Created by Gainax, Otaku no Video is loosely based on the history of that company, which has its roots in college clubs in early 1980s Osaka. Students in those clubs got together for various creative projects and business ventures. The live action segments feature individuals who represent the type of otaku you would have encountered from that era into the early 1990s.
“Grand Prix/GP”, the main company featured in Otaku no Video, is a takeoff on “General Products” (itself a reference to the work of sci-fi author Larry Niven), the now-defunct sci-fi specialty shop and mail-order service that was closely affiliated with and eventually incorporated into Gainax. By the same token, “Giant X/GX” is a thinly-veiled reference to Gainax itself (say “Giant X” fast enough and it comes out “Gainax”. Takeda Yasuhiro, the longtime General Manager of Gainax, explained in his 2002 book – The Notenki Memoirs – that “gaina” means “big” in the Yonago dialect of Tottori.
Here are just a few examples of other Gainax references in the OAV:
- The GP offices in the 1991 segments of both videos are drawn directly from Gainax's business offices in Kichijōji, Tōkyō.
- The character Tanaka is based, physically as well as personality-wise, on Okada Toshio (one of the founding members of Gainax and its first president).