Occidental Otaku

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"Did someone just say weeaboo?"

The Phenotype Stereotype-afflicted Westerner with beyond stereotypical Otaku interests sometimes seen in Anime.

Their ever-so-stereotypical interests provide an excuse for their Anime Accent Absence—they learned Japanese from (possibly illegally subbed) anime—and give them a reason for interacting with other equally stereotypical members of the fandom.

A way of poking fun at foreign fans. This trope is, more often than not, an obvious Take That, even though it doesn't stop some people from completely missing the point, leading to a completely unintended outcome.

However, this, too, is a very Vocal Minority, so this dosen't mean those who like anime are like this, but the occidental otakus are so vocal, non-fans would end up thinking all fans are like this. Also, because of this, the Silent Majority of the Anime/Manga fandom are now trying to get the "Stop Being Stereotypical" message through these guys' heads. Those of the Sci Fi fandom and Comic Book fandom are experiencing a somewhat similar problem.

Frequently overlaps with Yaoi Fangirl, another vocal minority.


Examples of Occidental Otaku include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Patricia Martin from Lucky Star: Introduced working alongside Konata at the Cosplay Cafe wearing full Mikuru regalia. Her whole purpose comes down to being a way for the creators to (gently) parody Western fans. Heck, her knowledge of the Japanese language and culture is derived solely from fansubbed anime and manga. Not to mention she's also a requisite Yaoi Fangirl.. In universe, Konata and Hiyori hit it off with her pretty quickly, and her more Occidental Otaku moments mostly get written off to her being a foreign Bunny Ears Lawyer.
  • Anthony from Doki Doki School Hours.
  • Jeremy Watt from the NASA Aliens in Eyeshield 21. Despite being pretty familiar with the Japanese language, he's laughably (and absurdly) uninformed. For example, he somehow thinks that everyone who plays go is named Hikaru... which means that he would have to be familiar with Hikaru no Go in the first place, which would mean he would never come to a conclusion like that. Nobody who had gotten as far as he has in studying Japanese would think Samurai would commit ritual suicide with chopsticks... though you could blame this on Rule of Funny.
    • This all started when he saw a skilled linebacker from Japan, which somehow led to him thinking "Man, samurai are so cool..."
  • Angela and Sue, Ohno's American friends from Genshiken, are heavily into yaoi, though unlike the others on this list they do not really speak Japanese.
    • Sue does. 90% of her spoken lines are Anime quotes (she has a very broad list to draw from). It's implied that she's pretty bilingual, but hides behind the quotes.
  • And speaking of dorky Western otaku scientists, Alec from Ayashi no Ceres.
  • Frank from Nodame Cantabile.
  • Darker than Black has a quick cameo of one living in Japan who can't even pronounce simple words correctly.
  • Renge, of Ouran High School Host Club fame, is the series' archetype of an Otaku, to the point where her existence revolves around character analysis. It's a little bit scary, to say the truth.
    • Variant - When Kyoya and Tamaki first meet Kyoya wonders if he's "one of those westerners who're interested in Japanese culture". But Tamaki is actually half Japanese, although he'd never set foot there before that point.
      • His dad told him stories of Japan.
  • Sandora from Excel Saga: in episode 17 he draws Puni Puni Poemi. That said, in episode 17 everyone Excel and Hyatt meet in America seems to have some familiarity with anime—the hood rats who accost them when they first arrive flip out when animation cels from Puni Puni Poemi start falling from the sky, and the mafioso they face at the end both recognizes Sailor Moon and thinks it's old hat.
  • In the Baccano!! Light Novels, Firo (an Italian-American teenager who has never left the States in the last seventy-two years) shocks a Japanese tourist by conversing with him in almost disturbingly fluent Japanese. When asked, he claims that he learned it from reading raw manga (well, and Yagumo taught him some 19th century Japanese, but that's besides the point).
    • Isaac and Miria also speak Japanese...in prohibition-era America. No explanation is ever given, but it's Isaac and Miria. It should be noted that they later appeared in a cameo in the Durarara!! anime, implying that they apparently move to/visit Japan at some point... though this doesn't explain how they learned to speak Japanese in the first place.
  • In Zettai Karen Children, The Ex-Black Phantom Espers are some of the most Otaku-like characters in the series (The two guys are constantly going on about Moe and 2D, the girl is a Yaoi Fangirl), but it is heavily suggested that they are not from Japan. Also one of the Comerica agents is heavily into Traditional Japanese culture, rather than Otaku culture.
  • Inverted with Graham Aker from Mobile Suit Gundam 00. True, he's American and a fanatical Japanophile, but he also studied under actual Japanese people, is extremely competent in the culture and language, and treats his passion with sincere respect, even though to a casual observer he seems like the typical example of this trope.
  • Isaac, the Dutch diplomat in Samurai Champloo is sort of a joking reference to this trope, as he is a Westerner who tends to prefer Japanese culture to his own. He could be called a Yaoi Fanboy, as he is a Invisible to Gaydar.
    • For that matter, the whole reason he loves Japanese culture so much is because of pre-Meiji Japan's attitude towards homosexuality.
  • Otomen has Mifune Knight, a blond and (presumably) blue-eyed American who teaches Japanese history at a Japanese high school, and is obsessed with Japanese history, culture and the true Japanese spirit. Apparently he inherited it from his equally Japan-crazy father who actually built a hilariously inaccurate Jidai Geki Theme Park.
  • Ivan Karelin, a Russian Ninja-themed superhero from Tiger and Bunny, wears his love of Japan on his sleeves -- quite literally, in fact.
  • One is interviewed in Otaku no Video. Interestingly, though he is dubbed over in Japanese, one who knows both languages can easily spot that the dub is intentionally written to make him sound like much more of a weeaboo.
  • FBI Special Agent Katie Lindberg in Alyosha. She's very excited when she's sent to Japan undercover as a high school student, because she's really into Japanese culture—at least, her understanding of it. She cosplays when on an outing to Akihabara with a friend (and rode the train there wearing the costume), and she can't get over the fact that Alyosha is a real maid. Alyosha, who comes from the fictional Ruritania nation of Estolakia, has some elements of this as well, but her fascination with Magical Girl anime is largely due to her never having a real childhood.
  • Elena Peoples in Eureka Seven AO, who, as finally revealed in a recent Newtype issue, is actually an American — she's too much of an Ambiguously Brown Mukokuseki to notice it outright.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Ling Yu of the web-novel Domina, to the point of going into long rants about anime and going to college in the hopes of producing one eventually. She's also almost certainly invoking Anime Chinese Girl on purpose.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The "J-Pop America Funtime Now" sketches on Saturday Night Live, featuring two college-age anime fans who've added "-San" onto their very non-Japanese names.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Otacon from Metal Gear Solid. The mecha genre is one of the main reasons he wanted to work in robotics. His nickname comes from a popular anime convention.
    • There's also Para-Medic, who loves everything about Japan, especially cinema. In the mid-1960s, no less. In Metal Gear Solid 4 it's revealed she even has a Japanese assistant, whose mitochondrial DNA she used to create Snake and his brothers.
  • The vaguely effeminate French exchange student Andre Laurent Jean Geraux (AKA, Bebe) from Persona 3.
  • Travis Touchdown is the very embodiment of this trope, down to his pink Magical Girl t-shirt and beam katana. That's right, he has a working Laser Blade that he won off an online auction. He uses it to kill stuff.
  • Mr. Sunnyside from Sakura Wars : So Long My Love is obsessed with Japanese culture to the point of building a massive Japanese style mansion in the middle of Central Park in New York City!
  • The translator of Brave Soul ended up being included in the Developer's Room, as an obese blond, jogging in the lobby and mumbling about 'Oppai'.
  • Sodom, from the Final Fight and Street Fighter games. He seems fascinated by samurai in particular. He wears a samurai helmet and mask with football pads and blue jeans. His win quotes largely consist of badly pronounced Japanese, he wrote the character for "Death" incorrectly on his shirt (though his calligraphy is very good), and his weapons are katanas and jittes (weapons used by police in the Edo period). His World Warrior Encyclopedia entry notes that he believes certain Japanese "unlucky words" inflict spiritual damage on an opponent, causing him to incorporate these words into the names of his moves.
  • Fatal Fury's primary villain, crime boss Geese Howard, is a variation on this. While not depicted as interested in Anime or Manga, Geese's office on the top floor of his tower is covered in Japanese artifacts, and he himself wears a traditional akido fighter's uniform in most of his appearances.
  • In Asura's Wrath Augus's Reincarnation from the The Stinger of Episode 22 is this, coming to japan to collect Japanese swords, and trying to use Broken Japanese to talk to some locals.


Visual Novel[edit | hide]

  • Despite not actually being very fond of Japan itself, Lord El-Melloi II from Fate/stay night has a well known preoccupation with Japanese video games, a quirk he adopted from his former Servant of the fourth Grail War, Alexander the Great. He was quite excited to learn that one of the students he was sponsoring was actually Japanese... until he discovered that she knew absolutely nothing about Akihabara or otaku culture.

El-Melloi II: Fuck! You're the worst Japanese person in the world!


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Homestar Runner short "4 Gregs" introduces us to "Japanese Culture Greg", who blurts out completely random japanese words in the middle of his sentences AKIHABARA!


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Piro from Megatokyo, who learned Japanese from anime and video games (and therefore, given what he watches, sounds like a teenage girl).
    • To be fair, your average second-language Japanese student speaks like a six-year-old girl, and is usually quite aware of this. Japanese Pronouns are involved.
      • Look at the quote for Keigo :

Gaijin talk like that so they don't get the shit kicked out of them for being disrespectful.

  • Eri-chan in Strange Candy.
  • Bob Floy in Flying Suit Reiko. It's mentioned in the author's notes that him being an otaku was specifically so it'd make sense for him to know Japanese.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Teen Titans has Beast Boy, a non-Japanese manga addict, and Control Freak, an offbeat villain who's more of a Trekkie, but still tried to convert himself into a TV signal so he could become a character in his favorite anime one time... and briefly succeeded, until Beast Boy defeated him with his superior knowledge of TV trivia.
    • Incidentally, in the Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo movie, it was shown that Beast Boy can't read Japanese, or even know what Otaku means. (He still ends up charming some schoolgirls, though.)
  • Birch Small, main character of the heavily Animesque Flash Animation cartoon My Life Me. To a lesser extent, the rest of the cast.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Slight variation. In the the late 19th century artists, particularly French and British artists, loved to emulate Japanese woodblock styles. In many ways, the Japonism of the 19th century helped inspire the modernism of the 20th century.
    • In a similar vein, many 19th-century anthropologists were fascinated with the Ainu because they don't look quite like the Japanese. This was revived because of the discovery of haplogroup D and Kennewick man.
  • When hired by the emperor of Japan to design the Imperial Hotel, Frank Lloyd Wright felt somewhat bittersweet. He loved Japanese architecture but part of the requirement for the job was that it had to reflect western design as well. Ultimately, the emperor and several leading Japanese architects described his design as utterly brilliant.