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Post Reply Weeaboo-What does it mean?
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 7/1/15
I know this topic is a little old and can be touchy for some, but I've come up with what I think is a more accurate (and less judgmental or hateful) definition for Weeaboo. Know Your Meme says, "Weeaboo (a.k.a Wapanese) is an English slang used to describe a person (typically of non-Asian descent) who prefers Japan and all things in Japanese over one’s indigenous culture. The term is a successive mutation of “Wapanese,” a derogatory slur referring to western Japanophiles with a strong bias towards Japanese cultural and tech imports." But there is more to it than that, because this definition is vague. Another definition is needed to more accurately describe what I weeaboo really is.

It is acknowledged that weeaboos have a heavy bias toward all things Japan and think that anything that isn't Japanese is automatically inferior. However, I have bought quite a few manga volumes in Japanese. By this logic, doing that has made me a weeaboo, because obviously I've shown preference for the Japanese manga over manga published in America. My purpose in buying the manga was not to look cool or brag or anything though, it was because manga in Japanese, particularly ones marketed toward teens and children, make great reading practice. I would like to find a Japanese copy of Digimon Adventure 01, not because it's the Japanese version but because the American released doesn't have the original Japanese audio. I will watch both the English dub and Japanese dub with English subs, but Digimon is one dub I simply don't care for. Having a preference for the Japanese equivalent doesn't automatically make a persona a weeaboo unless they're doing it only to look cool or brag to their friends.

Most everyone agrees that simply having an interest in Japan and Japanese things (like anime) does not make a person a weeaboo. And when people that aren't interested in Japan find out you are their first thought is that you're a weeaboo, because somehow the term weeaboo seems to have become mutually exclusive with having an interest in Japan, even though it's not. Ultimately, I have come to the conclusion that weeaboo is synonymous with ignorance. People become weeaboos or have "weeaboo-like traits" simply because they don't actually know much about Japan, even if they think they do. If a person starts talking about Japan like they're an expert, even though all they've learned is through anime and manga, people that are unfamiliar with Japanese culture might think they know what they're talking about. But if someone is from Japan/has lived in Japan or has done more research outside of anime and manga and hears them saying things that are completely false they could equate them to a weeaboo.

To put it simply, anime and manga are not accurate representations of Japan, just as American cartoons are not accurate representations of American culture. No one should take to heart the things they see in anime and manga or any media from any country because it doesn't actually say anything about that country's culture. Unfortunately, many people do take those kinds of things seriously and believe that they are accurate, which is where ignorance comes into play. By forcing oneself to believe anything one sees in an anime or manga is completely true to the culture it makes one appear ignorant and calls for judgment from others.

Trust me, I can say when I first became interested in anime and Japan I was definitely a weeaboo, in the sense that I was totally ignorant, even though I thought I knew everything. I would ramble off all these facts that, for one most people actually could care less about, and secondly were totally incorrect and were things I learned from anime or half-assed "research". I'm sure people avoided me because I was the anime obsessed freak that would only talk about Japan as though I was an expert, even though I was nowhere close. I was as ignorant as ignorant could be, though no one ever called me a weeaboo because this was before the popularization of the word. I sounded pretty stupid because I thought I was some kind of expert on Japanese culture, even though it was probably pretty obviously I didn't know anything, really.

Here is an example of weeaboo ignorance:

Disclaimer: I want to add that I am not saying that anyone here is a weeaboo, ignorant, or stupid. I have just come to the realization that weeaboo is more synonymous with ignorance than it is about fanatical fans of Japan. Weeaboo has always been difficult to define and everyone seems to have a different opinion on exactly what a weeaboo is. I am hoping to shed some light here in this discussion. Please keep the discussion civil.
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 11/28/14
I think it is about ignorance, but also closed-minded obnoxious behavior goes along with it. Like a weeaboo will only be familiar with 3 anime, but they'll flaunt that like nobody's business and become very defensive if you dare disagree or question them. Not only are they ignorant, they are unwilling to learn. And yet they still go around 24-7 making a huge deal out of it.

I think it's fine for kids to have a weeaboo phase or whatever, but there really shouldn't be grown people acting like that.
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Posted 2/11/14

torase wrote:

I think it is about ignorance, but also closed-minded obnoxious behavior goes along with it. Like a weeaboo will only be familiar with 3 anime, but they'll flaunt that like nobody's business and become very defensive if you dare disagree or question them. Not only are they ignorant, they are unwilling to learn. And yet they still go around 24-7 making a huge deal out of it.

I think it's fine for kids to have a weeaboo phase or whatever, but there really shouldn't be grown people acting like that.


I agree that it's also about being willingly close-minded and uneducated. I'm not sure if it's just that they don't want to put the effort into actually learning about Japan and Japanese culture or if it's that they become convinced that by watching a few anime they are now all-knowing. The odd thing is, almost every anime fan I've seen starts off this way. They watch a few episodes of a few anime then believe they know everything about Japan and can speak Japanese because they learned a few words from the few shows they watched (if they watched in Japanese). Then they boast to their friends, people on the internet, and random people that don't care about their extensive "knowledge" of Japan. I know, I've been there, and it seems almost everyone else has too. I felt pretty proud of myself for knowing so much about Japan, but now that I look back I was pretty ignorant and quite frankly annoying.
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 7/1/15

torase wrote:

I think it is about ignorance, but also closed-minded obnoxious behavior goes along with it. Like a weeaboo will only be familiar with 3 anime, but they'll flaunt that like nobody's business and become very defensive if you dare disagree or question them. Not only are they ignorant, they are unwilling to learn. And yet they still go around 24-7 making a huge deal out of it.

I think it's fine for kids to have a weeaboo phase or whatever, but there really shouldn't be grown people acting like that.


^ Couldn't have said it better myself. On the other hand, I've run into folks who automatically think you're a weeaboo just because you like anime. Encounters like that and the fact that weeaboos exist in the first place are what keep me from telling others I enjoy anime and manga.
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 7/1/15
I had a coworker call me a weeaboo because I said I like anime. When I tried to deny it he just laughed and acted like denying it only confirms it. It's frustrating that defending yourself against people when they call you a weeaboo is so difficult. Just as weeaboos are convinced that they know everything about Japan, non-anime/Japan fans are convinced that anyone that likes anime or Japan is automatically a weeaboo, no matter what.
Posted 2/11/14 , edited 7/1/15
Pay no mind to made up words
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Posted 2/11/14
I've never been called a weeaboo by others just for showing an interest in the stuff. I call my a weeaboo ironically but never by someone else. Its not a problem to be interested with things from other countries, I mean I like anime but if I had to choose between a mediocre anime or The Amazing World of Gumball or something, I'd pick the latter. Weeaboos are really just ignorant as you said. Not literate in the culture of Japan and romanticizing everything they do and make. I would like to visit there someday, but I am well enough aware of the problems and cultural barriers that will still shock me when I get there. Its a wonderful place, but like America or Europe or anywhere else, it isn't perfect.
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Posted 2/11/14
best vid on what a weeaboo is and is pretty funny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqOChNrPP1o

Desu?



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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 7/1/15
Most people don't even care to use it in the correct context anyway. Usually someone who dislikes anime seeing you have your profile picture as something anime related is enough for them to call you a weeaboo. I personally depise the word myself since it's usually brought up in conversations where the person using it in a derogatory manner is using it to say 'all anime is stupid kiddy shit and the fact you like it renders your argruments invalid, you're probably a manchild' and people who have that mindset disgust me. Honestly I wish the word didn't exist, and that those who DO dislike Japanese related things aren't so harsh and judgemental, branding everyone a bunch of pedophiles who make weird adverts. It's so pathetic.
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 7/3/15
I have a weeaboo friend, he's pretty hardcore. Doesn't have to read subtitles (but never studied the language actually), collects the dolls, imports his games, so on and so forth. He's always so dramatic, and likes to make snap judgments about things that he'll defend to the bitter ****ing end, whether he's correct or not. He got picked on for it about a month back, I made him feel better.

Incidentally, I stopped talking to him about anime. His snobbery became intolerable so now I just avoid it with him.

The thing most people don't get is white people.... don't really have a culture. Not really. America is homogenized apathy, what have we got? Home of the Whopper? Walmart? Cowboys? An over-inflated military budget? I find it no surprise that we latch onto other cultures that are more distinct, that had more time to distinguish themselves instead of changing every few centuries from warfare. Europe isn't any better, depending where you go. Homogeneity. Even with patriotism, we are emotional and spiritual refugees, which is both our weakness and our strength.

One thing about anime that was a poignant moment for me: it's how the Japanese wish their culture was. That's a really important distinction. It's the same thing Westerners do with their comics. Apart from traditional elements, most aspects of anime are not present in Japan. The rampant love stories? 1 out of every 3 Japanese people will be dead in the next 50 years if the numbers continue. Whole towns are now vacant. The vibrant freedom? In Japan your college was decided when you were young, testing is pure robotic memorization, you are expected to sacrifice personal needs for the greater good, and you will statistically never own a home. The bad guys get defeated? Japan is virtually run by the Yakuza. Innocence? 1 out of every 10 Japanese adult women have been in the sex industry, nevermind the rampant schoolgirl prostitution.

Nothing wrong with the fantasies in anime of course, every society has them. But if you're using manga and anime as a reference, there's a pretty good chance you don't know shit about actual Japan.
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 7/1/15
God I hate this word. Your definition is spot on, but the problem is, no one cares to differentiate from ignorant, obsessed weeaboos and people who simply like Japanese things. You like anime? You're a weeaboo. You like manga? Weeaboo. JRPGs? Also weeaboo. It all gets lumped together under one category, regardless of whether those people display the haughty ignorance that truly defines a weeaboo or not.

I've never been called this, myself, but that's mostly because I don't go around declaring that I like anime to everyone. Not that it's anything to be ashamed of; I'm just afraid of this exact thing happening. People making assumptions. I would hope that most people are intelligent enough to not judge a person based on one hobby, but you never know.
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 7/1/15
How about not calling people a name based on a derogatory slur that is itself based on another racist slur?

Hating people because of a hobby is stupid.
If someone is annoying about their hobby, say they are annoying and be done with it.

People: Stop living on 4-chan. It makes you look bad when you end up repeating all the hateful, racist, sexist, ect crud.
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 2/11/14
I'm really glad you brought this up because this "weeaboo" phenomena is where the ridicule starts on Japanese culture. I have a few friends who, looking at my anime and manga, will spout off some overgeneralized garbage like, "Wow the Japanese are so weird and gross!" Oh? They are? It's as if they don't want to look past the entertainment and pop culture factor, and compare that to our bizarre-o pop culture fetishes. There's no difference, just they (they being the general american) has no other basis for knowing other wise aside from "weeaboo" ignorance. Which, might I add, "weeaboos" aren't exactly respected as far as their opinion goes in the first place. So why even go to these folks for "Japanese 101".

Sigh. Otaku culture isn't even praised in the east, just our western culture is more open to self expression so having 80 Dakimakuras of your waifu isn't so bad. But most people don't know that, they just assume that the Japanese are all perverts. Which, has anyone noticed how perverse America is?

Smh.

Are there any terms used in Japan used for people who like American culture obsessively? Jc
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 7/1/15
A weeaboo is someone who is obssesed with Japanese culture without actually studying anything about it. They think Japan is superior than everything and believe it to be a magical world filled with anime and other pop cultures. They pretend to know the language saying things like 'so kawaii desuuu' and will sometimes even believe that they're actually Japanese themselves. Usually it's a phase that some kids go through and thankfully grow out of. But I know a girl who is 23 years old and still a weeaboo. She believes that one day she'll go to japan to become an aidoru, made a youtube video about how she thinks she's really Japanese and not American, and is even studying japanese in hopes of dating a Japanese guy.

It's sad really some get sucked in so much they can't realize how ridiculous they sound.
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Posted 2/11/14 , edited 2/11/14
First I will start by directing everyones attention to the encyclopedia dramatica entry on weabooism. Which to me is quite funny(NSFW):https://encyclopediadramatica.es/Wapanese

Now there was something I was always curious about and anyone feel free to answer if you can. But doesnt the term "weaboo"(or wapanese) normally refer to white people? Also can any other race of people be weaboos? Because from every weaboo video and even if I google weaboo all that comes up is videos of white people.
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