“I love and respect my waifu. She’s perfect.” – Anonymous.
A Waifu is the Japanese slang for “wife”. It is used by anime lovers for their 2D significant others; usually a comic or video game character that they have committed a serious, monogamous relationship to.
Waifu’s are commonly seen in the form of a life size pillow, cut out or even in a Nintendo DS. (One man in Korea married his Nintendo DS for the Waifu he chose in a dating simulation game.) Men who have waifu’s are sometimes seen taking them out for food, dates or a stroll in the park.
This may look completely bizarre to onlookers, but really, before we all jump on the freak wagon, who are we to judge? It’s certainly not the first time humans have formed intimate bonds with inanimate objects – just look at the booming sex doll industry.
What makes the Waifu’s interesting though – is how they command respect and monogamy, a startling difference in comparison to their plastic, 3D sex-doll counterparts. They’re a lot more than toys, which is why Waifu’s tend to be in non-sex toy forms such as pillows or even bed sheets. They’re not meant purely for sexual gratification – but more for emotional fulfilment.
You see, they might be objects but…they aren’t objectified. (Pun intended. Sorry. Just had to.)
Waifu’s are meant to be held in high regard and treated with utmost respect, even if they are depicted in a highly sexual manner. Some men refuse to masturbate to their waifus as it is considered disrespectful to the non-existent cartoon wife they have in mind.
Of course, there’s a large variety of pornographic anime materials out on the market, but the very concept of waifus actually originates from a mostly innocent, almost sweet, traditional nature of the love for a wife from a husband.
Some believe that Waifu’s are becoming more popular due to the booming rise of anime culture worldwide – once considered somewhat of a “niche” in the west, nowadays anime movies are being made into US live action versions (Ghost in the Shell, Dragon Ball Z, to name a few), meant for mainstream consumers. Contrary to popular belief, the Waifu phenomenon is not restricted to Asia, there are plenty of online forums in English where Waifu lovers share their stories.
Conservative groups see this as a growing psychological problem amongst today’s socially awkward, internet addicted youths and deem it an unhealthy attachment to non-existent, unrealistic female ideals. It’s difficult to realistically gauge how much of a real “problem” the waifu trend is – after all, it could range from innocent fan fiction fantasies to a complete obsession depending on the individual. The trend may be growing, but we’re yet to see crowds of people giving up their ability to reproduce for their 2D life partners.
As of now, at least for me, I’d much rather my son or brother have an anime pillow in his room than a 3D sex doll. Makes dinner conversations a lot less awkward.
Banner image from: http://i.imgur.com/hzW4Uz3.jpg