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Advice from Japanese women on dealing with boyfriend’s anime girlfriend

By Casey Baseel

Early on in a couple’s romantic relationship, there’s still a lot the two individuals don’t know about each other. Each date is another step in the gradual process of discovering things about your partner while at the same time revealing a little more of yourself.

Sometimes the surprises are happy ones. Your new boyfriend turns out to be a great cook, or have a wonderful sense of humor. Other times, though, the things you learn are much less pleasant. You notice he’s a heavy drinker. He mentions he blows half his paycheck on pachinko. You learn the bone-chilling reason all the turtles have gone missing from the park behind his apartment.

Or, maybe, that he has a crush on an anime girl.

With the majority of anime enthusiasts being male, Japanese animation has long featured plenty of attractive female characters. While there have always been some fans who become fervently, even romantically, attached to their favorite heroine, the phenomena has become increasingly prevalent as studios pull in more and more of their revenue from character-based merchandising, and in turn dedicate an ever increasing amount of screen time to their comeliest characters.

At the same time, the number of people who identify themselves as anime fans is on the rise, meaning that numerically-speaking, there’s a decent chance the guy a girl just started dating is pretty into animation. This in turn leads to another troublesome possibility: even if he’s not seeing another girl on the side in real life, he might have a preexisting relationship with his favorite two-dimensional gal.

Nobody enjoys playing second fiddle, though. Internet portal Niconico News recently spoke with women who’d found themselves in this sort of situation before, and asked for their advice on how to handle it.

1. Make no effort to hide your disapproval

The first method is to simply voice your displeasure directly. This strategy has an advantage in that it bypasses the need to pick up on subtle cues, something that men, as a gender, don’t exactly have the best batting average for.

“It’s embarrassing, and if my friends found out my boyfriend’s hobby, I don’t think they’d want to hang out with me anymore,” worries one 25-year-old. “But I do like him, so I’ve told him that I think his interest in that kind of stuff is nasty.”

Actions speak louder than words, though, so some women feel it’s necessary to make sure their boyfriend knows they’ll take action to limit his obsession if he lets it get out of hand.

“It bugs me that he even likes anime at all,” gripes one college student, “and when I saw his collection, I thought about just throwing it all in the trash. I didn’t, but he noticed how I felt, and now he’s trying to keep it in check.”

While this definitely shows you mean business, we should point out that unceremoniously tossing out your guy’s painstakingly acquired hoard of anime merch doesn’t have the best track record, as that’s exactly what may have broken up at least one marriage in Japan last year. Besides, even if you’ve got no respect for the personal property of others, why stick it all in the garbage can when you could sell it online, instead?

2. Step up to dressing up cosplay style

Instead of trying to pull their boyfriend away from his favorite anime character, others recommended trying to move closer to his vision of 2D perfection by copying her outfit. “My boyfriend asked me to dress up like Hatsune Miku,” says a 25-year-old whose guy is a fan of the virtual idol (and soon-to-be opening act for Lady Gaga). “I’d never had any interest in cosplay before, but it was a lot more fun than I’d expected, so now I do it from time to time,” she says with a laugh.

While we’re sure there’re plenty of hardcore fans who’d love to see their girlfriend slip into (and later out of) one of anime’s distinct costumes, you might want to make sure you’ve got a firm handle on your boyfriend’s favorite character and which of her possibly multiple outfits really floats his boat before you rush out to buy a bunch of fluorescent wigs and miniskirts, though, since those things don’t always come cheap.

3. Find an anime boyfriend of your own

Some felt that turnabout is fair play, and suggested giving an anime girl-obsessed boyfriend a taste of his own medicine. “My boyfriend wouldn’t shut up about how, ‘Kobeni is so cute,’” reveals a 20-year-old junior college student, referring to the heroine of anime "Engaged to the Unidentified." “So I thought I’d get back at him by borrowing the series 'Free!' from my friend.”

What’s good for the gander is good for the goose, and Free! which centers around the athletic members of a high school swimming club, is chock full of enough eye candy for female readers to make even most reasonably fit guys feel embarrassedly out of shape by comparison. It turns out the anime’s cast is a bit too handsome. “At first I just wanted my boyfriend to see how it feels dating someone who’s so obsessed with a female character, but I got so into 'Free!,' and now, I actually like the main character, Haru-chan, more than my boyfriend!”

The relationship of another college student who participated in the survey took a similar turn. After being exposed to so many animated series’ through her boyfriend’s passion for them, she finally found her one true 2D love, Seijuro Akashi of "Kuroko’s Basketball."

On one hand, you could say that these anime-based open relationships show a level of trust, understanding, and confidence that speaks to a strong foundation for the relationship. Still, when you’re openly admitting that you feel more strongly about your fictional crush than your actual dating partner, you have to at least consider the possibility that maybe the best thing to do is break up. Incidentally, that brings us to the final suggestion from the survey participants.

4. Break up

There’s a limit to how much you can change a person, though, and some women felt like they had only two options. They could either resign themselves to sharing space in their guy’s heart with a fictional character, or they could just walk out the door and let her have the whole thing, which is what this college student opted to do. “My boyfriend was clean-cut and looked like someone out of a boy band, plus he was really kind and easy-going,” she begins.

It wasn’t long before her opinion of him soured, though. “When I found out he was an anime otaku, I was really shocked. And even worse, he likes video games, and he was always spending time with Nene,” she continues, likely meaning one of the heroines of the popular Nintendo DS dating simulator, Love Plus.

“I just lost interest. There was no way I could deal with that,” she concludes.

This is unfortunate, considering that some couples were able to find a happy middle ground, such as the cosplaying coupe mentioned above. Sometimes, even the gesture of trying to bridge the gap helped create mutual understanding and appreciation. “I wanted to make my boyfriend happy, so I surprised him by dressing up in a cosplay outfit,” recalls one last college-age respondent. “When he saw it, he said, ‘I’m really happy that you thought that much about me, but you don’t have to force yourself to do that kind of thing.’”

Still, should your attempts at compromise, appeasement, or reeducation all fail, sometimes the only thing you can do is elect to see other people, even if you doubt your anime-loving ex-boyfriend will actually take advantage of his newly acquired opportunities for human female companionship.

Source: Niconico News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Lonely or in need of female assistance? Try a rental friend in Tokyo! -- Five hobbies that prevent guys from getting a Japanese girlfriend -- Five reasons nerds make great boyfriends: Japan’s geeky otaku list their pros

© RocketNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I can't help but feel articles like these just feed into the social stereotypes that apply to few if any and only cause many others unneeded despair or foul attention, granted I enjoyed reading it but it feels more satire than factual news.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

... so what this article is about is a fetish. This time it is a fetish for anime, but there are lots of different fetishes out there and I don't think I've met a single person who doesn't have at least one. Some are more socially acceptable, some are less.

The article is fairly typical on the subject of fetishes and sex since it assumes that only guys have fetishes and implies that girls would never be attracted to anime characters. ... the author is dead wrong.

The only valid options are 2 and 4. Either play along, have some fun and expect your partner to reciprocate by indulging your fantasies later, or dump them and find someone more sexually compatible. Anything else is just abusive.

If you happen to find yourself with a boyfriend who has a fetish then ask yourself the simple question, "Can I do this?". If it really turns you off then break up. If you could do it and even grow to enjoy it then go for it, because relationships are about give and take. Relationships are NOT about trying to humiliate, belittle and bully your partner into doing everything the way you want. ... or at least they shouldn't be, but I see way too much of it in Japan.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

How pathetic are these losers?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"dealing with boyfriend’s anime girlfriend" I can't believe this is a thing

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@bilderberg, they are not as cool and social as you. On the other hand this article seems like linkbait to try to get otakus angry. Everyone knows otakus who are as far gone as the article describes don't actually date 3D (meaning meatspace) girls.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It's probably similar to pornography really and the way your female companion deals with that, i.e. how far she is willing to tolerate it. It isn't really that weird. It just...is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


.....another article about Japan that features anime and weirdness and represents a tiny tiny fraction of the population.

I mean seriously? Step up to dressing up cosplay style??

This is lazy "journalism"/clickbait which would be funny if it didn't contribute to the (mistaken) image that Japan is populated by anime obsessed losers. They do exist I know but are not representative of the population.

Would be nice to see some articles that focus on something truly representative that drives a deeper understanding of this country.

....but I guess that wouldn't drive the click as much would it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You learn the bone-chilling reason all the turtles have gone missing from the park behind his apartment.

I'm a little puzzled by that sentence. Am I the only one? Why what sort of "bone-chilling reason" would there by to why turtles would go missing from behind someone's apartment?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“It bugs me that he even likes anime at all,” gripes one college student, “and when I saw his collection, I thought about just throwing it all in the trash."

Congratulations on conflating "boy who likes anime" with "boy who prefers a girl in an anime better than his real girlfriend".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It doesn't matter if he watches anime or not. But if your boyfriend doesn't' know what a " AIM Lower Receiver" is then you really have a girlfriend.

If your girlfriend has a problem with anime then wish her the best and don't ever lower your own expectations to suit her shallow reality. If a girl is jealous of a cartoon then it's time to let her have more time to think about her own problems in life. Don't let her problems become your problems. You may or may not be the one watching anime.. but she seems to be the one who needs to grow up.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Dump the loser and find a real boyfriend.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

You can't change people. Back away, turn around, and run. Eventually he'll get a clue and a life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

delete her lol

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Run away... very fast.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I just wasted more of what little time I have in reading this Bullcrap about how some woman (?) can be affected by an anime female.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree with Sensato, what in the world would have happen to the turtles? Please elaborate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm a big fan of anime, but I'm not sure that I'd describe myself as having reached the "otaku" level. Maybe that's why I'd say that if your boyfriend has an "anime girlfriend", you shouldn't be "dealing" with it at all and instead you need to be finding someone who treats only YOU as his girlfriend.

You're never going to measure up to these anime girls. In the first place, out of all the anime characters out there, he's chosen that one as his "ideal" girlfriend. She's never going to age. She'll never have hormonal swings, never have PMS, and never have days when a huge zit has decided to appear on her face, making her whole day (and everyone else around her) a general living hell. As long as your "boyfriend" is comparing you to his "anime girlfriend", you're going to continue to come up lacking.

So vote with your feet. Let him have his anime girlfriend, for all the good it will do him. Find someone who thinks YOU'RE ideal.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I guess if you don't date otaku seriously then you never have to worry about this problem. Anime gf - the mind boggles. That's just a little too hentai for polite company.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How pathetic are these losers?

It's not nice to call these shallow female respondents losers :P Seriously, though, if a woman has a problem with your hobbies, better to bin her sooner rather than later.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

While there have always been some fans who become fervently, even romantically, attached to their favorite heroine, the phenomena has become increasingly prevalent as studios pull in more and more of their revenue from character-based merchandising, and in turn dedicate an ever increasing amount of screen time to their comeliest characters.

I don't know.... seems that the new anime characters are less well drawn than in the past and the same for the characters persona. But still better than the live "dramas" on Japanese TV. Maybe there will be less problem with 2D "girlfriends" if Japanese TV shows could write decent screen plays. But then the fan boys will be obsessing over real girls... would that be an improvement?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Replace "anime girlfriend" with any other male hobby that absorbs his time, attention, and money, and women will still find reason to complain. It's not good enough that the man spends some of his time, attention and money on her. She wants ALL of it.... otherwise, what's the point of the relationship? ;)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm still stuck on that one line about a bone chilling reason why turtles go missing. I wonder what was meant by that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have a better idea, japense women, date me. No anime and even if there was there would be no bizarre and creepy romantic attachments to cartoons and oh yeah, I am an actual man.

It is no wonder I keep reading how Japanese women are not getting married or having kids. There are no men to marry and for the most part, women want actual men, not drunk devolved cro-magnon boys who think a cartoon female is somehow an option.

Go with option 4, only get rid of the cretin. The other options are ridiculous, especially number three. Dont get an anime boyfriend, get a real man, unfortunately you may have to travel to America or Australia or something or wait for visitors.

Just to add, not many real men anywhere.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

“It’s embarrassing, and if my friends found out my boyfriend’s hobby, I don’t think they’d want to hang out with me anymore,” worries one 25-year-old. “But I do like him, so I’ve told him that I think his interest in that kind of stuff is nasty.”

If your friends stop hanging out with you because of your boyfriend's hobbies, then they're not good friends at all. True friends will keep their nose out of your boyfriend's business and not let it affect your friendship.

Options 1 & 4 are for quitters as far as I'm concerned. I mean, ok, if the guy spends his spare time dry humping a dakimakura of some 15 year od girl, then yes, escort him to the door with your foot. But if they are, like me, the kind of guy who admires the qualities of a girl (even a fictional one) that make her a worthy heroine, then there's no reason for disapproval or a break up. Not every anime fan is a creepy perverted guy.

Option 3 is a viable option, as long as neither party succumbs to jealousy, or takes their imaginary relationship too far. But the best is Option 2. If only I could find a girl like that. That's one of the many reasons I watch anime though, but there's always a chance I'll find a girl who doesn't mind occasionally cosplaying.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Dont get an anime boyfriend, get a real man,

The problem is that "real men" have competing real girlfriends.

I feel a little sorry for Japanese women. They want a guy rich, smart, and attractive to give them everything... and yet stupid enough to ignore the fact that there are lots of women out there to "play the field" with when you have that much attention coming towards you.

That would mean for women to.... gasp.... treat men as real people and as friends, and not as brainwashed money-making slaves for women to manipulate.

...but once that happens,... there goes the neigborhood!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There's nothing wrong with a guy liking anime, I like anime yet still enjoy a pretty good social life. I do sometimes have an emotional connection with well-written characters but as I know they are not real that connection doesn't last long.

It's when people take it a step too far like these guys have, if they've gone this far then they are too far gone, it's unlikely you'll get them to stop "seeing" their anime girlfriend and trying to change him too much may ruin the relationship, so yes I feel it is better to just leave him, one day he'll wake and realise he's still a virgin at 25 despite having a 4 year "relationship" with his 2D girlfriend, of course the girl shouldn't wait around for that to happen so he'll have to look in 3D world for another girl.

About the friend thing, if you're boyfriend has an interest in anime and they stop being with you for it I'd hardly call them friends because that's simply ridiculous and if they threaten do stop being friends with you over it then stop being friends with them, especially if you have no problem with your boyfriends interest and it isn't severe.

This article does the "otaku" no favours, while there are some severe "otaku" that may be like this, they're only a minority. The majority of "otaku" simply enjoy a certain type of tv show and collecting its merchandise like a girl may collect shoes or handbags, but the word "otaku" has gained a certain, unwarranted stigma because of a minority who are simple too extreme.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nothing to talk about.?????? What kind of advice are this.....??????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An anime girlfriend?! Well, they're cute and all of that but let's face it, they not real. I don't blame them guys for it because some of them can't find any decent, honest girls and they end up dealing with some of this selfish, insensitive, inattentive, disloyal, money-grubbing, backstabbing, gold-digger women out there with probably their closets full all the way up with skeletons.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lol I'm glad I'm not even interested in real life women

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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