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Old 2007-09-29, 14:14
DaFool DaFool is offline
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Default Relative wealth of otakus compared to mainstream

Are otaku rich? Do they usually come from middle-class and upper-middle class families?

This question has been bugging me for a while.

I mean, I see them buying toys worth thousands of dollars. Some of them even dare make their expensive sports cars into 'painful' rides -- decorated with anime stickers.

Considering that it's more expensive in Japan, but still, I think everyone agrees they pay overinflated prices.

So I really want to know whether
1.) Japanese otaku
and
2.) Western otaku
are generally richer than their peers, or if they just don't eat much, don't go out much, don't date -- therefore spending less money which can be allocated for goods.

I myself come from an upper middle class family. But I don't collect things anymore - no figurines, no more DVDs (no space) and turned my efforts to the more creative side of the fandom -- doujinshi. At least now I can technically say "I consume and produce 'literature'" instead of collecting toys at my age. I also consider myself less of an otaku now compared to several years ago.

So I don't know if it is just my experience that I think you need to be living relatively comfortably to be able to afford your hobby. The impressions I get are mainly from the web and a few conventions I attended a long time ago.
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Old 2007-09-29, 14:25
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Maybe we have more disposable income because we save it up for this stuff rather than spending it on traditional necessities!

Think of this as like a crack addiction, only more expensive. When there's a will, there's a way.

EDIT: I personally have never been into purchasing things like collectibles, and I don't really but that much in the way of visual novels either.

Last edited by Asceai; 2007-09-29 at 14:47.
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Old 2007-09-29, 14:53
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Although my father is a doctor and earns a lot I never had to much money to spend on stuff like DVDs or figurines. I read a lot of translated manga and watch fansubs, but have just 1 DVD and 5 or 6 soundtracks here. The most expensive stuff are my visual novels which I have to sell partly now cause if my studies.
I just never got much money from my parents, they tought me to work hard to get what I want and I appreciate it since because of that I'm more happy of what I buy.

I also wonder if "real" Otakus are rich, just a single visual novel costs hell of money and I know people who buy 10 a month, plus DVDs and figurines.
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Old 2007-09-29, 14:55
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Yeah, I want to know how much TakaJun's last trip to Japan cost, since he brought home a couple dozen..
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Old 2007-09-29, 15:19
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Observation bias.

The poor otaku who can't afford anything, aren't the people who post pictures of "look at the amazing box of stuff I have!"

What proportion of artists are their in the world who live it up in multi-million dollar mansions and get on the news all the time?
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  #6  
Old 2007-09-29, 18:27
AstCd2 AstCd2 is offline
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You don't need to spend a lot of money just to be a fan of anime, manga or what have you - just as you don't need to own a stack of DVDs to be a film buff. I expect that such people would be more likely to own more otaku goods, but only within the means available to them.

Edit:
You might be interested to see the results of a job poll taken on this forum some time ago:
http://forums.visualnews.net/showthread.php?t=6884t

Last edited by AstCd2; 2007-09-29 at 21:34. Reason: Older thread
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  #7  
Old 2007-09-29, 22:28
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peronsonally, I balance my budget out with hikikomri days. So yea, when I end up buying something I probably shouldn't have, I make up for it by conserving money over the next few days by not going out much, etc and so forth.

I'm probably in the middle of middle class. And I have way too many DVDs, figures, gundams, CDs games etc.... <_<;;

At least with games the hikikomori days aren't as bad, since I'd be doing that anyways to enjoy my newly aquired game. But yea, even here in Japan, I have my weekly budget, and i balance excursions with recluses. And yea, I don't go out looking for the fancy expensive $20 meals when a 210yen convenience store lunch is all I need. So I kinda trade off... but I also have the bad habit of collecting, and pack-ratting.
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Old 2007-09-29, 22:43
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I'm pretty much a hikokimori myself--typically I'm either at home, at Uni, or somewhere between the two nowadays. So yeah, that's pretty cheap =p
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Old 2007-09-29, 22:52
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Otaku in general are a lot poorer than most mainstream.

It doesn't matter how much you save in a month, because you'll most likely blow it all on merch and games and whatnot.

Partly it's because most otaku are slaves to their obsessions, partly also because most of them can't grasp concepts like investing and taking control of their lives. (Tip: When you invest your money, you have more money to spend. It's a proven tactic, just look at all the rich people. They invest their money, why don't you?) I'm not trying to be mean here, I'm stating facts.

Trust me, I've heard enough whining from the so-called "otaku" in Singapore to be extremely disillusioned by the scene here.
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Old 2007-09-29, 22:54
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Eh average...
I do the scanlations/fansub thing...
But i buy anime I think aren;t worthless...
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  #11  
Old 2007-09-30, 02:41
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Yeah, I'd guess otaku are normal as far as income. They just tend to spend more on 'unneccessary' things. Of course, it's all in the eye of the beholder. In the face of finite wealth we sacrifice the things we deem unimportant - allowing you to see the priorities of otaku.

> or if they just don't eat much, don't go out much

Yep, that's me :)

I have quite a low paying job, but I manage to buy my self lots of nice toys, ADV games, expensive consumer electronics, etc. I also manage to save away a bit each month.

I'm not fussy about food, so I can easily live for a week on £10 worth of rice, ramen, and sandwiches. That helps.

I don't care about fashion, most of my clothes are cheap, and further more tend to be quite old. This is a combination of apathy and the fact that I detest shopping for non-geek goods.

One big thing that helps me save money compared to 'normal' people I know in real life, is the culture over here of 'going out' every Friday and often Saturday to clubs and getting very very drunk. Needless to say this is very expensive, and for a lot of people is a big drain on their spending money.
I don't have this kind of social expense to worry about :)
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  #12  
Old 2007-09-30, 04:53
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You think that $70-$100 for a game is pretty expensive, but a night on the town in the Tokyo area could easy start running into that range. I'm finding that having an utterly inactive or nonexistant social life is a great way to save money, and in 2-3 weeks you'll have saved enough from not going out to buy a whole stack of eroge!

And while we're on the topic, since bars and clubs are prohibitively expensive in Japan, it's much more fun to load up on drinks at the conbini with your friends and find a nice quiet park to hang out in. Thank you, public consumption of alcohol!
Also, oolong-hai is really truly oolong tea with 5% alcohol. Which is awesome.
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Old 2007-09-30, 08:13
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I've noticed that the "otaku" who spend quite a bit are actually quite poor, most of them still living with their parents (myself included, but I had other reasons why too. xD).

If I had to judge our family status-wise, lower middle-class. Even though my dad has a gov't job, I have 9 brothers and sisters. xD Never got any money, and have only recently, in the past 2 and a half years, I've been slowly collecting anime, figurines, and the like. But it is bad for me 'cause atm I have no job, fixing to go to sk00l, and I have an obsession to collect rare things.

And whenever I went to japan earlier this year, I spent over $1,000 on just anime merchandise alone. xD

But I believe in supporting what you desire most, mostly 'cause I have such a low self-esteem (actually no self-esteem) and there are things wrong with me that docs just can't seem to point out. To me, anime is one of the few luxuries that I have. <3

But I do know that once I get my job back, I'm gonna be spending it on a lot of things that I've wanted for quite a while. *coughLittleBusterscough* xD Feed the addiction, otherwise get out of it. *shrug*
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  #14  
Old 2007-09-30, 15:29
DaFool DaFool is offline
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Quote:
I don't care about fashion, most of my clothes are cheap, and further more tend to be quite old. This is a combination of apathy and the fact that I detest shopping for non-geek goods.
Same here. I decided to reevaluate myself and find out how on earth I was able to afford some things, and the points made here are correct.

There used to be a time when all my clothes were from Walmart and Kmart. But there was also a time when spending money was really low so I really had no choice but hang around in immigrant communities and their stores. Also I'm not ashamed of the fact that some of my best clothes came from the Salvation Army.

But that was then, during a span of several years when we were in the lower middle class. When I officially became an otaku, we were already in middle heading on upwards. But the lessons on thrift I learned proved very valuable.

Nowadays I'm living by myself and am really excited for next year when I'll be able to purchase a car with leather seats to be paid fully by cash. Living a debt-free lifestyle is really a welcome lightness compared to my general seriousness. Most of the interest in my banks are the ones working in my favor. I've been carless and using public transporation for the past five years, ever since I left college. Well, moving back to a developing country from a developed one also helped in savings. I used to challenge myself and see if I can live for $5 a day, but then I got sick often so now I splurge on food.

I remember I've spend over $3000 on R1 DVDs cumulative, I'm a bit shameful of that but also proud that I was able to help propel the industry -- too bad it's past peak right now. Anyways, my last purchase was a couple of hundred dollars' worth of visual novels from the Zaibatsu several months ago, and it seems like they will last me a couple of years at the slow rate I'm consuming them.

It is a big sacrifice not to be going out with friends. If they only knew I'm probably the richest one probably! Haha! No dating either. I requested my parents to set me up for arranged marriage (with full Japanese-style omiai), in the meantime I content myself with 2D girls -- if you think about it, they're the cheapest dates to have around -- plunk down $40 to $80 dollars, you get five of them... going to restaurants and amusement parks are "free", and you can even have "sex" with them.
Quote:
You might be interested to see the results of a job poll taken on this forum some time ago:
http://forums.visualnews.net/showthread.php?t=6884t
It's true being young adults are actually the hardest years of ones life, when one is trying to earn enough on one's own. I don't see a need to settle down just yet -- those who rush into relationships and marriage are actually the 'richer' ones.
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  #15  
Old 2007-09-30, 16:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaFool View Post
It is a big sacrifice not to be going out with friends. If they only knew I'm probably the richest one probably! Haha! No dating either. I requested my parents to set me up for arranged marriage (with full Japanese-style omiai), in the meantime I content myself with 2D girls -- if you think about it, they're the cheapest dates to have around -- plunk down $40 to $80 dollars, you get five of them... going to restaurants and amusement parks are "free", and you can even have "sex" with them.
clearly the idea is to find yourself about four, five or six different girls who sort of seem to like you (or even one tsundere that gets annoyed with you all the time). then you just draw on your expertise at this sort of thing.

disclaimer: this is actually a very very bad idea
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