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Fictionkin (formerly called 'otakukin'[1][2][3] or 'mediakin'[2][4]) are those who identify as something that is considered fictional, typically (a) fictional character(s) or species.[2][3][4][5][6] Characters may not always be directly mentioned in the canon of their source material; for example, one may identify as an original character (also known as an OC), a background character, a non-canon character, or occasionally even a glitch. Fictionkin identify as a fictional character or species, rather than with them, and see themselves as actually being them on some level. This belief is involuntary, long-term, and intrinsic to one's selfhood.[3][5]

History and Etymology[]

Individuals identifying as fictional species have been present in the otherkin and dragon communities since their inceptions. Prior to the coining of a specific term for fictional identification, three members of the Elf Queen's Daughters, a group of elves, realized they identified as Hobbits in 1979. Later, in 1995, users of the website, Alt.Fan.Dragons, described themselves as Pernese dragons, a fictional species from Anne McCaffery's Dragonriders of Pern. However, fictionkin began as a separate community under the label 'otakukin' during the early 2000s.[2]

The term otakukin comes from the now defunct website, Temple of The Ota-’Kin. Kinjo Ten, the creator of the website, explains that the term originally jokingly referred to otherkin and therians whose beliefs and "aesthetics" incorporated Chinese or Japanese influences. The term almost immediately expanded to encompass those who identified as fictional characters, and eventually, exclusively referred to such.[1] Though 'otaku' is associated with anime and Japanese media, the term was originally inclusive of all who identified as entities from fictional sources.[1] Kinjo Ten referenced the existence of Tolkien elves and Pernese dragons in the communities in his description of the concept.[1][2] However, the term otakukin eventually was considered by some to only apply to those from Japanese media, with the term 'mediakin' becoming an all-inclusive alternative.[4]

The earliest use of the term fictionkin comes from the From Fiction LiveJournal created in 2004.[2][7] Though the term otakukin continued in usage, by around the mid-2000s, fictionkin started to be more widely used before the terms otakukin and mediakin fell into more obscurity in the late-2000s.[Citation needed]

In 2010, the LiveJournal community, We are Na’Vi [Na’vi Reborn] was created, aimed at those who had identities related to the Na’Vi from the movie Avatar. This community garnered attention from therians and otherkin, as well as those who were not alterhuman. Some in alterhuman communities began to debate if being fictionkin was a valid identity and question if the Na’Vi were trolling.[2] Na’Vi fictionkin were briefly mentioned in Joseph Laycok’s article “The Pandora’s Box of James Cameron”, in conjunction with others who felt that they had a deep connection to Pandora, the fictional world in which the movie takes place.[2][8]


The chosen fictionkin symbol[9]

On the now-defunct Fictionkin.com forums, a discussion was started around creating a symbol for fictionkin in July 2015. After some months, several variations of the symbol were created, with all of them depicting rings surrounding what could be interpreted as either a key or the letter F. The website created a poll that was shared on social media to determine which variation the wider fictionkin community preferred.[2][10] A final symbol was chosen,[2][9] but it was not accepted by all community members, as some critiqued the symbol’s design.[2][10]

Multiverse Explanation[]

Some fictionkin believe in the multiverse theory. They may believe that there are many or limitless parallel universes, some in which fictional characters are real.[3][11] If this is true, then theoretically a character could live, die, and then be reborn in a different universe. This is a common explanation for many fictionkin's spirituality. The aforementioned would also explain memories or déjà vu experienced while reading, watching, or listening to something that relates to the fictional characters.

The multiverse theory also explains why many people might identify as certain character. The characters could have existed in many different universes, therefore being reborn multiple different times into multiple different people. Some fictionkin, however, are made very uncomfortable by others who are the same characters as them (called 'doubles') - for example, those who do not believe that a character existed in more than one universe, or who believe that when the character was reborn, they were the only one to become that character, might be uncomfortable around doubles of themselves. Some may even go as far as to harass others or be hostile towards doubles solely because they are the same character as them. This behavior and attitude is often discouraged in fictionkin communities however, as it is rude and and contributes to fights and fragmenting of groups.

Other Spiritual Explanations[]

Spiritual explanations for being fictionkin are just as diverse as those for otherkin and therians. Arguably the most common belief is past lives and reincarnation, where one was their fictotype in another life, though this is far from the only explanation, there are also misplaced or walk-in souls where the soul of a fictional entity wound up in a different or the wrong body, soul parts, where aspects of the soul are of a fictional entity, and soulbonding, where a fictional entity bonded with a host.

There are many, many different ways a fictionkin might identify spiritually as their fictotype. Fictionkin and otherkin as whole is not a unified spiritual belief, and, psychological explanations aside, there are many different spiritual beliefs.

Psychological Explanations[]

Not all fictionkin see themselves as a character for spiritual reasons and instead have psychological explanations for their experience.[5] Some may believe that they became attached to a character due to their similarities with them and then started to identify as them, sometimes due to trauma. Additionally, fictionkin can intersect with plurality and/or being a system, as fictives and introjects of fictional characters may want to use the label. Some with delusions of being a fictional character may call themselves fictionkin as well. However, it's important to acknowledge that not everyone from these groups call themselves fictionkin, and the term shouldn't be forced upon them.


Many people (both within and outside of the otherkin belief/culture) are critical of fictionkin, claiming it to be "taking things too far," "roleplaying," or "being a copycat." These statements are typical towards the otherkin grouping at large, but more so to fictionkin than other kintypes. There are also criticisms of stealing from the author.

There is some debate over whether fictionkin is considered otherkin or not. Though under the alterhuman and kin umbrellas, otherkin usually identify as something nonhuman, and fictionkin oftentimes identify as human characters. Some believe they are always otherkin, some believe they are sometimes otherkin, and some believe they are never otherkin. Even if one doesn't see fictionkin as intrinsically part of the otherkin community, they may still consider themselves both if they identify as a nonhuman character or identify as another species in addition to being a human fictional character.

See Also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kinjou Ten: "Temple of the Ota-'Kin". otakukin.otherkin.net. (Archived version). (Archived on March 2, 2015).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 House of Chimeras (June 21, 2021). A Timeline of the Fictionkin Community.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Fictionkin Basics". fictionkin.org.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Lupa (2007). A Field Guide to Otherkin Megalithica Books.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Fictionkin". azaphaer.wixsite.com.
  6. "From Fiction". fictionkin.net. (Archived version). (Archived on October 11, 2016).
  7. "from_fiction". from-fiction.livejournal.com.
  8. Joseph Laycock: "The Pandora's Box of James Cameron". divinity.uchicago.edu.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Poll - What Should be the Universal Fictionkin Symbol?" (21th February 2016). poll-maker.com.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "A Universal Fictionkin Symbol?" (20th February 2016). fictionkin-official.tumblr.com.
  11. "Multiverse Theory". fictionkin.net. (Archived version). (Archived on October 14, 2016).

External Links[]

  • Fictionkin.net, a defunct but well-archived website with information on fictionkin.
  • Fictionkin.org a currently updated website by the same maintainers as the above fictionkin.net.
  • Fictionkin on otherkin.wiki