[Guest Blogger] Why Are We Attracted to Anime Bishounen & Bishoujo?

Hello Heroes and Travelers, today we have a special guest post from the lovely, Arria Cross from over at Fujinsei!! Arria approached me about guest blogging here a little while ago and I was more than happy to oblige! Also be on the look out for my guest post on her site soon!! So join me in welcoming her to Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!! So without further ado, I’m gonna turn things over to Arria!!

Hello, folks! My name is Arria Cross, blogger of Fujinsei, an entertainment blog featuring anime, manga, Japanese & otaku culture. Big thanks to my friend Naja for allowing me to guest post here in Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. Yay!

“Husbando” and “waifu” are now very common terms within the fandom to refer to fictional characters in anime, manga, or games that you would like to be your husband or wife. Many fans, however, use these terms interchangeably with anime crush.

Non-fans may view us as weird, obsessive freaks. Viral news about a Japanese gamer marrying (not legally) a game character back in 2009 and a Japanese company offering marriage certificates with 2D anime brides just strengthen misconceptions about us. Before anything else, I would like to clarify that these examples are extreme and do not apply to all fans. Most of us may call our 2D crushes “husbando” or “waifu”, but this does not necessarily mean that we’ll go as far as actually “marry” them in real life. In our fantasies, maybe.

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Image Credit: Curtain Damashi

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about us:

  • We turn to 2D characters because we’re unable to get “real” boyfriends or girlfriends.

Others think that we’re so much of a failure as human beings that we can’t attract “real”, breathing, flesh and blood lovers, so we fantasize about 2D characters instead to ease our frustrations. Or they think that perhaps we are too far gone into our fantasy world that we no longer feel any attraction to “real” men or women.

  • We don’t have any social lives.

Others think that we’re anti-social outcasts who don’t know how to function like normal members of society; loners who don’t have any friends. So we, according to them, turn to 2D characters to fill the void in our relationships.

  • We are not right in the head. We can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality.

Others think that we must be mentally, er, challenged to be attracted to fictional characters instead of real, breathing, flesh and blood human beings.

Just like how there are different kinds of people in the world, there are also different kinds of fans like us. It’s ridiculous and unfair to generalize us into one big, ugly case of weirdos. Granted, some of us fit into these misconceptions, but certainly not all of us. Besides, even if we are attracted to 2D characters, it doesn’t mean that we’re not capable of forming normal relationships with “real” people.

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Why We Are Attracted to 2D Bishounen & Bishoujo Characters

  1. They look hot.

Well, duh. But of course, “hot” is subjective. What’s hot to one may not necessarily attract another. Others prefer the beautiful, elegant, and seemingly perfect types; some the clumsy, absent-minded but cute types; while others are attracted to the bad boy or bad girl types. Kudos to the character designers for creating such attractive characters!

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  1. They have the sexiest voices.

The credit, of course, goes to the amazing seiyuu for breathing life to these 2D characters and multiplying their sex appeal levels. How many of us squeal or have our hearts skip a beat whenever we hear the sexy voices of our 2D crushes? There are just voices that are too sexy that they strum the deepest strings of our ovaries or testicles. Ahem!

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  1. We grow attached to them.

For many anime, manga and even games, we are able to follow the life stories of the characters. As a result, we sympathize with them and learn to understand their motivations. We feel as if we share their sufferings and triumphs. We start cheering for them to succeed and overcome challenges.

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  1. They provide us with a means to escape reality.

Escaping reality is not altogether a bad thing. Life can be very stressful; that’s a fact. Some pour themselves a glass (or two) of wine to unwind. Some go for out-of-town vacations or to shopping sprees. Some practice deep meditation. Some read books. These are all legitimate forms of escapism. Ours is the same. We immerse ourselves in the world of anime, manga, and games where our favourite characters live, in order to escape reality for a short period of time. It’s the same concept.

  1. Ideal partner or guilty fantasy?

To some of us, our 2D crushes have the qualities we are looking for in our ideal partner. It’s like saying “My ideal man is someone like Usher” or “My ideal woman is someone like Angelina Jolie”. But instead we fans say, “My ideal man is someone like Victor Nikiforov” or “My ideal woman is someone like Hatsune Miku”. We imagine how loved and cared for we would be with our ideal partners by proxy of these characters.

There are some cases, however, where we find ourselves attracted to a character who we would never ever consider liking in real life. An example of this would be the character of Sangwoo from the Korean webtoon Killing Stalking. Sangwoo is a psychopathic serial kidnapper, rapist and murderer. Heaven forbid that there is actually a person in the world who would want someone like him with them in real life. But look at the number of squealing fan girls (and fanboys) who gush nonstop about how hot Sangwoo is, completely disregarding the atrocity of his crimes. Some of us consider characters like Sangwoo as our guilty fantasies. After all, we are free and safe to fantasize as much as we want.

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  1. They inspire us.

For some of us, our 2D crushes are people we aspire to be. They may have qualities that we wish we ourselves have. For example, the shy ones may be attracted extroverted characters. Or perhaps the character underwent so much pain and setbacks in life but endured and persevered, ultimately succeeding triumphant in the end. These, in turn, inspire us to improve…or attempt to improve ourselves.

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  1. They make us happy.

Personally for me, this is the most important. We just feel happy with our 2D bishies and bishoujo. Period. Happiness itself is not a sin. As long as we’re not harming others, we’re free to feel happy with our bishie and bishoujo crushes.

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Don’t Be Ashamed!

It’s unfortunate that others think negatively about us for finding bishounen and bishoujo characters in anime, manga, and games attractive. This forces many of us to hide our feelings and think that nobody could possibly ever understand us. But you know what? What others think about us is none of our business. What’s more important is how we think about ourselves. If we accept who we are, who cares about what they think? The most important thing is that we’re happy.

Also remember that you’re not alone. There are people like me and Naja who can fangirl and fanboy with you. No shaming. Just fun, passionate, unadulterated fangirling and fanboying.

Finding 2D characters attractive does not make us social invalids. Not at all. On the contrary, it makes us open-minded and more accepting of the unorthodox. Besides, many of us have healthy relationships in real life, in addition to our beloved 2D crushes. We get the best of both worlds! This makes us unique. Don’t be ashamed and be proud!

Thank you very much for reading my guest post. Once again, special thanks to Naja. Finally, please don’t forget to check out my blog, Fujinsei. You can also find me on Twitter (@ArriaCross), Facebook, and Google+. Have a great day. Cheers!

/Wild Arria Fled/

19 thoughts on “[Guest Blogger] Why Are We Attracted to Anime Bishounen & Bishoujo?

  1. Loved your post <3
    So true!!!
    My Japanese teacher asked me once "why do you like to play otome games?" and I told her the exact same thing you wrote her.

    1. Thank you! Indeed, not everyone can understand us. I don’t play otome games because I know that I’ll get addicted. But Naja, the owner of this blog is contanstly tempting me and others to play otoge. Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!

  2. Love it. I honestly think that people who don’t understand fictional crushes/make fun of those who have them lack empathy. Like if you read a story or watch a movie, can you relate to the people in them? I know people who’ll say “It’s not real! Why are you getting emotional?” Because I can put myself in that place and understand how someone might feel in the situation that’s present. That doesn’t make a weak or weird person (though I AM a weird person and damn proud of it), it means I can relate to someone outside myself, which means I’m more likely to be able to do that in real life!

    Also, I will never give up my bishie loves!

    1. Exactly! Why can’t it be seen as the same concept as watching films or reading novels? We get emotional and feel for the characters in the same way we empathize with these bishies & bishoujo. Indeed, they’re not real but they evoke the human emotions in us which is the point. And you said it right! Empathizing with fictional characters doesn’t make us weak or weird, well, yeah, we’re weird but we’re proud of it. High-five!!! Yay. Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!

      1. One of the best quotes I ever heard was while I was watching Star Trek Voyager. In the show they have this elaborate holodeck program that’s a seaside town with a whole bunch of characters who are holograms, but all of the crew go there on their time off and interact with them. In one of the episodes something happens that jeopardizes the program and they could potentially lose it, and the captain makes statement that “The characters may not be real, but our feelings about them are.” That is the best and simplest explanation I could ever hope for. A character/story may not be real, but your feelings about them are real and legitimate. They psychology of story has been studied and found to be extremely powerful. We relate to characters in the same way we relate to real people, and it helps us relate to real people! It’s why people who read tend to be more sensitive and sympathetic/empathetic.

        I will totally be weird! I’ve been that way my entire life, and I like the outlook it’s give me 😀

    1. Awww Arria, girl it was my pleasure!! Your post has been getting a great response from my readers and of course, how could I say no to more bishies on my blog?

      I really had a blast with this and I would def be open to doing another one of these in the future!!

  3. I’d say most of what Aria Cross wrote is correct or should I say very accurate. Sometimes she scares me on how her intuition powers works very well when it comes to seeing people’s behaviors and psychological necessities. I think people would want to seek expert mental help if people are unable to distinguish fantasy from reality. Anyways, 2d characters are getting more and more beautiful that I have to admit I can sympathize with those who prefer it compared to real ones.

    1. I’ve been told that before. Ahaha! I just like trying to understand people and it doesn’t hurt that I’ve experienced some of these firsthand. Besides, there is a lot of misconceptions about fans like us. And it’s sad encountering fellow fans who begin to think that there’s really something wrong with them for liking 2D characters. Ahahaha! I get what you mean. These characters are getting hotter and hotter! Thanks for dropping by!

  4. I have to confess, I’m so guilty of this. My weirdest crush was on Shuichi Aizawa (Death note), after he lost those sunglasses, cut his hair and grow a beard . When he revealed his new look, I was like omg he’s so pretty. Who knew he was hiding that under all the hair and sunglasses.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! Arria killed it with her post! Hot 2D guys will be the death of us, they are almost too good looking for words!

Gush about cute otome boys~