August 26, 2007 at 2:44 am (otaku word)

 ヲタ芸[otagei] is a special performance by ヲタ芸師[otagei-shi,”otagei performer”] and mostly it can be seen at events for idol groups. Even on the street in Akihabara, they could be practicing. ヲタ芸 must be an abbreviation of ヲタク芸[otaku-gei], and it is written as ヲタ rather than オタ. Personally, ヲタ sounds like he/she is a deeper otaku…At any rate, I didn’t know how deep society otagei circles have and there are some more patterns out of what I have learned. So I shall introduce those otageis, but I think you’d better see them rather than hearing some explanations. I shall leave here some video those I have done my best to search.

 In this video, you can see MIX[mixture of tiger, fire, siber, fiber, diver, viper, ja-ja-], OAD[Over Action Dolphin], 8の字[hachi no ji], PPPH[an abbreaviation of パンパパンヒュー(panpapanhyu)], マワリ[mawari], 推しジャンプ[oshi-jump], ロマンス[romance], ケチャ[kecha], マトリックス[matrix], クロール[crawl], and ビッグエッグ[big egg].  Normally, before they start romance, they say ロマンス. Also, when they do OAD, they usually say ウリャ!オイ![urya! oi!]

 I know some more of it though I haven’t been able to find the video.
 1.ロミオ[romio]; It derives from the protagonist Romeo and Juliet. As Romeo kneels
down and reach out for Juliet, they do so toward the idol.

 2.ロザリオ[rozario]; It’s pretty hard to explain…revolve your two arms around your chest, and while you keep doing so, kneel down. And stand up and let your arm reach out for the idol.

 3. 千手観音[senju kan-non]; This needs several people. Some people stand up in a row, and wave altogether.

 So in ヲタ芸 circles, there are some classification for certain types of fans. It’s not only about but fans who obviously behaves in the certain way. Some of these terms are satire on certain Japanese celebrities, or whatsover.Too many to memorize, but I shall explain as far as I know.

 1. 徳光[tokumitsu]; to cry during the show, or a person who does it. Well, it derives from Japanese anchor, Kazuo Tokumitsu(徳光和夫). He always gets touched by any sob stories, and cries on TV. In short, he is well-known as a sobber.

 2. タトゥー[tattoo]; Actually, it does not mean tattoo, but the Russian duo pop-singer,
t.A.T.u. When they came to Japan, they boycotted the music TV show just before
their turn came. The show was live, so it was a big trouble. After all, they
didn’t show up, but left. This term derives from the incident, so it means to leave during the show, or a person who does it.

 3. ムサシ[musashi]; If you know about the legendary duel by Kojiro Sasaki(佐々木小次郎 ) and Musashi Miyamoto(宮本武蔵), you’d be sure of it. Musashi was late for the appointed time, and that irritated Kojiro. After all, Musashi defeated Kojiro…it means to be late for the show, or simply a latecomer.

 4. ケンシロウ[kenshiro]; Easy to guess? Yes, it means to strip to the waist during the show. Kenshiro is the protagonist of Fist of the Northern Star.

5. つるべ[tsurube] But if he strips naked, he would be a つるべ. This is about Japanese celebrities, 笑福亭鶴瓶(Shoufukutei Tsurebe). He showed his naked body on TV show accidentally. The show was live so his private zone couldn’t be sensored. But it was not the first time, but the second or so. Some people might say he is a flasher.

 6. ドナドナ[dona dona]; It means to get caught by a guard because of his drastic behavior. It derives from the famous children’s song, Donna Donna. Of course we sing it in Japanese. A remarkable line in this song says, 可愛い子牛がゆられていくよ~悲しそうな瞳で見ているよ~ [an adorable calf is being taken away it’s staring at us so sadly].

 7. 遺族[izoku]; Literally, it means the bereaved. But in ヲタ芸 circles, it also means to wear a T-shirt that a picture of a certain member who has already graduated from the group is printed. If you go to Morning Musume concert in Yaguchi(矢口真理) T-shirt, you’d be a 遺族 because she is not a member of it.

 8. 落ち武者[ochimusha]; Normally, it means a samurai(or a warrior) who flees from the battlefield because of the defeat. In ヲタ芸 circles, it actually means to do ヲタ芸 outside the concert hall with some jealousy because he doesn’t have an admission ticket. Also, 外交官[gaikoukan,”diplomat”] has almost the same meaning though it’s not sure 外交官 also does ヲタ芸.

9. 官僚[kanryou]; Normally, it means a bureaucrat, but actually it means a person who consistently insists he is just a fan, not ヲタ芸師[otagei-shi, “otagei performer”].

10. 元彌[motoya]; It derives from Japanese kyogen actor(狂言師), 和泉元彌[Motoya Izumi]. He is a kind of scandalous dude. Lately I don’t haer a lot about him, but before he used to show up in front of the press with his mother everytime he made a trouble. So this term means a person who comes to the show with his mother in spite of being an adult.

11. 義経[yoshitsune]; If you are familiar with 壇ノ浦の戦い[Dan no ura no tatakai,”the battle in Dan no ura”(1185)], you’d be sure of the great warrior, 源義経[Minamotono Yoshitsune]. At any rate, here we have the legend that 義経 had an awesome leap called 八艘跳び[hassou tobi]. When he was cornered by his foes on the boat, he jumped over the eight boats in a row…so he could escape. This term derives from the jump. It means to jump over the empty seats or a person who does this.

12. ジャックバウアー[Jack Bauer]; I’m sorry, when I heard of it, I could not stop laughing. Anyway, it means the protagonist of 24, Jack Bauer. It does mean to get out of the hall temporarily in order to answer the mobile just like Jack Bauer doing so. Oh hey, do ヲタ芸師 watch 24 a lot?

 13. タイガー[taiga-]; Tiger? Why? Anyway, it means to stare at the stage without doing otagei, or such a person. Crossing the arms, he stares at the stage even without shouting…

 14. 野鳥の会[yachou no kai]; Literally it means a bird-watching society. But actually it means a person who observe the show with binoculars. スナイパー[sniper] also has the same meaning.

 15. 打ち曲[uchikyoku]; This is not about a person, but a song which is a match for otagei so well. They say ヲタ芸を打つ[otagei wo utsu] to mean do otagei rather than ヲタ芸をする[otagei wo suru]. Speaking of 打ち曲, one of the most remarkable songs is ロマンティック浮かれモード[romantic ukare-mode] by 藤本美貴(Miki Fujimoto) who is a member of Morning Musume. In this song, ヲタ芸師 have to say 美貴さま美貴さまお仕置きキボンヌ[Miki-sama Miki-sama oshioki kibonnu, “Miki-sama, punish us!”]. You can see how it goes here.

All you have to do after you watch those video is say キモイ[kimoi]! XD



  1. w said,

    Wow, that was one part of otaku culture I had absolutely no idea about. You’re really knowledgeable about this, Yuya-san! I’m really speechless. I just love reading about this sort of slang and how they throw in other cultural references. It seems Jack Bauer is kinda popular, I dunno… maybe a lot of wota watch it or something. Cos every time I see a show where Rikiya Koyama is voicing a character everyone is going “OH Jack Bauer!”. Hm.

  2. bangin said,

    I was so surprised to know how many kinds of classification they have! 🙂 Rikiya Koyama is one of my favorite seiyus. I like his deep and gentle voice, especially Hakuoro in Utawarerumono. :))

  3. Avplaya said,

    Wow, this is great! I’m so grateful you’re telling us all about the various ota-gei terms…

    I think I know why those who ota-gei outside are called 外交官 or diplomat. They are doing it on the streets, right? So instead of doing ota-gei inside with fellow ota-geishi, these guys are doing on the street for all the non-ota walking outside, so in a way, they are the ambassador of otagei to the rest of the world. I’m not sure how effect they are though… I think a people will try to avoid a bunch of otaku doing syncronized dancing neh?

    Just in case anyone cared, 千手観音 (senju kan-non) is the Japanese/Chinese name for the Thousand-hand Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Sahasrabhuja Arya-avalokiteśvara), a special form of Asia’s most popular Buddhist diety. He/she has a thousand-hands, so it takes more than one ota to perform this “style”

  4. khursten said,

    This is funny… but rather… well… scary if they come in full hordes. ^^;; Thanks for this info! ❤

  5. Neohybrid_kai said,

    Oh, wow XD I learn so much from this post
    and the video, lol, its so weirdly funny. Its makes you do that legendary face palming ala Kyon (and say “yare yare..” ) ^^

  6. Avplaya said,

    One more question, this post is just way too interesting.. what’s the person leading the ota-gei called? I thought HE’s the person you call ota-geishi? But it seemed you mentioned that all otagei performers are called ota-geishi?

    I love the Miki-sama dance… I wonder if she gets freaked out when so many otaku ask her to punish them neh? The Jack Bauer is great… I know 24 is BIG but otaku big? That’s BIG big in Japan.

    From looking at the Otagei youtube videos, it seemed that Mexico is the largest foreign land of ota-geishi? Who would have though of it! The one I was LOL was this video of a bunch of 外交官 doing ota-gei outside on ENKA concert…. too bad I can’t find it now… Soon all male concert goer in Japan will be trained in the skills of ota-gei…

  7. bangin said,

    Avlplaya-san: Hahaha! I like your interpretation, and I think you’re right. Also 外交官 has no ticket to enter. So in order to clear their frustartion, they start to do otagei as near as possible to the idol. Oh no, someone, stop them! XD

    Yes, I was wondering how they say the leader of the otagei group…I’m not sure it’s generalized, but I think it would be either リーダー(leader) or 隊長(taichou). Miki-sama might be …happy with that, let’s say. ^^;

    Oh~someday can I see some foreigners copying otagei? ^^ I want to see!

    khursten: Yeah, it’s scary! I have heard some people practicing otagei inside the karaoke booth. (;゜д゜)

    Neohybrid_kai: Hehe, Kyon would do otagei if Haruhi gets bored, saying “yare yare.” www

  8. Avplaya said,

    bangin-dono, you can see it today neh, just search for ヲタ芸, and you’ll see that there are several video made by the Hello! Project Fanclub Mexico like this one:

    It seemed they very hardcore Wotas! Many other video them doing ota-gei to H!P songs. Japan soft power! Aso mush be proud.

    kai/bagnin: isn’t part of the full version of hare hare dance ota-gei? I think when Haruhi was singing Mikuru and Yuki was doing the 8の字 in the background, and the ending, they were all doing a ケチャ to Haruhi no? After knowing ota-gei, it just feels like the whole song has an ota-gei inspired feeling. No wonder otakus love this song so much.

  9. Neohybrid_kai said,

    Avplaya: now that you mention it, that dance has some ota-gei on it. Does this mean that all the people that do the dance are otagei-shi? lol. KyoAni is very clever.

  10. khursten said,

    Hmmm… harehare yukai as part of the otagei phenomenon. おもしろい~ It could have been coincidence, but knowng KyoAni’s knack for support to the otaku culture, it must have been their intention. ^^;; Tabun ne?

    I do have a question. For a song, are there different set of moves and who sets them? The leader? Because when I watched other videos it seems that everyone knows the combination of otagei moves.

  11. bangin said,

    Avplaya-san: OMG! I didn’t notice that…but that’s true! When they sing, 追いかけてね~追いかけてね~(oikaketene oikaketene), they are doing “crawl”! At first, I thought they dance パラパラ(para para), but…yes, that’s otagei!

    khursten: Yes, that depends on the song. Some otageis derives from the idol’s dance, Imean, otageishi could mimic some parts of the certain dance such as AKB48, Morning Musume, or Aya Matsuura…but I am not sure who set those, but I believe there must have been someone who started those, and it have been getting popular…and it has settled!

  12. Avplaya said,

    bangin-dono, I was sick but I’m back!

    I posted our Otagei and Haruhi dance connection here, so more people would know what we’ve uncovered here. ^^


  13. bangin said,

    Oh, I had been worried about you while you didn’t show up for a while. So I was relieved! 安心しました。^^

    Thank you for mentioning that. I assume KyoAni has some real otagei performers.

  14. a superhero | persimmonous.jp said,

    […] Now he’s out of the street, going it alone it seems, with a routine of his own creation. A gaggle of high school boys looked on briefly, grew bored and moved on. Link […]

  15. Omonomono » Three Simple Rules to Enjoying Anime Cons said,

    […] the overall experience for everyone, is much more fun and rewarding. It’s like organizing an otagei and watching it pay off, or making a joke on your own expense to entertain […]

  16. Marius Mink said,

    So, para para and otagei are similar? I’ve seen host boys do something similar to otagei too. They all chant and dance to get the girl to drink more.

  17. bangin said,

    Para para is actually popular among kogals and host boys, so maybe they would get upset if it is regarded as otagei. lol

  18. Omonomono » Year In Review: A New Light on Otagei said,

    […] particular to the Akiba-kei scenesters. It’s not new. It’s also kind of both casual and serious. It’s also something that has largely seeped into the foundation of seiyuu/geek idol fandom […]

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