My understanding is that the terms otaku and weeaboo do not mean exactly the same thing. The biggest difference between the two seems to be the connotation.
A weeaboo refers to someone with a general appreciation for Japanese culture. It is not limited in who it applies to, usually referring to people with a broad interest in the culture. The connotation can still be negative, but it is more contextual. Comparatively, due to the origins of the word otaku baggage will always come with its use.
When the word otaku was first appropriated by english speakers it was generically used to describe a devoted fan of anime, manga and/or Japanese videogames.
That sounds awefully similar – suspiciously so – to weeaboo, doesn't it?
What's the difference? is Otaku just a subset of Weeaboo (lolz... yay math words)
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"Weeaboo" always had a negative connotation attached to it, in my experience, like "Wapanese". These people were so obsessed with Japan that they "acted" (a term I'm using loosely) Japanese. For example, do you act like those eccentric anime and manga enthusiasts do at conventions BUT in your daily life? Then you might be a weeaboo. But, if you plan to go on raids of Akihabara for Famicom tapes, you're probably an otaku.
While an "otaku" can be used in a negative way, it seems to have been co-opted by Japanese nerds into something more neutral... which is funny because word "otaku" carries so much negative baggage in Japan.
Bottom line: labels are dumb :)
5 years, 5 months ago
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