4 Things That Make You A Weeaboo

Someone called me a weeaboo before, and I felt giddy about it since I thought it has something to do with cute things. Little did I know, that it is a derogatory term and the bad part was that the person who branded me as a weeaboo used it incorrectly. He does not even know what a weeaboo is! But what exactly is it?

A weeaboo is someone who is obsessed with the superiority of the Japanese culture solely based on Japanese media he consumed, ie; anime, manga, videogames. Usually, weeaboos even think that they are turning Japanese when they have zero knowledge about Japanese culture. It is considered derogatory.

Should we feel offended when we casually hear this term being thrown around? If you watch anime a lot, does that mean that you are a weeaboo? Keep on reading to find out more about this tricky term. You can finish reading this without getting angry (we promise!) Ganbatte ne!

What Is A Weeaboo And What Makes Someone A Weeabo?

Keep in mind that the term weeaboo is slang that was molded due to the emerging pop culture at that certain time. Therefore, even though it has a designated meaning in the Urban Dictionary, the said meaning can still be taken loosely.

It is believed that “weeaboo” or “weeb” was the evolved “waponese.” The latter term being, a combination of “white” Japanese and “wannabe” Japanese. Therefore, a weeaboo is a non-Japanese (usually Western) person who wants to be Japanese.

Further, this feeling of wanting to become Japanese was solely influenced by playing Japanese video games, reading manga, and watching animes. This is the reason why this term is considered derogatory as it stereotypes a certain race and culture.

what makes a person a weeb?
Avid cosplayers have been called weebs as people think that those who dress up as their favorite characters are considered as one. This logic is false as cosplayers simply do dress up and act like the character that they chose.

A simple example is a thought of claiming to be American when you eat tons of cheeseburgers or claim to be Spanish since you finished watching the series, Money Heist.

It is the utmost disregard and ignorance of the true culture of a certain country and generalizing it based on surface things, such as anime, makes this term a very negative one.

Behaviors That Make Someone A Weeaboo

Now that you know what is the technical meaning of “weeaboo” or “weeb,” let us go more into detail about what this term means for different people. As you know, communication is ever-evolving. The more people use it, the more the term gets a different meaning.

This is probably also the reason why a lot of people use this term incorrectly because not everyone is informed as to the extent of this term. So let us educate ourselves so we can also educate others.

1. Unhealthy Obsession With Japanese Culture

Being obsessed with Japanese culture is one thing, but overly obsessing about it that one thinks it is superior to their own culture is another thing. Especially when one thinks highly of this superiority because of an epic anime that they watched in the past.

When it comes to culture, one can only experience it when they immerse in the actual culture of that specific country. Even then, one cannot claim that they fully know a culture based on experiencing it several times.

The only ones who truly know what their culture is all about are the people who live in that country.

This video is a good example of how a foreigner who has lived in Japan for a long time can still differentiate what Japanese culture is as well as stereotyping.

As foreigners to that country, all that we can attain is to have an informed idea of what others’ cultures can be. In the case of a weeb, they think that they have Japanese culture to a T. Their basis? The things they see or read in Japanese media (anime/manga)

More than that, they disregarded who they really are, even their race, and just outright identify as Japanese.

There is a certain cognitive dissonance in this in such a way that they think they are becoming more Japanese, the more they watch an anime, but at the same time, they do not even have the slightest idea of Japanese culture.

From this alone, one can really see why “weeaboo” can be viewed as a racial slur.

2. Living Life Based On Anime, Manga, Or Videogames

This aspect of being a “weeaboo” is what we think most people think about when they call someone a “weeb.” When someone sees another person living as if he or she is in an anime, and they think, “That’s a weeb.”

But as we have discussed, this term has a lot to do with ignorance of Japanese culture.

Therefore, if someone calls somebody a weeb simply because they have pink hair with fluffy ears, matched with a maid uniform, and they say arigato, occasionally… that certain person does not know what weeaboo means.

Who knows? The girl with the fluffy ears just wanted to dress up as such that day.

On the other hand, when a person changes who they are and how they live simply because of something they read or watched from Japanese media, then that makes him or her a weeaboo.

(Even though people fit this criterion, we are not saying that you should call other people weebs, let’s be nice!)

An example is someone who went above and beyond to legally change his name to his favorite anime character. He also changed his job to the job of his favorite character. He might start dressing like his favorite character too.

The thing is, even though this is something that a weeb can do, it should not really matter to us and other people.

Am I a weeb?
Even if someone is dressed like this in a regular sense, and just exuded this type of aura daily, it is still improper to call her or him a weeb.

Just as long as that person is not harming or hurting himself and others by doing these things, then just let it be. We should just let people be happy.

It is a different story when that certain someone is aggressively projecting his lifestyle that it affects and offends people around him, especially the Japanese culture, may it be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, then it is our duty as human beings to call that behavior out.

Again, we should not resort to name-calling aka branding someone as a weeb.

3. Ignorant Use Of Japanese Words

This can be vague in such a way that sometimes if we love a certain anime or manga and we continuously consume them, we pick up commonly used words along the way.

Sometimes, I find myself saying “arigato” when exiting Japanese restaurants and “itadakimasu” before eating.

There are also times when someone is rushing me, I would abruptly say “chotto matte kudesai” (Please, wait a minute) I am not deliberately using these words just to say that “hey, I’m speaking Japanese,” but it is out of habit.

It is a different case when someone who does not even exert effort to learn the proper Japanese term as well as the appropriate time to use it, suddenly spurts out random Japanese words everywhere. Usually, the situation is they add “desu” to everything. For example:

I went for a run-desu to the park-desu yesterday.

– Here, the word desu is just added for the heck of it. Further, it should not have been there as the speaker is speaking in English.

The example above clearly shows the negative side of being a weeaboo as this does not only show disrespect to the Japanese language, but it is a clear showing of someone’s ignorance regarding a different country’s language.

We are not saying that you should not use Japanese words if you want to. It is just that, they should be used properly and appropriately, for the sake of respect. You would not want other people making fun of your native language, right?

4. Knowledge Of Japanese Culture Is Based On Pop-Culture

Almost everyone is guilty of doing this, as of course, not everyone can really afford and have the time to go on a pilgrimage to learn a country’s culture. However, in the case of “weebs,” they take this to the next level.

This is where general stereotyping happens and they apply it to other aspects of Japanese life. For them, it could be any of the following:

  • Japanese women speak in either a squeaky or seductive voice.
  • People in Japan can randomly kick each other when they find something annoying or funny.
  • On a hunt for a Japanese boyfriend or girlfriend with characteristics based on a shojo anime.
  • The national dish of Japan is ramen. (It is actually Curry Rice, though the government did not officially proclaim anything)
  • People in Japan have crazy hairstyles and hair colors and they always dress like anime characters.
  • When the Japanese run, they do it Naruto style.
  • When someone is sad or embarrased they just lie down on the floor and roll themselves around.
  • And many more ridiculous anime stereotypes that are not really an accurate depiction of Japanese culture.
The “Naruto run” took the world by storm and people started organizing events where the highlight is to do the Naruto run. Even if this is the case, it does not mean that the Japanese run this way.

As you can see, the things that we enumerated above are just wrong. However, in the mind of a weeaboo, these things actually happen in real life.

Even if someone calls that person out and corrects him, he is more likely to shrug it off and just stick with the information he knows in the anime and manga.

Does Watching Anime Make You A Weeaboo?

No, watching anime does not make you a weeaboo. Even if you watch anime eight hours a day, it is still not considered as being a weeb.

It is only when you start living and breathing the anime life that you no longer have the capacity to socialize with others that you become branded as a weeb.

Further, if you become aggressive about your own beliefs based purely on manga, anime, and video games that you end up arguing about it with other people… yes, that is the conduct of a weeaboo.

what is a weeabo?
The anime, Himouto! Umaru-Chan is a reflection of this stereotype where people think that those who watch anime are “weebs.” In the anime, it showed that Umaru was living a double life as she thought people will judge her because she loves anime, manga, and video games.

Let us go back to the statement at the beginning where I was called a weeaboo. Just like what I said, I was not familiar with the term before so I thought it was a compliment, but research showed that it was actually an insult.

What can a strong and independent woman who loves anime do?

Well, I confronted him about it. He was actually a classmate in law school and I found out that he called me as such since he usually sees me watching anime during our breaks in between classes.

It was then that I figured out that he thinks that weebs or weeaboos are what you call people who love watching animes.

So, I told him what the term really meant and he was horrified and apologized profusely. I was not actually offended when I first found out what it meant, and he really did not have to apologize as there was no harm done.

Being a male fan of anime can be tough as usually, people call them nerds or weebs. Women actually have it easy as when we are interested in this kind of media, we are usually viewed as cool or cute, even if we are actually “nerding” hard about this stuff.

In fact, the situation became a springboard for an informative discussion on generally using terms on other people based on stereotypes.

Other people who have been called as such can also use this opportunity to educate others, just like what I did. Who knows? Maybe the word “weeb” will die down as fewer people are using it.

Is There A Difference Between Otaku And Weeaboo?

Yes, there is definitely a huge difference between an otaku and a weeaboo. An otaku is someone who knows his stuff when it comes to anime, manga, and video games.

He is someone who consumes these media regularly but can still function as a normal human being.

An otaku can get into long arguments about certain powers of a character in an anime, but that is about it.

There are really no negative feelings involved, in fact, an otaku just revels in the fact that someone can talk with him and even have a debate regarding some aspects in a certain anime.

Also, an otaku can have several fan merchandise, and they attend a lot of events in connection to their current interest.

As for a weeaboo, we have already gone into detail as to their obsession with Japanese media that makes them think that those encapsulate what Japanese culture is. They may also have merchandise, but they might also have merchandise hoarding problems.

When they get into arguments, it is usually because they are stereotyping Japanese culture or they might have done or said something that offended another person.

It is important to remember that may it be an otaku or a weeaboo, at the end of the day, it does not really matter, as it is just a word that was coined based on some people who fit a certain category.

We do not even know who made up these categories, so we really should not stress so much about it.

Why The Term Weeabo Is Losing Its Power Today

It is surprising to see that not everyone is offended about the term “weeaboo” or “weeb” today. You may even be surprised that close friends who share the same love for anime call each other weebs.

At the same time, you will not see the same friends using the word “weeb” publicly as they know that it is a derogatory term. Talk about improvement!

There was actually a thread in Reddit that talked about this term, and I was happy to see that there were a lot of supportive people who are well-informed about this term. You can view the discussion here.

The word weeaboo of today somehow lost its power as people who were wrongly or even accurately branded as such decided to claim that power and educate other people.

As we discussed, it is a trait of a weeaboo to be ignorant of Japanese culture, but what happens when that person decides to actually see what Japanese culture really is?

See, the characteristics that make up a weeaboo are ever-changing and they are not clearly defined. The term is simply a term when you do not let it define you.

Even ignorant people can change, so weeb or not, what is most important is we value our true personalities, be kinder to other people, and humble ourselves to learn new things.

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