I would like to know why people would like being called a weeb instead of an otaku and why there is so much drama about "weeb", "weeaboo", and "otaku".


3 Answers 3


Otaku was first. It was just the goofy way to call yourself an anime fan in the west.

In Japan otaku originally had the same vibe as geek/nerd and wasn't tied to anime at all. There was even a somewhat positive connotation to the word, since otaku were really smart and had all the cool tech that you could have during the 1970s/80s. Like a portable TV. The word kinda transformed into the meaning of unhealthy obsession and then got associated with the kind of anime fans that do have a rather unhealthy obsession with anime.

Western anime fans adopted the word for reasons lost to history. Probably because the word popped up in anime fairly often. Even in its more traditional meaning. For example in the 2002 anime Full Metal Panic the protagonist is called an otaku by his peers.

Weeaboo came later. Around the mid 2000s. Mostly used to insult western anime fans obsessed with the Japanese language on the Internet. Some fans referred to themselves as otaku, but got mocked as weeaboos instead.

Eventually this got shortened to weeb.

In popular use weeb displaced the word otaku around the mid 2010s. Some anime fans began to ironically/self-mockingly call themselves weebs and it snowballed from there.

As far as I know Japan still uses otaku.


A weeb is just someone who likes anime or manga. Not culture, not video games, not the language, just anime and manga. While a weeaboo is someone who is so obsessed with Japanese culture and everything about Japan that it seems weird, annoying and cringe.

Otaku is a Japanese term for people with consuming interests, particularly in anime and manga.

  • 6
    AFAIK, weeb is just the shorthand for weeabo. So there shouldn't really be any difference between the scope of those two. Do you have some sources to back up your answer?
    – Dimitri mx
    Feb 25, 2021 at 12:18

As creator of the term weeb. Weeb means exactly the same thing as weeaboo. I only did it to shorten the spelling. Nothing more.

  • 2
    Welcome to Anime.SE! This would be a strong, authoritative answer if you could prove that you actually did coin the term "weeb".
    – F1Krazy
    Nov 6, 2021 at 22:02

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