Male Otaku Paraphilia

Management: Another anthropological research paper I’m working on investigating male otaku paraphiliacs, the otaku subculture, and the larger Japanese society. I managed another pretty decent grade on this paper, but my anthropology professor is, again, ultimately just one (albeit highly knowledgeable) person who’s critiqued my work. I’d welcome more if you guys are willing to provide feedback.


The label otaku did not always refer to men who like anime. Otaku once referred more broadly to enthusiasts of any particular interest. Now, however, the otaku label increasingly describes those intensely enthused by anime-stylized interests. More specifically, otaku refers to those enthralled by manga and Japanese video games, in addition to anime (Kotani, 2004, p. 23). Coming out of the otaku community is the assertion by some male otaku that there is this kind of love. There is this kind of love – romantic, emotional, and sexual – that some male otaku preferred over all others and transcended the bounds of convention. That love is 2D love, or love for the anime-stylized character. It was exemplified in real life through the marriage of “Nintendo DS user Sal9000 and a game character Nene Anegasaki from Love Plus (Stasieńko, 2015, p. 80).” The preferential eroticization of the 2D over the 3D constitutes a paraphilia, defined by King and Regan (2014) as a sexual disorder “in which repeatedly engaging in or fantasizing about unusual behaviors is the preferred way of obtaining sexual arousal and gratification (p. 370).” This eroticization, however, does not preclude the development of romantically and emotionally intimate dimensions in a 2D relationship as felt by paraphilic otaku.

I will use socio-cultural and socio-biological explanations to explain why male paraphilic otaku behave the way they do. I will then use these explanations to make comparisons between male paraphilic otaku and objectophiles. Whereas the latter’s objects of obsession tend to consist of non-human looking objects, the former’s objects of fixation are distinctly human-like characters. Among the human-like characters available for male paraphilic otaku to fixate over are prepubescent female children. The anthro-centric, or human-like, appearance of 2D girls raises questions concerning the potential criminality of male paraphilic otaku toward committing sex crimes, especially on young girls. It also raises questions regarding the contested legality of creative works, especially lolicon, produced and consumed by both a dedicated otaku industry and the otaku community itself.

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