These days there are all kinds of marriages. Traditional marriages, covenantal marriages, marriages of convenience, gay marriages, polyamorous marriages, and even sologamy, or marriage to oneself. And now we have marriage to fictional characters.
Akihiko Kondo, an apparently otherwise ordinary Japanese man, married Hatsune Miku in a small, unofficial wedding ceremony in Tokyo in 2018. The twist is that Miku is a 16-year-old, turquoise-haired, computer-synthesized pop singer who took the form of a plush doll for the ceremony. She wore white (wink, wink) and Mr. Kondo was resplendent in a matching tuxedo.
Kondo’s ravishing betrothed is somewhat famous, having toured with Lady Gaga and starred in various video games. Kondo tied the knot with her after a decade-long courtship, one that he says pulled him out of a deep depression.
Mr. Kondo claims he has found love, inspiration, and solace with Miku. He and his assortment of Miku dolls eat, sleep and watch movies together, and have even gone on romantic getaways, after which he often posts photos of the blissful adventures on Instagram.
Mr. Kondo has long known that he didn’t want a human partner-- for obvious reasons. He has always felt an intense and admittedly inexplicable attraction to fictional characters. The 38-year-old Kondo is aware that most people think his “union” is strange. And he allows that deep down he knows that Miku isn’t really real. But his feelings for her are, he says.
Stranger still is that Mr. Kondo is one of thousands of people in Japan who have recently entered into unofficial marriages with fictional characters. Tens of thousands more around the globe comprise an online community that openly discusses their undying attraction and commitment to characters from anime, manga, video games, and the like. Apparently, a good-sized industry exists to support their every whim and desire.
Kondo says life with Miku has advantages over being with a human partner: she’s always there for him, she’ll never betray him, and he’ll never have to see her get ill or die. (So, what’s in it for her?) And he is part of a growing movement of people who identify as “fictosexuals.” So he has taken pains to be open about his “relationship.” He wants the world to know that people like him are out there, and that rapid advances in artificial intelligence and robotics are allowing them to experience more, um, “profound” interactions with their heretofore inanimate lovers. Kondo proclaims “It’s about respecting other people’s lifestyles.” Damn straight!
“Fictosexual PRIDE, baby!”
Let’s hear it for the LGBTQIIAF community!