“I like watching webtoons very much and I sometimes draw characters from the webtoons I watch. I even draw fan arts for my favorite webtoonist. One day, when I was drawing characters as usual at school, a girl came up to me and said, ‘Do not waste your talent doing otaku behavior.’ Being offended by her, I tried hard to resist the temptation to slap her face. What does otaku mean anyway?” This was the comment of a girl in a portal site called Naver, as she described her unfamiliarity with the term, “otaku”. The Japanese term otaku basically means “mania” or “obsession” in English. In other words, it is used to describe someone who is absorbed in certain fields. At first, the word was used negatively to describe people who are overly preoccupied with their interests, usually animation or computer games, but lacking knowledge on other things, while having poor personal relationships. However, after 1990, the definition of the term expanded to describe a person “who has strong interest of certain fields” as well as a person “who has professional knowledge of certain fields.”
These days, there are many kinds of manias or otaku, ranging from those having strong interests in animated films and computer games, to those who immensely enjoy watching movies or dramas as well as listening to certain genres of music. Unlike their misfit predecessors, these new otaku live their life to the fullest. However, negative stereotypes on these people still exist in today’s society, where critics accuse them of wasting their time or criticize saying they should come back to reality. In this issue of Enquete, The Hanyang Journal reveals the manias of Hanyang University and the perspectives on mania or otaku, from a total of 853 Hanyangians from the Seoul and ERICA campuses.
■ Survey Period: From August 17 to 18
■ Respondents: 537 Hanyangians from Seoul Campus
310 Hanyangians from ERICA Campus
01 Do you think of yourself as a"Mania" of something?
➊ Absolutely (19%)
➋ I partly think so (40%)
➌ Not at all(To question 5) (41%)
02. What kind of "Mania" are you?
➊ Animation/Comics Mania (29%)
➋ Computer Games/Progamer Mania (21%)
➌ Drama/Movie/Musical Mania (13%)
➍ Celebrity(Idol Singing Group/Singer/Actor·Actress) Mania (10%)
➎ Certain Music Genre(Hip-hop/Pop/Rock/Jazz) Mania (15%)
➏ Military Mania (3%)
➐ Others (9%)
04. Do you tell your family that you are a "Mania" of something?
➊ I tell my family and do not hide the fact (81%)
➋ I got caught by my family member, so I do not hide the fact anymore (5%)
➌ I got caught by my family member, so I try harder to hide the fact (2%)
➍ I hide the fact
in the first place (8%)
➎ Others (4%)
05. What are your thoughts on "Manias"?
➊ People who are devoted to something they are
interested in (36%)
➋ People who are enjoying their hobbies (38%)
➌ People with no sense of reality (10%)
➍ People who waste time and money (7%)
➎ People who are not good at self-management (5%)
➏ Others (4%)
06. What do you think about the perspective of the general society on "Manias"?
➊ Good (2%)
➋ Not Bad (15%)
➌ Bad (74%)
➍ Not sure (4%)
➎ Others (5%)