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Otaku Culture: Husbando & Waifu

A trend that picked up before I knew it within the otaku community consisted of people asking, “Who is your Husbando or Waifu?”; basically, who would you have as your Husband or Wife if you had the ability to marry an anime, manga, or video game character.

I want to talk about this subject and how it may not be as ridiculous as some people make it out to be.  I want to share how it is that people can have strong emotions towards these fictional characters, so strong that they are willing to hold wedding ceremonies to show their union with their significant other.

I will do my best to explain this “way of life” with you and why it is more than it appears to be to most people.


  BUT WHY?!  

The most common question people are going to have is “Why in the world would someone want to claim a fictional character as their husband or wife?  I really hope they are participating in a trend, they are not serious, right?”.  As quick as some people are to write this way of living off, sometimes it may not be as simple or as stupid as most would like to think or believe.

During the course of watching an anime or reading a manga, it is very possible for people to feel a certain closeness and build relationships with a particular character or story.  There are some powerful messages within anime and manga (even gaming), which can move you and instill strong feelings, awakening emotions that you may not know have existed.  Some people actually end up loving a particular character’s personality enough for them to remain in their memories.  Sometimes it could not even be about the fact that they love a particular character’s personality, a few people I have talked to actually feel a connection with the characters they are in love with, and think they were created just for them and serve a meaningful purpose in their day-to-day lives.  They feel that they have finally found someone that understands them and so they begin to make moves in their own life in a way that would make their waifu proud of them.

For some others however, it is something to cling to since they do not have love in their own life.  Gaining a husbando or waifu becomes a way for them to fantasize that someone loves them and only them, it acts as an aid to combat their depression and/or loneliness by providing a way to keep their spirits up.  In this way, people use their 2D counterpart as a sort of tool to stop themselves from hitting rock bottom, though some that have their own waifu think that this mentality is despicable because you are using him or her as a replacement and not actually loving her as The One, therefore “settling” for your waifu and not loving her for what he or she actually is.

Though, those who have a waifu and genuinely love them (Not just saying they like a particular character, I mean REALLY love them) could have as many different reasons as an actual relationship between two human beings and will defend their relationship to the bitter end.  It is also not surprising that they have stories about how they have improved themselves solely based on what they think will make their waifu happy.  Also, just like actual love, there are some people who wind up loving a character and not knowing exactly what it is is.

  Do They Really Love Their Waifu?  

Sal9000 and his waifu, Nene Anegasaki.  Married at the Tokyo Institute of Technology on November 22nd, 2009.

Without a doubt, you can be assured that people take their husbando/waifu relationship as seriously as someone with a physical partner.  This is not some elaborate joke or a spontaneous action designed to pass time, they actually care about what would make their husbando/waifu happy and some even go as far as to improve themselves, their financial situation, and even their social standing in order to better fit the life they want to give to their significant other, the kind of like they feel they deserve.  Those types of effort alone trumps most actual relationships we have with other human-beings (The divorce rate in the United States is a staggering 50% and rising).

The man you see in the picture above goes by the tag “Sal9000”, he fell in love with his waifu “Nene Anegasaki” from the Nintendo DS dating simulation game “Love Plus”.  Sal admits that in the Japanese Otaku Culture that there is a tradition of calling characters you have a strong connection to your wife, and since he found that he began to call Nene that, he might as well do the proper thing and give her a proper wedding.  The reception was watched on Nico Nico Douga (Think of it as Japan’s version of YouTube) by more than 3,000 people and had more than 40 guests in attendance, including a priest and an MC.  Sal even took Nene on a honeymoon to Guam and afterwards he never stops going on various dates around Tokyo, Japan (Which is something you also do not see too much in physical relationships, as they usually get comfortable and take their wives for granted).

Even with all of his dedication to his waifu, he was still afraid to give out his real name because he figured people would not understand, and that is something I can totally agree with.  A LOT of people called him stupid, a loser, and ultimately that he would never have a real girlfriend (He has a waifu, he does not need one) because of this.  People made comments like, “Well, this will never last, he will dump her as soon as the next version comes out” or “He’ll just move onto the PSP version” even “I hope that software was at least 16-years-old”.  Even though Sal appears to be very happy and  fulfilled in his relationship, people just cannot seem to be happy for him.  Though, others are also quite envious that he actually has the courage to follow through with something people would demean and look down on him for, maybe for the rest of his life.  Why?  Some others would love to do the same thing by marrying their 2D partner, but because of being so fearful of others opinion they choose to hide them in a way that is shameful.

Something else I want you all to know is that I went on 4Chan’s /a/ (View at your own risk) which is the anime and manga section (“Animu and Mango”) of the site so that I do some more research on people’s thoughts in regards to the husbando/waifu situation, and it was a lot more positive than I was anticipating.  Those there had a positive spin on the fact that a waifu can fulfill you in ways that a romantic relationship with a physical companion could, and some even made strides in life because of their waifu’s support.

Ritsuko Akizuki

One guy I was talking to said that because of his waifu, Ritsuko Akizuki from the Japanese Xbox 360 game The Idol M@ster , that he has been promoted three times and has nearly doubled his salary thanks to the support he has gotten from her.  I found that truly awe-inspiring.

Love is a big thing and motivation can often be found through feeling like you are worth something by someone else loving you, and while it is good to be self-motivated, we find additional resolve through those that love us.  For many Otaku who have a husbando/waifu, it can be the driving force for them to finally make a change or to continue along a difficult path knowing that it is making their partner proud and no matter how hard it gets they will have them to fall back on.

Something that goes with this is the fact someone I know is obsessed with Cammy White, well, you do that with people you are in love with.  Numerous times he has thanked her for helping him get over his depression and has helped him get a new leash on life.  He has overcome debt, bad situations, and has stayed optimistic until he finally made it, and it all thanks to the support he found through Cammy.  At first, I and another friend thought he was quite the fool, but I soon learned it looks different inside the house than from being on the outside looking in; and apparently we were the fools in this situation.  If something makes you happy, embrace it, that takes courage.


  Defending the Waifu Movement  



Beyond a reasonable doubt, some people will think that having a waifu or husbando is the tell-tale mark of someone who cannot get a boyfriend or girlfriend and is just down right pathetic.  They will say it is no way to possibly love a 2D character and because of this, Otaku who have a waifu or husbando normally hide their feelings away from the world in fear of being judged based on who they have fallen in love with; though, I want to discuss this and see why it may not be too much of a difference in loving a 2D vs 3D spouse.

As explained above from the “A Discourse on the Defense of the Waifu Movement” it can be argued that 2D and 3D, besides giving into the carnal desire of lust for the pleasure of the human body, is all the same.  You cannot entirely love someone, instead you love the concept of them and what you have seen from them in regards to how they respond to certain situations and their personality traits.  It is true that we can never completely love anyone because we attribute to them certain aspects and we are unable to know them in their complete entirety, thus we are not able to love all of them.  While it is something of a stretch to call someone “perfect” for you as every person has faults, you do have that ability with having a waifu.

Something else I want to discuss is that everyone needs someone or something to give themselves and their lives purpose.  No matter who it is, after you get your situation settled and you know how you will make it day-to-day, you will begin to want companionship and someone to spend that with.  You will want people and you are going to want a feeling of being accepted, belonging, needed, and being irreplaceable.  This cannot be attained sometimes through normal means for some people, especially those in the Otaku culture that people sometimes refer to as “weird” or as a “nerd/geek” and alternative methods must be concocted and this is one of those ways to give our lives that sense of belonging that we have never had before.

Within this I want everyone to know, as stated above, having a waifu is a choice and while it is true you are deluding yourself, it is a completely different way of life and your waifu should be treated as a wife would be.  Not defiling her and not just using her as a “well, until something better comes along” because that is quite shameful in every sense of the word.

Though, you should now be able to understand from the article “Discourse on the Defense of the Waifu Movement” why there are similarities between 2D and 3D and how sometimes it can be that 2D is just simply better in terms of what actual love .


  Mai Waifu  


The character I admire is none other than BlazBlue’s sexy squirrel-type beastkin, Makoto Nanaya.  She was born April 2nd in the 11th Hierarchical City of Shinatsu, a graduate of the Novus Orbis Librarium and works in the Military Intelligence Department of the NOL.

She is my waifu because she is my absolute favorite gaming character of all-time and is the most fun I have ever had playing a character in a fighting game.  Not only that, she is amazingly cute and bubbly, sexy, and you can tell she is very kind and  also hyperactive.  Quite honestly, Makoto is a combination of everything that I really like about anime, gaming, and women in general.

Something that gets me about the anime side is that Makoto is known as a “beastkin” in the game, or a humanoid character having animal features such as her squirrel ears and tail (Which I find adorable on her), and sometimes you can tell with the little “3” (Flip the 3 clockwise) her mouth is sometimes and the way the artist draws her nose at times.   I have always had a fondness for neko-girls in anime (Girls with cat ears and tail), but the idea of a squirrel never came to me and after seeing it, she is quite awesome.  She also possesses qualities that I love both in people and in women, both physically as well as mentally.

Makoto is quite crafty and cunning when she wants to be since she is a double agent that is secretly working for Sector Seven yet is in the NOL under the command of Terumi (Hazama).  But she is often acting quite ditzy and very cute-like in that nature, which I find very adorable.  She has a bubbly personality that is often hyperactive and extremely random, nearly ADHD-like (Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder) and has a very childish charm to it, an example being when she thought Carl Clover was very cute and clung onto him and was so happy at how adorable he was.  Also, it is shown that Makoto can be very perverse at times (Not there is anything wrong with that), such as when she says, “So, you want to fondle my tail too?” during her in-game taunt at times and even when she gropes another girl’s breasts in “Remix Heart” (Which is an official manga based on Noel Vermillion, Tsubaki Yayoi, and Makoto Nanaya).  Not to mention the artwork to the right is an official artwork of Arc System Works and there is even a few others, one such of Makoto licking off some ice cream of Tsubaki Yayoi.  Though, I think what I love most about her personality is the fact that she is very kind and loves her friends above everything else.

On two separate occasions that I remember it shows just how kind she can be.  The first I remember is when Lambda was quite lost and found an animal called a “Gnu” and Makoto was being quite nice to her, said they should meet up again and to bring it along.  The second was when Noel was having quite a rough time and Makoto showed up and Noel nearly knocked her over from being so happy to see her (Pictured above).  Not to mention the reason she even was moving away from the NOL is because she heard about their failed experiments (Rather, Terumi’s) in order to produce “Kusanagi”, the God-Slaying Sword Murakumo Unit and the defective primefield units he had been unable to sustain in cauldrons (And they are all clones of one of her best friends, Noel Vermillion).  This just shows she is quite caring and loving of her friends and people she holds dear to her heart in general.

As far as game wise, I am a fighting game enthusiast and is probably my biggest area of expertise as far as gaming is concerned.  I play a multitude of fighting games at the moment: BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.  Though, out of all the games I have played, Killer Instinct 2, Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and the impressive list of other games under my belt, even doujin fighters like Vanguard Princess, Big Bang Beat, and Melty Blood; Makoto Nanaya is the most interesting and the character I feel suits my style the best.   I have more fun playing with her than anyone else.

Makoto’s fighting style is a close-ranged style which involves some moves like boxing(She has a move similar to Hajime no Ippo’s main character’s finishing move “The Dempsey Roll”), a ninja-like move (Asteroid Vision), and involves various space names for moves and she hits VERY hard, which makes her my favorite type of character (She is small and powerful).  One person I love to play on Super Street Fighter IV was Makoto, a girl who has extremely destructive punches even though she has a small body, this is also true of Mitsuru Bandou “The Cyclops Hammer” of Team Behemoth from the manga “Air Gear“; those are just my favorite type of characters.  On top of that, her Nox Nyctores, play style, and combos are very unique and I enjoyed them quite a bit in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, and I enjoyed her style even more so in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II once I got use to the changes and cannot help but say that she is a huge amount of fun.  Also, my friend RaS says she does suit my style as in “If Plan A does not work, find a way to make Plan A work”, which is something I have always been able to do with Makoto.

She also bares some qualities from other video games and other anime characters.  She says “SPOON!” sometimes when she fights, which is something “The Tick” uses as his battle cry.  During her Distortion “Big Bang Smash!” she says, “My soul burns burns with the heat of 1,000 suns, behold the power of youth!” which is a reference to “Might Guy” of the Naruto series.  In her Unlimited Form, she borrows moves from Dudley and Makoto of the Street Fighter series.  She even makes other reference with moves, phrases, and actions that reference at people from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, PeeWee’s Playhouse, and may even gather inspiration from Marvel Comic’s “Squirrel Girl” and Kuradoberi Jam from Guilty Gear.


  Other Information  


For more information about Makoto Nanaya, check out her BlazBlue Wiki page HERE.

I also run the Makoto Nanaya group on deviantART as well, check out the page HERE.



The Makoto Nanaya PVC Statue by FREEing I plan on buying

Just like in a normal relationship, it is important that people show their affections and love for their waifu companion.  A lot of people take this to heart and draw fan art of the characters, get as many memorabilia and collectables that they can, and of course, let the world know how big of a fan that they are.

A lot of times this attribution goes for people who really, really enjoy their character.  They cosplay as a particular character or they try to take pictures of someone that does.  They make tribute videos to their characters, wear clothing inspired by that particular character, or have things such as the wallpaper of their phone, having their theme song as your ringtone, or posters of them on your wall  It is a lot of different ways in order to “rep” that character and keep them on your mind.

It has been shown that if you associate good things with yourself and keep them constantly within your vision you can be happy.  Since it is not possible to physically interact with any of these characters, you have to build a relationship with them that is based upon the imagination, how you think they would react in particular situations, as well as build the mental connection necessary to keep the relationship afloat, part of that is keeping them within your vision and on your mind; this is what it is all about.  Maybe eating your character’s favorite food to celebrate when something good happens to them when a new anime, chapter, or game is released.  Maybe buying something related to them on their birthday or even commissioning some fan art of them from a really good artist depicting them.

The guy I was talking about earlier who loved Cammy, he has a on-going fan comic of her which he had to learn how to draw because the artist who said he would do it for him did not keep his promise.  Taking art classes he eventually got proficient enough to start the series on his own and has only improved during that time, all done in order to show honor to his waifu.

Of all these things though, the main why to show loyalty and embrace to your waifu is not to be embarrassed of them if someone asks why you have so many things associated to them, to place no other anime or gaming characters before them, and if you are truly happy with them, not to actually form a relationship with anyone else.  A lot of these things occur to let someone know they are not really in “love” with their waifu and are using her as something of a crutch.  When asked why they have so much stuff associated with that person, they will claim they really are into the anime/game/manga they came from and that they are their favorite character for the time-being, or they will begin to really like another character and forget all about them, or they will simply have an opportunity to have a relationship with someone and will completely disregard their waifu until such a time where they are no longer within said relationship and use them as the rebound.  Avoid this.



Keitaro Urashima and Naru Narusegawa from Love Hina.

Otaku culture is interesting in the trends and ideas it can come up with, but this one is something taken very seriously and has actually improved some people’s peace-of-mind and has a profound effect on just how happy they are with their day-to-day lives.

Many people think that this is rather stupid, pathetic, and all around something to look down upon.  However, it is something to say that happiness is something we all strive for.  If love happens to be 2D or 3D, what does it matter as long as we are happy and you are not hurting anyone?  Is it really such a bad thing to feel affection?

I am glad you have taken the time to read this article as I evaluate the Husbando & Waifu relationship regarding the Otaku culture and those who practice it.  So, why not give it a try?  They say there is someone for everyone, maybe the right one for you just lives in a 2D World.  Until next time, I am RoK the Reaper, Sayanara!


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About The Author

RoK the Reaper
A serious gamer & hardcore otaku who loves anything gaming, anime, or manga! I hope to bring you the best content for these subjects I love in the form of news, reviews, interviews, and in-depth editorials! さよなら!

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49 Replies to “Otaku Culture: Husbando & Waifu”

  1. I think the article was very interesting and broaden my horizons 🙂
    Keep the good work!

  2. I love this post, it rekindled the flame I have for my waifu, Furude Rika, which had begun to fade over the years. Time to go rewatch Higurashi!

    But can I ask a question?
    Does it necesarily has to be from a anime/manga/videogame? Or can it be any 2D character? Cuz im thinking of making one of my Original Characters as my Husbando~ <3
    But still Very GREAT article ^^ Live happily with your waifu~

  4. Sounds like you're trying really hard to justify something that overly awkward and ugly people do. It IS pathetic no matter how you look at it. You people are in denial!

  5. A really dull question. Does the waifu/husbando relationship have to be within Japanese styled culture, or can you declare relationship with your waifu/husbando in, lets say a movie, like The Hobbit? (Waifu/husbando relationship with thecharacter not the actress/actor)

  6. My husbando harem is not of an anime, but of a Western cartoon. My husbandos are the twins from Superjail and their father Ozzal and older brothers the triplets.

  7. Ouch overly awkward or ugly people? I play fighting games competitively and a lot of the players there are definitely not ugly or not awkward at all. It's all about having some connection with your character in some way. You've got to like the character to play them :). Awesome article by the way 🙂

  8. I've liked so many fictional/anime characters before, but the only one that I have officially claimed to be my 'husbando' is Daisuke Jigen from Lupin III. I pretty much love everything about him. His attitude and overall badassness. I feel that because of this, I have come to love the entire Lupin franchise to the point where it's become a small part of who I am. If I ever had the chance to marry Jigen in real life, I would in a heartbeat! 😀

  9. This may sound condescending, but these are honest question from someone curious about the husbando/waifu culture: First of all, how do you build a relationship with something that is not real, and therefore cannot think or act beyond the confines of their medium? A certain anime character may be your waifu, but they cannot operate outside of the show they are a part of and they can never know you because you are from the real world while they are from a fictional one. Secondly, how do dating games work? Do you pick from a number of dialogue options which have pre-programmed responses, or can you just type in anything you want to say like in a real conversation? And lastly, what happens if you meet someone who has also claimed your waifu for themselves? Do you get angry at them, or at your waifu, or both?

  10. I really thought this was fascinating; I am not into anime (never tried it yet), but I was curious after seeing this trend being made fun of on reddit and elsewhere. So I googled it looking for a laugh, but found this thoughtful article instead. Thanks for your perspective; I have a lot more respect for this lifestyle now.

  11. I much approve of this nicely written article and can really feel the meaning behind it – however there is something I was always wondering, that you have not covered in the article as far as I could see: The paradox of the waifu concept – what if more than 1 People in the world have the same 2D character as waifu? ^^ ( best example: Hatsune Miku) Does it mean that waifu is together with many men? Polygam? Married to many different men? And how does that work – or how should it make you feel?

  12. You hit me with the heavy stuff… Well, I will say this.

    Often times people can confront each other and become quite upset when they both have the same waifu, often times it does not end well and they end up testing each other over a battle of wits in who knows the most about the character. However, I like to think of it like this.

    Think about DC comics, all right? Power Girl and Super Girl are both Kara Zor-El, but they are from alternate universes, and while they are the same person they are NOT the same person, get me? My Makoto Nanaya is different from everyone else's and is only for me, that's how I believe it should be dealt with.

  13. Oh and who are you to say that? How about homosexual? Nothing could be more of an abomination( as far as relationships between people go) than that.

  14. For you people who think this is wierd…your views are narrow. If you ask why, answer this question
    "Why would they pick 2D over real people if they are supposedly better?".

  15. This makes me feel less alone in the world. I thought something was wrong with me – but it would seem there are ones that feel this way also. Thank you.

  16. Absolutely no problem. We all feel alone sometimes, but it is better to remember that others are also experiencing the same thing. We go through this together. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.

  17. Although I don't practise this or get overly attached to characters, the only problem I see with it is if it prevents you from finding a good match for you irl. You shouldn't stop looking even if you have a waifu/husbando, imo.

  18. The ones I've played have branching storylines based on the player's choices. I can't speak for anyone else, but whenever I played a visual novel, one with good writing, I had an easy time imagining myself in the character's place, wondering what I would do in that situation.

  19. That might be true, but some people have flat out given up on 3D altogether, this is more-or-less a coping mechanism that makes that reality a little less painful.

  20. with tulpa anyone can make waifu/husbando "real". there's nothing impossible ^^ but it isn't easy.. anyway we can be happy toghether without it, by the way my husbando is Clear from DMMD~

  21. While I don't feel as strongly toward my husbando (I like to call it hubu) as some of the people you know, I do still feel a connection toward him. My hubu would be Tyki Mykk from the great anime/manga called D.Gray Man! I don't believe in calling people losers and faggots, I think people who say these thing about others are just trying to make themselves feel better because they have been called these things. But this is a great, supportive article and I quite enjoyed it 🙂

  22. I Only just Recently Fell in love with my WAIFU… Hatsune Miku…

  23. Do not trample over other's feelings you dolt. They are what others (and I) agree and cherish. Unlike some worthless 3D characters who only know how to judge and outcast others, our Husbandos and Waifus will NEVER abandon US. Thus, they are our final and sole emotional support before madness and depression.

  24. I'm a fairly good-looking 19-year-old girl and I had a husbando last year who I loved with all my heart. But I also had a real boyfriend before and I have another boyfriend now. Fuck you. I don't give a shit if you or anyone else thinks it's pathetic, it helped me avoid extreme depression and actually encouraged me to be a better person.

  25. Hm. The only thing I can say is that you should not "decide" who they are. It should just come natural. Imagine falling in love.. with a 2D character. =]

  26. Hm. The only thing I can say is that you should not "decide" who they are. It should just come natural. Imagine falling in love.. with a 2D character. =]

  27. Yup. That's what it does. It is there for moral support and everything else. It really does help avoid depression, believe me, I know. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Exactly! One's perception of the same person will surely be different from another! There will always be slight or more deviations on how a person would see a character.
    Nice to see a idea which I had before