Some days, I miss certain aspects of the 1990’s.
When I was a little girl, it was typical to see sci-fi, anime, manga and video game fans, taking their fanhood to heights … IT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!! (You get 10 brownie points if you got that reference.) It wasn’t a great big deal.
We would call them fanboys, fangirls or otaku, and leave it at that. We’d nod our heads, and move on with life, that’s all. No additional name-calling, no hate blogs, not even a funny face was made.
Why? Because we understood back then that this is what made those people happy. Yes, it looks insane when someone dresses up as an anime character, and she insists you call her “Little Washu”, or when a fully grown man starts talking into his watch, proclaiming that he really is the Green Ranger, but if they’re not breaking laws or being general assholes, it’s not really anything to write home about.
The worst case scenario back then, was if you got caught up in the drama of Star Trek fans. Trekkies you see are the freaks that believe Star Trek is reality, while Trekkers are bright enough to know this is just a TV show. So yes, you would find conventions filled with people dressed as Klingons, trying to argue as to whether or not they should call William Shatner “Captain Kirk”. But this like I said was the WORST case scenario, and it never got worse than swear words in Klingon. We were civil back then.
Now? Seemingly every forum and video page has offensive words littered all over the place, aimed at ALL sci-fi fans. And when I say “offensive” I don’t just mean the usual death threats and curse words, oh no. I mean offensive as in to my senses, like … who the hell developed the word “Weeaboo”?!
Probably pronounced “Wee-Ah-Booo” this word (which sounds like a toddler trying to tell you he scraped his knee) means the following according to Urban Dictionary:
"1. Any self-proclaiming anime fan who alienates themselves from their own society and assimilate into the Japanese culture from which they know little-to-none about; using their so-called anime knowledge as a guide, which destined them to ultimate failure in assimilation. 2. A special breed of anime fans who put Japan on a pedestal and prefer them over any other countries in terms of multimedia, courtship, etc... (E.g. prefer Japanese/Asian spouses, prefer J-Pop music over American music, wanna live and die Japan, etc...) As far as anime goes, they know only little. For example, the average weeaboo knows only Americanized anime; preferred uncut with jap. audio and Eng. subs ( E.g. Naruto, DBZ, Bleach, Haruhi Suziyama, Lucky Star, etc...) and memorized every Japanese song from their favorite shows."
Now most people will skip that entire definition, and will label ALL anime fans as “Weeaboos”. Certainly my inbox is overrun with jealous hackers and anime otaku, calling me this word, and following it up with other gems like “fucktard, Sailor Whore, cunt” ect. In fact, Anonymous and Lulzsec have both claimed ownership of the name, ever since they took over 4chan.
Otaku, once being a Japanese word that either meant “House/Home” (Random House dictionary of 1998) or “anime/manga fan” now means “Creepy adult who spends all of their time editing Wikia and making out with their Vocaloid pillows”. They are also considered to be creepy people who stalk you in the bushes.
Fanboys/girls used to be considered sci-fi know-it-alls and those who live in their parents’ basements, but they are now being classified as psychopaths.
When the hell did this start?
When did it become “okay” to harass people online, and call them by these names? When did it become okay to stab people at a convention, just because you disagree on an anime character? At what point did everyone agree to start drinking lead cups of mercury?
I’d like to walk into a comic book store or a convention plaza, without being labeled a nutcase, just because I chose ~ for ONE day in my life ~ to wear a Sailormoon t-shirt. Seriously, is it too much to ask? Or how about an entire YEAR of an inbox free of hateful emails, of screwed up accounts. I’d really like an extra day of NOT having to file my 100th report, just because someone in their 30’s isn’t grown enough to handle a 3 minute video.
If I could ask just something out of sci-fi and anime fans, it would be for all of them to chill the hell out. You’re not devils, you’re not animals, you’re human beings. Act like it. Use manners, GOOD ones, act as though you actually give a shit what people think of you.
And for the love of God stop using the word “Weeaboo”.
Honestly if you’re going to waste time insulting someone, at least take pride in it. Use a word that sounds like you took the time to add consonants, so you don’t sound like the drooling moron you make yourself out to be when you’re stalking otaku on DeviantArt.