Otaku: Fact and Fiction


In short, Otaku are not common knowledge. Most casual matrix users think otaku means the people who inhabit anime forums posting about their favorite OTP and drawing fanart. Most Otaku are happy to let them think that. Even most deckers have only heard of Otaku in passing, or caught the barest glipse of one. If one in a thousand are born maghical, one in a million are born witht he potential to be otaku, and of those one in a million, only about a third ever realize that potential. And of that third, only about half before they are so old they are already loosing their edge. Otaku are rare.

Any information in this page is OOC, unless you have the appropriate knowskills.

The Basics

Simple, straight-foreward facts about Otaku.

What is an otaku?
An otaku is an individual who is able to interface with, and manipulate, the matrix using only the force of their mind. They require no deck, though they do require a datajack, and they do not use programs. Instead, they use channels and complex forms.

What are Channels?
Channels are the Bread and Butter of Otaku, they are active skills, linked to willpower, that relate to each of the five subsystems on a host- Access, Control, Index, File, Slave. Each of these skills is not rolled as dice like a 'normal' skill, but instead can be used in the same way as an operational utility- to lower the TN for System Operations. Each Channel applies to only one Subsystem- the subsystem that it is named after, reducing all checks against that system by it's rating. Int erms of advancement, Channels are identical to active skills.

What are Complex Forms?
Complex forms are the Attack, Defense and Special utilities of an otaku. While channels allow Otaku to interract with the system, these allow otaku to interract with icons or avoid detection. They are almost identical to Utilities. They must be created by a process similar to programming, and they cost a single Karma Point per Complex Form. They cannot be upgraded, but a new complex form can be made based on an older one, allowing the new one to be created in less time- another karma must be spent with each new complex form, however.

What are Sprites and Daemons?
Simply put, sprites are Otaku Smart Frames, Daemons are Otaku Agents. They work almsot identically, the only differences being that you cannot load multiple copies of a single daemon or sprite, and they use Channels and Complex Forms instead of Utilities.

The Tricky Stuff

This section covers slightly less clear cut things, such as submersions and the fading.

What are Submersions?
The simplest way to describe a submersion is as an astral quest for otaku. They delve into something called a resonance pool- ana rea of the Matrix where the Deep Resonance is strong, and they confront aspects of themselves, their past, their psyche, their fears. They spend several days hooked into the matrix, without pause for anything, even food, water, or basic bodily functions. Every otaku experiences Submersions differently, some barely remember them, while to others they are clear as day. Each submersion unlocks a new ability for the Otaku, or improves one of their persona stats.

What is The Fading?
The fading happens to all Otaku. Once they reach age 21, their minds begin to become less flexible. They begin to become adults and as a result loose the ability to hear th Deep Resonance. Some believe that there are an exceptional few who can avoid the fading, but most dismiss such rumors as exactly that- Rumors.

What is a Tribe?
Otaku organize themselves into tribes for a number of reasons- they teach one another what they learn about the matrix, they protect one another from the dangers of the real world, and they enjoy one another's company. Most otaku do not intergrate themselves well with general society. Their dependancy on the matrix and physical weaknesses make them shy away from most. Tribes vary in size from a few street waifs to massive privately owned office buildings.

What's a Technoshaman, And what's a Cyberadept?
Otaku split into two distinct groups, Technoshamans and Cyberadepts. Cyberadepts are better at dealing with iconography, and get +1 to the ratings of all of their complex forms. They see the Matrix as a complex system of which they are a part. Technoshamans are more adept at dealing with the systems of the matrix itself, and their Channels have an effective +1 rating. They believe the Matrix is a living entity, and they coax it into doing their will.


This section deals with aspects of Otaku and the Matrix which have no basis in fact- myths and rumors which are not true.

Are Otaku Mages?
Simply put, no, Otaku are not mages. When assensed, their Aura shows no signs of being awakened, and they cannot learn hermetic spells, shamanistic magic, or adept powers. Some believe that their abilities stem from the metaphysical, while others believe they are a byproduct of an information age, or the next step in human evolution. No-one is really certain, but if they are magical it is not a kind of magic that conventional mages, spirits, or paracritters can detect.

Does cyberware adversely affect Otaku?
Again, no. An Otaku's essense has no effect on their abilities in the matrix. On the contrary, many pieces of cyberware which increase the mental abilities of an Otaku actually improve their ability to interact with the matrix by empowering their persona.


This section deals with aspects of Otaku that are purely opinion- based on my own theories. They have no basis in the rulebooks.

What is the Deep Resonance?
Perhaps an AI, created accidentally by the sheer volume of traffic. Perhaps he simply IS the sum of all information in the 'trix, personified. Perhaps it is simply the hum of energy along the fiberoptic lines, or a great form spirit that has somehow managed to enter the machine. One theory is that the Matrix itself is an Artificial Meta-Plane, the Meta-Plane of Data. It has many charicteristics of a traditional Meta-Plane, users entering it experience an out-of-body experience, see things they could not otherwise imagine, and face great dangers and great rewards if they chalenge the IC of the realm. Some believe that the Deep Resonance is a great spirit which was born on this Artificial metaplane, and governs over it.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License