The oh-talk-ew, as I shall refer to it, is a strange little creature that comes in many shapes and sizes, many of which are rather round. The otaku comes in many classifications in a variety of social abilities. The stereotypical otaku is loud, large, unattractive, socially inept, and adamant in his love of Japanese animation to the point of being pedantic over the slightest mistakes in interpretations of details in his favorite shows. By some chance, a stereotypical otaku may be female. If that is the case, she is assumed to be especially loud, large, and unattractive, but with an ability to draw in male fanboys to suit her needs, thus gathering the otaku colony to further their japanophilekind. Enough of the major stereotype, however, as there will be enough time to talk about how realistically this stereotype applies later.
The truth is that the otaku spirit can found in many people, and is not always so evident. Many athletes or other “highly functional” individuals have a certain fondness for Japanese animation, or at least to watch it on occasion. Such people frequently watch it on late night television, with English voice acting, rather than in the subtitled original language that the more hardcore tend to stick to. Some people will define themselves mainly as an otaku, but will come in some variation of normal and nerdy traits, such as being short or skinny, tall or chubby, acne-ridden or clear-faced, loud or soft-spoken, action-oriented or romance-oriented, lax and passive or fanboyish and flamboyant. The otaku comes in many degrees, and a fair portion won't make their passion completely evident. Some prefer to stay in the closet about their interest, for fear of being socially shunned, forever marked with the scarlet letter for fornicating with foreign pop culture.