Only in Japan…

By Legal Eagle

A Japanese man has reportedly started a petition to allow marriage between real people and two-dimensional cartoon characters. Cartoon books or manga are immensely popular in Japan, as are anime or cartoon movies. Some people are totally obsessed with them (manga otaku or anime otaku). Hence there have been many signatories to the petition.

I must admit that I enjoy some manga and anime, although not the ones which feature sexually violent stuff. It’s disturbing that there is a Japanese word for monster-tentacle-rape. Ugh.

When I was about 14, I wanted to marry Faramir from Lord of the Rings, but fortunately I got over my desire to marry a fictional character. If this story is true, these people obviously haven’t progressed beyond that teenage stage. I don’t think allowing marriage between fictional characters and real people is a particularly healthy phenomenon. No real person can ever hope to match up to a fantasy person. If someone is allowed to “marry” a fantasy character, then they can just keep avoiding interactions with real people.

And what if multiple people wanted to marry the same character? Could that character have multiple “spouses”? Or would it be first in, best dressed? What if the manga storyline started to develop in a way that that the “spouse” of the character didn’t like? Or the character got killed off? I can just think of so many ways in which it could produce problems!


  1. Posted October 31, 2008 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    It could as well be just a huge prank, but the theoretical aspect of such possibility is interesting nonetheless.
    I don’t know much about Japanese civil law, but another question that got me thinking – what about rights and responsibilities that would (or would not) arise in such relationship?
    Would any part of such a couple be eligible for a heritage?
    etc. etc.

  2. john tons
    Posted October 31, 2008 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    The post coital cigarette could spell the end of a beautiful reklationship.

  3. LDU
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Man……’re deep. I didn’t bother thinking about all the stuff you mentioned.

  4. Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m reminded of something PJ O’Rourke wrote when in South Korea during the democracy demos. He saw a student cut the tip of his finger off and write Kim Dae-jung’s name on a wall.
    O’Rourke said: For the first time I knew what it meant to be a foreign correspondant. I mean here’s something that was really fuckin’ foreign.

  5. Posted November 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Look, I’ll level with you. If Betty Rubble ever left Barney, that’d be me on the doorstep with a bunch of flowers.

    Interesting questions raised by your post: but do they allow same sex unions in Japan? They might want to get that sorted out first.

  6. Jack
    Posted January 3, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    You’re all start raving bonkers !

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *