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In Love with Pixels: Why We Fall for Anime Characters

Being in love with an anime character is more realistic than it first sounds. Plenty of research in Social Psychology has shown that you can love something that is fictional with the same intensity as something that is real.

by Aiwin
Feb 22, 2016 5:49 PM | 50,219 views

Love who you choose to love, no matter what others say!

oremonogatari in love with anime

Anime characters fall in love with anime characters... but so do viewers. Let's explore why.

An Unconventional Love, But Still Love

Being in love with a fictional character is nothing new in the world, and there is also scientific research to support it, particularly in the field of Social Psychology. People react to those they are attracted to with the same passion and lust regardless of whether they are real people or fictional characters. Dilated pupils, an increase in body temperature and a faster heartbeat occur with the same intensity whether you are looking at pixels of your favourite actor in a picture, or pixels of your favourite anime character. However, despite this fact, fans of anime are often ridiculed if they happen to confess their love for someone like Tooru "Grand King" Oikawa.

Haikyuu!!: Tooru "Grand King" Oikawa in love with anime character

The rationale behind the ridicule is that it is impossible to be in love with an anime character because of the division between the fictional world and our real one, meaning that we would never be able to actually meet the character, let alone start a relationship with them. However, although this is true, the chances of going out with a famous celebrity are also nil.

Another interesting point is that there is a considerable difference in the acceptance of fictional characters, depending on which fictional world they happen to come from. For example, while anime fans can be faced with extremely uncomfortable scenarios, someone who proclaims their love for Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice is very unlikely to be teased at all, because their character comes from high literature and yet is just as fictional as an anime one.

Infinite Possibilities

The fictional world of anime characters allows for greater imaginative explorations and fantasies than the real world, and it also comes with a much smaller chance of embarrassment if rejected. Pretty much any fantasy, physical appearance or character type is possible in anime. For example, a gorgeous girl, who is super strong, but also funny, but also an S-class mage with a great figure and gorgeous hair, who protects her friends, but also has a naughty side - Erza "Titania" Scarlet.

Fairy Tail: Erza "Titania" Scarlet in love with anime character

Anime characters, and especially their visual image, allow for very specific physical traits that we would not easily, or at all, find in real humans, and yet ones which we may have a thing for. Daydreams are a natural and frequent part of every person's life; it is only their content that is different from one individual to another.

Not As Fictional As They Seem

byousoku 5 centimeter in love with anime

Like all stories and fictional characters, whether they are in an anime, a book or a movie, we are moved by those who are able to inspire us in our own lives. Because of our unique gift of imagination, we have the ability to be transported into another world and to have very convincing experiences while we are in it. We don't always have to be physically present in a situation in order to be moved by it, and there are many things that happen in the world of anime that also have parallel outcomes in our own world (although in a less fantastical setting). The anguish of life that follows Edward Elric, the heartache of first love and growing up in Byousoku 5 Centimeter and learning to live life for ourselves and not for others like Kyouko Mogami are only a few examples in an ocean of possibilities and lives that are portrayed in a different world to ours, and yet one that is felt with much the same emotional impact.

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