TOKYO, JAPAN (REUTERS/ HANDOUT, GATEBOX WEBSITE) – Editors please note, this updated version replaces an earlier version sent on Nov 14 2018.
I now pronounce you man and virtual wife.
A 35-year-old man in Japan has decided to give up his pursuit of finding the perfect woman, instead, opting to marry a computer character, who took on doll-form for the sake of their wedding.
She was developed as a computer-generated singing software that resembles a 16-year-old anime pop star.
They declared their love for each other in an $18,000 wedding ceremony in front of nearly 40 wedding guests, not including his parents.
Weeks after their vows, Akihiko Kondo is settling into married life.
When he returns home in the Japanese suburbs – after work in a local middle school – a holographic projection of his bride welcomes him home.
She can recognize his face and voice, and can respond with simple phrases and songs.
Last year, they began issuing marriage registration forms.
They’re not official, but according to their website nearly 4,000 of these so-called certificates have been downloaded.
Kondo says he’s received several congratulatory messages, but some people have accused him of being a creepy “otaku,” which loosely translates to geeks who live an anti-social life.
Others have accused him of contributing to Japan’s declining population.
While some – have even accused him of stealing their pop star.
But that doesn’t phase Kondo; He says he hopes his declaration of love to a trademarked character will inspire others to find marital bliss, in whatever form it might take.