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Author Topic: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP (borderline NSFW?)  (Read 356 times)

Offline bwbScram

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XT, why is there a list close tag at the end of my post, even after I remove it? I think I closed all of the lists I started.  XT Edit: fixed.

You might not be aware of it, it's Singles' Awareness Day Eve (counting on a filter here). And there it is.

As such, it's time to bring back yet another thread that was on the old forums.

ITT, we show off our waifus/husbandos/bossus, and talk about waifuism in general.

"But Scram, what on Earth is a why-foo?"

The answer to that question is surprisingly complex. Waifu is a word that first came about in the Japanese lexicon around the early 1980s. Warning; we're about to delve into some Asian linguistics here.

The dynamics between husband and wife in Japan have changed so much that the older way in which a woman was referred to as a wife was seen as offensive to newer couples. Kanai, the word for wife that uses two Chinese characters that mean "inside the house" became objectionable to the newer generations of women. Likewise, the words for husband, shujin and danna, roughly mean "master". Given that these words did not correspond to their own domestic partnerships, many couples decided to continue the wonderful Japanese tradition of loanwords by adopting the English husband and wife. The words underwent some changes in their pronunciation, and presto! You have waifu and hazu. (Stanlaw, 2004: Rebick & Takenade, 2006)

As anime became popular in the west, waifu and hazu were picked up by fans of anime and manga and were used to refer to their favorite characters. If I had to hazard a guess, I would claim that 2002 was the year during which really popularized waifu in particular amongst these fans. One anime in particular, had a lot to do with that...



That said, these words were a definite part of the Japanese vernacular and were even in anime quite some time before this particular instance.

Moving onto waifus with respect to the otaku subculture. As mentioned earlier, a waifu or husbando refers to a character that someone identifies with, has affection for, or actually considers to be a vicarious wife or husband. The terms are not exactly clear-cut however; some people will use the word waifu to refer to a male or female character. Amongst those that do use hubando, though, the fact that it is used instead of the technically correct hazu suggests, at least to myself, that this is more of a western phenomenon.

In any case, a waifu is a fictional character that a real person "loves". It definitely is a relationship/concept that means different things to different people. So, we have what I like to call the Waifuism Spectrum, which may or may not coincide with a spectrum of a different kind (there's your offensive joke for the day).

Some people take the idea of having a waifu as something casual. Sentiments could be anything such as...

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  • "Man, Yoko is so hot. She is mai waifu."

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  • "Clearly, Rem was the best girl of Spring 2016. Definitely mai waifu."

and so on. It is something fun and temporary (note this).

On the other side, there are those who treat having a waifu as equivalent to being married. Some people wear wedding bands, base life decisions on what their waifu might think, go out to a bar with a dakimakura of said partner, you get the idea. There are actually a couple of communities for people who are serious about it, such as /r/waifuism and 8chan's /mai/. A sample OP from a thread entitled "Robowaifus" on /mai/ right now...

"Let say that within the span of 5 years, robotics and ai technology have massive breakthrough and waifubots/husbandobots become a thing. With these waifubots/husbandobots, you can customize them to be exactly like your waifu/husbando in every aspect down to appearance and personality. They will act exactly like him/her down to the most obscure quirk he/she has. Would you be willing to buy one of your waifu/husbando? or are you against the idea? If so why? Would it be wrong to fall in love with the waifubot since it's technically not them, but a replica?"

There are some variances in the beliefs of members of such communities, but these are some general guidelines...

  • Relationships with a waifu are a monogamous commitment
  • The lover of the waifu knows that the character is fictional
  • Sexual aspects of the relationship are an individual/couple decision
  • Having a waifu does not necessarily prevent someone from entering a 3D relationship

That last item can be quite contentious. /mai/ actually had a shitstorm about a year ago when it come to surface that some mods were in actual relationships.

I'll stop for now to prevent there being a single post with a wall of text. These next few posts will predominantly concern the second of the two groups I mentioned (the more serious "waifuists").
« Last Edit: 2017-02-15 05:46:13 by XT-8147 »

Offline bwbScram

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Re: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP
« Reply #1 on: 2017-02-13 21:13:23 »
It was briefly mentioned in the waifuism community "guidelines", but let's just tackle it head on. There definitely is a sexual component to having a waifu, and a lot of people are divided on it. Some view it as a natural byproduct of their "marriage", analogous to how it is in the "3D" world. For others, the very thought of engaging in intercourse with their waifu is frowned upon. This is common with people whose waifu is young, or when there is a significant discrepancy in age. There are those who believe that "having sex" with anyone but their waifu is tantamount to adultery, whereas others are interested in having a concubine of 2D characters. This is also a sore spot among the "waifuists", who tend to frown on those with "harems" and "seasonal waifus".

In a nutshell, there are several different opinions when it comes to waifus and sexuality, with decisions being made on an individual basis.

pic related

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Offline bwbScram

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Re: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP
« Reply #2 on: 2017-02-13 22:17:44 »
Now that we are fairly acclimated with the concept of a waifu, let's delve into the interactions between a 2D character and a 3D person. This can seem a bit silly, and to be honest, it is. The important thing to remember here is that having a waifu (at least, on a conceptual level) is somewhat similar to an actual relationship. Relationships are, for the most part, defined by the personalities of the people connected to each other. Fictional characters (at least the good ones) have personalities that can serve as a guide to how the character would think or behave in particular situations. This isn't really that different from what authors do when writing. They know the characters (more than anyone else) and write about how they react to various stimuli. Just about every waifuist does the same.

Ideas hold an incredible amount of power. They are capable of eliciting fear, love, hatred, lust, and every other emotion conceivable. This might be seen as kind of cynical, but a great deal of what we view as "human" are ideas. A waifu is nothing more or less than the mental projection of a person that does not happen to be 3D. Much of what we call "reality" is based on interpretations courtesy of our own minds. I could go on, but I don't want this to turn into episode 26 of Evangelion.

Anyway, onto actual interactions. When it comes to waifus, any fictional character has the potential of becoming one. It isn't just limited to anime and manga (see young adult fiction), but they do form the bulk of these relationships. I would hypothesize that having some sort of original image/art to draw inspiration from helps out a great deal, but that is a topic for an entirely different discussion.

Basically, a waifu is not "chosen", but rather an emotional event that simply "happens" to the 3D party involved upon encountering the character's source material, whether it is a televised series, comic, or video game (I can testify that this is how it works). I would say that for the most part, waifuism isn't rooted in delusion; we'll get to those few cases in a little bit.

Ok, so you've got a waifu. Now what do you do? A lot of people are simply content to go throughout their lives with what is essentially a more refined version of an imaginary friend. Others like to go out on "dates" with their beloved. One of those staples, and now a bit of a meme, is Dinner With Waifu (嫁との晩餐, Yome to no bansan). Originating on 2chan and moving to 4chan and 8chan's /a/, /jp/, etc... these are events that take place around romantic holidays (Christmas Eve and Singles' Awareness Day in particular) in which anonymous users post photographs of themselves having dinner with their waifu, who takes the form of a computer monitor or a dakimakura.

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Speaking of dakimakura, those who are exceptionally bold will take one out on "dates" in public.

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Other side-effects of waifuism include buying figures, becoming interested in seiyuu, and a sudden increase in the size of your wallpaper folder.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-13 23:07:06 by bwbScram »

Offline bwbScram

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Re: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP
« Reply #3 on: 2017-02-13 23:00:12 »
I think this post should wrap up the treatise on waifuism. Get comfy and lie down on the Freudian couch, because we're about to do some e-psychology. I am not a psychologist, so take this all with a grain of salt.

From what I have found on a lot of waifuist communities, most people involved in them do not seem to suffer from the anticipated maladies such as social anxiety, depression, etc. These people are very aware of the fact that their waifu is not real, and have no problems with this. The road we will be taking doesn't really concern them; it's the people who aren't so well adjusted that we might need to worry about.

For a portion of the community, waifuism can turn into a delusion that is harmful. When it comes to a lot of people, this lifestyle is a means to fulfill a need that cannot be found in the 3D world. While there is some amount of projection takes place (projecting one's desire as the desires of their waifu), the perspective of the waifu is drawn from the source material in which he/she resides. The greater the story and character development, the more that a personality can be fleshed out. Based on these personalities, it is possible to surmise how the waifu will react to actions of the 3D individual. In some ways, this really is the same as what actual flesh-and-blood couples do on a daily basis, save for the fact that the exchange of information is only one-way.

This one-sided nature of communication can be extremely harmful to some people by preventing them from connecting with real people who are unpredictable and sometimes contradictory. Having a waifu can be a means of shielding oneself from the outside world, putting that person in a worse place socially, and leading to a nasty feedback loop.



I think this video gets the gist of it right. Waifuism, if you're not careful, can lead you down a lot of unhealthy roads. If you ever consider trying to make a tulpa based on your waifu, you're quite past the point where you need to be thinking things over.

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« Last Edit: 2017-02-13 23:12:58 by bwbScram »

Offline bwbScram

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Re: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP
« Reply #4 on: 2017-02-13 23:59:57 »
Now that I ended on such a bright note, let's actually share our waifus. Feel free to elaborate on why you like them, post pictures, and so on.

Or, we can discuss waifuism more if people are interested. In the meantime, I'll start things off.

Waifuists Anonymous: 2017 Meeting
Me: Hi. My name is Jon, and I have a waifu.
Crowd: Hi, Jon.

If you know me, there's a good chance you already know who my waifu is. If you've ever read or seen NHK ni Youkoso!, you should know that I love Misaki Nakahara entirely too much. In the case that you haven't, I would highly recommend doing so. In many ways, it is like Genshiken, but with next to none of the lighthearted college antics. Just know that you're getting into a series with fairly dark themes.

I'll gloss over the superficial stuff and simply say that Misaki is extremely cute. What I find the most interesting about her, though, is everything going on in her head. I won't spoil too much, but I will say that Misaki is someone whose world has been drastically altered and is willing to go through anything to achieve a return to normalcy upon failing to reach an accord with her new situation. Much like Shinji Ikari, she needs to be needed by others in order to feel as if she belongs. Given that Shinji is one of my favorite characters in all of fiction, the fact that "mai waifu" has a similar psychological profile isn't too surprising.

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« Last Edit: 2017-02-14 22:29:44 by bwbScram »

Offline tormaid

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Re: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP
« Reply #5 on: 2017-02-14 13:01:09 »
Excellent, topical thread. Much approve.

I guess my own feelings are mixed on this. I love anime, but I don't think I have ever loved a particular character in the way people do when they say they have a waifu. I was obsessed with Haruhi the first few years of getting into anime, and did go out of my way to purchase more than a few Nagato wall-scrolls, but I never really considered her a waifu. What I really got out of Haruhi was the sense of belonging, despite your unusual interests, it let you feel vicariously.

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Nowadays I do the whole seasonal "best girl" thing. I may buy character goods and collect wallpapers, and if that qualifies me as having a waifu, then so be it. Over the years these characters have included: Misaka Mikoto, Mirai Kuriyama, and Rem, for whom I purchased a whole pile of doujin at Comiket. You know what, fuck it: Rem is my waifu now. Deal with it.

As for the question of whether or not not it's OK to fap to your favorite 2D character...

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...that's the whole fucking point! Filthy casuals.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-14 13:08:39 by tormaid »

Offline 13thMuse

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Re: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP
« Reply #6 on: 2017-02-14 17:31:29 »
You might think about adding an nsfw tag to the title of this thread, because I like this open discussion of sexually nuanced things and I don't want to censor myself but I also don't want people to be surprised by the content.

If we're talking about this seriously, as a girl--and a feminist, full disclosure--and a bisexual (#comingout lol) my experience of waifuism is very different than most guys' would be. I understand that these are not real people and don't have their own thoughts or emotions but I still can't help but put myself in the girl's shoes and think about how I would feel being treated that way by the narrative/the fans, which leads to some uncomfortable situations. (For example, I would already never fap to my waifu being degraded/not enjoying herself, because that kind of content elicits a visceral reaction in me and can make me feel physically ill, which makes finding good doujin a fun time tbh.) This also explains why I have a hard time tolerating fanservice in general.

Additionally, I've had experience IRL with men, particularly "nerdy" men, treating me like I'm a 2D waifu or a character in a dating sim by continually harrassing me online and in person with uncomfortable and unsolicited attention, no matter how many times I tried to politely dissuade them, like if they just talked at me enough they'd fill up my affection bar and we'd automatically cut to an H scene lol. It's worth noting that they didn't actually make an effort to get to know me, but rather tried to impress me with empty flattery and various facts about themselves. It always ended with me blocking them on all social media because even the cliche "I have a b­oyfriend" line had no effect, implying that not only did they refuse to respect my own feelings and opinions, but they wouldn't respect another man's "ownership" of me, either. (This isn't vauge-posting about anyone in club; I no longer have contact with any of these people.) So in summary, I've had experience with some of the real-life pitfalls on either side of waifuism subculture, and I suppose my greater concern lies where that subculture effects real-life interactions and expectations of women. I also have some complicated feelings about the idea of my own SO splitting their affection between me and a 2D character, but that's private and also awkward to talk about here for obvious reasons lol. I just mention it because as much as people worry about "cheating" on their 2D partners, I haven't heard anything about the 3D girls' feelings yet.

Heavy issues aside, I don't think waifuism is inherently "bad," but rather something to be enjoyed responsibly. I've had my fair share of guilty-pleasure indulgence in waifu- and husbando-coveting, and I freaking love those voice line alarm clocks and drama CDs made to seem like the character is talking just to you and other character goods for the "sabishii" types. If we're sharing, then during my misspent youth as a weeb I had the most embarrassing secret crush on Zero from Vampire Knight, I currently have a giant signed wall scroll of sexy suit motorcycle Saber because I have the biggest ladyboner for her, and I identify with/look up to Kuriyama Mirai (my profile pic) because she's adorable and #relatable but still BADASS. This is more true of book Mirai, and if/when I get done translating it you guys will know it too. (Ah, those classic conflicted bisexual emotions; do I want to do her or be her? ^^; )

Being in a monogamous IRL relationship I don't really keep a waifu in the strictest sense, but as a waifu appreciator I still spend a lot of time debating with myself about what's really ok to indulge in. For example, I think a factor in why Rem from Re:Zero is so incredibly popular (*spoilers*) is because she plays the role of the supportive, uncritical "girl as trophy" stereotype that Emilia stomped all over when she called Subaru out on his selfish entitlement, and I think many people don't want to be self-critical so they transfer their admiration to the easier target, Rem. But at the same time I love her for her willingness to change her preconcieved notions about people and admit to her mistakes, and her unselfish loyalty and support for the ones she loves, even when it's incredibly difficult for her (and even when I hate the guy. Subaru is actual trash and I wish he could just go and leave all these girls alone), and I think a lot of people also admire that strength in her. I also freaking love D.Va from Overwatch for being a badass--extremely skilled in her field, war hero, business savvy--and also adorable, but I hate that she was probably created specifically as a cheap ploy to appeal to Westerners with "yellow fever," lolicons, and giant robot fans, and I hate even more that I totally fell for it lol.

Tl;dr, I lead a conflicted existence and while a lot of things about waifuism rub me the wrong way, I still can't help but indulge in it myself, for better or worse. I wanted to share my perspective because I think some of this stuff might be new to some people.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-14 17:33:00 by 13thMuse »

Offline 13thMuse

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Re: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP
« Reply #7 on: 2017-02-14 18:21:00 »
Adding pictures:

Zero from Vampire Knight:
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Motorcycle Saber:
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(Bad quality but shikata ga nai)

Kuriyama "I came into this world screaming and covered in my own blood and I'm not afraid to go out the same way" Mirai:
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More Rem because if I have to be sad about her then so do you:
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And D.Va in case you somehow managed to miss the internet craze:
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« Last Edit: 2017-02-14 18:53:35 by tormaid »

Offline bwbScram

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Re: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP
« Reply #8 on: 2017-02-14 23:42:31 »
You know what, fuck it: Rem is my waifu now. Deal with it.
The matter was settled when you elected to throw a birthday party for her.

You might think about adding an nsfw tag to the title of this thread, because I like this open discussion of sexually nuanced things and I don't want to censor myself but I also don't want people to be surprised by the content.
Done.

Keep up the discussion. This is all good stuff.

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I don't really consider myself to be a true waifuist, at least as how I envision the concept. I've never posted on /mai/, and I really want nothing to do with Reddit. I suppose I do take it more seriously than your average person, but an entire dimension is hard to ignore. I have done some Dinner With Waifu posts in the past, but those have been ironic in nature; more of an attempt to get featured on an /a/ collage.

(click to show/hide)

Have some OC...
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« Last Edit: 2017-02-15 00:13:25 by bwbScram »

Offline tormaid

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Re: Waifu(ism) Thread: massive effortpost in OP
« Reply #9 on: 2017-02-15 12:10:44 »
You know what, fuck it: Rem is my waifu now. Deal with it.
The matter was settled when you elected to throw a birthday party for her.

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...

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Offline 13thMuse

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I had everything all written out and my tablet deleted it, so here's round 2.

You know what, fuck it: Rem is my waifu now. Deal with it.
The matter was settled when you elected to throw a birthday party for her.
I did wonder how many people would actually be engaged by that kind of thing, but I figured if there was cake no one would complain lol. (Also I'm just a sucker for Rem, and cake in general. I appreciate everyone putting up with my insistence on including Ram as well, because no one deserves to be excluded from her own birthday just because her sister is more popular.) In the spirit of fairness, I'm willing to make an Emilia cake in September as well; I've always wanted to try decorating with large sugar crystals.

I suppose it's only a small subset of people who actually engage in full "waifuism," with most people ending up around the periphery. I can respect the dedication and loyalty to one character, but I guess I'm too hazukashii to do it myself.

I was thinking about why waifuism tends to be a largely male phenomenon, and I think it might have something to do with fujoshi subculture. When women engage with anime and other media in a sexual manner, it tends to be as slash fanfiction/BL rather than a self-insert fantasy (pun not intended). There are many, many theories as to why that is, but the one that makes sense to me is that it has something to do with Western cultural taboos and stigma surrounding female sexuality. I'm not going to go into detail here because we're not trying to be that NSFW, but this thread sums it up pretty well. Unfortunately the link to the essay no longer works, but you should get an idea of the discussion surrounding this theory. Of course there are many women who do engage in husbando/waifuism directly, and there are also men who engage in fanfiction/shipping, but I'm talking about larger cultural trends.

Also, A+ meme usage my friend.

Speaking of memes, now that I'm out I can show you guys the Gay Memes(tm):
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Meanwhile lesbians:
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(tfw you spend literally hours looking for a reaction image and have to substitute a different one smh)

P.S. thank you for fixing my images earlier; I'm still learning how to do  that ^^;
« Last Edit: 2017-02-15 17:08:38 by 13thMuse »

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I decided at some point a long time ago that Mizuhara Koyomi from Azumanga Daioh was mai waifu, but then I almost instantly got out of the whole waifu thing and the whole "Yomi is mai waifu" thing just sort of stuck.  There was a brief moment after K-On! came out where Mio was a possibility (and I bought the Alter figure of her lol), but then Azu-nyan happened and to be honest moeblob series = all characters designed to be as waifable as possible, just in different ways, so I dropped the whole thing.

Sup, thread with long, well-written posts that have a lot of thought put into them.  Have one of my characteristically concise and to the point replies.

Offline Mmmm Bop

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Rate some of my waifus, fam
From left to Right: Chihaya, Makoto, and Takane ([email protected])


Kanako Yasaka from Touhou


Ayana from Revenge School


From Murcielago


Veronica from Franken Fran


Jack-o from Guilty Gear


And my honorary waifu: Azrael from Blazblue (NSFL(?)[this is official art lol])
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Offline sarawr

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sponge mode activated

I can't contribute much to this discussion but I am absorbing everything. Massive effort in massive effortpost acknowledged