What works for some people doesn’t necessarily work for others. In the case of love, for instance, most of us choose to search for it by meeting new men or women at clubs, in chat-rooms, or even while browsing for groceries. Other people, however, prefer seeking it in the world of fantasy. These people are known as otaku 2-D lovers.
Otaku is a Japanese slang term that refers to eccentric individuals who possess very obsessive interests, particularly video games, animated films, and sex dolls. It is essentially the Japanese equivalent to an American geek.
One such 2-D lover is Ta-Bo (pictured below with his upper face omitted), a 45-year-old engineer from Japan who owns over 170,000 USD worth of Candy Girl Dolls, each manufactured by Japanese sex doll company Orient Industries.
He has completely given up on real-life women. “A human girl can cheat on you or betray you sometimes, but these dolls never do those things,” he says. “They belong to me 100 percent!”
After a day at a regular 9-5 job, Ta-Bo returns home and greets his ‘girlfriends’ by name, after which he bathes them, rubs them with powder to make them more life-like, and then gets them ready for bed by dressing them all, one by one, with lingerie.
Although it seems strange, Ta-Bo’s behavior is gradually becoming an everyday norm for similar otakus just like him. Part of this is due to pure laziness, as he feels that “sometimes it takes too much time” to get laid; all it takes is just “a click of the mouse [to order a doll]”.
What though, besides trying to get a quick score, inspires seemingly normal men like Ta-Bo to become 2d-lovers and invest practically their entire life fortune on these lifeless dolls?
A lot of it has to do with the changing climate of Japanese culture. Hideo Tsuchiya, CEO of Orient Industries, explains: “Nowadays, women are sometimes more dominant than men in the real world, and they don’t always pay attention to men.
Another employee puts it in greater perspective, saying, “More and more men are finding themselves miserable, so we’re making these dolls partly in support of men.”
Orient Industries, upon their launch 30 years ago, initially targeted handicapped men incapable of locating a real-life partner. As the years passed, the dolls gained popularity with other men, prompting a sex doll boom that continues to burgeon.
According to New York Times writer Lisa Katayama, “more than a quarter of unmarried men and women between the ages of 30 and 34 are virgins.” Many Japanese are very sexually inexperienced, she says, and totally incapable of forming normal relationships that seem so normal to us, but are a complete mystery to them.
This in turn has inspired an army of men AND women to give up on love altogether, so they can pursue the attention of dolls named Aiko and Akio instead.
It’s certainly a different lifestyle, but is it necessarily wrong? Take a look at the video below, if you dare, and tell me what YOU think.