Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Earliest mentions of "otaku" in anime or manga?

The last couple of posts have been very text-intensive, so here's a quick question and a chance for me to post a nice image.

Does anyone reading this know the earliest usage of the term "otaku" (in the uber-fan sense) in an anime or manga? All you masters of old school anime, here's your chance to show your stuff.

The earliest usage I know of is in Volume 2 of Gainax's Aim for the Top! Gunbuster (one of my all time favorites), released on January 1st, 1989 (on VHS). Noriko is called an otaku by Kazumi in the science lessons following episode 4. You can look at the translated script here: "Top wo Nerae -- GunBuster -- Vol. 2"

Takaya Noriko from Gunbuster
Takaya Noriko from Gunbuster

If you know any earlier anime or manga mentions of "otaku" (as fans), feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. Thanks!

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