Hm, what’s this now? Did I strike a nerve?
I’m not speaking for everyone who prefers Japanese audio in their Japanese media, but this is how I personally feel about dub fanboys. Fanboys, mind you, not fans. That, or people that think Japanese voice preferences are the qualities of lower lifeforms. I like a handful of dubs myself, so I can’t exactly be classified as a dub-hater, either. Just getting it out there before anyone jumps on me for being a fanboy of subs/raws. Truth is, I also can’t stand people who treat Japanese as the only language that deserves to exist either (it’s an awesome language, mind you, but wording it like that’s just going too far).
However, enough dub fanboys have ranted about such people in recent years, and the way they go about it is getting more and more obnoxious as the years go on. Even more obnoxious than the people who treat Japan as the only country worth existing. I feel the need to step in and give my own thoughts on the matter by picking apart common generalizations regarding people who prefer to watch their anime and play Japanese video games in Japanese. Basically, why these people (who act like it’s a cool thing to call people “weaboos” just because they prefer Japanese voices for certain things) are IDIOTS.
Reasons why the modern form of “weaboo” and Wapanese are retarded.
While flaunting words and phrases you don’t understand and incorporating them into every day speech is understandably annoying, there’s nothing inherently bad about being interested in a culture other than your own.
I get called a weaboo simply for liking Japan’s media and being interested in its language and culture. Whenever I claim to prefer Japanese audio in my JRPGs or anime, I’m written off as a crazy Japanophile for not listening to it in English. Dub fanboys have begun using this term in compensation for their English dubs being criticized by sub fanboys (what ever happened to the whole “Two wrongs don’t make a right” philosophy?).
I hardly ever seem to find any instance of somebody who is interested in Spanish culture and music be bombarded by derogatory terms compared to people who are equally interested in Japan. I blame this on how mainstream anime as gotten, and as a result, interest in Japan has gotten louder and the insanity within that space became more visible.
But honestly, now people are just using derogatory terms to attack anyone who is *just* interested in the culture at the very least. Weaboo, which started as term to look down on people who were overly obsessed with Japan (as a Wapanese filter in-joke to this comic which coined the term, which has nothing to do with Japan at all) on 4chan (never mind the fact that it started as an imageboard which was used to discuss Japanese culture) became one of the most overused (and frankly annoying) insult used in today’s moronic, anti-Japan society (see, I can use straw men too!). It’s like uninformed morons who call greentexting “arrowtexting/memetexting” or call image macros “memes.” They make themselves look stupid and don’t even realize it.
I’m not as bothered by Wapanese, since there’s no rustlin’ of them jimmies in terms of usage, but I’m curious if there’s a term to insult people who are interested in Mexican culture. Or European culture. Or any other culture besides Japanese. I’m pretty sure there are people who obsessed over any culture, but Japan was unlucky enough to have anime become mainstream enough to attract very vocal people. Although, I think those are mostly Narutards, and they should be classed as something different altogether in my opinion.
The thing that gets me the most with the usage of these terms is when they’re used on someone… who turns out to be Japanese. WHOOPS. You know aversion to people liking Japanese culture is bad when JAPANESE-AMERICANS and ENGLISH-SPEAKING JAPANESE PEOPLE get shit for liking Japanese things.
“Why would you want to listen to languages you don’t understand, you plebeian weaboos?”
You know, other than the fact that these things were produced by the Japanese… There’s nothing bad about listening to them in their native language as much as it is listening to them in English. Plus, I understand a bit of Japanese and am interest in becoming fluent in the language. Anime, visual novels, and manga shouldn’t be the source of where one learns Japanese, but it’s a great tool for practicing your listening skills, nevertheless, especially since it makes the practice fun. Even if one does not know the language, it’s not a crazy concept for one to find the sound of the language appealing. Anyone who likes how the German language sounds can empathize with this (if not, you’re being gigantic hypocrites about it).
Why would someone want to watch an Italian film in Italian? A Spanish movie in Spanish? The list goes on. Granted, animation is a completely different monster — there are actually good dubs as opposed to dubs of live-action movies in which it just looks unnatural, but the appeal of watching something in its native language still applies.
Of course, quite a few people who are crazy about dubs get riled up when their dubs are changed, like in the case of Project Zero II: Wii Edition (Fatal Frame II: Deep Crimson Butterfly), in which the dub got changed from American-English to English due to localization issues (being headed by Nintendo of Europe vs. Tecmo’s American branch). The fans were very vocal about their thoughts on the English accents. Because, you know, no other accent fits these Japanese settings and characters better than good ol’ Midwestern American.
Yeah, I sense a double standard. America, fawk yeah!
It’s even worse with the English Tales fandom. While a good number of people prefer the Japanese voices yet still love the English dubs for the games, there is a very vocal minority (or is it majority? I don’t know anymore) who put the English VAs on a pedestal and write off anybody who wants dual audio as weaboos who are asking for too much. Look, I appreciate Tales of Graces f being localized and Tales of Xillia being on its way to the west. Heck, I would appreciate any Tales game being localized since they hardly ever come here. But that doesn’t make it unreasonable for me to want a dual audio option, not like the English voice acting, etc. or make the concept of dual audio a bad idea just because there’s a few extra bucks involved. There are people so against the idea, which baffles me. Does it disgusts you that Japanese would be included in the options menu? Heck, shouldn’t dual audio be the best of both worlds and make the game a bit more marketable? I prefer listening to Tales in Japanese because the voice actors are synonymous with their characters and continuously appear to voice them in side materials and spin-offs (which America DOESN’T get). I don’t feel the same connection with the English ones. Another problem I have with the English dubs of these games is that despite the dub being mostly good, there are still subtle changes here and there in the translation and voice direction that completely change the original intention.
“if you want it in its original language, then why not just import it?”
You do know that imported goods are EXPENSIVE right? Especially Japanese video games? Excuse me for wanting to experience the Japanese voices in a affordable (and understandable) way. Especially in a series that’s so predominantly Japanese, it’s crazy.
I just find it extremely funny that in English-speaking fandoms (namely the Tales fandom), people that want to hear a foreign language get blasted with “WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO A LANGUAGE YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND?” while in places like France where their Japanese games ONLY get the English dub, people who want to get a dub in their language get a “WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO A LANGUAGE YOU UNDERSTAND?” treatment.
That said, I wonder if there’s a derogatory term for Japanese fans of Disney films, who prefer the original English dubs over their horrendous Japanese dubs. Since, you know, wanting to watch something in its native language is such a disgusting and nonsensical thing to do. There probably isn’t, since those movies were originally in *English* and certainly *English* is *always* the right way to go no matter what the circumstances! Or maybe it’s because it’s a reasonable concept. *gasp*
tl;dr I’m not a “weaboo” for preferring Japanese voices in my anime/manga/visual novels/videogames/whatever.
…I may be when it concerns other stuff, but that alone does not make me a “weaboo.” 😛