Look. I know I did a u-turn on gamers, but this is too much. Readers, I’d like to introduce you to the most appallingly gross creatures ever to grace the the internet: the “weeaboo,” sometimes shortened to weeb.
Originally, these people were called “Wapanese,” short for wannabe Japanese. At some point in the internet’s history, a 4chan word filter rendered that as “weeaboo,” a word from the Perry Bible Fellowship comic strip. If you’ve ever seen someone respond to a tweet or a Facebook post with an obnoxious reaction image of an anime character of indeterminate age, you’ve encountered a weeaboo.
You can usually find weeaboos in furious online arguments about which creepily saucer-eyed anime girl is “the best,” whether “moe,” a type of anime, is better than “space dandy,” another type of anime (they’re both terrible), and repeatedly and hilariously mispronouncing Japanese words. Until a few years ago, tentacle porn and futa hentai were the hot, weird, pervy stuff weeaboos were into, but now “lolis” — little girls — and “traps” — crossdressers who can pass — are all the rage.
A weeaboo’s day is spent as follows: 1) masturbate to tentacle-themed anime pornography, 2) watch anime, 3) argue about anime on 4chan or 8chan, making sure to use the correct Japanese titles instead of the filthy gaijin ones, 4) masturbate to lolicon-themed (underage) anime pornography, 5) argue about whether tentacle-themed anime pornography or trap–themed anime pornography is better, 6) insult pleb-tier Naruto fans, 7) defend your waifu (a weeb’s favorite anime girl) from online detractors, 8) hug your dakimakura (body pillow) to sleep.
Weeaboos are the western equivalent of the Japanese “otaku” which roughly translates as “fanatic,” a subculture obsessed with anime and manga. Even in Japan, otakus are looked down upon as weirdos, obsessives, and perverts. Weeaboos who achieve their dream of visiting the land of the rising sun are often bitterly disappointed to find a country that shuns them just as much as their homeland, if not more so.
Japanese TV shows have even taken to tracking down western otakus for the sole purpose of mocking them in front of a large audience. (Now there’s an aspect of Japanese culture that I can admire!) The tragic video copied below is a classic example:
Even Hayao Miyazaki, arguably the godfather of Japanese anime, has expressed his concern with otakus. “Anime was a mistake” said Miyazaki last year. “It’s nothing but trash.” “Those who identify as otaku sicken me deeply,” the acclaimed animator added.
Okay, okay, so he didn’t actually say that. The quotes were the product of a deliberately exaggerated translation. What he did say was that modern anime was produced by “humans who can’t stand looking at other humans.” He went on to complain that “the industry is full of otaku.”
Given that weebs often complain about the repulsiveness of “3D women” compared to “pure 2D waifus,” it’s not hard to see where Miyazaki is coming from.
Oh, and the best thing is their obsession with swords. Let me break it to you now, weebs: katanas are weak weapons. As soon as the Japanese got guns, they put the bastard things where they belong, in museums.
I can hear your hearts being crushed by hammers and folded over a thousand times, just like the steel in the forge of a master Japanese swordsmith, but I am here to tell you the truth: your primary justification for the katana as a great weapon comes from Quentin Tarantino movies.
The only appropriate function for Japanese swords is to disembowel their owners in ritual Seppuku following imaginary offences to Bushido, which is a sort of codified set of rules for the patriarchy. I won’t tweet that in order to truly appreciate their flashing steel, weeaboos should commit Seppuku, because that would be offensive.
Did you know there are black weebs? I didn’t, until I started researching for this piece. My theory is they realized Japanese was the only culture they could appropriate without being called an Uncle Tom or equivalent, perhaps because no progressive blogger can remember how to spell or say Tomisaburō.
Long before weeaboos, Japan of course had a large number of westaboos, those Japanese people obsessed with American culture. You could almost say the whole of Japan is westaboo. There are many Japanese who love rockabilly, and Elvis Presley is a deity in Tokyo practically worthy of a Shinto shrine.
But none of them are as outright cringe as an overweight, ginger Shogun — except, perhaps, a mortifying offshoot of weeb culture obsessed not with Japan but with Korea. You should see these guys have at it over J-Pop versus K-Pop. Or, you know, you could down some Ipecac and get the same effect.
All that remains is for me to give you some tips on identifying weebs, so if you see one coming you can do a quick heel turn and get out of there.
Weebs: A Spotter’s Guide
- Do they own a Japanese sword that isn’t a war relic handed down through the family?
- Is that sword a horribly cheap factory item they insist is “the finest quality steel”?
- Have they ever pulled the sword out to threaten a family member, or perhaps in public like this guy?
- Do they have a house full of Gundam figurines and anime statues? (Weebs collect them like girls with daddy issues collect piercings)
- Have they ever written anything like this?
- Do they consider the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be the greatest evil in the history of the species?
- Do they have the entire Tokyo Metro map memorised, even if they’ve never been to Tokyo?
- Have they ever lectured you on the flaws in the Karate Kid series?
- Do they own an item of anime or video game merchandise that could be categorised as a “wall scroll”?
- Do they know the lyrics to their favorite anime theme song better than their national anthem?
- Is Pocky part of their daily diet?
- Have they ever hot glued one of their anime figurines?
- Have they ever burst into a fit of rage over a westerner calling a “katana” a “sword?”
- Do they practice their “deep-in-serious-thought” pose in the mirror?
- Have they ever insisted subtitled anime is helping them learn Japanese?
- Can they tell you where to buy vintage gaming consoles in Tokyo but not how to set a dermatologist appointment in their hometown?
Yes to more than three? That’s a weeaboo.
Before you accuse me of being unduly cruel, or of speaking about something of which I have no real knowledge, know this: I have just as much appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic as any other connoisseur of attractive things.
I’ve read the whole Battle Royale comic series. I know that Shogun Assassin is a mashup of the first two movies in the six-part Lone Wolf and Cub series — and I’ve read all of those as well. I have an embroidered samurai warrior on my living room wall that my late grandmother made for me. I own a kimono. I’m even a Digimon fan, for Heaven’s sake.
But guys, give it a rest. You will never be a ninja assassin, so stop dressing like one. You will never pilot an armoured battle suit. Not only is you’re waifu shit, but she isn’t even real. Your collection of figurines is just embarrassing. And no, I’m not just being tsundere, you cunts. I love you and I’m trying to help. CUT OFF THAT FUCKING TOP KNOT.