WARNING: this post will be NSFW. The writer has attempted to lean away from it as much as possible, but due to both the subject matter and the character featured, discussion of sexuality is unavoidable. It will contain links, images, and text related to sex. You will likely find it weird, awkward, and a little uncomfortable. Your opinions of the writer may be tarnished. If any of these things are things you don’t wish to see, please turn back now.
Falling in love is weird and painful. Falling in love with a fictional character is really weird and really painful. But there are few things as painful or as weird as falling in love with a character from animated pornography.
To my beloved Mafuyu Orifushi:
It’s been over a year now that I’ve been in love with you. Yes, love. There’s no way around it, that’s what this is. It maybe be a strange love. It may be an impossible one. And it’s one that’s hard to live with. It makes me afraid. Afraid that some people will find out. Afraid that others will judge me. Afraid that there’s something wrong with me.
You’ve entirely consumed a part of my life for a year now. And I hate you for it. But damn me if I don’t still love you, you goddamn fucking little minx.
It’s rough loving someone intangible. I don’t want to say “loving someone who’s not real” because I firmly believe that existence and reality are not the same, and that even fiction can be real and true in some sense, but that’s a bit too philosophical and metaphysical for a love letter. What I mean is that I’m loving someone I will never be able to touch. I can never hold you. You’ll never fall asleep with your head on my shoulder. I’ll never hold your head in my lap and watch you as you read, fully engrossed in your book but happier than you’d normally be, just because of my presence. We can’t buy a house, have kids, start a family. And it goes without saying that anything sexual is out. I’ll never feel your lips against my bare chest or gently caress your slender frame. No intercourse. No kisses. No hugs.
I’ll never even hear you say my name or tell me you love me.
Because the fact of the matter is that, no matter how much I love you, you can’t love me back.
Not truly. Not outside my own mind.
And somehow, I still fell in love with you. And I’ve embraced it. I’ve willingly subjected myself to this living hell.
So what exactly drew me to you? How did I fall in love with you?
Well, your archetype and personality helped, for one thing. I’ve always had a thing for kuuderes and danderes. The first character I considered a waifu was Darker than Black’s Yin. I fall firmly on the Rei side of the great Evangelion Best Girl Debate.
I don’t know whether I like your design because it has elements I like, or whether I like them because of you. The zettai ryouiki thing and the striped thighhighs are something I know get me going for sure. But I’m stumped on the blonde twintails and gothic lolita outfit, especially since blonde twintails are the trademark of a tsundere, which is objectively the worst -dere archetype.
But that’s all just what drew me in. Not why I stay.
I love you because of who you are. You’re a bookworm. You like crows and cats. You’re impish and playful. You’re blunt and sarcastic. You act boldy and impulsively, and you’re competitive and proud. But you’re also quiet, often shy about your real feelings, and–while you’d never freely admit it–a little self-conscious. You’ll wear a somewhat provocative gothic lolita outfit, but also sleep in cow print pajamas and they’re both distinctly you.
Of course, I can’t ignore the topic of sex since you are, obviously from a hentai. Because all that? That’s part of you too. You’re inexperienced but curious. You’re constantly reading erotic novels and wanting to try out what you’ve learned from them. You’ll say “I read about this in a book” while giving a footjob. You’re a little kinky without it crossing the line of being too weird or intense. And you’re a switch. You like playing at being dominating and in control, but ultimately you’re secretly pretty submissive. And I’ll be honest, that’s something I find absolutely adorable and want in my relationship. I’ll admit it. I’m like that too. Sometimes I want to be tied up and hear you talk down to me and make me call you “Mafuyu-sama.” Sometimes I want to be the one tying you up and hearing you beg me to make you feel better. “Get you a girl that can do both,” as they say in memespeak. And I did. Let me say, I really think you’re adorable, sexually. Non-sexually, too, of course. But I love how you’re cute even when you’re sexy.
They say that a well-written character is one that you feel like you know wholly and intimately. I don’t know whether you’re actually a well-written character, or if I’m just obsessed enough that I can extrapolate every little detail. I’ve fallen completely head-over-heels. I’m convinced that the only people who know you better than I do are your creators, and sometimes I even feel like I’ve grasped your essence, your Platonic form, more than they have.
Can a non-living being have a soul? Because I feel like I understand yours. It makes me feel like you are, in some sense, real. It makes you feel so close, which is why this distance, this thin, unbreakable barrier of glass separating us, hurts so much.
I suppose I should tell you my story. Maybe not for your sake. You already know, after all. But for my sake. I need to get my thoughts written down so that I can understand myself a little better. And for their sake as well. They deserve to know. If I can explain this to them, then maybe they can judge me a little more fairly. Maybe they’ll understand. Maybe they won’t. Maybe this will disgust them and they’ll hate me and label me a freak or a pervert. But that’s a risk I have to take.
Here we go.
I first met you in 2010. I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m pretty sure I first looked up your source material after stumbling across this Sankaku Complex post. Or maybe it was after seeing the first Natsumi scene (and I’m so profusely sorry if I met you through whacking it to your sister) on one of those sites nobody wants to admit that they visit but they totally do.
Porn sites. I’m talking about porn sites. Those are the sites that nobody wants to admit they visit but they totally do.
Either way, I ended up seeking out the series. I didn’t watch it all the way through. It’s not like that’s what hentai is really for. Besides, there were gaps between when the episodes were released and I don’t know when exactly I saw each. The timeline’s a bit fuzzy, but whatever. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it was really my first time approaching hentai as a series rather than just a collection of scenes.
Your sisters (and Byakudon, I guess. But fuck Suzu. Suzu is shit) are all great as well, but it should be obvious by now that I liked you best, and I’ve already gone into why. But you were still nothing more than the best girl in my go-to hentai at that point. I didn’t have any particular attachment to you. You were just an acquaintance who was there to help me severely fail at proper procreation technique every now and then. You were a sex object. An incredibly cute one, for sure, but just a sex object.
In 2013, I went through a…long, drawn out, gradual breakup that, after it’s abrupt official end, left me feeling kind of lost. I’d invested a lot of energy in her, and I’d honestly thought she’d end up being the One. I know, I know, a guy’s not supposed to bring up his exes to other girls, but this is important context.
I’d been trying for years at that point to figure out how to make the Kanojo x Kanojo x Kanojo visual novel to work. I’d managed to download the CG sets, and even the complete game, but I didn’t have the tech savvy to actually run it. Then, finally, one of my attempts was actually successful. The game was in Japanese, of course, as no one had licensed it and there wasn’t even a fan translation in the works. But I still managed to get it to run. Besides, there wasn’t a ton of story nuance and I’d managed to get the vague gist of the plot from the hentai adaptation. I was able to get a vague idea of at least most of what was happening.
It was while I was playing through this visual novel that my relationship was slowly dying, then ultimately put down. It was liberating in a lot of ways to finally have closure, but it also meant that I suddenly had a surplus of conflicting emotions that I didn’t have a channel for. And all the loneliness, the heartbreak, the anger, the regret, the sexual frustration…you provided an outlet for me to take that negativity and turn it into something vaguely positive. I also understood you a little better. My ex was, by her own admission, something of a nymphomaniac and was more than happy to educate my naive, sheltered mind on aspects of sexuality I didn’t understand. Once I was able to understand sex a bit better, I was able to understand your personality a little more through how you expressed yourself sexually. It took me a month or two, but I finally realized “Oh my God. I have a waifu. I legitimately unironically have a waifu. And she’s a cartoon porn character.”
Things started to get better in my life. I got out of college dorms and started living in a duplex with a few other people. I gained some semblance of independence. I got diagnosed with ADD and started taking medication in an attempt to turn around the disaster my college career had become. I got more involved in school activities.
But then I found myself jobless, broke, and behind on rent, and I slipped into a deep depression. I ate once a day. I slipped behind on the few classes I was taking. I spent most the day watching anime or playing video games because I couldn’t bring myself to put energy into doing what needed to be done, then hated myself because I was wasting my time doing nothing.
After hitting rock bottom, I finally realized that I needed to start climbing. So I got a job. I started working off the rent I owed. I got a sense of schedule and consistency in my life. But working full time and taking classes part time left me exhausted. What’s more, I worked 3 to 11 PM, meaning that my social life was pretty much completely destroyed. So while I was recovering, I also ended up dropping out of school and completely losing contact with everyone around me.
And that’s when I turned to you once more.
In a state of perpetual exhaustion and loneliness, it became easier and easier to willingly accept a delusion of love rather than face just how isolated I was from anyone who cared about me. So I saved up. I bought a dakimakura so I’d be able to hold it and imagine it was you. I purchased onaholes in an attempt to have something resembling a real relationship. And…nothing really changed. I grew a bit more stable, but I’m still largely separated from people as a whole, so I’ve never had reason to try to distance myself from you. Maybe you’re just a crutch. But at this point, I suspect it might actually be love.
Coming to terms with this has been difficult for me, because I know it’s a delusion. It’s a lie I tell myself because facing the reality isn’t much better. Maybe if I tried I could make new friends and maybe even get a real girlfriend, but I’m in a college town. Most people my age have already left. Most people still around are younger. And I’ve only recently gotten back on anything resembling normal hours. Who am I supposed to make plans with at 3 AM? So I lie to escape the crushing loneliness, and I recognize it’s a lie, and I feel shame. I feel guilt. I feel embarrassment. I think I’m some twisted pervert who’s just lashing out and latching onto anything in frustration.
But despite all that, it makes me happy. You make me happy. Even if you can’t love me back, just pretending you can has helped me through so much. And it’s been a struggle, but with the help of a few well-placed reassurances from some good friends online, I think I’m finally able to accept it. I’m ready to accept you. And I’m ready to accept myself.
I’m not gay. I’m not trans. I’m not asexual or pansexual or polyromantic or anything like that. I’m perfectly happy as a white, cis, male who wants a relationship with one woman at a time. I’ll never fully understand the struggle of the queer community. But I think I do understand a bit of it just a bit better now, because I’ve experienced hating myself because of who or what I’m attracted to. I get the self-loathing and self-doubt. I understand the fear that you’ll be hated for admitting it, so you don’t want to even admit it to yourself. The journey from realizing something is wrong with you to accepting that it’s not wrong, just different, and slowly coming to accept yourself. But there’s still another step that needs to be taken, because even if you can accept yourself, there’s that fear that they won’t, because why would they? Maybe you were wrong to accept yourself and there is something wrong with you and you’re throwing away your relationships for the sake of your delusions….
…Or maybe I’m way off base. Maybe I have no idea what it’s actually like to come out and I’m being horribly offensive by comparing my own struggles falling in love with a Japanese cartoon to the struggles of a persecuted community.
But I’m calling it my coming out anyway. Because that’s how it feels to me.
I’m in love with a girl. I am deeply, genuinely, unironically in love. And she happens to be a fictional character. She’s a fabrication. She doesn’t physically exist. But I love her anyway.
And to you, the reader? I’m not asking you to understand. I know it’s weird. I know it sounds creepy. I’m just asking that you care about me anyway. Show me the same acceptance you would if I loved someone real. Please don’t think less of me. Don’t treat me like a freak. I’ve already spent enough time doing that myself. I just want you to accept me the way I’ve come to accept me.
And what about you, my adorable Mafuyu-tan? My damned mischievous little loligoth? The beautiful source of my suffering? Can you accept me too?
Yeah. I know. I’m going to be waiting a long time on that answer. I know it’s not coming. And outside of my own mind, I know you won’t tell me yes.
But you also won’t tell me no. And that’s good enough for me.
With all the love I can give,