There is a service in Japan that can fulfill such a desire to “marry an anime or video game character.” Dimension Management Agency (hereafter DMA) is its name.
DMA is a service that asks people who fall in love with a character to submit a marriage registration and issues a marriage certificate. Although not legally endorsed, the operator will issue a certificate of marriage to the character for $63 to those who wish to do so. The concept of DMA is to connect “people and characters” beyond dimensions and also to connect “people living in the real world with people” through their love for characters.
The operator of this service married a woman when he was 20 years old and had a child, but they divorced when he was 22. He had then dated two women, and there had been talks of marriage with both, but they had broken up. He said, “What I’m trying to say is that I understand the feeling of loving someone who is real.” Later, while working on posters at a design company, he saw an anime character and fell in love at first sight. He told a colleague that he “seriously loved the characters,” but he was not understood. While he felt attracted to her, it bothered him that people around him could not admit that it was “love.” One day, while searching the Internet, he noticed that many people were suffering from the same problem of falling in love with a character. He came up with the idea of DMA to help these friends in some way.
We see personality in our characters, and we love them. But at the same time, we understand that they are fictitious. That’s why it’s painful.
DMA has been in service since November 2020 and has issued marriage certificates to over 200 couples to date. Although the operator expected people to apply as part of the geek activities, the actual applications were more serious than he had thought. He received a letter with serious thoughts such as “I hope that society will recognize that love that transcends dimensions is real love” and “I look forward to finally being with the person I have been thinking about for so many years.”
This is not something that happens only in Japan, as he recently received a number of inquiries and interviews from overseas.
Do you consider “marrying a character” to be outlandish? An expert on robot ethics said the following: We naturally attach to objects, whether it is cherishing and talking to our favorite dolls or feeling that we do not want others to touch our prized possessions. Even if there is no communication, forming reciprocal relationships with objects happens on a daily basis. It is quite possible that this could become a love affair.
One sexual orientation is “fictosexuality,” in which one develops sexual feelings for fictional characters. As virtual spaces such as online and the metaverse become more accessible, this “love” is expected to accelerate.