Friday, September 3, 2010

Virtual girlfriends, Men who love the 2D manga characters

It is hard finding true love… People try many things to find love, online dating, dating agencies, blind dates…There is another alternative, falling in love with a manga character. This may sound weird, in fact it is a bit weird but it has become increasingly more common in Japan where lonely men resort to dating virtual girlfriends.

These men find happiness dating their virtual girlfriends. They would take her out on dates to the beach or theme park, they go on road trips and even on romantic getaways. You may ask, how can they go on real dates when she’s virtual? The virtual girlfriend is actually a stuffed pillow case with the cute manga character printed on it. The virtual girlfriends are usually characters from popular manga, anime or video games.

Nisan, a 37 year old Japanese man considers his love for his pillow girlfriend the real deal. “Of course she’s my girlfriend, I have real feelings for her” he said. His love is, Nemu, a character from the PC video game ‘Da Capo’. Nemu is a teenager and she wears a tiny blue bikini and she has gold ribbons in her hair.

He takes Nemu around with him everywhere, to restaurants, karaoke… Just like any other dating couple. He is a complete gentleman to her, holding her gently when he carries her around, carefully places her in the restaurant booth. He is aware that other people find his behaviour rather odd “Some people don’t find this funny and it also takes up a lot of room” he said. Nisan has a total of 7 Nemu pillow covers, he buys them online or at conventions. They retail for $70 dollars. He loves Nemu so much that he could never part with her.

Loving a 2D character is called ‘otaku’ – the obsessive fandom of anima, manga and video games. There are different levels of otaku, in extreme cases like Nisan, they believe the characters are their girlfriends. In minor cases they might just have some romantic feelings for the characters but they do not go far as to date them. The rise in 2D love has been attributed in part to the tough time young people have in finding love in the real world. They simply give up searching for love in the 3D world and find love and happiness in the 2D world. Toru Honda, a 40 year old man, author and advocate for 2D love wrote “As long as long as you train your imagination, a 2D relationship is more passionate than a 3D one”. I guess that is true, the person has complete control of the relationship and can do whatever they want. Honda believes that “pure love is completely gone in the real world”. He goes on to say that for some people, they still have a chance of finding love in the 3D world. “I’m not saying that everyone should throw away hopes of real romance right away. I am simply saying that guys like me who have gotten to a point of no return can be happy living in 2D.”

There are a few things that need to be considered when choosing a pillow girlfriend, first the image quality then the type of material it is made out of. Of course, most importantly choosing the character you will fall in love with. Japanese men seem to like young anime school girls, is that a bit disturbing? These men find love in the 2D world so appealing because they are in control; they make all the rules in the relationship, which they can’t do in the real world. Some men like to go out with different characters during the week.

Interesting isn’t it? Is it healthy to live in the fantasy world like that? Life is full of ups and downs, if we could remove all the downs then life would be quite carefree but that isn’t reality. I wonder how the men would cope if they are faced with tough times, would they retreat in to the fantasy world even more and just cut off from the real world?

Well I hope all of the CherriiPOP listeners find true love in the 3D world!

SOURCE; The New York Times

1 comment:

  1. If your man is pushing you away and acting distant

    Or if the guy you’re after isn’t giving you the time of day...

    Then it’s time to pull out all the stops.

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    Once you say this to him, or even send this simple phrase in a text message...

    It will flip his world upside down and you will suddenly find him chasing you-

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    Thanks again.