Manga Figurines and the Men Who Love Them
She stood there, her bright blue eyes glistening in the light as if seeing the world anew. Her long golden blonde hair framed her picturesque face perfectly, not a strand out of place, pulled delicately back into two mirrored pigtails, held together with the smoothest flowing ribbon anyone had ever seen. She?s shy, standing coyly in her youthful dress, reminiscent of a school girl?s uniform, which you know she?s wearing solely to entice you. You slowly approach, waiting for the chance to get close to her smooth pink skin, radiant as it is in the light of the store. You make your move, seizing the opportunity; you say to her, ?Hello there, how would you like to come home with me tonight?? She stares at you blankly, without uttering a word, she must be playing hard to get; or perhaps you have to pay for her company. The latter isn?t hard to believe even though she?s not a call girl, she is in fact a Manga figurine, and you sometimes have a hard time telling the difference between this miniscule action figure representation of anime girls, and the real thing.
While the paragraph above may seem silly, it is in fact representative of a growing situation amongst men of Japanese descent. No one is really sure why this particular group is hit harder than any other, especially considering its not specific of Japanese males in Japan, but it?s equally a relevant concern for Japanese males living and born in other countries, including those born and raised in the United States of America. For one reason or another, this specific demographic of human beings has a tougher time than any other in discerning what is living and what is not. Personally, I?d figure the size would be an issue, but apparently not. Manga figurines are known to range in size from four inches to two feet, and while this is still small in comparison to the Japanese populous, it still doesn?t appear to be a deterrent.
Reports recently show that not only are these figurines (don?t call them dolls whatever you do) being coveted, but in some extreme cases, are even becoming the romantic object of some obscure relationship. They?ve been cited in divorce proceedings, and one Japanese man even used a previous divorce ruling to determine that the court does indeed consider them to be acceptable objects of romantic affection; enough to consider such an attachment as an emotional affair including mental infidelity, and as such, was granted a marriage to his prized figurine of Sailor Moon. Seriously, that to me screams more of a mental issue then a cultural movement.
If grown men falling in love with figurines is a cultural movement, then why is it so odd that people give their cars female names, and in some cases, baby a car with more respect than their spouses? Would it be justified to marry your car? And if you do marry an inanimate object like your car or your articulated Bubblegum Crisis statue, do you still get to claim the tax write-off? Would it help with your insurance? I know some people in these hard economic times that would consider it just for the decrease in insurance premiums. Even more puzzling, is it considered child abuse if the object of your affection is an underage anime figurine, like Card Captor Sakura?
I think that the real issue here isn?t so much that Japanese men are forming unhealthy relationships with inanimate action figures, but more so that society sees it as something merely risqué as opposed to what it really is, a desperate cry for help. Clearly these men find more positive qualities in the outspoken nature of their figurines, than they do in their current available dating pool. When a society becomes so improperly balanced, that one gender would rather have romantic entanglements with fictional beings made of plastic, it should be a wake-up call to the other gender that they are in fact doing something horribly wrong. How bad or how annoying does your spouse have to be for you to have an affair with a toy? What does it say about your wife or your girlfriend that you would rather spend the money to take a toy to dinner, for a meal it can?t eat, and to see a movie it can?t watch, than to spend time with them? While I understand clearly that it takes all kinds to make this world go around, clearly the ladies have dropped the ball on this one. So girls, if you?re dating a Japanese man and you think he?s paying too much time to his action figures; perhaps you should surprise him when he returns home from work, by dressing up as one of his favorite characters. It takes creativity to make a relationship last, and apparently Japanese women have some stiff competition! (get it, it?s made of plastic)