The ‘Waifu’ Epidemic | When it stops being a joke

If you know people who have watched anime, you’ve most probably heard the phrase “2D>3D”.

With no context that phrase might leave you slightly baffled. The phrase is really and truly a meme in the anime community, where fans will say that 2D girls are far superior to 3D girls. It’s a funny meme that coincides with people choosing a waifu or husbando (fictional wives/husbands) over cultivating an actual real-life relationship. It’s a funny joke but with time it is growing increasingly concernning.

Some fans are so passionate about their waifu that they even celebrate the character’s birthday. This can span from simply changing their profile picture to sometimes holding a full-on celebration. However, this isn’t the furthest fans go. With certain people even getting married to their fictional lovers.

In fact, in japan there is a company called Gatebox with its slogan being “Living with Characters”. The concept of this device is that it’s basically a virtual wife which wakes you up in the morning, sends you messages throughout the day (which can sometimes verge on flirtatious), welcomes you home by switching on the lights before you arrive. Some customers have formed such a bond with their virtual wife that Gatebox has issued more than 3,700 certificates for “cross-dimension” marriages. To this date Gatebox is only available in Japanese meaning that it hasn’t really expanded, and we won’t really know if it would have the same impact in the west.

They know that they won’t be abandoned because their waifu/husbando will be loyal to them till the end.

Even with the lack of Gatebox, people outside of Japan still form relationships with their favourite anime characters. People, sometimes, end up choosing to have these sorts of relationships because of experiences that left them traumatized. So the fact that there isn’t any real risk of being rejected and/or hurt by their waifu/husbando creates a sense of comfort for them.

Some eventually realise that they need a proper emotional connection with a real-life person but others either can’t get move pass their trauma or might simply prefer a relationship without all the hassles that come with dating a human being.


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