Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Tracking otaku: Japan's Asahi Shimbun reports on a new study of otaku that found the obsessive fans of manga, anime, video games and young female singers spend 260 billion yen each year on their hobbies. The report, released Tuesday by the Nomura Research Institute, places the number of otaku in those four areas at 2.8 million people:

"Although the term otaku has negative connotations such as 'reclusive' in Japanese, their lavish spending habits mean they are 'no longer a target of niche marketing only,' says the report.

"The research institute defines otaku as 'people who spend much of their time and money on a focused area of interest.' Based on the definition, NRI estimated the number and spending habits of people with a hard-core interest in the four areas, all typical otaku pursuits."