1. This is an interesting concept. I’ve seen /b/ but never thought of it as a database for memes and meme creation, but you’re right, 4chan and its many forums are exactly that. They are all databases for what each individual user prefers to look at or be involved with, add to or take from.
    In reference to the question about whether 4chan would exist without its anime predecessors, I think it would. I think that the idea of the database model extends beyond anime and while in 4chan’s case anime was the seed it is not the only seed.
    While trying to understand the attraction of /b/ I read quite a few threads that viciously tear down commenters who do not understand the underlying rules of /b/. This embraces the idea of a hierarchy by pointing out the weaker commenters who are not yet part of the group and may be on a lower level of perceived membership. At the same time they allow anyone to post anything. There is no one to go through to become a member; everyone is a member.

  2. This post has a very interesting take on Azuma’s database argument. It definitely made Azuma’s dated opinions and definitions of otaku a little more relative to today’s youths. As someone that frequently views and creates memes, I would like to see more clarification between someone like me and a meme otaku if we are not one and the same. I felt that Azuma, when referring to his version of otaku, clearly gave his definition of anime and manga otaku. He also made it seem as though the otaku, in addition to being fans and loving derivative works, also have an elitist impression of themselves with respect to their fandom and culture and are quick to exclude outsiders. Is there any such phenomenon in the meme otaku culture and can there be such an occurrence in these anonymous posting sights? It seems as though there is a fine line between fan and otaku. Expanding the meme otaku argument may make it easier to convince readers and Azuma fans that multiple types of otaku can exist among today’s youth.