In his book Otaku: Database Animals, Hiroki Azuma argues that the otaku are “a new type of consumer in the postmodern information era” whose cravings “are satiated by classifying characters according to their traits and anonymously creating databases that catalog, store, and display the results (xvi).” These databases are more than just websites or programs; they represent a whole new means of evaluating and understanding modern society. My essay seeks to play with this idea by creating an otaku character database of sorts, with profiles initially inspired by the mockumentary segments from the 1991 film Otaku no Video. Structured in the form of a personality quiz, users work through a series of questions whose answers ultimately assign one of the pre-designed otaku character profiles, each of which contains a portion of an essay. The module is designed for the user to repeat as many times as they choose, ultimately allowing for an individualized and interactive essayistic experience.
Devin Reese is an MFA student in the San Francisco State University School of Cinema. His interests vary widely, from documentary film, jiu jitsu, long term care, cello, and otaku theory.