We've had a few questions about how otaku are seen in Japanese culture. Do otaku tend to be bullied? was closed fairly quickly. This question asks about how Japanese people see otaku. On the other hand, Is the term Otaku derogatory? was asked recently, and doesn't seem to be in any immediate danger of being closed. It asks about what connotations are associated with the term.

In my view both of these questions are fairly similar in that they are mostly about otaku (either the term or the people, but in a broad cultural context) and not anime. Perhaps on that basis, both of them should be closed. That would also seem to affect What kinds of activities can be found in a Manga/Anime Club?, though, which is highly upvoted and favorited. I'm not sure that question is on-topic either, despite writing the only answer to it, but it doesn't seem like anyone wants it closed at the moment.

What sorts of questions about otaku should we allow within our scope?

  • 1
    A note: These seem to fit better on Culture of Japan, but that hasn't moved into beta as of yet.
    – Cattua
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


I largely agree with @Veger's answer, but I'd like to sum up my thoughts in a succinct way:

If the question is constructive and pertains to culture specific to the anime/manga community, I think it should be allowed.

If you exclude us, currently, there is no StackExchange network site which handles anime culture. And, since I think it's fair to say that most anime fans will know anime culture at least decently well, I think that makes it somewhat fitting for the people on this site to be the ones answering those questions.

The only qualm I have about these questions is that I think many of the answers will tend to relate more to social and societal influences in Japan rather than about the anime-specific component of the question. But I think that's a detail that's left to be sorted out by those voting on the answer.

  • I assume when you're saying "there is no site which handles anime culture", you're specifically talking about SE sites. Otherwise that statement is false.
    – Logan M
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 0:22
  • @LoganM Yes, that is what I'm saying. I'll clarify that in the post.
    – Cattua
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 0:45

I would say to keep the question that can be answered properly open. So all questions asking for opinions or personal situations (Do otaku tend to be bullied?) should/could be closed.

Questions asking about certain cultural things (related to anime/manga of course, so questions about the Japanese language are off-topic, as stated by the faq) that have specific answers (Is the term Otaku derogatory?) could/should be left open. Even if they are (partially) overlapping with other SE topics. Such overlap is with a lot of SE sites and is unavoidable IMHO.

There is also the topic of anime , these are cultural and anime/manga specific, but probably result in closed questions as they probably tend to be non constructive. So we might need to form a rule about this, but I guess this becomes more clear in the future (if any of these questions pop up).

About What kinds of activities can be found in a Manga/Anime Club?: according to the 'rules' it is not constructive. Which is shown by the answer, which is a huge list of all kind of activities. Even though its length, it will never be complete and other clubs might do other things (ie it tends to be an opinion). But then again, it is very popular and probably attracts visitors (people looking for this information might arrive here, as the list is quick extensive, and stay here), which is what our SE site still needs...

So I tend to go with 'leave this question' open even though it does not completely fit according to the rules. I suppose there is a gray area in which questions needs to be checked manually to determine whether they are fit or not. Hopefully, after time/experience this gay area becomes smaller and smaller (and the rules/preferences become more clear).

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