Just like you, my friends always tell me that I am an Otaku, but they aren't otaku.
What I can't understand is that they love anime,too. But the difference is that they prefer horrible anime or Shounen anime.
So in my opinion if you want to becomer an otaku then you need to like "moe" anime?
Actually there's a lot of anime fans in China but only part of them are considered as otaku.I think the difference between otaku and non-otaku is all because of moe anime...
According to sankaku complex and 2ch (both very unreliable sources xD), there are 2 types of otaku:
Type A (click to toggle)
A person who simply enjoys “anime.”
Is proud of Japan’s anime.
Evaluates anime based on direction, voice acting, art, etc.
Hates shallow anime with no real content.
Story emphasis >>>>> Moe anime.
A recent example would Higashi no Eden. Fans of anime like Lain or Ghost in the Shell would probably be this kind.
Type B (click to toggle)
A person who simply enjoys “characters.”
Will watch an anime if it includes cute or beautiful characters.
Doesn’t care if story is awful, as long as the characters are of interest.
Evaluates anime based on which seiyuu are in it and what the characters look like.
Loves moe elements. Doesn’t like complex anime.
The otaku the media picks up on are usually this kind.
Doesn’t know that much about anime and so is often criticised as by Type A otaku.
However, they make much better customers than the more discerning Type A otaku.
Recently there has been a huge increase in anime targeted at Type B otaku.
People who like K-ON!, Queen’s Blade, Strike Witches and so on would be in this class.
Obviously, there's going to be overlaps though. Personally I enjoy most anime regardless, from death note to clannad to K-ON! ~