Tag Archives: romance

The Religion of Love in 2D: Roots of Modern Otaku Courtship


Note: The following post was originally published on 7 December, 2011 on the now-defunct Remember XVI. It is presented here edited to fit the visual formatting of Altair & Vega, but otherwise unaltered in content. Yumeka and ghostlightning have written responses to the original post as well.

“Humanity does not pass through phases
as a train passes through stations: 
being alive, it has the privilege of always moving
yet never leaving anything behind.”

– C.S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition

What is 2D love? If you’re an anime fan, chances are that you’ve encountered it in some form. Maybe you were linked to an article about a man getting married to a fictional character. Perhaps you’ve read through (or participated!) in online discussions about people’s “waifus.” Or maybe you’ve seen a parody of it in anime, in the form of a character who can’t be separated from his hug pillow. One way or another, the idea of loving fictional characters is one that comes up often in modern anime-centric subculture. Continue reading


Filed under Editorials, Modern Visual Culture

Ashita Dorobou and Manic Pixie Dream Girls

One night, bored and trawling the web for reading material, I landed a seinen romantic comedy that promised the addition of laser-beam-firing alien antics. A recently completed four volume series, so far 13 scanlated chapters of Ashita Dorobou exist in English. While those chapters deliver on the promised romantic shenanigans and alien antics, it is the relationship between the protagonist and his ex-girlfriend that sparked my curiousity, for in the very first chapter I noticed the resemblance to that newly-coined romantic trope, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Continue reading


Filed under Ashita Dorobou

Mysterious Girlfriend X Episode 1

In this world there's nothing I would rather do, 'cause I'm happy just to dance with you.

I quite honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from the anime adaptation of Mysterious Girlfriend X (Nazo no Kanojo X), even though I had read the original manga. Just what do you get when you combine a studio that’s only produced shows about breasts, a director that’s only worked on kids’ shows (this season, he’s also helming Space Brothers), and a lead actress who’s only acted in live-action works, all working on a show about, of all things, tasting drool?

Fortunately, the answer is a show that surprisingly has a lot to say! So strap in, boys and girls, it’s time to get mysterious! (Episode spoilers after the break.)

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Filed under Episodics, Mysterious Girlfriend X

The Bitterness of Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms

I spent the majority of the afternoon today reading this manga that I had picked up at a Borders fire sale earlier this spring. What took me this long to finally read, I can not say. And truth be told I’ve yet to finish it, but that isn’t meant to be a commentary on any perceived lack of quality to be found here, but rather the contrary. After about 35 pages, I nearly began to weep.

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Filed under Editorials