A Japanese man has publicly declared his love and devotion to his new "wife", a virtual reality singer named Hatsune Miku.
Akihiko Kondo, a 35-year-old school administrator from Tokyo, held a ¥2 million formal ceremony to "wed" the singing voice synthesizer on Nov. 4, 2018, Japanese Times reported. Although his family opted not to attend, about 40 other guests joined the unconventional couple to celebrate their unique love and witness them tie the knot.
Miku is a character model designed by artist KEI to be the face of Vocaloid, a voice synthesizer program created by the company Crypton. While she has no defined personality, the software features over 100,000 songs from the cyber celebrity who is known for her aquamarine hair, held in long pigtails, and her large rounded eyes.
Since the hologram couldn't attend the ceremony, Miku was present in the form of a stuffed doll, roughly the size of a housecat.
Kondo has been living with his new bride as a $2,800 desktop hologram since March. He explained he's never cheated on her and considers their marriage to be traditional. He is woken up each morning by his holographic wife, and she tells him when it's time to go to bed. At night, he sleeps next to the doll from the ceremony, and while the marriage isn't legally recognized, the ring she wears around her wrist is as real as they come.
"Miku-san is the woman I love and also the one who saved me," Kondo said, using the Japanese honorific, meaning "Mr", "Mrs" and "Ms".
His relationship with Miku comes after a lifetime of negative experiences with women, particularly while he was an anime-obsessed teenager. He said girls would tell him to "drop dead" and called him "otaku", a Japanese term for geeks that can carry a negative connotation. Kondo was also bullied by a female co-worker who sent him into a nervous breakdown, after which he swore he would never get married. That is, to a three-dimensional woman, of course.
Gatebox, the company who produces the hologram device featuring Miku, has issued more than 3,700 "marriage certificates" for what Kondo refers to as "cross-dimension" marriages between a human and virtual character. After his own wedding, Kondo began receiving supportive messages from others.
"There must be some people who can't come forward and say they want to hold a wedding," he said. "I want to give them a supportive push."
Kondo has no interest in pursuing a relationship with real women and wants to be recognized as a "sexual minority."
"It's simply not right, it's as if you were trying to talk a gay man into dating a woman, or a lesbian into a relationship with a man," he said. "Diversity in society has been long called for."