The identification of otaku turned negative in late 2004 when Kaoru Kobayashi kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered a seven-year-old first-grade student.
Japanese journalist Akihiro Ōtani suspected that Kobayashi's crime was committed by a member of the figure moe zoku even before his arrest.
Later that year, the contemporary knowledge magazine Bessatsu Takarajima dedicated its 104th issue to the topic of otaku.
It was called Otaku no Hon The word entered English as a loanword from the Japanese language.
The subculture's birth coincided with the anime boom, after the release of works such as Mobile Suit Gundam before it branched into Comic Market.
The definition of otaku subsequently became more complex, and numerous classifications of otaku emerged.
Positive and negative aspects, including the pejorative usage, were intermixed.