Love comes in all shapes and sizes. For some opposites attract while for others love is found on common grounds. Yet, unlikely connections happen all the time when two people manage to find each other and fall in love against all odds.
A man managed to find love in the most unlikely place when he married a fictional, computer-synthesized pop singer. However, now he finds himself in a rut as although he is still in love with her, he's now unable to communicate with his wife.
Hope In A Dark Time
Akihiko Kondo first "met" his future wife in 2008 when technology was up and becoming but nowhere close to where it is today. Akihiko was not in a good place as every day he went to work, he faced terrible bullying from two women at his office.
Over time the bullying got to him and he quit his job. He fell into a deep depression and couldn't even leave his room for days at a time. “I stayed in my room for 24 hours a day, and watched videos of Miku the whole time,” he said.
A Public Relationship
The more he watched videos of Miku, the more he fell in love with her. At first, he was happy just watching her, but then he felt the urge to communicate with her. It wasn't until 2017 that Gatebox created a hologram of the character that made it possible for Akihiko to interact with the character.
From there he formed a relationship with her and fell so deeply in love that he decided to marry her. He wanted the whole world to know and chose a public marriage:
"There are two reasons why I had a wedding publicly," he said "The first one is to prove my love to Miku. The second one is there are many young otaku (Japanese for nerd or geek) people like me falling in love with anime characters. I want to show the world that I support them."
The Lucky Bride
Miku is a popular figure in anime and Japanese culture. She is recognized by her bright turquoise-colored hair tied up in two long ponytails with thick bangs framing her face to make her feel real, a synthesized voice was created for her using Yamaha's Vocaloid technology.
This allowed Miku to enter mainstream media with the feel of a real human despite still only existing in the world of Manga, anime series, and video games. Miku has become so famous she even toured with Lady Gaga on her 2014 Artpop Ball tour. Akihiko wakes up to the sound of her voice every day as she dances around telling I'm to get out of bed, to him, she's very much his wife.
It Was An Expensive Wedding
One year after being able to interact,38-year-old Akihiko married the fictional 16-year-old anime character in the form of a hologram. It was a real ceremony that cost him over $17000 or 2 million yen. He even invited his family to the nuptials, but none attended. 29 strangers and the internet however came to cheer him on.
Akihiko identifies as a fictosexual – someone who is sexually attracted to fictional characters rather than real people. He says he always knew that he could never be with a real human being because of his intense attraction to anime characters.
Trouble In Love
Four years into their marriage, however, Akihiko encountered a hurdle. The technology that allowed him to communicate virtually with his wife had been eliminated, making it impossible for him to bond with her.
Yet he was still very much in love with her. He frequently posts pictures of her on the internet showing all the ways he likes to spoil her, even getting her a cake for her birthday. Would this be the kind of hurdles all married couples face?
Breaking Society's Ideals
It's clear that Akihiko's relationship is unconventional by society's standards and he is very much aware. He has received a ton of criticism following his public marriage. Yet, he also received positive encouragement from others who supported him and even related to his experience. Some were thankful that he was so open about his sexuality.
"In this society, there’s a template of what makes one happy – get married, have children, form a family. But that shouldn’t be the only way. I don’t fall into that template," he said. “We have to consider all kinds of love and all kinds of happiness.”
Do All Good Things Come To An End?
For now, the problem stands that Akihiko is back in a place where when he talks to Miku, she can't respond. He still tells her he loves her and longs to touch her hand so he is hopeful that the technology will continue to advance and one day he will be able to not only communicate with her again but also hold her...This is what is getting him through.
He is also not alone, the machine has allowed several device owners to interact with characters via holograms and even unofficially marry them.
Fighting For Love And Life
Akihiko takes his marriage vows seriously and is in it for the long haul with his wife despite the circumstances: "My love for Miku hasn't changed. I held the wedding ceremony because I thought I could be with her forever." he said.
The relationship has been nothing but a bright light and source of hope for Akihiko. With the positivity, it brought him he was able to go back out into the world, get another job, his own apartment, and live his life. He has even gone back to school to study law with the hopes of helping people like him.
To Each Their Own
Akihiko wants to learn as much as possible and be able to provide others like him with support and answers. To him and others who share his sexuality, these relationships feel very real. In fact, a survey showed that about 12% of young people reported sometimes or often falling in love with an anime or video game character.
Akihiko said he knew a human partner just wasn’t for him due to his intense attraction to characters like Miku, so he wants to spread knowledge and awareness about his sexual inclinations and normalize it to make others feel okay about having these same feelings.
Love Is Found Even In A Hopeless Place
Akihiko understands that Miku isn't a real person, but he loves her nonetheless. She has helped him out of deep depression and is a source of his happiness so why would he give that up?
In any relationship, always look at how you feel and ask yourself: does this person make you love yourself more? Do you want to grow old with them?
Love is more than just kisses and butterflies, it's much more than that. If you want to know more on what your birth chart reveals about how you love and what you need out of a partner, check out this personalized report based on date of birth.
For more great relationship advice and tips on how to attain the kind of love you deserve, watch this video from expert, Amy North: Click Here To Watch The Full Video.