TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
In brief: In a world in which the lines between gender and even species are being blurred by activist groups, I suppose it should not come as a surprise that people have started wedding fictional personas. Crypton Future's Hatsune Miku is the embodiment of such strange unions having been married to about 3,700 real people at last count.
Akihiko Kondo, a 35-year-old Tokyo school administrator, has married a hologram. His new "wife" is a virtual reality singer named Hatsune Miku. The anime-like character is a 16-year-old girl with turquoise hair and pigtails created by Crypton Future for its Vocaloid software. Her voice is modeled after Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita.
A company called Gatebox produces the $2,800 Miku hologram desktop device. Since Kondo was unable to place the wedding ring on the hologram's finger, he used a Miku plushie as a stand-in at the ceremony. He even took the doll to the jewelry store to get the right size ring. It fits around the doll's wrist.
Kondo invited his mother to his two-million-yen ($17,600 US) wedding ceremony, but she refused to attend. She does not approve of him marrying a fictional woman. She wants him to meet and fall in love with a real person. Even though his mom did not show up, 40 other guests did witness the spectacle.
Kondo has no interest in forming a relationship with a real woman. He has had trouble meeting girls for most of his life.
"[In school] girls would say 'Drop dead, creepy otaku!'" He told AFP. Otaku is a Japanese slur similar to "nerd" or "geek." It is usually applied to boys that are heavily into anime or computers.
Later in life, he claims that female co-workers bullied him to the point that he had a nervous breakdown. Miku was the one he would turn to for comfort.
"Miku-san is the woman I love a lot and also the one who saved me," he said.
Although his marriage is not legally recognized, Kondo does not care. In his eyes she is his wife, and he will remain loyal to her.
"I'm in love with the whole concept of Hatsune Miku," he said. "I never cheated on her, I've always been in love with Miku-san."
He even has a "marriage certificate" issued by Gatebox stating that a human and virtual character "have wed beyond dimensions." As bizarre and crazy as Kondo's story sounds, he is not the only one in love with the character. Gatebox says it has issued 3,700 such certificates, although Kondo is reportedly the first to have held an actual wedding ceremony.
"It won't necessarily make you happy to be bound to the 'template' of happiness in which a man and woman marry and bear children," said Kondo. "I believe we must consider all kinds of love and all kinds of happiness."