In the world there are those who love men, who love women and who both. Then there are those who love freely, without asking too many questions. In Japan, for example, there is a man who loves a hologram madly, to the point of marrying him. We do not know at the moment if he asked the hand of the programmer dad or if he knelt and handed her a chip ring, but we do know his name: Akihiko Kondo. The 38-year-old is sent to a cybernetic wedding 4 years ago with Hatsune Miku, a hologram that incorporates the features of the homonymous 16-year-old manga singer. And since this bizarre story with cyberpunk contours requires a romantic narrative, it is fair to tell it from the beginning.
“The galactic encyclopedia, in the chapter devoted to love, states that ‘it is too complicated to define’. The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy, on the subject of love, says ‘avoid it if you can’. “
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
In Spike Jonze’s beautiful film Her, Joaquine Phoenix falls in love with OS1, an operating system with the voice of Scarlett Johansson. A form of cinematic and cyber romanticism, in which machines become an integral part of human feelings, so much so that they become protagonists. In real life it has gone even further, as in the case of Akihiko Kondo, who fell in love with manga singer Hatsune Miku, to the point of “marrying” a Gatebox device: a hologram complete with flowing blue hair made of pixels.
To do this, Mr. Kondo asked the Gatebox company for an interdimensional union certificate, which from the point of view of the law has no value, but which for Japanese means everything. Unhappy with his sentimental sphere, Kondo sought and found his happiness in the virtual one. At the symbolic ceremony few guests, almost all friends of the groom known on the web, none on the part of the bride. “I’m a fictitious”Said the 38-year-old, opening the doors to a new era for all sexuality (if we can talk about sexuality). But what are the definitions for if there is happiness?
The theme is obviously particularly delicate, and the simple irony (of which this article too, we admit, gets stained) risks being out of place in the face of the fragility of human emotions. So we just have to report the facts, trying to understand a phenomenon that, especially in Japan, risks becoming a trend.
In the East, the Vocaloid phenomenon is particularly widespread in the entertainment industry. They are virtual singers, and one of the most popular in Japan is the hologram Hatsune Miku, to the point of being chosen by Lady Gaga as a support act for her tour in 2014. In short, take Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz and multiply them by one thousand.
It is therefore not absurd to fall in love, at least conceptually and artistically, with a character who proposes his “own” music and with “his own” character and personality. In fact, Akihiko Kondo is not the only “fictosexual” in Japan, where companies are born to meet these needs by creating holograms on commission, such as Gatebox.
Until 20/30 years ago, people like Akihiko were called “Otaku”. This is a name, often used in a derogatory way, which indicates people with poor sociality, who prefer to stay indoors and who tend, over the years, to create their own imaginary world.
We don’t know if such a “relationship” is healthy or not. We don’t even know how the two “spouses” manage to quarrel, make love, talk to each other and live life. However, we know that Akihiko Kondo says he is happy, aware of having a fake bride and true feelings. Dark times are ahead for divorce lawyers.
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