The Surprising Differences Between – An Anime Enthusiast, Otaku And A Weeb

anime otaku wallpaper

Before I start – here are the Japanese definitions for Otaku and Weeb:

Weeaboo is a mostly derogatory slang term for a Western person who is obsessed with Japanese culture, especially anime, often regarding it as superior to all other cultures.”

And Otaku:

“In Japan, the word can be most closely equated to the English word “geek,” but the meaning is not as simple as that. Otaku is also defined in Japan as a word that defines a person who has obsessive interests, and can apply to a wide variety of topics, including anime, manga, cosplay, collectibles and more.”

Now we’ve got the original definitions out the way, I’ll share the definitions of:

  • An anime enthusiast.
  • An Otaku.
  • A Weeb.

Based on how each term is defined “outside” of Japan, internationally. From my in-depth experience and knowledge of the anime community.

Let’s get started.


The Difference Between An Anime Enthusiast, Otaku And Weeb:


1. An anime enthusiast is a “casual” watcher of anime

kirito watching tv sword art online

Enthusiasts in the anime community are at the “lower” end of the stick, in terms of interests and extremes.

They don’t own tons of anime merchandise, posters, figurines, T-shirts or anything of the sort.

They just watch anime every now and then. But don’t get too “deep” into the culture. They respect it from a far. And keep things casual.

Everyone starts out at this level before going any further into the anime community.


2. An “Otaku” is someone who’s deep into anime

otaku konata izumi

An Otaku, or what I call “level 2” is the middle ground of what it means to enjoy anime.

Otaku’s know their stuff, watch anime frequently, and maybe even own merchandise or cosplay.

These types of people are:

  • Mangaka’s.
  • Artists.
  • Bloggers.
  • Business owners.
  • Writers.
  • And so on.

Or at the least: they know of all the latest anime blogs, anime news, follow various anime accounts and more.

Otaku’s have an obsession that’s more like a passion than it is addiction. And that’s the key difference when compared to an enthusiast or a “weeb”.

Otaku’s never let anime ruin their lives or get in the way of their life’s priorities.

You can think of an Otaku the same way you would a professional gamer who plays games, is deep in the culture, but doesn’t let it take over their lives in a negative way.

It’s all about balance, being grounded, while still having passion without letting it corrupt your life or perception of how the world works.


3. A Weeb is someone who’s delusional to their own detriment

megumin in shock konosuba 2
Megumin’s reaction describes a weeb perfectly.

A weeb is what I call “level 3” in the anime community… And it’s the most dangerous level to reach.

This tends to happen because of personal issues like self-esteem, loneliness, delusion or something else separate from anime.


These stories online make my point loud and clear

Report: Teen Commits Suicide After Seeing His Favorite Naruto Character Die

Parents Call for Ban on Anime After Suicide of 15-Year-Old Boy

Teen kills himself to be with Waifu | General Discussion

This is what I mean by “delusion” or personal issues unrelated to being an anime fan.

At first this looks hilarious, stupid, mind-blowing or unreal, but this is depressing and not funny at all.

You see – this is the definition of a weeb:

  • When you become too obsessed to the point of madness.
  • When anime takes over your life and you can no longer differentiate between fiction and reality.
  • When you become so lost in anime that you use it as a drug to escape your problems.
  • When you use anime to compensate for something you don’t have in life (love, affection, being wanted, etc).
  • And when you become so delusional that you disregard reality, hence suicide.

These stories are dark. And as bonkers as it looks, it’s all the truth. None of it is made up or exaggerated.

But it’s the best depiction of what it means to be a “weeb”. At least when we’re talking about the definition outside of Japan.

But even then – when you compare the non-Japanese definition and the original definition, they’re almost one in the same.

Use this as a guide to identify yourself

detective conan gif

One thing I’m serious about here at Anime Motivation, is making a difference in the anime community.

I do that through inspirational quotes, content, life lessons and more. It’s the reason Anime Motivation exists at all.

I say that to say: never let your emotions get the better of you.

The “weeb” level is dangerous, and if the content here can help… use it.

Avoid trying to escape your problems, because that’s how all this “weeb” stuff starts in the first place.


This video goes into the “Weeb vs Otaku” a little more:

YouTube video


If there’s anything you wanna say, leave it in the comments.

Otherwise – subscribe for more content. 🙂


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