How do they make meaning in the things they do and create? Otaku are "obsessive fans of anime, manga and video games." It's a cultural phenomenon that emerged in the 1970s during the post-war era - consumers became fascinated in subcultures like anime, manga, computer games, gadgets, music, movies, etc.
What's with this obsession? Well, consider the range of human creativity in terms of fantasy. Fantasy is a form of escapism in which otaku indulge themselves in order to break away from typical Japanese social structures (group-oriented, orderly, obedient). Otaku entertainment is very bewildering, focusing more on the individual and their unreal/mundane fantasies. There's a common need to "step-out" of a group setting, to express uniqueness and to be inclusive, although expressions vary depending on gender, age and occupation.