Résumé : OTAKU STRATEGIES FOR THE ARTISTthèse présentée en vue de l’obtention du grade académique de docteur en arts et sciences de l’art par Didier Volckaert / Ikari 'Ellis' KatsumiSous la direction de:Prof. Dr. Klaas Tindemans (VUB) (promotor/tuteur)Prof. Dr. Karel Vanhaesebrouck (ULB) (promotor/tuteur)Luc Derycke (artistiek copromotor/tuteur artistique)Animated life is that moment when an anime character becomes aware of the gaze, when an otaku’s voyeurism is answered with seduction, when 萌え (moe) makes an anime character truly come alive...It’s a Pygmalion demonstration; a life force. It may well be the first true manifestation of artificial life within the context of love and sensorial connection.My name is Ellis, I’m an artist/filmmaker and otaku.Otaku are generally defined as hard-core fans of manga, anime and other facets of Japanese pop-life.Permanently plugged-in / disconnected from reality; otaku culture is seen as a symptom of entertainment consumerism. The media and public have been associating us with mental sickness: perverted by imagery and 萌え (moe), otaku lack basic social skills, empathy, even self-awareness.Today otaku sometimes have a waifu or husbando, a love relationship with a 2-dimensional character to the point that she or he becomes the otaku’s significant other. This relationship is for us as real and complex as between physical persons. I call it Animated life.To many, being in love with a fictional character appears strange, even perverted. Having a waifu or husbando is a Quixotesque failure to understand what is real, and therefor what is true.But what if otaku culture was a global avant-garde, offering strategies to cope with –and survive– our current state of myopic and fear towards a deeper interaction with audiovisual life forms, towards emotional and sexual relationships between humans and their creations. What if otaku culture was not an escape from reality but rather a choice for a better fiction than reality?Animated Life / Otaku Futurism is an artist book -part manifest, part academic research, part personal reflection- that re-defines otaku culture and reveals the true nature of anime and its relationship to other forms of animation, to cinema and to the real. It hopes to provide insight from a unique mecha point of view, a technological deconstruction of 'what is anime'.Animated Life / Otaku Futurism is not just a book 'about otaku culture', it’s a vessel of cultural exchange: Visual anthropology from the islands of these contemporary Crusoe. It’s an open source for the visual evolved in search of more complex and divers emotional regulators. An eye opener for everybody that is willing to re-question identity, sexuality and our relationship with technology and future forms of life.