In this world, there are countless people who love to watch anime and other shows that come from Japan. These are normal people who range from those who watched Dragonball or Sailor Moon growing up to those who like to watch Attack on Titan or Naruto today. And then there are Weeaboos/Otaku/Japanophiles. I can safely say that I fall into the second category. I fell in love with anime watching Inuyasha, and through my fandom I have learned some lessons through the process of being a wholly unpleasant nerd. So for those who love anime and don’t want to drive people away, here are some life lessons I would like to impart.
Japan is not the master race.
It is easy to look at the works that are distinctly Japanese and think to one’s self: “The Japanese are so much more creative than us.” It’s a claim that says whatever comes from Japan is instantly better than whatever equivalent is coming out from America. Don’t say: “Danganronpa 2 is going to be such a better game than Destiny because Destiny is just a Borderlands MMO and Danganronpa is a totally unique murder mystery/friend simulator game.” If you think Destiny is shit, or if you are looking forward to the latest episode of Tokyo Ghoul instead of CSI, that’s cool. But when you say “it’s Japanese, so it’s better,” you kill the conversation.
Don’t call me “baka.”
Full disclosure: I am currently studying Japanese. My own personal shame comes from the time I was trying to impress some friends with the Japanese I parsed together from watching anime. After managing to get two sentences together, I was called out by someone who had actually been studying the language for years. Needless to say, I came off more than a little pathetic. If you are going to throw in a word or two of Japanese to impress or insult someone, just stop. You will get called out, and you will look like an asshole. If watching anime makes you want to study Japanese, great. But please, don’t be like me. You will get called out, and it is embarrassing as all “jigoku.” See?
Watch other stuff.
No one likes to be out of the loop. Missing out on conversations about the latest blockbuster or not knowing about the finale of Breaking Bad sucks. If you want to watch 20 hours of anime a week, I am the last person who will tell you to stop. But try to throw in an hour or two of western media. Just because episode 24 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure was awesome doesn’t mean enough people watched it to have a drawn out conversation on it. Throw an episode of South Park or Family Guy into your marathon of Bakemonogatari. It does wonders for conversations.
Keep the little girls locked away in your closet.
If you ask any anime fan what the most pervasive thing about modern anime is, they will tell you it is the “moe” aesthetic. Moe means something along the lines of cute or budding, but in anime it means having cute middle and high school girls in every situation possible, from eating donuts in a school clubroom to eating donuts while piloting a giant robot. Moe is everywhere in anime, so much so that having a team of cute girls is almost enough to sell a show. However, people who don’t watch anime may not be that interested in this. What you want to do is slowly inundate a casual fan with more and more little girls until they don’t even blink when the “boy walks in on girl changing” scene occurs.
Don’t ever apologize for loving this.
I said in the beginning that I fall into the weeaboo camp. That is why even though I say all this negative stuff, I do truly believe that some of the best entertainment EVER has come from Japan, be it the glorious visuals of Redline, the space opera that is Gundam, the absurdity of Space Dandy, or even the adorableness of Azumanga Daioh. These shows are some of the best things out there to watch–period. As with games, few franchises ever have had the staying power of Mario or Final Fantasy or Pokemon or even Sonic. So I implore you to watch/play the great things that come from Japan, and be proud to talk about your love for all of this. Just know that being a “weetakuphile” isn’t going to sell anyone else on what you love.
Article by contributor Joel Drayer.
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