It is typically used to refer to a fan of anime/manga but can also refer to Japanese video games or Japanese culture in general.
The American magazine Otaku USA popularizes and covers these aspects.
The subculture's birth coincided with the anime boom, after the release of works such as Mobile Suit Gundam before it branched into Comic Market.
The definition of otaku subsequently became more complex, and numerous classifications of otaku emerged.
Later that year, the contemporary knowledge magazine Bessatsu Takarajima dedicated its 104th issue to the topic of otaku.
It was called Otaku no Hon The word entered English as a loanword from the Japanese language.
In 1989, the case of Tsutomu Miyazaki led to a narrow and negative definition of OTAKU by the public.
It is also a shock to the rapid developing animation industry and resulted the emergence of bias and blame on the group of OTAKU.
Otaku may be used as a pejorative; its negativity stems from the stereotypical view of otaku and the media's reporting on Tsutomu Miyazaki, "The Otaku Murderer", in 1989.
According to studies published in 2013, the term has become less negative, and an increasing number of people now self-identify as otaku.
The usage of the word is a source of contention among some fans, owing to its negative connotations and stereotyping of the fandom.