Are Otakukin Crazy?
Are Otakukin crazy? What is crazy? Even if they aren’t crazy per se, how can Otakukin be real?
Many people who come in contact with Otakukin seem possessed of the deep need to tell them that they are crazy, and should know that anime does not really exist. These people range from the well meaning, to those with an intent to mock and disparage. The Otakukin phenomenon is met with this reaction because it is such a radical notion, and counter to what the mainstream holds as both science and faith. The urge to write Otakukin off simply as role- players who are modeling their lives around cartoons, and people who can not tell reality from fantasy is overwhelming.
A mental disorder, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders is “any clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome characterized by the presence of distressing symptoms, impairment of functioning, or significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or loss of freedom.” So far as I am aware Otakukinism has not been dubbed ‘clinically significant’ in any way, nor are typical Otakukin in any way impaired in their functioning by their beliefs in their identity any more than persons of other beliefs are.
When asked why they believe Otakukin are crazy and ‘need help’ any answer more forthcoming than ‘they believe they are cartoon characters’ usually sites the idea that an Otakukin will do something foolish with this belief, like jump off a building believing that they can fly, or trying to use their laser vision to assist in the arrest of a dangerous criminal.
This is not really a legitimate fear. Just because Otakukin believe that they share an identity with an anime character, which may include personality and memories, does not mean they are deluded in any way into believing that they have super powers. Otakukin in general are firmly grounded, if disappointed, in what can and cannot be done in this world. The rules of this earth and this life work decidedly differently than worlds in which magics of any noticeable kind are and Otakukin know this. There has yet to be any record of Otakukin jumping off buildings trying to fly. It just doesn’t happen.
Okay, so even if Otakukin aren’t a danger to themselves, aren’t they still delusional?
\In a word, no. Otakukin is not a delusion any more than any other belief or spirituality is. A delusion is defined as “an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary”. There is no evidence to the contrary with Otas. You may not personally believe in worlds where anime exists, but you can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they don’t. Neither can Otakukin prove that they do. All that Otas can offer is the subjective evidence of memories and feelings that leads them to their belief.
You may argue that an Otakukin’s memories are not valid memories, that they just made them up from seeing anime. This is flawed thinking. Just because you personally can’t verify a memory, does not automatically mean that it is not true.
Lets imagine that a girl goes to the park while her brother is at a friend’s house. The girl gets home before her brother, and is in her room reading. Her brother, when he arrives, asks her what she did all day. Now, imagine that when the girl answers that she went to the park her brother responds, “I don’t believe you, I think you’re making that up, because I heard you talking all day yesterday about going to the park.”
Is that a reasonable response? No. When someone tells us that they remember doing something, the logical course is to believe them, rather to go to the extreme of telling them they must have invented the memory.
So if Otakukin aren’t crazy and delusional, are they for real? Yes, Otas are ‘for real’, in that they are real people with real beliefs. Those who have the experience of being Ota are having a real and valid experience, which deserves to be respected.