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Even when they’re at their cringiest, do Japanese people give hardcore Japanophiles a free pass?

Previously, we reported on a YouTube video by That Japanese Man Yuta which polled Japanese people on the concept of “weeaboos” (non-Japanese people obsessed with Japanese culture in a superficial way) in the form of a street interview. You can check out the original article here, where many of those in the original video expressed warmth and understanding towards weeaboos.

However, there was a hint of doubt that those questioned might not have understood the true extent of the weeaboo phenomenon. Now, Yuta’s back with a follow-up video in which he shows passersby a collection of videos featuring the antics of some of the Internet’s most likely recipients of the label.

The videos shown to the interviewees include several from Japanese television, and feature idol and anime-loving “weeaboos” from western countries including David-kun, who loves maids, several young women dancing to Japanese songs, and another young western man who is overwhelmed with excitement to meet his idol, Ai Takahashi from girl group Morning Musume.

Much focus was placed on the specific interests of weaboos, such as anime and idol groups, with the Japanese interviewees pointing out that Japan has plenty of people with such interests, and as such, they don’t really see it as a bad thing. While otaku still tend to be viewed slightly negatively in Japan, there are enough of them to form a sub-culture which has come to be more or less accepted in society here.

Similarly, when discussing the classic weaboo tendency to over-inflate their own understanding of the Japanese language and culture, the interviewees on the whole were forgiving.

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The Japanese people interviewed seemed to lack the “cringe reaction” which anti-weeb foreigners often experience strongly. The consensus from the reaction video appeared to be “Any foreigner taking an interest in Japanese culture is a positive thing”, and some interviewees even astutely pointed out that an initial period of rabid weaboo-ism might develop over time into an informed and balanced understanding of Japan and Japanese culture.

Often, people who have been in Japan for a while, and who speak Japanese fluently and understand the country well, will have a weeaboo-like story or two from their own past. It’s not uncommon for those who are dedicated enough to spend years studying Japanese and making the huge step of moving here to have as the catalyst an initial and all-encompassing enthusiasm for Japan that might border on weeabooism.

Perhaps we should be more understanding of weeaboos, like the Japanese people in this street interview. After all, it’s better to be really excited about something in life than it is to be a boring cynic who hates everything, and it might just take you along a path to something great.

Source: YouTube/That Japanese Man Yuta
Images screenshot from: YouTube/That Japanese Man Yuta