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Otaku are a subculture in Japan that is characterized by their obsession with anime. While the Japanese word does mean fan in a more general sense, like how someone can be an "otaku" for literature, anime and manga fans are the most popular and familiar with Western internet users. What makes Otaku notable is their inability to connect with reality and the social system of Japanese society.
Visually, this group of people collect an incredibly large amount of merchandise related to their anime/manga of choice, while eschewing a normal and healthy lifestyle.