marcus_sez_vote: (Default)
[personal profile] marcus_sez_vote
This article about a subset of Otaku into "body pillows" is quite disturbing. It makes me wonder if people in other cultures, as anime/otaku culture has gone global, have the same fetish/depth of emotion. The article is somewhat graphic in a few parts, but here's an excerpt:

She lifted him right out of his misery. “It’s hard to explain in words, but it’s a feeling similar to romance. Sasami gave me the will to keep going.” Since then, Okayama has turned to 2-D for all his emotional needs — the desire to buy new anime helped him get through a period of unemployment in 2003, and his body-pillow girlfriends, whom he dates two or three at a time, consoled him when his first real-life girlfriend dumped him in 2007.

“I was steps away from getting married,” he explained earnestly when prodded about his experience. “You have to make sure you don’t hurt a real person; you have to watch what you say, and you have to keep your room clean. In Japan, it’s not O.K. to like another person if you’re already with somebody else. With an anime character, you can like one character one day and a different character the next.”


Interestingly the article mentions that women as well as men have these strong feelings, though it does mention that the majority are men. The author also is really not objective, as her feelings about the situation seem very clear, not that I had a problem with that.

The New York times linked to the article writer's blog where I found this video of a Japanese fan-girl interviewing Rubert Grint a. k. a. Ron. She's very enthusiastic...and odd, but it's an amusing video.

Be well.

Date: 2009-07-23 04:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] funwithrage.livejournal.com
Interesting.

On the one hand, as someone who would be a fairly cheerful Henry Higgins-style loner if I wasn't currently in a nice relationship, I can understand the "real people are pains in the ass to live with" thing. I mean, relationships do have many upsides, but so does living alone: not having to consider another person when deciding what time you'll be back at night or what you'll have for dinner or whatever. If things don't work out with Current Boy, I can totally see myself embracing cantankerous bachelorhood rather than looking for another partner.

On the other, and perhaps more important hand, these guys are in love with pillows. Like, there's a line, they're all the way on the "enormously creepy" side, and now I need to go shower for thirty minutes.

Date: 2009-07-23 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marcus-sez-vote.livejournal.com
Yes the inanimate object is not going to judge/curtail your actions. On the other hand, it is an inanimate object.

The fan video is hilarious if you have a moment to check it out.

Be well.

Date: 2009-07-23 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] funwithrage.livejournal.com
Hee, yeah. It's like...I don't know, I guess in America it'd be the difference between living alone and reading a lot of romance novels (cool) and actually pretending that the people in said novels are around and talking to you, or that you're married to them on the Astral Plane, or whatever (oh, the batshit insanity).

Holy God, that video is wacky. Hee!

Date: 2009-07-23 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emergent.livejournal.com
I found it oddly entertaining that the article seemed to specifically separate out the "astral plane" stage: you're married to them, but still consider them inanimate objects. It's this weird fine line between batshit and non-batshit, where they explicitly reject the most batshit parts of batshittery, yet... still seem to enjoy their guano.

Date: 2009-07-23 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] funwithrage.livejournal.com
The next edition of the DSM is going to have a whole section labeled "Otaku," I swear to God.

Date: 2009-07-24 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ornithoptercat.livejournal.com
Not only are they pillows, they are pillows depicting 10-12 year old girls who these 30-something guys think are their girlfriends.

Pillows are bad enough. Pillows with pictures of people/characters on them are worse. But pedophile pillows? NOT OK.

Date: 2009-07-24 02:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marcus-sez-vote.livejournal.com
Yeah I don't know how they cognitively get past that. Maybe because these are anime characters some of whom are dragons/vampires/have magic powers/have already been put into explicit situations? You'd think there would be enough older anime characters for them to utilize, though a quick search turns up that the "age of consent" in Japan is 13 years old...although it seems that the local prefectures sent their own limits with 16 being the youngest. Still the fact that 13 is mentioned in their overall penal code does have implications.

Be well.

Date: 2009-07-24 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wirednavi.livejournal.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori

Potentially interesting and relevant. Hikikomori are reclusive and isolated men who generally live with their parents and refuse to leave the house, often for any reason. Theories say that this is prevalent in Japan because of the intense social anxiety produced by their culture.

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