Monday, August 17, 2009

Before there were "otaku" there were "yappie"

by Chris MaGee

So many of us folks who are passionate about Japanese film, anime, and culture get tagged with the term otaku. That term first appeared in the 1980's and had its origin in the term for one's own home as well as an honorific second-person pronoun. The term was adopted as slang by people with an obsessive interest... well in anything from trading cards to electronics, but the term has stuck in North America as a tag for people who are rabid fans of anime, cosplay, and Japanese pop culture. Before the term otaku was used though there was another term in Japan for these anime-loving people: yappies.

Now yappies aren't yuppies, they're "Young Anime People" according to this short article posted over at Alt Japan. And unlike the sometimes derogatory depiction of otaku as socially isolated, lacking fashion sense, and with an unhealthy appetite for scantily-clad female anime characters (my apologies all you self-professed otaku, but that's what some people think) these yappies were promoted as neat and clean with stylish hairstyles and clothes like the two fresh-faced kids above.

Follow the link above to read the full Alt Japan Article, plus get an English translation of the above page from "The Anime" magazine and see if you fit the profile of a yappie.

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