In the early 2000s, 4chan became the site of increasingly heated exchanges between those who were anime and manga fans, and those who, er, weren’t. Or perhaps they were just trolls. Well, trolls or not, their slur of choice was “Wapanese” – short for “Wannabe Japanese.”

But why am I telling you all this? By mid-2005, the name-calling was getting out of control. The 4chan moderators intervened by using a word filter that replaced every instance of “Wapanese” with “Weeaboo” – a completely made up word that eventually subsumed the meaning of the word it was meant to censor.


Nicholas Gurewitch coined the word “Weeaboo” in his Perry Bible Fellowship comic strip.

So What’s a Weeaboo?

The meaning of Weeaboo is admittedly pretty loose – although it is always used in an overwhelmingly negative sense.

so japanese

Weeaboo also has many interpretations as there are supposedly defining features. I say supposedly because many of these overlap with the features of otakus, cosplayers, and just plain vanilla anime fans. Plus some of them are just too silly (cough racist cough) to be taken seriously: a white person who is obsessed with Japanese culture? A white person, really?

reverse weeaboo

Just to give you guys some idea of the variety of “defining features” of Weeaboos.

So how do you identify a Weeaboo? Because you know, if the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one, the zeroth step must surely be to realize you have a problem in the first place.

To keep things simple for all of us, here are what I think are the top three telltale signs of a Weeaboo:

#1. Anything Japanese is immediately the BEST THING EVAR

You’re probably a Weeaboo if you believe that just because something is Japanese in origin, it automatically trumps anything and everything from anywhere else. In fact, you believe this so strongly that you begin to hate and even reject your own culture, cuisine, language, and what-have-you.


You also probably have a highly romanticized view of everything Japanese  – so highly romanticized that you cannot even imagine that Japan, like any other country, has negative aspects too. So highly romanticized, that the fact that much of the Japanese culture you so admire is in fact of American influence is unthinkable. Osamu “the Father of Manga” Tezuka, inspired and influenced by Disney? Blasphemy.

Take-home message: It’s entirely possible to have an interest in Japan and Japanese without being a Weeaboo. Just don’t automatically like something just because it has a “Made in Japan” sticker on it.

#2. Kyaa! That’s So Kawaii Desu!

Weeaboos have such a highly romanticized view of everything Japanese because they refuse to look past the shiny surface. This means that attempts to learn the language are half-hearted at best.

If you’re a Weeaboo, what Japanese you know has been gleaned almost exclusively from a near constant stream of anime. But that doesn’t stop you from using what little you know whenever you get the chance, so you pepper your sentences with random Japanese words and -chan and -kun everyone. Omg Rosie-chan is such a baka! Yeah, I’m practically fluent. Um, no. You’re just butchering the language.

i know three japanese words

By the way, intentionally using Japanglish for comic effect or sarcasm is not a true mark of a Weeaboo, so exercise caution and commonsense with this one.

Take-home message: When you’re learning and you don’t know the Japanese equivalent for some word or expression – go ahead with what you do know. But don’t just bastardize the language because you’re too lazy to learn it properly.

#3. Anime, Anime and more Anime (Plus Manga for Good Measure)

As I mentioned previously, Weeaboos watch anime near-constantly. But that’s not all. If you’re a Weeaboo, anime is your life. You want to be anime. So you start, for example, dressing like your anime character – not just at Comic Con, but everyday. Cosplaying becomes your normal way of dress.

If you’re a Weeaboo, you probably also think that when it comes to your beloved anime, you’re surrounded by morons. Morons who watch dubbed versions your beloved anime. Morons that don’t understand how superior anime is compared to that Adventure Time rubbish. To drive home just how ridiculous this is, here’s a reverse-Weeaboo gem:


You may have a perfectly good reason for preferring, say, Studio Ghibli to Disney. Disney characters always seem to be entirely good or bad, whereas many moral shades of gray are handled with deft and ease in Ghibli films. But if you think non-Japanese cartoons and comics are inferior, by mere virtue of not being Japanese – well, you’re probably a Weeaboo. That also brings us full circle back to tell-tale sign #1.

Take-home message: Love anime and manga? Good for you. Bite someone’s head off for daring to call anime cartoon? Yeah, better rein in that obsession.

Hang On. You’re Talking About Otakus, Not Weeaboos!

I did mention earlier that the defining features of a Weeaboo overlaps those of an otaku – or at least, the popular interpretation for otaku. The reason why is simple: every Weeaboo is an otaku, but not every otaku is a Weeaboo. Mind = blown yet?

An otaku, strictly speaking, is someone who has an obsessive interest in something. That “something” could be anything from planes, trains, and automobiles (google itasha, guys), to, most commonly, anime and manga. So I guess its fair to say that Weeaboos are simply the more fanatic otakus of the anime-loving variety. Still, it’s not exactly easy to tell them apart, I reckon. Check out the following video, for example:

Otaku or Weeaboo? I could be swayed either side.

So, what do you think are the tell-tale signs of a Weeaboo? How would you define a Weeaboo? Have you got any foolproof tips for telling otakus and Weeaboos apart? Let us know in the comments!

Don’t take this post too seriously – it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

Header image by Brittney Le Blanc

  • Reptic

    Hmm… I think a good rule of thumb perhaps is that weeaboos actually wish they were Japanese and sort of reject their own culture, whereas most otakus really like anime (and probably think it’s superior to other forms of animation) but I don’t think they would go that far. That’s just my opinion, though.

  • rick sheahan

    I always have to end up explaining what the word ‘weeaboo’ means to new girlfriends. I guess it’s just an integral part of my life! Maybe I’m just trying to mask my own weeabooism. I mean, why else would I be on on tofugu…?

  • FoxiBiri

    That guy’s firery Spongebob collared shirt is just awesome xD Right on the money lol!
    What you said about weeaboos being the more fanatic otakus of the anime-loving variety sounds right but I also think they’re classified by being more ignorant.

  • crowbark

    Is there an grown-up version of Weeabooism, where you obsessively seek out the most authentic Japanese restaurants and groceries, you’re learning Japanese so that you can catch all the nuances in Koreeda’s films, and sometimes, maybe, you pretend your Target-brand body pillow is Tadanobu Asano? Because if there is, I have … a friend … who might have a problem.

  • HatsuHazama



  • 古戸ヱリカ

    That sounds like the classiest weeaboo ever. I just imagine they’d have a monocle and a wine glass full of sake, and be all like “I say, old chap, that sounds ever so kawaii! Ohohohohohodesu!”

  • crowbark

    Not a monocle, my friend – pince-nez all the way.

  • Lisa

    I think I may just be an anime otaku, not a weeaboo, but, what do you think?

    I cook mostly Japanese food because I like the taste, and also because it generally doesn’t contain any gluten, to which I’m mildly sensitive. It’s even in my twitter icon pic.

    I drink a lot of Japanese tea, and some Indian tea, because damn, that stuff is tasty.

    I practice Aikido. This is one of those life-list things; bullied as a grade-schooler, I always wanted to learn a martial art someday. When I hit middle age I figured if I didn’t do it now, I never would. Aikido is an art that can be comparatively mild on the body for an older person, and that is more defensive than aggressive, which suits my disposition.

    My family room is decorated with Japanese post-war uchio-e because I’m too poor to waste money on art and my dad had it languishing in his garage ever since a trip to Japan in the 1960’s.

    I own the complete animes of Noein, Tactics, the first series of Saiyuki, and Samurai Champloo, and anime makes up about 30% of my Netflix diet. The only manga I buy is Tactics volumes (which come out about once a year), because I like all the fairy-tale creatures that come up in it.

    I’ve studied almost 2 years of Japanese, for fun at a Jr. College, because I thought it would help me enjoy anime more and because it would be nice to be able to have simple conversations with Aikido teachers who come from Japan occasionally to teach seminars. When I was young, languages came easily, but with Japanese I’ve had a really hard time.

    I drive a Honda because they’re a reliable brand.

    So, I have a lot of Japanese stuff in my life, but it’s not because I want to be Japanese. It’s for a lot of separate reasons.

    Bad stuff about Japan? Stiflingly inflexible social structure. Misogyny. Cetacean murders. Racism…They’re nice people as individuals but can ‘go off the rails’ in large groups. Imho.

  • kuyaChristian

    I frequent this blog to read user-submitted horror stories of weeaboos and sometimes the horrors of weebs in conventions. Pretty interesting. Boils my blood whenever I see weebs.

  • peppergrass

    Maybe it’s because I’m over 40, but I know pretty much zero about anime and manga, never did any cosplay, no interest in any of that. I do like most of the Studio Ghibli films, have studied some Japanese poetic forms, and am attracted to a lot of Japanese design. I’m learning more about Japanese cuisine, and have begun learning the Japanese language because I’d love to travel there one day and perhaps teach English for a year or two. I’d also like to be able to enjoy haiku/hokku in its original language.

  • pickaname

    You forgot those almost-cosplayers, who moan about their eyes not being enough asian, when they should worry about their fat butt first.

  • ^__^

    I think people may like the Japanese culture (or some other culture) because they identify with it more than their own culture. Maybe they enjoy the food better, agree with the different views (a different and enlightening perspective), or started a cultural activity (such as martial arts) that they really enjoy, which gets them interested in foreign movies and/or culture.

    However, I think we tend to subconsciously view the new culture as “perfect” and superior to all other cultures because we don’t want the enjoyment in experiencing and learning more about the new culture to be destroyed. We don’t want others to say bad things about the culture because we then have to reconsider our views and adjust them accordingly.

    What many people don’t realize, however, is that no one is perfect. In my opinion, each person needs to concentrate on what they believe and enjoy as an individual regardless of what others think and say about those beliefs and experiences. As long as each person has no regrets for their views and actions, they should be happy and not care what anyone, no matter the reason, says.

  • BA Matthews (Fey)

    I may be a recovering weeaboo. I must admit, I love Japanese culture, not just the anime. I have a few sets of Fox ears and cosplay items but no full outfits. I watch almost equal amounts anime to english tv shows (not because they’re anime but because they actually have a plot and many English shows right now don’t). I tried to learn the language because I had ideas of becoming a manga artist (though that fell through) and because it just sounds so gorgeous (I’m telling you, Spanish and Japanese are just sexy languages). I’m not kick ass on “it’s better because its Japanese” though my friends still say that I obviously should have been born in Japan. *Baby Steps*

  • moemura

    I think this is an appropriate place to plug former otaku finch, the advice animal who is filled with embarrassment over their past weeaboo tendencies:

  • Ashley Haley

    Very well-said.

  • maybe more

    If you have to ask if you’re a weeb, you’re probably a weeb.

  • 太ったアメリカ人

    Hmm, I don’t know. I love Japanese music except for most J-pop. I’m not into anime or manga, but I did recently watch the entire first Naruto series in less than a week. I don’t collect Japanese trinkets & stuff, but seek out info, photos, and videos of Japan online every chance I get. I find Japanese girls to be beautiful, but not generally moreso than any other given nationality. I eat the hell out of sushi, but have never bothered to try nabemono (yes I’ve bought pocky). I build a ton of Japanese model kits, but none are robot warriors. And I’m trying to learn Japanese for no productive reason I can come up with. So, weeaboo, otaku, or just a baka gaijin?

  • MrsSpooky

    I think Reptic has it: “I think a good rule of thumb perhaps is that weeaboos actually wish they were Japanese and sort of reject their own culture, whereas most otakus really like anime (and probably think it’s superior to other forms of animation) but I don’t think they would go that far. ”

    I do vastly prefer Japanese anime over the domestic variety and I do vastly prefer it in the original language – for a number of reasons, not because that language happens to be Japanese. I am learning Japanese including how to read it – I have some Cowboy Bebop art books I can’t read, and I’ve been WANTING to learn a second language and wasn’t getting anywhere with Spanish, Russian or Irish Gaelic, so thought Japanese would be cool. Right now learning Japanese is my hobby that anime helps with. I have anime posters and wall scrolls, manga, anime and figurines and plushies all over the house. I also have a shileleigh – still very proud of being Irish.

    That said, I’ve been called a ‘weeaboo’ more than once by people who only know me from messages I’ve posted on an anime message board. Personally, I think of “weeaboo” as being the mating call of the pimple-faced online douchebag. xD

  • MrsSpooky

    BTW, this was an awesome posting, thanks! From the sounds of things, people are called “weeaboos” by people who are annoyed by someone’s obviously love for Japan and things Japanese. I wouldn’t consider being called “weeaboo” by someone as being proof that you are.

  • Fee_Fi_Fiona

    No self-respecting Weeaboos would waste time on girlfriends when there’s so much anime to watch! LOL

  • nagz

    strange for me, i am neither but still can be very obsessive and why?

    i love japanese cookery but i Hate seafood, always hated it (to top that, i excluded meat from my diet for some time now). I love a few ghibli films (about 2-3) but generally i LOATHE anime/manga, like this, with capital letters. i just… don’t like them, find them irritating. japanese horror? oh yea, everyone loves them.. Except for me. silly real action movies like survive style 5+ (thanks for that!) and funky forest are the keepers for me. what else.. japanese cars? i am not a car person at all. “oh, it must be the language… you know, the vocabulary, or how it sounds” – i don’t know Any of those, i could recall about 6 japanese words if i must but i am at about kanji nr. #1300 in the RTK1 book, mastered all so far. why? because why not, good for a braintease. Also interested in japanese aesthetics, japanese buddhism and some other aspects – but still, find their history a bit shaky.

    Am I a weird person?

  • nagz

    “haha you’re a rice king then! you love asiam women”
    well honestly, if i Really had to generalize and pick a woman of all explicitly separated races, i’d pick asian women last :)

  • Fee_Fi_Fiona

    Most definitely not a Weeaboo, IMHO. Japanophile maybe?

  • This guy called Drew

    Personally, as for anime, I only find it better than western cartoons in art style. For food, I just like the taste. Music and learning the language itself, you ask? The language is pleasing to the ears and, in writing, is pleasing to the eye.
    By the way, I’ve actually been WAITING for you guys to make this kind of post. lulz.

  • Fee_Fi_Fiona

    “However, I think we tend to subconsciously view the new culture as “perfect” and superior” Ah yes, the old greener grass thing.

  • Fee_Fi_Fiona

    Hey if there’s a particular topic you want us to write about, let us know! I’d definitely try to accommodate if I can : )

  • Fee_Fi_Fiona

    Totally agree on the haiku/hokku front. Poetic descriptions just don’t translate very well.

  • Lisa

    Japanophile? Maybe. As stated, there are elements of Japan that I don’t like, though my overall opinion is favorable.

  • Brittany

    I am so glad I’m not any of that. I don’t know how anybody can really live like that.. (watched the ‘weaboo’ video, and the ‘otaku’ video.) I love anime, generally because the art is usually better than American cartoons. I’ll admit I get upset or start yelling at the show but… other than that, that’s it.

    Also, I am learning Japanese. However, all the sites I go on to learn it, there are people saying, “Oh, that’s so not kawaii!” or “That is not how you say it, baka desu.” Then, there are others that keep repeating ‘desu’ at the end of every sentence and claiming themselves as ‘totally kawaii desu.’. The Japanese language is easier to learn, and personally, it’s a very beautiful language but if people are going to just straight up disgrace the language by doing all this….

    Should I even keep learning?

  • Jeremy Rawley

    I used to be a huge anime fan but I’ve never been to any cons nor have I ever been a weeaboo. I still watch anime, just not as much as I used to. If they think anime is all far better than Western product, they need to remember that Japan makes as many bad cartoons as we do. (Moe, ecchi, visual novel adaptations that aren’t based on Nasuverse/Key properties, and long-running shounen epics are holding the medium back.)

    The people who claim that Japan can do no wrong should go look up the following things: Comfort women, Bataan Death March, Unit 731, Korea under Japanese rule, Rape of Nanking, Manchukuo, Yasukuni Shrine, and Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. They’ll change their tune–that country needs to take a lesson from Germany and go through some de-Nazification. (Turkey, too, given the Armenian genocides and their government’s treatment of Kurds.)

    And what’s with the body pillows and people marrying anime/game characters? Is Japan really that ronery of a country? You can’t have sex with anime and video game characters!

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    You know, going too far in the opposite direction is just as bad.

  • This guy called Drew

    Personally, I’m mostly into the language right now, so some reviews of different sources and an updated language learning resources post would be great! Maybe even a resource center if you’d like to get all fancy.

  • This guy called Drew

    lulz I just noticed I said “personally” as the beginning of my post twice in a row.

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    One of the posts links back to Tofugu. There is no escape!

  • Milán Marsi

    Ehm, well… I don’t know if the bingo table or the points above are definitive or not, but if they are… I have a problem.

    By the way, to be honest I can’t understand what’s the problem with preferring japanese subbed versions to the dubbed ones. I mean the only anime I’ve watched that was really good in english was Death Note. That being said, I think it was even better than the original one, they nailed L’s voice. I’m not saying that anyone who watches only dubbed anime are “not true fans” or even “idiots”, it’s just that I think the original things are mostly better than the translated/dubbed ones. I’m not a native english speaker but I read and watch american things in english whenever I can because they’re vastly superior to their localized counterparts.

    Just my two cents though, if you can sense even the slightest weeabooism from my comment, then I need to see a therapist… anyone knows a good one?

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    Now I feel embarrassed reading such personal stuff.

  • Julie

    Just for using the phrase “baka gaijin” I’d call you a weeaboo.

  • Sarah-chan

    OMG I said “yes” to almost all the things on the bingo board

  • Copola

    I am commenting on this because I don’t really agree with this article.
    My view on a weeaboo is that they are obsessed with Japanese culture past a certain line. A regular Otaku appreciates Japanese culture but doesn’t go around town calling everyone blah-san and blahblah-chan. That’s the first sign of the weeaboo. Yes, saying kawaii in public or with your friends and you aren’t speaking Japanese makes you a weeaboo.
    After that go to their grammar weeaboo’s really stick out to me when they type. “;A; NO WAY MAI FAV ANIMES WERE CANCELED, NYA???” I know this because I used to be a weeb, looking back I almost can’t believe it but it’s true.
    Lastly I personally believe you are not an otaku if you only watch main-stream things in English. If you don’t watch any anime as it comes out or if you don’t look out for new anime seasons, you obviously aren’t a very serious anime fan and added with any of the above plus the occasional “DEATH NOTE IS TEH BEST ANIME”, you’re a weeaboo. Its okay to like watching anime, and if you actually like it then you will be on the lookout for currently airing anime, that isn’t considered weeaboo.
    Also having an anime character as your facebook profile picture… Thats about as weeb-y as you can get.
    Going to conventions and cosplaying doesn’t automatically make you a weeaboo, but I’d say about 50% of the people that do go are weeaboo’s.

  • ZXNova

    That weeaboo chart before is kind of dumb, cause *cough*whatifyou’retryingtolearnjapanese*cough* There isn’t anything wrong with knowing the honorifics and phrases. Also, I purposely consider a weeaboo a person who rejects their own culture and wish they were absolutely Japanese, and just want to be Japanese so bad, and stuff. And usually, they only watch one particular Anime and completely obsess over the series. Like Hetalia. Weeaboos may go either way on the dub/sub wars. (I personally prefer subs, cause learning Japanese, my choice though) A person who wishes their life was an Anime isn’t necessarily a weeaboo, but rather an extreme Otaku or a hardcore cosplayer. Weeaboo needs to have a more solid definition, yo.

  • Lion

    Proud weeaboo since I discovered what vajayjay is. Gross!

  • Kitty Amrita

    My basic rule is: if you feel compelled to prove you’re not a weeaboo, you are one.

  • lychalis

    that sounds more like weeabritish speak and I must start doing it :3

  • lychalis

    Heh, I don’t consider myself a weeaboo, although I keep wondering if I am, cause I do like anime, but don’t watch a lot of it and thus am mostly ignorant of it. I’m properly trying to learn japanese, although thanks to nano and essays I’ve fallen behind (catching up over the weekend ^^)

    I’m really fascinated by japanese culture and history, and am planning on researching the mythology at some point soon (because I was interested in mythology anyway, wot) – and in fact that’s why I find this site so handy, as I can learn about japan through articles/blog posts written in an entertaining and accessible manner. (In fact, I’m not entirely sure where this stemmed from, it just always seemed cool and/or interesting and then one day BAM OHAITHAR WEEABOO)

    Also, mainly due to the fact that I’ve always wanted to learn a martial art, I am currently learning jujitsu at my university, although the low price is big win, too – because it’s just a little more immersion, I guess?

    Also, I am set on going to Japan once I graduate, but I want to be sure I can speak the language decently first “^_^

    But yeah, I’m aware that there’s bad stuff about japan, for starters winters would be the worst for me since I like being warm, and also my mum seems to have put me against japanese cars by constantly telling me that they’re rubbish, emotionless and yeah just don’t buy them – but really, I can’t figure out what’s wrong with them. And finally, apparently if I go to japan and attempt to teach english (I won’t. I’d be rubbish), I’ll get murdered. Wheeeeee.

    In other notes, Japanese sweets beat English sweets any day. :D

  • lychalis

    pretty good rule of thumb, I reckon

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    I’m actually a little terrified of cars that aren’t emotionless. Unless that car is K.I.T.T., then it’s OK.

  • 太ったアメリカ人

    Well, at least now I know…

  • Lisa

    Now that I’ve googled Tadanobu Asano’s picture, I may emulate your “friend”‘s fantasy…

  • Lisa

    You do realize “baka gaijin” was a title of a recent article here….so maybe not so much ‘weeaboo’ as ‘tofugu reader’.

  • Lisa

    Lol! I would *like* to cosplay (if I could find a character in my age demographic) because, who *doesn’t* like a costume party. But my weight has convinced me otherwise.

    I have seen pictures of cosplay gone bad, and sadly, what has been seen cannot be unseen. I’ll not contribute to that!

  • Lisa

    I’m of a similar age to you, Peppergrass.

    You might enjoy watching the English dub of the anime Saiyuki. It has a sort of Whedon-like sarcastic dialog, and reminds me of family road trips as a kid with my teenage brothers. The characters’ banter is as clever as my brothers *thought* theirs was.

    One of the amusing things is that while the dialog sounds like it must be a ‘crack’ translation (ie: not representative of the original), it actually *does* convey the flavor of the original Japanese dialog.

  • Lisa

    I agree with you about watching movies in their original language whenever possible. Some dubs are excellent, but in the general case, dubs from any language (not just Japanese) are not as well acted as the originals.


    I watch anime that doesn’t even exist (yet).

  • 太ったアメリカ人

    Now I’m confused again

  • Kittenpajamases

    You might be a weeaboo if……………you read Tofugu updates daily. >.>

  • Kittenpajamases

    I also came up with a good one that applies to me this very second, no less. “Remember when you were 13 and refused to watch anime that came on Cartoon Network because English voice overs aren’t cool enough. Watch the same anime now and realize it’s actually awesome.”

  • Kate

    That sounds pretty good. So like #1 in the article, a weeaboo would say “is that an anime? It is therefore automatically better than any non-Japanese cartoon by virtue of being Japanese,” whereas an otaku would be more like, “is that an anime? It’s probably better than non-Japanese cartoons.” I.e. otaku really like anime, but aren’t deluded into thinking that it’s all super perfect (there’s some BAD stuff out there). Weeaboo really like anime and will delude themselves into thinking that even the best non-Japanese cartoon doesn’t hold a candle to the worst anime, no matter how bad it might objectively be.

    My sister was a clothing-weeaboo, if such a thing exists. See, some people like certain styles of clothes, and develop their own tastes in what they prefer and think looks good. It makes them happy, so, you know, good for them and all. Clothing otaku or whatever you want to call them. My sister, on the other hand, wanted to sound posh by saying that some clothes were better than others, but based it on price. If she didn’t know the price of an item of clothing, no matter how good or bad, she would refuse to offer judgement for fear of getting it wrong. If you told her some jeans were $500, she’d love them until you revealed they were $5 second hand, and then suddenly they were hideous. She would actually convince herself that something looked good based on a number you told her, regardless of how it actually looked. Deluded. Weeaboo.

  • Dist-Addict

    Here, in Latin America, weaboos and low-class otakus are always victimizing themselves. Something like “oh, I’m an otaku, I like anime, so that’s why everybody despises me”. I’ve never known if that’s common also in other countries. That’s so weaboo.

  • Dist-Addict

    HAHAHA Hipster!

  • Daniel Fawson

    I personally prefer to watch anime that have already aired. That way I can watch them on my own time, as many episodes as I want in a row. There are thousands of anime I haven’t watched, and I like the idea that I can choose the cream of the crop and have them all lined up and ready to go when I want them. The only time I would watch currently-airing anime is if it was a new installment to a series I love.

  • Jirugi

    So what’s the difference between Japanophile and Weeaboo? I don’t know any Japanophiles that aren’t Weeaboos lol. This is confusing.

  • Jilgamesh

    Wahhh! It’s true! I can’t stand English dubbing in anime. But honestly, I think the quality of the voice actors they use just isn’t the same… at least that’s what I’ve found in the few English versions I attempted to watch.

  • Emi

    But what if you truly aren’t a weeaboo, say from being a fan of one anime, but are compelled to prove otherwise because others say you are? You’d label them a weeaboo anyway?

  • Emi

    You had to Google Asano? I think I need to sit down… =/

  • Lex

    I think Japanophile would be more into the culture side and Weeaboo more into anime/manga side.

  • Lex

    I agree. I thinks since there’s not as big a market in English countries, they have to go the cheaper/easier way.

  • ジョサイア
  • ジョサイア

    This reminds me of something one of my Japanese friends shared with me.

  • hiniku

    it’s not like I want to be japanese or anything….baka

  • Fee_Fi_Fiona


  • namae a classic example.

    nothing against yours, or anybody else’s weight. it’s about people who don’t seem to notice how ridiculous they look like.

  • nagz

    not really going opposite. ‘loathe’ and ‘hate’ are strong words. i would have said ‘dislike’. what i just wanted to point out: i really like japan but strange enough, for none of the typical ‘weeaboo’ reasons :)

  • lychalis

    K.I.T.T. is awesome :D
    and I think she means that they’re not made with love >_>

  • Knicky

    Yeah I can kinda imagine the “wishing I was Japanese”….I once knew this guy whose parents were military and stationed in Japan. Because he was born in the hospital on post he believes that HE IS Japanese and will argue till he is blue (red?) in the face about it. I was like “Dude, you born there to two AMERICANS on an American military post….that doesn’t make you Japanese.” The hilarious thing was that he took Japanese with me in college because of this….and dropped out after he bombed the final exam.

  • Akeboshi

    This weaboo thing is stupid. I’ve known a couple of weaboos and I have friends that are weaboos. And there’s nothing wrong with them. Those who are irritated by their actions are just people who are not man enough to express their thoughts about Japanese related media and culture. They’re like the opposite of weaboos wherein they “LOVE” everything Japanese but act as if they’re normal “people” and pretends to be “NORMAL” and “SUPERIOR” to them.

  • forweg 1

    All of these negative associations assume one’s own culture is worth holding on to when there is no basis for this. If one’s own culture is not compatible with one’s own being, there is no shame in abandoning it. Tribalism is stupid.

    “Weeabloo” (or whatever) is just another Internet herding word to keep deviants and outcasts in line. Anyone who uses it is unthinking and inevitably racist. To imply a great love of Japanese people or culture to be such a loathsome, dirty thing is to reveal one’s virulent hatred toward the Japanese people.

  • Anonymous Otaku

    Actually, I get a lot of flack because I’m learning Japanese, in particular from family, most of whom don’t care for Japan/anime/Vocaloid. I’ve gotten flack for every language I’ve tried learning. I label myself a Vocaloid/Japanese otaku, in that I am obsessed with Vocaloids and learning Japanese. (I also really like some anime, however, I’ve found I need to be very careful – too much hentai out there)
    I also watch anime in Japanese, because I want to hear the language as it’s spoken, you know? With subtitles and such to help me learn. I only listen to Japanese pop because frankly, I don’t like any of the American/English singers out there – plus, opportunity for learning Japanese!
    I do not, however, believe I fit the “weeaboo” status, since (forgive me) I’m mature about my obsession. I think weeaboos are those who are immature about learning Japanese, watching anime/reading manga, etc. (i.e., omg Death Note is the best desu!) and they hate people who don’t like anime (Soandso doesn’t like anime – such a baka!!) my best friend doesn’t like anime. She’s still my best friend.
    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is sometimes it’s true – otaku DO get ridiculed for their obsessions. I know I do. And that not everyone who is ridiculed for liking anime is a complete weeaboo.

  • Dendei

    I had a huge problem my freshman year of highschool with being called a weeaboo. I had just started learning Japanese on a whim and when people started noticing the books I was carrying (I.E. grammar books, dictionaries, notebooks full of kanji notes) people started making comments like “You must watch anime pr0n!!!” or “I know you’re smart but pretending to be asian isn’t going to make you smarter.” God forbid I try learning a second language because I like the way it sounds. Though, to be fair, I did eventually come to like anime and manga because of my studies, but I’ve never cosplayed or tricked myself into thinking I would become Japanese (though I do fantasize about how cool it would be to go to Japan.) and I also developed a love for asian food in general, everything from Indian to korean. Still, It was very frustrating to have been insulted for learning about a foreign culture (including the bad parts of it) and spending years learning the language only to hear people give me the same “He only says Kawaiii and desu and crap because he wants to be Japanese.” (And thus I’ve decided never to say kawaii in front of anyone who doesn’t speak the language lol.)

  • Lily

    You just described me. Are we friends? You forgot to add “bawls her eyes out on a daily basis about how amazing Shiina Ringo is”.

  • Juan Fernando Castellón

    Look at point number 1: Weeaboo believes that Japan > anything else on earth. Japanophiles love all things Japan, but are willing to look at different options. I like both Ghibli and Disney, but I prefer Pixar (even though they’re distributed by Disney) I drive a Toyota Camry because it’s cheap and reliable, but as soon as I can afford one I’m getting a Ford Fusion.
    Weeaboos refuse to look beyond the archipelago and only look at it superficially with their whole view of Japan being shaped by what they’ve seen in anime/manga.
    Japanophiles explore culture, artwork, architecture, and language. Not just anime.
    You don’t know and Japanophiles who aren’t Weeaboos? You need to expand your circle of acquaintances.

  • xSora

    Weeboo symptom:
    LOVES vocaloid and WORSHIPS hatsune miku. Trashes all other music forms. Rabid beyond redemption. Oh and will most probably eat anyone alive if they tell them they don’t like it. o.o

  • Mone’t

    Here’s my viewpoint on these:

    Weeaboo: OMG kawaii desu!! I can’t believe this is from JAPAN! sugoi!!!

    Japanaphile: That’s not from Japan, you know that right? Psh. You don’t know ANYTHING about japanese culture…*mumbles aho,boke*

    Otaku: …..I’m gonna finish my anime…er, later……..

  • Roya

    No I dont use the chan san 24/7 but I sometimes use baka and madao occasionally (usually to describe my dad) and I have vocaloid stuff on my ipod and yea Japan seems like a kool place and stuff but thats because my mom was born there and where I live anywhere but here is an awsome place. Anime in Japan as glorious as it seems isn’t quite succeeding in its home country and Japan is failing at some things after the tsnami hit adn im quite aware of that. but I’m just really scared I might be somewhat of weeabo. Im only 16 and I have a fetish for anime but I dont agree wholly with some anime and I watched 60 something episodes of Gintama (subbed) but I love to watch paranormal stuff that is filmed here in America. I spend most of my time watching normal TV and im thinking of learning mandarin chinese, korean, and Jappanese. (possibly getting into korean soap opera based on the opinion of my friends) Sooo the main question is I have no clue what I am and I dont know what category Im in

  • Shannon Hawkins

    Honestly? Fan of anime due to being a fan of animation in general. Fan of Japanese culture because I’m a fan of foreign culture in general. I could probably rattle off as much about feudal Europe as I could about the feudal Japanese, but I live in a weeaboo-heavy area (Western WA) so I don’t get to do the former as much. :(

  • Haruka

    I can only agree with this. I also think the term kind of makes those who have bothered to truly study the language and culture look bad, as if we’re all anime-obsessed preteens who don’t know how to control themselves.

  • Bifurious

    You’ve just created an alter ego inside of me that will never die. Thank you.

  • Bifurious

    I hate to say this whole thread is me in a nutshell. Not even sarcastically. I think I need to go outside more. Here skippy! come here Mr. Kangaroo!

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    I do what I can.

  • Meg

    This is how I think a weaboo would sound if I ever met one.

    It says ‘otaku’, sure. But, I’d use the word ‘otaku’ to describe someone has a special affinity for manga and anime. Not, however, as someone who thinks all things Japanese, especially anime and manga, are the best. I’d say I’d have to agree with your definition of the word ‘weaboo’. I have a question though, if you could by any chance answer this for me. If I’m understanding this correctly, ‘otaku’ is actually a somewhat harsh word used against others, right? Isn’t it, there in Japan, used like we use the word, ‘geek’ or ‘nerd’…. as a form of making fun of someone? Or do I have that wrong?

  • kamejiri

    Weeaboo is a caricature, an artificial persona. There’s nothing authentic about that personality, and it’s one that is picked up and (hopefully) tossed away just like other “phases” throughout life, as it is said. On the other hand, Japanophilia is not about a deformation of personal traits and, as it is more akin to zealous enthusiasm for Japan and all things Japanese, is compatible with any type of personality.

    Otaku is a bit harder to discern from weeaboo. Some otaku become so engrossed that it’s all they want to do, and it can have a negative impact on their personality and social lives, but at its most basic, otaku-ism is still about holding a strong interest in “something”—usually anime and manga as we mean it here, but it could be anything. When compared with the mental pathology of the true weeaboo, which at its core is a false persona developed to feel safe while standing out (much as many other persona archetypes do), the two couldn’t be any further apart.

    TL;DR: To the outward observer, the difference may not be readily apparent. One of these (the weeaboo) is a personality defect, a more serious condition. The other two (Japanophilia and otaku-ism) are overly zealous interests and hobbies. While they may have a similar to weeaboo and at times have overlapping traits, the intention is the defining feature.

  • Vince Mitsuhiro

    I tend to like slim, big-breasted females… but there’s no(or rare) normal civilians having those.
    Does that mean that I’ve infected by Weeaboo virus??

  • Vince Mitsuhiro

    Does taking interest in big-breasted ladies count?

  • Cristina Faline Frankel

    ^^ Example? You might be a weeaboo if you judge someone for not knowing an anime character.

  • dontcallmehuman

    For me the biggest difference is how people use Japanese! If they speak it without mixing it with english or AT THE VERY LEAST with the right meaning they may be an otaku. If they put Japanese words randomly into sentences with no regards to the meaning they’re a freaking weeaboo! My pet hate is when people say “That is so desu.” or a similar phrase, so basically saying ‘That is so that is’ or thereabouts depending what they’re referring to. Dumbasses.

  • PinkBarry

    You won’t get murdered. You’ll get laid a lot and make, like, no money… And when you meet a Weeaboo, you’ll know (in Adam West’s voice)… Also never work for Heart Corporation. Also apply for JET.

  • PinkBarry

    That’s so weaboo desu…


    Whoa whoa whoa. Try some fact checking for once. “Wapanese” is a portmanteau of “white” and “Japanese,” not “wannabe.” Much like “wigger.” Because most kids in this category were white, and most trolls are racist.

  • Vivian

    you know your a weeaboo when you hear a Japanese song and say “Its like I’m listening to anime! ^o^ aww its so kawaii!”.
    It’s sad to because anytime i seem to listen to any Japanese song on YouTube i see that comment in some form or another :(

  • Havc

    I made 2 anime based tattoos, does it makes me a weeaboo ? Haha i don’t care (x

  • Broby Gangritch

    My friends borderline weaboo, but I try to keep them in line. But if they ever said Kawwai or Desu with me in earshot, I would elbow them in the throat and leave them to suffocate on their own vocal cords.

  • Ocarinaofdeath

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always classified weeaboo as the people that watch shows like bleach and naruto religiously, and worship anything japanese, whereas otaku are more of the people that obsess way to much and own miles upon miles of merchandise and manga, and speak perfect japanese. but maybe that’s just me.

  • Fedup

    For the last damn time, otaku is a derogatory term. I know it’s been adopted/accepted or what the fuck ever, but in my mind people who use it still look like morons.

    Regardless, here’s how I separate “hardcore fans” from weeaboos. If I were to meet you in public and your behavior is so obnoxious I want to punch you in the face? Weeaboo. If you’re just a little excitable/into what you like? Fan.

    However many so-called “Otakus” seem to feel justified in acting like asshats just because of what they like and because “it’s obscure!” or “other people just don’t get it!” If someone tells you that you are acting like a freak, don’t blow it off as “them not understanding your love!” That, to me, is what makes a weeaboo. Act like a civilized person and I don’t care what you’re into.

    He’s another good rule of thumb, if you REALLY can’t tell the difference, there isn’t a difference (as it pertains to this subject matter only, don’t start making other comparisons, general statements are not all-consuming). What I mean is, if you’re so irritating that people call you weeaboo, you are being one.

    Also, “wanting to learn Japanese” doesn’t excuse you from using weeb-cabulary. Nor do your intentions make you stable. I know a girl (a friend of my husband) who waited until she was 22 to get her GED because she wouldn’t spend the 60$ to get it, because she couldn’t sacrifice going to ONE anime convention to save money. Now that she finally has it guess what she wants to go to school for? A Japanese degree. Why? “Oh not because of anime!” But because she is convinced she will become a super-famous(her words) novelist in JAPAN where they will worship her for her deep ideals.

    I write for a living. I’ve offered to critique her work, the shit is illegible. She took my critique (which was actually gentle–she is still my husband’s friend) and threw it in face stating that “I’m just trying to hurt her!” She’s also been “studying” Japanese for about six months now. She still uses honorifics incorrectly and sprinkles “kawaii” into her statements.

    The point of this story is, when people say “you’re acting like a weeb, come back to Earth.” Her response is, “it isn’t weeaboo because I’m actually trying to LEARN the language and I don’t want to be a manga-ka or something unrealistic. I’m just going to be a famous novelist.”

  • bri bolcato

    Man this made me realized that I need to lay off the anime. I started to watch anime and read a let bit of manga ,but after reading this I will cut the days of watching anime to once a week, and reading manga too. Thank you for posting this.

  • Shouu

    A good rule of thumb is you are a weeaboo. period.
    If you like Japanese stuff in an even slightly more than normal way, you are one.
    If you’re actually japanese, and you live in Japan, then conrats, you’re allowed to be an otaku

  • Abzawasabi

    Not all britons are super-posh. i’m from England… I might as well pretend all Americans are cowboys, and all asians are anime characters. See how you like it. But yeah, that is pretty hilarious xD weeabritish ohohohohdesu LOL!

  • jiro

    Otaku is a very anti-social person who stays home and cares for only one thing. Has a very unhealthy obsession with something to the point of disregarding all other aspects of life. In this regard this one thing is Japan/anime/manga but can literally be anything. So essentially the only difference between an otaku and weeaboo is that an otaku doesn’t want to be Japanese; however, u still have an unhealthy obsession with Japan/anime/manga

    Being an otaku is not a positive thing and one should not take pride in calling themselves such.

    Just be a fan and have a life

  • Jenna Merritt

    lmfao awesome video.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been reading through a couple of opinions debating what exactly a ‘weeaboo’ is, but I’m not quite sure where I fit in. Could someone give me an idea of whether I’m a weeaboo, otaku, general anime fan, etc?

    let me give you some info on my characteristics.

    I enjoy reading manga, watching anime, cosplay- anything to do with those topics. I do get excited whenever I see something related to an anime I like. This is due to the fact that where I live, anime-related items are pretty hard to come by. I have several friends who are interested in anime/manga/cosplay (I’m just going to call it AMC rather than typing it all out).
    Two of these friends are particularly close male friends who are very much like brothers to me. I sometimes refer to them by the ‘older brother’ honorific- “onee-chan” ( I don’t know if I spelled that correctly), which they are both comfortable with. I avoid using it while speaking to non- AMC fans though. It just looks corny to them.

    I do have a bad habit of dropping in the “kawaii” word and saying “daijoobu?” (sorry for horrible spelling) to my AMC friends.

    As for the subs/dubs war, I really don’t mind either. I enjoy watching subs because frankly, Japanese voice actors are comical. They always add in strange little “EHH?!?!” ‘s and are very expressive with their voices.

    However, I don’t mind dubs. It’s actually really convenient to have an anime in your own language. I’ve found that dubs mean I can watch the anime, get up, raid the fridge, and still listen to the speaking so I don’t miss anything.

    I have been to ONE anime convention. That was by chance- I happened to be in town on the day and went. No, I didn’t cosplay. I have cosplayed before, though(- yoruichi from Bleach, if anyone cares).

    So yes, that’s me. Which do you think I am?
    Thank you for taking the time to read everything, hahaha!
    Sorry if anything in here offended you.

  • Anonymous

    Oh yeah, and I have been called a weeaboo by one of my AMC mates. I wasn’t sure if he meant it or not.

  • Cfy Dailies

    I say only those that are obsessed and refuse to reason,not those who enjoy a different culture.I like my culture but i like japanese culture too.

  • Hetalian365

    I think I am one… I don’t really want to be. I sometimes fangirl. I feel bad about being a Weeaboo to the people around me. I’m not sure, but I guess I consider myself one. I watch more than one anime of of course, and I love anime. I don’t obsess over Japan and I don’t try to speak Japanese though. My mum gets me anime merch, and cds and manga. I don’t talk about it all the time either. I felt bad at first when I bashed someones ship and now I respect peoples opinion. Maybe I am turning into an Otaku slowly? Ehhh… I don’t know. I just really hate to annoy people.

  • Peter Payne

    I prefer the term Ota-KING.

  • Ndasuunye

    how is that racist? Aside from insulting japanese and their culture? I see no other specific races being insulted here

  • Ndasuunye

    that’s not a weebo…that’s just a hypebeast moron.

  • Ndasuunye

    well technically speaking, he is Japanese. He is politically what you’d called American-Japanese (you’re not used to that one are you). Genetically, he’s whatever his parents are (America is just a melting pot of mostly Europeans and African descendants).

  • Ndasuunye

    How can anyone be a “weebo”? Japan is so fucked up, they will blackball you if you were once an associate of a failing company all because you were an assocciate thus “MUST” have a hand on their failing finances. Rape is wrong but not outright faulted upon the man’s fault (I’m just talking heterosexual rape here on the man’s side) and faulted upon the woman. And the Yakuza has their hand so far up the goverment’s ass, the government shits them money to keep the fuck out of certain areas. And their ciricular system is far too harsh, it’s a wonder and a blessing that many of the upcoming youth survive. I’d enjoy it as a tourist and I always try to learn any language of a country that I can before I go. Of course, probably not chinese because that language is IMPOSSIBLY hard.

  • Myra Esoteric

    Sorry I just drifted in. But I’m a Chinese (Mainland, so you can’t blame colonialism) who is really into Western culture and appropriates it. So what’s with this ‘be happy where you’re from’ deal? Seriously there is cool stuff that is not associated with “our cultures”… weeaboos and reverse weeaboos are at the forefront of cultural exchange and people are just uncomfortable with change. W/e

  • Addie

    Tadanobu Asano isn’t an anime character.