Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed in certain online anime groups that there’s been a considerable increase in finding “otaku girls.” While the comment section of these posts is filled with boys and men of the same type purposely seeking any female otaku for their pleasure. Very few, if any of the comments are ones that are outside of these males. Having seen dozens of these posts makes me quickly question things within the anime community and being a male altogether. These men seem to not want to date or anything outside of hooking up with whomever they’re searching for.
While I understand wanting to find a partner who has some of the same interests as their significant other does but purposely looking for them is a whole different concept. Specifically looking for females that are into anime, manga, light novels is downright wrong. Specifically targeting females like their some kind of trophy, is not only degrading its treating females who enjoy anime and alike like their an object is ridiculous. This treatment of people within any community is unjust, and unfortunately, this is becoming common. Now I understand that not all men do this, and I’ll even go on a limb and say over half of men don’t think this way, but nonetheless, treating people as objects is absurd.
As I’ve mentioned before that wanting to find someone who has the same interests as you, whether it be anime, manga, video games, books, etc. is perfectly acceptable. However, purposely looking for otaku girls is plainly creepy. If this continues to happen, unfortunately, it may be the start of the end of any online anime community. Having any group of people within any community being sexualized for their interests isn’t unique, especially in the age of the internet. Though some may be able to hide behind a keyboard and live in the greatness of anonymity is catastrophic to everyone within that group. Unfortunately, as I stated before, we live in the age of the internet where it’s more natural and potentially find new, like-minded people to talk to, and with that comes the people who start to ruin the group itself.
The bigger problem within this objectification is that if people – not only women – are treated this way, they’re less likely to be themselves or, even worse, quit the community altogether. Which brings me to another critical point: if people cant be supported within a group without being sexualized, then why would anyone stick around? Now, I understand that a lot of cosplayers – especially female ones – get sexualized by both men and women, and I’m genuinely sorry. I wish that wouldn’t happen, and people who sexualize and view your hard work would just act civilized and respectful. Perhaps it is due to their upbringing, or maybe even them, not understanding boundaries. Whatever the reason could be, we must stand tall, and to everyone who cosplays, you must understand that for every pervert who sexualizes your outfit theirs at least ten thousand people who think it is fantastic.
Like I said before, not every male within any community does this, but as the saying goes, “a rotten apple spoils the barrel.” Finding people who like the same interests as you attractive is not the problem, and I don’t want people to think that it’s the underlying issue here. We’re in a brand new decade, a new decade filled with new opportunities, albeit so far it starting off pretty terrible but still. With new groups forming, and new friends being made every second, and even more, friends made at the – eventually opened – conventions we should embrace who we are, and not sexualize each other. At the end of the day, no one, no matter what gender they are, wants to be objectified and harassed for their hobbies.
A community is defined by a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. However, what it also means is having a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Being a part of a group that sexualizes people for their own personal interests is weird, and personally, I can never get behind that. I hope this viewpoint doesn’t last much longer, and I also hope that anyone reading this hasn’t felt the need to change who they are due to people who view them as an object. We need to stand up and stop this happening within our community, and not just online, I’ve seen it at conventions as well. If we choose to ignore the problem, it’ll never go away, and we must hold everyone accountable for their own actions. We are all friends who love anime, manga, or whatever you may like, so please let’s get along.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.