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The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
Anetiel
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Post: #1
The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
Another post on the board has made me think a lot about the topic of otakukin and fictionkin as of recent.

In the past, I brushed off otakukin/fictionkin as the byproduct of fans being too eager about their specific interest (yay generalization). But now I've been thinking about what exactly constitutes one as being otherkin and what constitutes one as being otakukin.

Lets take dragons for an example: Dragons don't really exist. Not on this plane of existence they don't. But somehow, people have kept the thought of dragons alive throughout time through many different mediums, and it's no wonder why; dragons are awesome beasts that strike fear and awe into the hearts of humankind (unless you're talking about Draco. Then we're talking awe and endless tears). But the fact still remains; dragons are fictional. There's no evidence they existed, or exist, in our world.

Now, let's look at pokemon. Pokemon have not been around for as long as dragons have, but they're seen in a similar light. Pokemon are awesome creatures and many people respect them and adore them for what they are. And, like dragons, they certainly don't exist in this world.

But let's think about this for a moment: The difference between someone claiming to be a dragon and someone claiming to be a charizard reside in the words "otherkin" and "otakukin". And yet, dragons and Pokemon have been treated similiarly and given the same energy: They're respected, they're considered to be fearsome, and they both don't exist yet many people agree on their "fidelity" in their respective continuities, if you will.

So, does the difference between these two things have to do with their source of creation?

I used really obvious examples here to illustrate my point, but we could get more narrow and vauge and say that, for example, a demonic otherkin so happens to accociate herself with a demon-like D&D creature because that's the best description she had been able to dig up anywhere. And on that note, I've done enough angel research to say with a level of certainty that nephilim came right from literature.

So does having a spiritual connection with a fictional being something to seriously consider, or should it be disregarded? At what point would you consider otakukin to be otherkin, if at all?

Thoughts on all this?

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2012-03-19 4:46
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Chimera
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Post: #2
Re: The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
I think there are is a graying between otherkin and fictionkin.

( I do not care for the word otakukin. For one, ‘otaku’ implies anime only and it also implies someone who is a supposed otakukin is obsessed with wherever they claim to come from. I prefer fictionkin because it implies the meaning - kin to fiction (of which various forms of media is included) - but doesn’t focus on just certain forms of media or does it imply obsession. I certainly don’t know any wolf therians that would like to be called wolfabookin, and I certainly wouldn’t like to be called otakukin for the same reason. Plus, my source is not from an anime.)

Any charizard or Night Fury fictionkin - are still dragons. They just happen to identify with that “shape” of dragon rather than say an Asian dragon or a European like dragon. So they are both fictionkin and dragonkin.

Likewise, take me for example, I am prehistoric feline from the book series Ratha and the Named. So I am both a feline therian and a fictionkin. I don’t stop having phantom limbs and mental shifts just because I happen to look a certain way or have certain memories (in my case, not all fictionkin do just as not all otherkin do) whether they be real or not.

Sometimes I wonder if many otherkin (therian, fictionkin, demonkin, etc and so on), sometimes end up picking term that best fits. A dragonkin idneifying with the image of the Asian dragon because of their other self having some of those features. Perhaps something similar could happen to some kin which brings them over to be called fictionkin instead. Same could go for any other person who is kin.

One of our fellows is a unicorn otherkin, and he has noticed that many unicorns identify with the horse with a horn image of a unicorn which is actually more of a newer image of the unicorn. They are still unicorns though, but they just happen to look more like the pop culture iamge of a unicorn.

We don’t know why we look a certain way or where any “past life memories” really come from (though false memory syndrome sometimes comes to my mind). Who knows how much the images around us everyday effect our mind and sense of who we are.

- Mist Weaver
2012-03-19 12:55
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Post: #3
Re: The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
I find "otakukin" to be more of a demeaning label, and in my brain it should be reserved for those people who *are* a product of obsession, role playing, etc. regardless of whether their supposed identity is from anime or not.

I also used to think of fictionkin as "the crazies of the otherkin set" like I'm sure a lot of people (heck all of us at some point) did, mainly because the ones I had the (mainly dis-) pleasure of meeting were off their rockers and banned within days of joining X forum. It's funny how the individuals bearing certain identifying labels so impact your usage and understanding of those labels. For me, the 'validity' of a fictionkin is entirely dependent upon the individual. Some deserve the otakukin label, and some certainly don't. Among the fictionkin who are on their rockers, I see no difference between them and the rest of the otherkin community.

I actually have a harder time with inanimate object-kin than I do with most fictionkin. Mainly because the vast majority of people seem to identify with the spiritual 'cause' for being otherkin (namely X soul in Y body) and I just can't accept that non-sentient things have souls. So in the object-kin case it all depends on the person too...but it's often harder to swallow for me.

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2012-03-19 14:35
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Anetiel
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Post: #4
Re: The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
Chimera Wrote:I think there are is a graying between otherkin and fictionkin.

( I do not care for the word otakukin. For one, ‘otaku’ implies anime only and it also implies someone who is a supposed otakukin is obsessed with wherever they claim to come from. I prefer fictionkin because it implies the meaning - kin to fiction (of which various forms of media is included) - but doesn’t focus on just certain forms of media or does it imply obsession. I certainly don’t know any wolf therians that would like to be called wolfabookin, and I certainly wouldn’t like to be called otakukin for the same reason. Plus, my source is not from an anime.)

Ah yes, very true. It was late at night when I wrote this and wasn't paying too much attention to the wording. "Fictionkin" is a better word for what I was trying to get across.

Chimera Wrote:Any charizard or Night Fury fictionkin - are still dragons. They just happen to identify with that “shape” of dragon rather than say an Asian dragon or a European like dragon. So they are both fictionkin and dragonkin.

I get ya. I was wondering about this myself. I have a belief that if you give energy to some idea or concept, it begins to grow and get bigger. While I don't know how anyone could've had a past life as a pokemon (the concept hasn't been around long enough), I believe there maybe could be an affinity that makes it possible for a dragon-kin to say they identify best with a charizard; they always knew they were a dragon, but this specific description of a dragon is what feels most accurate to them. So, basically what you said.

Now I'm interested: What did unicorns look like before they were horses with a horn?

Seraphyna Wrote:I actually have a harder time with inanimate object-kin than I do with most fictionkin. Mainly because the vast majority of people seem to identify with the spiritual 'cause' for being otherkin (namely X soul in Y body) and I just can't accept that non-sentient things have souls. So in the object-kin case it all depends on the person too...but it's often harder to swallow for me.

That...doesn't seem very plausible for me. I understand starseeds to an extent, and now I've come to understand fictionkin. But inanimate-object-kin does seem to stretch it a bit. I don't believe inanimate objects have souls either (and if they do have any coalescence of that life energy that makes up what we call a soul, its not enough to create sentience or chakra wheels in the object </my beliefs on the metaphysical>). I'd actually have to talk to one of these inanimate-object-kin in order to understand how they came to call themselves 'kin, and how its rational given their views.

Also,

Chimera Wrote:wolfabookin

where does this come from? <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

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2012-03-19 14:55
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Chimera
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Post: #5
Re: The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
Anetiel Wrote:Now I'm interested: What did unicorns look like before they were horses with a horn?
The first descriptions of unicorns during the time of the ancient Greeks actually likened them “wild asses” with a white body, red head, and a tri-colored horn. Other descriptions liken them more to deer or even goats. Various woodcuts I’ve seen even show unicorns with webbed feet of all things. There has always been images of unicorns that look more horse-like or a mix various traits on a unicorn, but it wasn’t until recent times the image of a distinctly horse with a horn (rather than horse-like) unicorn has grown into what it is today.

- Spiridon
Anetiel Wrote:
Chimera Wrote:wolfabookin

where does this come from? <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->
It was a fake word I coined to make a point once about my distain for the word otakukin and I’ve used to ever since.

The word “wolfaboo” was created on DeviantArt I think and has spread throughout the internet to mean someone who is overly obsessed with wolves, thinks they are perfect creatures, better than humans, etc. The word wolfaboo is apparently derived from the word weeaboo (referring to a person overly obsessed with Japan in similar manners).

I’ve used the fake term wolfabookin in connection with otakukin rather than wolf therian in connection fictionkin to get the point across as to why I find the word otaku demeaning and non-constructive to discussion. Not all wolf therians are obsessed with wolves and are therefore not wolfaboos as I being a fictionkin am not obsessed with my source. (I’ve never even actually read it myself.)

- Mist Weaver
2012-03-19 15:51
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Post: #6
Re: The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
I had actually started a similar thread awhile ago called Popular Media Creatures vs. Mythological Creatures. Although that thread deals more with the timeline from creatures being popular in media of the day to becoming mythological and 'kin nowadays.


Seraphyna Wrote:For me, the 'validity' of a fictionkin is entirely dependent upon the individual.

And in how they present their claims. *nods* Agreed.

I'll expand on your initial example of Pokémon. I can see someone identifying with a specific type of Pokémon easily enough because they are animal-like but not earth-based and have special powers. Seems like a neat pet to have to me. So people can resonate with the 'I wanna have one' idea which helps with mass marketing. It doesn't seem like a very far leap to go from 'I really like this' to 'maybe I actually am this!' when trying to figure out inner thoughts and feelings. I think the key is to research and not to jump to any conclusions to try to fit in with any "special" group.

It's a hard line between really really really liking something (say, picachu) and identifying as a picachu. I can easily see younger kids going from the first to the later when searching for their personal identities. Particularly if they grew up with Pokémon all over the place. My generation came after that so it doesn't resonate as strongly with me. For some, I think part of it is the popularity of the creature of the day.

Aside from the fact that modern creatures like Pokémon are designed to attract attention and target our inner most likes, perhaps someone identifies best as a picachu but simply didn't have a word for it until they heard of Pokémon. The trick is separating people online into those two distinct groups: those that just really like the popular media creature and have assimilated it into their personal identity and those that just didn't have a name for the feelings beforehand.

Personally, I don't really care if someone identifies as picachu or even as THE picachu. It's really 1. none of my damn business and 2. not up to me to tell someone their personal identity is right or wrong. My interest lies in their experiences and how they reached that particular conclusion and then if they can present their beliefs in an intelligent manner. If yes to all of that, I could give a shit if they're Arthur-frelling-Dent. {Cookies if you get those references!}

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2012-03-19 19:40
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Anetiel
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Post: #7
Re: The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
You make a good point Elinox, and I was thinking around those lines too. Using a description of a pokemon because its the best depiction you could find seems logical. But claiming to be a lead or prominent character from Kingdom Hearts or Homestuck is a bit of a stretch. To me, identifying with a lead character is no problem as long as it denotes that you see him/her as a separate entity; that's normal, that's what characters are supposed to invoke. Claiming to be that entity, or part of that entity, is taking it a bit far. I can't rationalize that.

Chimera Wrote:The first descriptions of unicorns during the time of the ancient Greeks actually likened them “wild asses” with a white body, red head, and a tri-colored horn. Other descriptions liken them more to deer or even goats. Various woodcuts I’ve seen even show unicorns with webbed feet of all things. There has always been images of unicorns that look more horse-like or a mix various traits on a unicorn, but it wasn’t until recent times the image of a distinctly horse with a horn (rather than horse-like) unicorn has grown into what it is today.

- Spiridon

Really! That's pretty cool. I learned something new today.

Chimera Wrote:The word “wolfaboo” was created on DeviantArt I think and has spread throughout the internet to mean someone who is overly obsessed with wolves, thinks they are perfect creatures, better than humans, etc. The word wolfaboo is apparently derived from the word weeaboo (referring to a person overly obsessed with Japan in similar manners).

Diehard fans like that I find to be a little bit scary. <!-- sSad --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- sSad -->

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2012-03-21 17:18
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Post: #8
Re: The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
Just my opinion, sorry if this sounds ignorant in any way.

Anetiel Wrote:Lets take dragons for an example: Dragons don't really exist. Not on this plane of existence they don't.

There isn't really any proof for or against that dragons are entirely fictional, despite the endless myths and stories written about them.

Anetiel Wrote:Now, let's look at pokemon. Pokemon have not been around for as long as dragons have, but they're seen in a similar light. Pokemon are awesome creatures and many people respect them and adore them for what they are. And, like dragons, they certainly don't exist in this world.

Although it's probably far more likely that pokemon may not exist, at all, since we have proof Satoshi Tajiri created the idea.
But ultimately, the words "dragon" and "Pokemon" are just labels. Labels confuse things, they confuse people, and many get the impression that if they don't conform to the stereotype of their label, they can't be it, and look for another one. This often turns into, for example, wishing they were X more than Y, but actually be Z and not realise it, but because Z never had a label slapped on itself before, so the person never considered the possibility.
I stopped using labels on myself because I personally found them to be overly conformist, and I'd prefer to know a good bit about who I really am before thinking about what I possibly could be.

Again, just my opinion, and if anyone thinks what I've said is complete BS, feel free to say so.

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2012-03-21 22:49
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Anetiel
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Post: #9
Re: The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
skorpio Wrote:I stopped using labels on myself because I personally found them to be overly conformist, and I'd prefer to know a good bit about who I really am before thinking about what I possibly could be.

Again, just my opinion, and if anyone thinks what I've said is complete BS, feel free to say so.

I think your opinion has merit. I agree that labels could be more problematic; more problematic than helpful sometimes. It's as you stated:

skorpio Wrote:Labels confuse things, they confuse people, and many get the impression that if they don't conform to the stereotype of their label, they can't be it, and look for another one. This often turns into, for example, wishing they were X more than Y, but actually be Z and not realise it, but because Z never had a label slapped on itself before, so the person never considered the possibility.

Also:
skorpio Wrote:There isn't really any proof for or against that dragons are entirely fictional, despite the endless myths and stories written about them.

Very true. But I would think if they walked the earth we would have found some evidence, with all the dinosaurs we've been turning up and whatnot. (Or maybe dragon bones decomposed fast and didn't fossilize, or something of that nature. There's always that possibility.)

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2012-03-22 2:57
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Post: #10
Re: The Line Between Otherkin and Otakukin
The big difference between fictionkin and other otherkin in my mind is twofold.
On one hand, no otherkin that I know of proclaims they are one specific demonstrably fictional person, demonstrably created by an author, incarnated (often before the author created the character too mind you) into a human body.

It's the difference between identifying as a night-fury type/shape dragon and identifying as "Toothless".

Not saying that all fictionkin identify as a specific character, but they aren't too few or far between, and this bothers me to no end.
See, I'm an artist. I draw, write, create. I build up the concept, give it shape and nature, I make something from what begins as an idea and a desire to express it.
Lets say I write a book, and in this book is a man, someone I've built, based on my experiences of people, in life, to an extent, fueled his shape by my ideas and concepts, the things I want to convey, give him stature, texture, etc, I make him, and then I write about him, I create his situations and his reactions to them, I try to express something new and different and yet familiar enough for people to identify with while putting all this together in a plot which carries my idea, my concept, my message through to it's conclusion. I "make" this whole thing by writing it.
Then let's say someone reads this book, and reads about this man, and decide that even though they are a dozen times older than the book that I built, I took great care to create, that I constructed, edited, rewrote, finished off, edited again and made into what "I" wanted it to be, and decide they're this man, re-incarnate/incarnate.....
I don't even know what to call that.
In my mind, it's even worse than plagiarism.
They haven't just taken something that is mine, wholly and fully, and claimed it as their own, but also stripped it of anything and everything that I put into it. They don't take credit for my work, they proclaim this work utterly and totally and completely meaningless, pointless, worthless. They've stripped away everything, absolutely everything that has gone into the creative process, and... it's just... a horrible thing to do.

The closest I've seen otherkin come to doing that is when they identify with a specific biblical angel or some-such, but otaku or fiction-kin... I've seen these far too many times, and even when it comes to identifying with a specific type of critter from fiction it still irks me somewhat, for much the same reasons.
I've read of the research and care that goes into a certain author's work. The systematic way he works on his writings. The intricate details he carefully works into his writing, etc, etc, etc...
And then I read a fictionkin's "article" about how this author had perfectly captured his world.... A world he'd taken the care to create, down to it's slightest detail....

It's just...
There's something inherently wrong with taking someone's hard work and care and commandeering it for yourself like that.
Most folk that I know that identify as "dragon" (or any other term) just use that term cause it's the closest they can get to what fits.

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2012-03-22 17:45
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