Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anime Word of the Week - Mai Waifu

Waifu (Mai Waifu)

... is a popular catchphrase based on a scene from the anime Azumanga Daioh. While the term “Mai Waifu” (My Wife) is often used in Asian cultures as a casual reference to one’s spouse in conversations, it’s been also adopted by otaku circles and anime fans when discussing one’s favorite manga & anime character.

The term came into widespread use in the internet Otaku culture around 2006 (as shown by Google stats), but the colloquial usage of 'Waifu' in East Asian countries most likely precede its popular usage on the Internet. However, the term was first introduced to the English-speaking communities by a particular scene in Azumanga Daioh where Mr. Kimura, the perverted homeroom teacher, drops a photograph of a mysterious woman on the floor. When asked by his students about the person in the picture, Mr. Kimura simply replies “Mai Waifu.”

The term “Mai Waifu” is often used when speaking of a favorite female anime character (in either 2D on screen or 3D as in cos-play or for a live action character like a fans favorite female idol), either by genuine fans, or by forum trolls who are looking to anger others. However, usage of 'Mai Waifu' is not constricted solely to anime, as it has been seen accompanying pictures of other animated characters and photographs of real life celebrities.

Mai Waifu threads are very popular on sites like 4chan (a large Otaku based image forum and discussion group). On these forums, sometimes the original poster has a genuine otaku-like love for their “waifu” and is met with encouragement, but is sometimes met by those who are critical of the concept that a lonely person could feel fulfillment from a two-dimensional character. “Mai Waifu” threads seem to capture the interest of otakus, weaboos (to display their unhealthy attraction for fictional anime characters), and trolls (to display their scorn for the latter).

A 'weaboo' (a.k.a Wapanese) by the way, is a person (typically of non-Asian descent) who prefers Japan and all things in Japanese over one’s indigenous culture. It's is a derogatory slur referring to western Japanophiles with a strong bias towards Japanese cultural and tech imports. I know a few of these. :-)

And a 'troll', obviously, is an asshole who turns to stone at sunrise.


Fanbase said...

I just wanted to post something about your state of the industry. I don't have the in depth knowledge you do so I may sound naive, but I agree the animebox was a bad choice and with such a small distribution too. I wonder if they even know that you can rent anime online, similar to netflix, for probably the last 5 years now?

Robert said...

I'm sure they would have to know that. And you can rent Anime from Netflix for that matter. Not sure what the thinking is there.

Ty said...

I desire waifus.

lwaifu said...

Me to man... me to.

Unknown said...

Nooo! My waifu is...not a dream.