Japanese men turn to virtual brides for companionship
Tokyo is the world’s largest metropolis and home to more than 35 million people, so on the face of it, it is hard to believe there is any kind of population problem at all.
But Akihabara, an area of the city dedicated to the manga and anime subculture provides one clue to the country’s problems.
Akihabara is heaven for otaku.
They are a generation of geeks who have grown up through 20 years of economic stagnation and have chosen to tune out and immerse themselves in their own fantasy worlds.
Kunio Kitamura, of the Japan Family Planning Association, describes many young Japanese men as “herbivores” – passive and lacking carnal desire.
It seems they no longer have the ambition of the post-war alpha males who made Japan such an economic powerhouse and no interest in joining a company and becoming a salary man.
They have taken on a mole-like existence and, worryingly, withdrawn from relationships with the opposite sex.
A survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2010 found 36% of Japanese males aged 16 to 19 had no interest in sex – a figure that had doubled in the space of two years.
Footage from a bizarre ceremony in Tokyo Friday shows a suited Japanese groom exchanging vows with his cartoon VR girlfriend.
The ‘couple’ exchange vows and gaze into each other’s eyes via VR headset before engaging in a remarkably awkward first kiss as husband and wife in front of their equally ‘real’ wedding guests.
The concept stems from the anime video game ‘Niitzuma Lovely x Cation’ in which players can develop and foster relationships with virtual girlfriends.
For players in particularly committed relationships with their anime paramours, the game’s creators developed a way for the couples to be joined together in virtual matrimony.
No update as of yet on how the couple spent their first night as husband and wife. On a separate note, VR sex suits are now a thing.