September 5th is a mightily significant day for me…but you’ll have to guess why it is. My lips are sealed on that front.
Hiya, OWLS fans. To the newcomers, OWLS are the Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-respect, who promote diversity and acceptance regardless of sexuality, race, religion and disability. I’m almost at 1 year of OWLS, come to think of it, and have been loving it since the beginning.
…Oh, you didn’t know that that was a bad attempt at a segue?
See, this is the prompt for the “lover” theme:
When it comes to romantic relationships, what do we look for in a partner? What core values do we seek when it comes to building a healthy and loving relationship? For this topic, we will be discussing some of our favourite couples in pop culture and what they have taught us about love and relationships, the good and the bad.
I’m no romance expert, so I figured I’d give this theme a slant by focussing on the one relationship that can make or break entire works of fiction for some people – the husbando or waifu. (I mean, that’s still “couples in pop culture”, it’s just a somewhat meta way of looking at it.)
I think people who don’t commit to extreme pop culture fan interaction would agree that husbando/waifu hunting is probably one of the odder practices of fandom in general (particularly anime/manga fandom, since that’s where the most waifu/husbando claimers exist in the first place). Finding a husbando/waifu (and the perception of oddness from those who don’t participate in it) has only become more widespread by means of the internet and the greater distribution of anime/manga as a whole. It does have its perks though – since media is always made to reflect real life in some way, your commitment to 2D characters can tell you what you like in a partner and/or relationship without having to stuff up when dealing with the real thing…provided that sort of stuff can be replicated in real life without being particularly unrealistic, of course.
To me, husbando hunting has become a bit of a sport ever since I befriended an AniList user who made a Google doc hundreds of husbandos long and even ranked them in a series of statuses…I’m not that committed, but I have my degrees of love for my husbandos too. I guess this is a lesson for everyone: you don’t necessarily have to love everyone 100% if you can help it. It’s alright to acknowledge there are different degrees of love with someone if that’s how you feel about it.
The secret to a big husbando list is that I pick ‘em based on looks and personality – I don’t necessarily envision myself interacting with my husbandos in a sexual, romantic or even friendly manner – normally I’m focussed on how they act within the story. Sometimes, I pick my husbandos based on their voice credit (i.e. it’s a voice actor I’m already aware of and I started watching the show for them) and find other reasons to like them from there, but one thing’s for sure – they have to set my heart aflutter, or else it ain’t worth it! If romance anime and manga has taught me anything, it’s that the feelings about the relationship and the passion one goes about expressing said feelings (if they are extreme cases…which tends to be a lot of them when it comes to main couples) are the key to a good relationship.
Generally, I have a preference for husbandos who aren’t particularly macho (although a bit of musculature never hurt anyone). They can prove themselves to be dependable or relatable one way or another…and of course, long (past the chin is the bare minimum for “long”, although generally the qualification is “past the shoulder”) and/or white hair (not through ageing, though!) is another plus…Now that I’ve written this down, the closest match to this description is Kuga from Prince of Stride: Alternative…who’s basically perfect looks-wise, but not developed enough as a character for me to 100% commit to “ultimate husbando” status, which is why I have En instead.
What does this say about me and my relationships? Considering I don’t drop too many characters off my husbando list, I’d say I’m fairly committed when I want to be, but can be quite shallow when it comes to appearances.
So, is picking a single husbando or waifu fine enough for you, or do you spread the love between many characters? How did you approach finding a waifu/husbando, if you had a strategy…or is the entire husbando/waifu picking thing so weird, it goes over your head?
For more OWLS content, we have Megan next discussing Death Note‘s Misa and Light.