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Yano Research: 1 out of 4 Japanese Say They Are Otaku

posted on by Egan Loo
Online/dating simulation games, e-comics, maid/cosplay services grew in 2010

The Yano Research Institute posted its 2011 report on the Japanese "otaku marketplace" on October 7.

Out of 10,102 people who responded to Yano's survey, 2,581 or 25.5% answered yes to the following question: "Do you think that you are an 'otaku' or have you been called an 'otaku' by other people?" That is an increase of 5.1% from last year. Yano Ressearch attributed the increase in otaku and the expansion of the otaku marketplace to "light otaku" or casual fans.

In particular, the online gaming segment jumped 40.5% to 299.4 billion yen in 2010. The rise in the number of social gamers, social game content, smartphone adoption rate, and smartphone content all contributed to the jump.

Dating simulation game segment rose 30.2% to 11.1 billion yen. Female-targeted mobile phones games catered to general female audiences as well as otaku players.

The electronic comics segment also continued to grow at 28.0% to 54.0 billion yen. Yano cited the increase of available content, the tablet/smartphone adoption rates, and lower costs (compared to print) as selling points.

Maid- and cosplay-related services came in 10.7% higher or 9.3 billion yen, due to the popularity of convenient stores that targeted the mainstream buyers as well as traditional maid/cosplay shops.

Category 2010 2011 (Estimate)
Electronic Comics 54.0 billion yen US$710 million 70.0 billion yen US$921 million
Dōjinshi 70.0 billion yen US$921 million 68.2 billion yen US$897 million
Light Novels 31.6 billion yen US$415 million 33.2 billion yen US$437 million
Plastic Models 26.2 billion yen US$345 million 26.5 billion yen US$349 million
Figures 29.3 billion yen US$385 million 30.6 billion yen US$402 million
Dolls 13.7 billion yen US$180 million 13.8 billion yen US$182 million
Railroad Models (Including Dioramas and Related Products) 16.0 billion yen US$210 million 16.0 billion yen US$210 million
Idols 55.7 billion yen US$733 million 56.8 billion yen US$747 million
Pro Wrestling 12.5 billion yen US$164 million 12.2 billion yen US$160 million
Cosplay Outfits 41.2 billion yen US$542 million 41.7 billion yen US$549 million
Maid-, Cosplay-Related Services 9.3 billion yen US$122 million 9.6 billion yen US$126 million
Online Games 299.4 billion yen US$3.938 billion 316.1 billion yen US$4.158 billion
Adult Games 26.1 billion yen US$344 million 25.2 billion yen US$332 million
Adult Videos (Including Adult Video Tapes, DVDs, Downloaded Content) 55.4 billion yen US$729 million 53.8 billion yen US$709 million
Dating Simulation Games 11.2 billion yen US$148 million 13.7 billion yen US$180 million
Boys-Love 22.0 billion yen US$289 million 21.9 billion yen US$288 million

Yano Research conducted its study through in-person and telephone interviews as well as through fax and online surveys from July to September. There is a partial overlap in the categories of dating simulation games and online games. Similarly, some items in the boys-Love Category were also counted towards the electronic comic, dōjinshi, adult game, and adult video categories.

Source: Netlab

Update: The part of the survey on whether people consider themselves "otaku" was conducted in August among 10,102 "general consumers" nationwide, ages 15 to 69. The sample was divided by gender and age range in proportion to Japan's population statistics, and was not self-selected. This part of the survey was separate from the rest of the research on the otaku marketplace, and it was not limited to people interested in those otaku areas.

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