strong, toxically unhealthy ideas of gender norms. With two different cultures presenting varied, nuanced explanations for the objectification, infantiliziation, and sexualiation of women, an unhealthy individual could be socialized to be destructive force.  

The story does not end here. In the Otaku community, we have seen women, especially female cosplayers, fight back against unwanted masculine attention and objectifying behaviour at cons. “Cosplay is not Consent” is the slogan for a campaign of young women to gain recognition and respect from their fellow community members after fighting an increasing amount of privacy invasions, micro-aggressions, and personal assaults while wearing costumes of their favorite characters.

 

 

 

Challenges to Otaku Culture: Social Withdrawal

This is an entry of a 5-part series on the threats to the cohesiveness and health of the Otaku community.

Top Five Challenges to Otaku Culture:

  1. Bullying of Adolescent Otaku
  2. Deletion of Racial Differences 
  3. Body Shaming
  4. Reinforcement of Anti-Social Behaviors and Social Withdrawal: NEETs, Boomerangs, and Shut-in Hikikomori 
  5. Misogyny and Madonna-Whore Complexes 

Reinforcement of Antisocial Behaviors and Social Withdrawal: NEETs, Boomerangs, and Shut-in Hikikomori 

Culture shapes individuals to function in certain ways. Culture can also stimulate certain unhealthy individuals to dysfunction in other ways. Within the US, I have observed that Social Anxiety Disorder is most common in individuals from mid-Atlantic suburban culture, less common in New England culture, and rare in Southern culture. Others have recorded a stark difference in the amount of children diagnosed with ADHD in America versus France: 9% of the children from the land of red, white, and blue have been diagnosed with ADHD while for the land of the blue, white, and red has only 0.5%. As a political scientist, I see these differences as indicative of a sort of macro-psychology, while psychologists may refer to it as country-based psychosocial influence.

When two cultures mix, the game changes. I believe that the layering of certain cultures upon one another can reinforce an individual’s positive traits as well as exacerbate the negative ones. As the USA has a problem with children and young adults experiencing ADHD, Japan has a problem with young people experiencing acute social withdrawal, shutting themselves in and pulling away from all social and even familial contact. These individuals are called hikikomori, literally “pulling inward, being confined.” Inability to cope with the outside world is a gradient, and closer to healthy on that sliding scale are Japan’s NEETs and Freeters. A NEET is a young person who cannot cope or cannot find employment and has given up trying to do so. They often stay at home with their parents or grandparents, and their livelihoods are provided by their families. They are “Not in Education, Employment, or Training.” Similarly, a Freeter works only part time, still depending on their families for a stipend to support the cost of living.

Freeters and NEETs functionally and psychosocially parallel with the Boomerang kids of the US: Boomerangs return home after a short stint away, usually in college, to continue to be supported by their family. According to the New York Times, nearly twenty percent of Americans aged 20-35 live with their parent(s). This similarity appearing in both cultures opened up avenues for Japanese media pertaining to living at home as an adult to be relevant and successful both domestic markets and abroad in the USA. The series Princess Jellyfish, an anime about a group of young women NEETs struggling with their underemployment, gender, and identity, saw a surge of popularity in the US in last year and earlier this year. Princess Jellyfish resonated with American Otaku who were facing similar struggles to the protagonists, or at least knew someone who was. The series story gives voice and understanding to the difficult circumstances around young people people today. Its positive influence heals a part of dysfunction found in both societies. At the same time, unhealthy individuals may view the story as a justification for their dysfunction, thinking, “See? They don’t have full time jobs and are not self-sustainable. I don’t have to be either.”

Other series do not heal individuals but rather reinforce the idea of social withdrawal and inability to function in society. In many stories, NEETs are not protagonists but secondary characters floating on the periphery. Any story with these characteristics enables unhealthy behaviour by passively accepting fiscally irresponsible habitude and anti-social actions.

Challenges to Otaku Culture: Body Shaming

This is an entry of a 5-part series on the threats to the cohesiveness and health of the Otaku community.

Top Five Challenges to Otaku Culture:

  1. Bullying of Adolescent Otaku
  2. Deletion of Racial Differences 
  3. Body Shaming
  4. Reinforcement of Anti-Social Behaviors and Social Withdrawal: NEETs, Boomerangs, and Shut-in Hikikomori 
  5. Misogyny and Madonna-Whore Complexes 

Body Shaming

While non-whites are absent from anime to reflect the norm in Japan, so too is the depiction of body weight in Japanese media. While 33% of adult Americans are obese, only 5% of Japanese are. The visual media of Japan reflects a healthier and thinner populace. Among young American Otaku cosplayers, this means that many feel inadequate to emulate their favorite characters if they are not physically fit. At in-person events like cons, body shaming is publicly frowned upon. However, with the internet’s mask of anonymity, weight-related insults, as well as racial slurs, are thrown about with abandon. Among more mature cosplayers, self-doubt evaporates as they accept their bodies, have healthy self-image, and understand completely that characters in anime/manga/videogames do not have realistic proportions, as part of Japanese style features super long legs and extremely large eyes. Fantastical expectations for one’s body do not apply to a cosplayer who has a healthy mindset, but younger Otaku are targeted and impacted by ridiculous and needlessly demeaning comments.

 

Challenges to Otaku Culture: Racial Erasure

This is an entry of a 5-part series on the threats to the cohesiveness and health of the Otaku community.

Top Five Challenges to Otaku Culture:

  1. Bullying of Adolescent Otaku
  2. Deletion of Racial Differences 
  3. Body Shaming
  4. Reinforcement of Anti-Social Behaviors and Social Withdrawal: NEETs, Boomerangs, and Shut-in Hikikomori 
  5. Misogyny and Madonna-Whore Complexes 

 

Deletion of Racial Differences (i.e. “White Washing):

This is an issue for Otaku who consume visual Japanese popular media: manga, anime, and video games. Characters rendered in these media generally are highly stylized with pale, white skin, and hair colors ranging from flat black to red frizzy curls and from blonde spikes to knee length blue pigtails. The characters are not ethnically diverse because Japan isn’t ethnically diverse. According to the CIA factbook, Japan’s ethnicity breaks down into 98.5% Japanese, 0.5% Korean, 0.4% Chinese and 0.6% Other. For comparison, in the US we have a population that is 80% white, 13% black, and 4% Asian. Americans who consume Japanese media become comfortable with a strictly white cast. For whites, this results in increased blind privilege, inhibited socialization with minorities, and further estrangement from the other 20% of the US population. For blacks and other minorities, it is one more example of erasure and invisibility from global media.

The absence of depiction of ethnically diverse characters has varying impacts. As always, for those empowered, healthy Otaku, it is a non-issue. Many anime cons have ethnically diverse staffs, and minorities hold positions of power. For Otaku who are less healthy and feel disempowered, it is easy for the seemingly all-white casts to reinforce previously-held, negative racial stereotypes.

 

Challenges to Otaku Culture: Bullying

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be exploring the top five threats to Otaku culture.

Top Five Challenges to Otaku Culture:

  1. Bullying of Adolescent Otaku (today)
  2. Body Shaming (Hopefully to be posted on the 19th)
  3. Deletion of Racial Differences (hopefully posted before Christmas) 
  4. Reinforcement of Anti-Social Behaviors and Social Withdrawal: NEETs, Boomerangs, and Shut-in Hikikomori (hopefully posted before year-end) 
  5. Misogyny and Madonna-Whore Complexes (hopefully posted before year-end)

 

Bullying of Adolescent Otaku

The first issue Otaku must face is that of bullying. During adolescence, it appears that a high proportion of Otaku are bullied. According to an informal study, it is possible that half of all teenage Otakus have experienced bullying. Otaku are different from their peers in the area of socio-linguistic development. With language, one produces what one consumes, and Otaku’s consumption of Japanese-based media alters their sociolinguistic pathways: even if they are reading subtitles or listening to a dubbed translation, exposure to different beats of conversation and context create a diversity in modes of expression.

Think of the lingual cortex as a dense forest. Ideas and language used to express them are pathways which one has forged through the trees and brush. (Those with more linguistic talent are armed with machetes for cutting through the creepers.) The more one walks these paths, the more one expresses these ideas, the quicker and easier the travel becomes. TCKs and Otaku foster pathways that their mono-cultured peers do not, so the pathways the peers take are more quickly navigated, and Otaku sometimes have to back off of one path to jump to another to be on the same page as their peers, resulting in a language delay. In some cases, the slower processing time to navigate between several paths is so impactful that some Otaku, much like their TCK peers, will default to a deferential personality type rather than struggle with awkward time gaps in dialogue. Certainly, this difference in socio-linguistic development (or, for sociologists out there–deficit in social capital) is not the only reason why a person may be targeted by a bully, but these circumstances do not help a temporarily bad situation.

As Otaku mature, bullying becomes less of an issue, but the negativity remains. Adult Otaku face adversity from within and without: many have internalized the negativity they faced as a child and/or the social stigma they face as an adult. On the popular crowdsourcing definition site, UrbanDictionary.com, four of the top five definitions of “otaku” are negative. The most popular definition, with thousands of up-votes, characterizes Otaku as people who “don’t have a life.”

This begs the question if other “fans” also don’t have lives when celebrating their passion. It is a common argument in the nerd community: if sports fans aren’t put down for spending hundreds of dollars and days of their lives enjoying and supporting their teams of choice, then why do we dismiss Otaku for their enthusiasm of anime, videogames, or cosplay? First of all, Otaku are once again disparaged for simply being outside of the norm. Secondly, and more specific to US American culture, is that we don’t value play. In the early 1900s, German scholar Max Weber wrote a cogent treatise on the intersection of capitalism and the Protestant faith. His analysis of  has become one of the top ten texts read by all US social scientists. He exposes that in cultures rooted in the Protestant faith, such as the USA, the idea of a “vocation” mitigates importance on work and being “occupied” by work. Our Protestant work ethic means we live our lives for our vocation, and hobbies are undervalued. Applied to the matter at hand, Otaku spending time enjoying their passion is seen as “destructive” to their professional life.

Most Otaku now are educated and have the knowledge and skillset to examine such negativity analytically, and the vocabulary both to express their experiences and to educate the younger generation on how to deal with adversity. Once again, anime cons prove to be examples of the best of Otaku culture, as many have had workshops and panels on combating otaku stigma and overcoming bullying.