So a friend of mine who suggested I should start this blog, made a request that I should post on オタ魂[otakon](frequently, it is also written ヲタ魂). If I write this in English(Romaji), it would sound like a big yearly convention for anime fans in Baltimore, but in Japanese, it’s surely different. If I write it in katakana, オタコン would mean either an abbreviation of オタクコンプレックス[otaku complex] or the certain doctor in Metal Gear Solid series. But I guess neither is what she wants to know…
When I heard of this term, I could guess what it means right away. Even non-otaku people could do. But know this term is not used so often comparing to any other otaku terminology. I daresay this オタ魂 is not compartible. The meaning varies depending upon how you use. Mostly, I have seen this term being used as the title of blogs. Or else, they are saying like, 私のオタ魂に火をつけた[watashi no otakon ni hi wo tsuketa,”it ignited my otakon“], or 普段は隠している私のオタ魂をここで開放する[fudan wa kakushiteiru watashi no otakon wo koko de kaihousuru,”I shall set my otakon that I usually keep in myself, free here“]. Besides, I must say this is a written word. I have never heard someone saying this in coversation.
Needless to say, オタ魂 is an abbreviation of オタク魂[otaku damashii]. 魂[tamashii] means a soul or a spirit. So it means “something” can identify you as an otaku. Or else, your “being” as an otaku. The core of otaku in yourself keeps your identity as an otaku. Nothing can replace it, but you can’t be an otaku without it…
Having said that, オタ魂 seems to be a kind of ad hoc words because I haven’t been able to find the general definition of it. If this was a generalized term like those I have introduced so far, I could have found this word on any Internet encyclopedias. But none of them has it(I know that’s why she made a request, though).
So back to those two examples above, I think those could be replaced by another ad hoc words such as 萌えツボ[moe tsubo] or 腐パワー[fu power]. Neither has been generalized, but I’m sure you would understand these two if you are an otaku. Yes, you could understand them without any explanations because you have a オタ魂.
Unlike ××萌え, オタ魂 does not even feature anything in particular, but the important thing is that, again, it keeps your being as an otaku alive. Otaku also means a person who knows something better than anybody else, or who never hesitates to purchase whatever he/she wants. So if you happen to be a フィギュアオタ[figure collector], you could say like 私のオタ魂をかけてあの40万円のハルヒのフィギュアを買う[watashi no otakon wo kakete ano yonjuu man no Haruhi no figure wo kau,”I shall buy the 400,000-yen Haruhi figure on my otakon“]. If you are lack of your knowledgement about the certain anime which happens to be your favorite, you could say like, 知らないなんて私のオタ魂が許さない[shiranai nante watashi no otakon ga yurusanai,”My otakon doesn’t let me say I don’t know“].
So after all, オタ魂 is often used in more comprehensive ways. Actually, I asked five otaku friends of mine about this term, but none of them could answer. But I bet even if it doesn’t ring a bell to them, they are sure of it. Because I know they are otaku.