Japanese men have no been able to marry their favorite anime characters thanks to the wonders of virtual reality technology.
The experience apparently springs from a VR game called “Niizuma Lovely x Cation,” where players get to create “meaningful” relationships with their chosen partners.
Hibiki Works, developer of the game, took things further by holding wedding ceremonies as part of their promotion for a second installment.
According to Vocativ, the studio began collecting applications from players who wanted to marry three anime characters — Aiko Kurihara, Nono Naruse and Yuki Isurugi — between April 28 and May 28.
The lucky grooms received the winning email on June 12, which advised them on what to wear and bring on their special day.
By June 30, the grooms donned HTC Vive VR units in an actual chapel for their weddings, reportedly officiated by a real priest. Each wedding lasted for around five minutes — and sealed with a kiss by rubber lips.
Netizens had mixed reactions over the trend, which has been understood as having no legal bearing. Commenters on LADBible’s Facebook page, which shared a video of the story, wrote:
“It disgusts me where this world is going, satisfied by robotic life that has no meaning, no emotions. We’re un-humanizing ourselves more and more every day.”
“What is more disturbing is that people have become so selfish, callous, and untrustworthy that spending time with a robot probably has a better chance of some sort of happiness.”
“This is what happens when fucking ugly male are born ugly. Women don’t want ugly men so ugly men resort to loser activities like this.”
“Can’t blame him. Real life Humans are selfish and most aren’t loyal anyway so why not save your heart from breaking and marry an anime figure instead!”
“Japan has a population of 128 million people. Me being part of that number, I can promise you 99.9% of us living in Japan would NEVER have heard of this or know it exists.”
It’s unclear if Hibiki Works would continue holding virtual reality weddings in the future, but there’s every reason to be hopeful.