Over the years, the term “otaku” has, as well as being accepted into the English language, come to mean not just computer or anime fanatics locked away in their bedrooms, but any person who shows above-average fondness for any given hobby or pastime. Crazy about pop idols? You’re an otaku. Can’t get enough cosplay in your life? Same for you. Have a collection of video games so large that your friends casually refer to your house as “the library”? You’d better believe you’re an otaku.
But is your passion for your hobby so great that you would willingly choose it over love and romance? A recent survey asked a group of otaku that very question, and found that 70.1 percent of them said they’d shun love in favour of their hobby if it came down to it.
In Japanese human resources company Dipp’s “Otaku Opinion Survey: Valentine’s Edition“, 335 self-confessed nerds were asked a number of questions about their hobbies, ranging from how much they spend each year to whether they’d ever attended events dedicated to their respective hobbies.
Unsurprisingly, anime and manga were the group’s favourite hobbies, taking the top two spots with 62.7 and 61.2 percent, respectively, closely followed by classics such as video games and computers, as well as the for-some-reason-socially-acceptable pastime, music.
What was a surprise, though, was the fact that a startling number of respondents said that they had so much passion for their hobby that they said they’d choose it over love. When asked the question: “Hobby or love: which would you choose?” just under three quarters of those surveyed said they’d choose their pastime over romance, with 66 percent of all those surveyed saying that they wouldn’t feel even a shred of embarrassment if people thought of as nerds.
When asked roughly how much money they spent on their particular hobbies, however, it became clear that at least a few of the “hobby-before-love” enthusiasts probably couldn’t afford to fritter money away on things like dates and romantic mini breaks anyway as, although many said that they spent just US$100-500 per year, one person admitted to spending a whopping $5,000 a year on their pastime.
Sure, if we’re talking computer components or video games, $5,000 a year probably doesn’t sound so bad. But if this individual’s particular vice happens to be plain-old manga? Well, lets just say we hope they’ve got a lot of storage space at home!