Are you wondering if you’re a weeaboo? Or what the difference between an otaku and a weeaboo is? Or maybe you have a friend who is a bit too into anime?
Here’s a small guide to help you classify Weeaboos yourself:
What does the word Weeaboo mean?
You might see Weeaboos more politely referred to as Japanophiles, and less politely as Wapanese (Wannabe-Japanese or alternatively White-Japanese) . The term is usually used to describe someone who is overly obsessed with Japan and anime – and insists on including it in every part of daily life. Common features include:
- Putting a few Japanese words you know from anime into your everyday sentences.
“Konnichiwa Jacky-chan! What a sugoi day desu.”
“Nani?! Who are you calling a weeaboo baka!?”
- When trying to talk to a weeaboo the topic changes to anime regardless of what you were originally talking about
- Glomping (See the below image), Squeeing, generally overly excitable behaviour
- Believes they should have been born Japanese
- Believes they are living in an anime – whether that be being a ninja, referring to themselves as the Dark Flame Master, looking for senpai to notice them…
- Often, having only watched a few anime – they will somehow know about all anime
Glomping (a running hug) can be dangerous
Generally it’s an insulting label, much like the West uses nerd, although moreso because of the association with being socially disruptive.
What does Otaku mean?
On English forums at least, you might see people refer to themselves proudly as an Otaku. It’s somewhat become a term used to describe a general avid anime fan – that doesn’t have the hyperactive obsession that a weeaboo does. Outside the echo-chamber though, Otaku is really a loan word from Japan, with negative connotations. Not necessarily associated with anime, Otaku are people who are obsessed to the point of becoming anti-social and separate from general society.
Online, some people defend the title of Otaku proudly and desire a distinction from Weeaboos
Along with anime otaku, there are several other brands of otaku. There are train otaku, J-Idol otaku, military otaku, computer otaku… the list goes on and on – for whatever you’re obsessed with. As an earlier established phenomenon, there are a lot more places to find information on Otaku – including several documentaries
a prime example of an Idol Otaku (from wotakunow)
So which one am I? – Uh, I mean, How do I tell the difference?
To be honest, you don’t need to tell the difference. Why reduce someone to a single dimension character? (Of course, 2 Dimensions are the best).
That said, observing their attitude towards the medium should be enough to tell the difference. A weeaboo stands out as obnoxiously into anime / Japan- for those who don’t watch it. An otaku is similarly obsessed but doesn’t broadcast their obsessions if people don’t want to hear. They’re also more likely to have a body pillow fortress in their room.
Not all fans of anime fall into these categories though. You can simply be a fan of anime. And that’s fine too – your parents will probably prefer that. Or there are hundreds of other labels to apply to yourself – Hikikomori, NEET, Koreaboo, Brony, Lolita…