A Japanese man identified as Akihiko Kondo has explained why he married a fictional character.

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According to New York Times, Kondo is unofficially married to Hatsune Miku, a turquoise-haired computer-synthesized pop singer who is profiled to have toured with Lady Gaga and has starred in video games.

After a decade-long relationship, one that Kondo says pulled him out of a deep depression, the Japanese man held a small unofficial wedding ceremony in Tokyo in 2018.

Kondo said he found love, inspiration, and solace in his partner.

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He and his assortment of Miku dolls eat, sleep, and watch movies together.

He said they sometimes sneak off on romantic getaways, posting photos on Instagram.

Kondo, aged 38, said he knows that people think it’s strange and harmful, adding that they often expect him to grow out of it.

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Kondo also said he knows that Miku isn’t real but insisted that his feelings for her are genuine.

“When we’re together, she makes me smile. In that sense, she’s real,” the Japanese was quoted as saying.

Kondo is said to only be one of the thousands in Japan who have entered into unofficial marriages with fictional characters in recent decades.

They are served by a vast industry aimed at satisfying every whim of fervent fan culture.

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Tens of thousands more people around the globe are reported to have joined online groups where they discuss their commitment to characters from anime, manga, and video games.

“You have the comics, the cartoons, the games kind of building up a sort of infrastructure where characters become more important to people,” Patrick Galbraith, an associate professor at Senshu University in Tokyo, said.

Agnès Giard, a researcher at the University of Paris Nanterre, who studied such marriages, argued that they sometimes represent a rejection of the entrenched “breadwinner-housewife” model of marriage in Japan.

“To the general public, it seems indeed foolish to spend money, time, and energy on someone who is not even alive. But for character lovers, this practice is seen as essential,” she added.

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“It makes them feel alive, happy, useful, and part of a movement with higher goals in life.”

Photo credit: New York Times



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