According to wannabe porn site Sankaku Complex, 2chan has identified two kinds of otaku: Type A and Type B. Here's the breakdown of their qualifications for each catagory:
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 who like Lain or Ghost in the Shell would probably be this kind.
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 criticized 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.
While I hate stereotyped overgeneralizations, I have to admit that these criteria are pretty accurate. As for myself, I would like to think I'm a Type A otaku... but I've noticed that I have a few Type B tendencies as well. For example, I will often watch a show because it has a cute or sexy character in it. However, I love story-rich sci-fi and fantasy anime as well as surreal comedy, and I absolutely despise vapid sh*t like K-On!. I guess that means I'm mostly Type A after all.
What about you guys? Which type of otaku are you?