Kudos to MadTix for his blazing fast editing and Narane for cleaning and typesetting the color illustrations. Seriously, these two guys are dedicated!
Translator: NaraneEditor: MadTix
I am a Clotaku.
A 'Clotaku' is, uh, it's just that.
That is, it's a portmanteau of 'Closet’ and ‘Otaku’. We try to appear to be normal people, while secretly keeping up with our Otaku lifestyle.
On an Otaku sliding scale, you could say it’s on the opposite side of Pubtaku (Public Otaku).
…Wait, all of us already know what Otaku is, right? It’s a pretty well-known word in our country at this point, so I shouldn’t need to explain.
Why do I keep it a secret?
It’s a bit awkward explaining this as an Otaku, but our current society frowns upon the Japanophile group known as the ‘Otakus’. Once you have the label of being an Otaku, your peers tend to view you differently, and even worse, you might become a social outcast.
Especially in school.
Elsewhere, you might get a weird look or two if you are found out (I personally believe this is a serious issue by itself), but in school, you could be outcast and bullied. Kids in school tend to be immature, so they are quick to reject whatever is considered unacceptable by the masses.
…And that’s why I am a Clotaku – is what I believe.
Well, just like how we all have different opinions, I’m sure all the Clotakus in the world have different reasons. However, I already have experiences of some of the situations from before, and that’s why I am a Clotaku.
If there’s one thing special about me, perhaps it’s that I am amazingly self-conscious about being an Otaku.
The ‘experiences’ I mentioned before still haunt me to this day, almost like a trauma, and thus from that day on, I decided to remain hidden from my school as a Clotaku.
Thanks to that, I safely got through my middle school years, even as a third year transfer student; and now, as a freshman in this high school, I continued being a dedicated Clotaku – was the kind of promise I made to myself, but one day,
“First Year Class 7, Attendance Number 1 Kang Injin— You are an Otaku.”
… A disaster struck my quiet life, only one month since the start of high school.