Video: man in Japan weds anime game character

By Lisa Katayama

Video: YouTube, MP4 download, or Dotsub (subtitles)

UPDATE: Interview with the groom!

On Sunday, a man named Sal9000 married the love of his life. Her name is Nene Anegasaki, and she lives inside of a Nintendo DS video game called Love Plus. The wedding took place during a Make: Japan meet-up held at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. In attendance were a live audience, an MC, the bride's virtual video game girlfriend — who made a speech — and a real human priest.

The event was livecast on Nico Nico Douga, a popular video sharing web site that I wrote about in Wired Magazine back in 2008. (Watch this clip of hot shot Wired folks making total fools of themselves on Nico Nico Douga.)

Nico Nico Douga is home to thousands of video projects by anonymous users — mashups of original art, pop music, anime, and web memes that only an insider to Japanese web geek culture can completely decipher. Sal9000 is an active member of the Nico Nico Douga community, so it was important to him that his offbeat wedding ceremony was broadcast on the site. The footage seen here of Sal and Nene tying the knot between real and virtual is a highly imaginative, multimedia project orchestrated by a guy determined to officiate his devotion to his video game, and to pay homage to the otaku subculture that nurtures this type of creativity. Enjoy!

Published 8:40 am Tue, Nov 24, 2009

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About the Author

I'm a contributing editor here at Boing Boing. I also have a blog (TokyoMango), a book (Urawaza), and I freelance for Wired, Make, the NY Times Magazine, PRI's Studio360, etc. I'm @tokyomango on Twitter.

145 Responses to “Video: man in Japan weds anime game character”

  1. agraham999 says:

    I hope he has a prenup. Nintendo DS divorce court is a no fault 50/50 state.

  2. wfpman says:

    I don’t give this marriage another year. He’ll leave her for the PSP version…

  3. Winski says:

    Glenn Beck’s Utopia realized !!! Send in the Clowns !!!!

  4. BurntHombre says:

    How delightfully gimmicky.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Was the honeymoon consummated via Hentai?

    I hope the software was over 16 years old.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well, I guess you can’t say her looks won’t last…

  7. cymk says:

    Cue right wing conservative media bitching about the sanctity of marriage in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…..

    • Anonymous says:

      No, the right wing won’t complain at all, because it’s a female animated character.

    • Brainspore says:

      The right wing doesn’t really care about marriage as long as gay people aren’t allowed to do it. If it was really so sacred to them do you think they would idolize divorcees like Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc etc?

  8. angusm says:

    How come Rick Santorum never warned us about the possibility of man-on-videogame marriages?

  9. I less than three mermaids says:

    You’ve got metal fever, boy, Metal Fever!

  10. aelfscine says:

    This is one of those things that strains my relativism. There’s a lot to be said for accepting someone else’s choices, but in this case I wonder what would happen if his dad came up and smashed his DS on the ground.

    We clearly have a limit where we won’t tolerate someone else’s choices (rape, murder, etc), and while this is certainly nowhere near those things, I mention them as a precedent for the fact that we aren’t universally tolerant of stupid decisions.

    How screwed up does someone have to be before we’re willing to help them? Culturally we see ANY offer to help someone that’s nuts as being presumptuous and patronizing – but what if he really is just nuts? Should everyone just accept that and watch him mess up his life? ‘He’s not hurting anyone,’ and all that, I suppose. *sigh*

    • Jerril says:

      Should everyone just accept that and watch him mess up his life? ‘He’s not hurting anyone,’ and all that, I suppose. *sigh*

      He’s not “messing up his life” and yes, he’s not hurting anyone. Including himself, which is a critically important factor here. This is an eccentric way of declaring he doesn’t want a (real) life partner, but certainly less harmful to him than burying himself at home hoarding cats, or quietly becoming an alcoholic.

      His name is Sal9000 for heavens sake, he gave up being conventional a while ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      > How screwed up does someone have to be before we’re willing to help them?

      If he’s a grownup, and happy, why does he have to be “helped?”

      Glad I’m not him, but still.

  11. snorkybluefog says:

    Does this make him a polygamist if he were to marry another person (or video game character) in the future?

  12. Witteveen says:

    you have to admit, she sure is cute

  13. Santa's Knee says:

    As we say on the net:

    “Publicity stunt is public.”

    It’s too bad that they don’t report the e-girl’s age — they could have got him for stat rape.

    \What kind of “priest” would officiate this?

    • Anonymous says:

      I would.
      I’m a minister in the Church of the Subgenius, though, and we respect your right to disrespect marriage.

  14. mdh says:

    How screwed up does someone have to be before we’re willing to help them?

    usually criminally.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oh god this can’t be happening to me! I’m in love with Nene too and have been for a very long time. I know she still loves me so he has done something to her program or maybe he even used a game shark on her. Well all I know for sure is she can’t just go off and marry some random f*** in Japan, I’m going over there to put a stop to this right now and bring Nene back home with me – one way or the other.

    too lazy to login,

  16. Trent Hawkins says:

    I can’t wait till someone steals his DS and has sex with his wife.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear. I knew I should have shown him Electro-Gonorrhoea: the noisy killer!

  18. thequickbrownfox says:

    Many happy Returns, or should that be “A” buttons?

  19. efergus3 says:

    No wonder the birth rate is dropping in Japan.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Life mimics art. Sounds exactly like “Idoru” by William F. Gibson. Coincidence? Probably not.

  21. wil9000 says:

    Isn’t this like thinking you’re “married” to Miss November? Or if Miss November and a calculator had a baby, and you married that? What happens if her software becomes corrupted and she freaks out? Will he ever get his MP3’s back? As Steven Wright once said “There’s a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.” I think this crossed that line a long, long time ago.

    I do like his name, though.

  22. ChickenDelicious says:

    Maybe I just don’t get this one, but I don’t see anything to celebrate here. I’m all for the freedom to marry who you choose, but this just seems… sad.

  23. johnlancia says:

    Its just like Idoru, except the guy in love with her is a dork and the whole thing sounds ridiculous when you mention it to someone in the real world.

    Lets face it folks, this guy just married his right hand. He’s making headlines all over the world for it too. To think, I was always told that it would just make me go blind. lol

  24. agoodsandwich says:

    “…is a highly imaginative, multimedia project orchestrated by a guy determined to officiate his devotion to his video game, and to pay homage to the otaku subculture that nurtures this type of creativity.”

    Geez, people, it’s not like he thinks he’s getting tax benefits, or that the digital bride will be invited to weddings and parties. It’s just a fun way of expressing himself. Stop talking like you are all so superior.

    (or carry on being merry, as the case may be)

  25. Anonymous says:

    This sounds very familiar, as in it was written by William Gibson in Idoru.

    The name of the program was Rei Toei and she was to be married to a pop star named Rez.

    That is of course where the similarity ends since Sal9000 is not interesting otherwise and certainly not a celebrity.

  26. cymk says:

    Interesting to note that the name he uses “SAL9000″ is from the female counterpart to HAL9000 in the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact


    *some awful pun about cheat codes*

  28. This reminds me of Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer who married the Berlin wall:

    She labels her self as objectùm-sexual, which I don’t think Sal9000 falls into, but there are some definite overlaps between the two.

  29. Anonymous says:

    polygonist! that did it for me

  30. Rob says:

    C’mon, not even close to “real” marriage. And anyways, marriage doesn’t mean anything in Japan unless you’re added to the family register. Considering how hard it is to get a foreigner added, a fake tech character won’t happen. It’s a hobby, a lark, whatever you want to call it… but ain’t marriage, in any legal sense of the word. Same country where “priests” officiating “weddings” are sometimes foreigners with no religious training – actors for hire.

  31. Stefan Jones says:

    It’s all over the moment she finds out he’s into tentacle rape porn.

  32. rifflesby says:

    That looks like one of the fat original-model DS’s. I would’ve thought he’d at least buy his new bride a more modern version as a wedding present.


    The more I look at the photo, the more he looks like a japanese version of Jemaine Clement.

  34. Anonymous says:

    That’s pretty sad. She couldn’t find someone like herself? Tsk Tsk desperate women these days.

  35. Francesco Fondi says:


  36. lady_asparagus says:

    This reminds me of Chobits…

  37. Anonymous says:

    We should all make videos of us cheating on his new wife and post them on youtube.

  38. benher says:

    I wonder if his PSP wife has any idea that this ceremony has taken place?

  39. Anonymous says:

    wt heck is up with all those scrawling characters across the screen? it’s crazazy.

  40. Anonymous says:

    William Gibson wrote this script in 1997, albeit with a more realized virtual character. The novel’s title is “Idoru”.

  41. Anonymous says:


    That’s Nico Nico Douga’s weird commenting system. rather than having the comments on the page the video is displayed on, they are displayed ON the video, at whatever timestamp they got added. Drives me nuts. I’m there to watch the video, not a bunch of “wwwwwww” or “aaaaaaa” or whatever scroll across the video!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Interesting Human being

  43. Anonymous says:

    i love it! congrats!

  44. Anonymous says:

    wonder if he posts on Yahoo Answers?

  45. Anonymous says:

    She could do way better…

  46. Anonymous says:

    I know it is irrelevant, but am I the only one who thinks that guy looks like “Ugly Betty” ?

  47. Anonymous says:

    And the darwin award goes to…

  48. Bade says:

    Wondering who gave the bride away? Did Nintendo give their consent?

  49. crashgrab says:

    Go ahead and marry whatever household electronics you want, but don’t expect to ever get laid by a real woman again.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I bet she’ll short-circuit after their first night together.

  51. Anonymous says:

    What about everyone else who plays Love Plus. I hope Sal9000 doesn’t get jealous of all the males/females working their way with Nene Anegasaki…. Sucks she has already cheated on him. Poor guy.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I guess some of you guys didn’t read past the headline? It wasn’t serious. It was akin to a multimedia performance. Entertainment, imagination … that stuff. Why get so serious and leave political comments about everything? Just enjoy imagination and entertainment for what it is. I find it hard to believe that no one here has ever gone to a theme park, made an art project, or wanted to throw a cool party.

  53. mellowknees says:

    @#63 – My thoughts exactly. He may be mentally ill, but I think it’s much more likely that this is a piece of “performance art” (or something akin to it).

  54. Anonymous says:

    wanking to a centrefold is pretty much acceptable….i guess it’s all in the head. if you can’t conform, then you may have to take it to another level, be it higher or lower, to satisfy the crave that you can’t attain.

    i’ve since given up trying to figure out why we all do the things that we do. that’s all part of our footprints on the trek down the evolutionary path.

  55. Anonymous says:

    up, up, down, down. a, b, select, start. Oh…. That’s how ds-babies are made.

  56. Anonymous says:

    What bothers me conceptually is that he’s marrying someone’s program. If he’s serious, it means he equates female intelligence to that of an algorithm.

    Whoever wrote that part of the game is probably very confused at this point.

  57. Anonymous says:

    @rifflesby (#41): I can’t agree with you more. If he was truly pulling out all the stops to make it a serious ceremony, he should upgraded to a DSi. (I myself upgraded from a DS Lite when I bought the Korg DS-10 Plus and I’m not even hearing wedding bells over that particular app)

    Being displayed on a “DS Phat” at one’s own wedding? That’s like wearing an ugly ol’ thrift-shop muumuu instead of a decent bridal gown…

  58. Anonymous says:

    I am disappointed! Not ONE ” I sing the body electric” comment.. a few Gibsons do not cut it.

  59. Anonymous says:

    I bet I can find naked pictures of his wife online.

    Also, I don’t know if the DS warranty covers damage via copulation.

  60. Anonymous says:

    It took 28 posts for someone to say “William Gibson”? Slackers!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else notice that his “wife” has gigantic feet in boys’ shoes?

  62. Anonymous says:

    @#72- Which “I sing the body electric” Bradbury’s book, Whitman’s poem, or the song from Fame?
    @#63- I quite agree. Performance art all the way.

  63. Anonymous says:

    She’s in it for the money!!

  64. teflon says:

    As if getting married wasn’t ALREADY the death of his sex life…

  65. jmrowland says:

    This article made me realize something. I want to marry Boing Boing.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Good luck to him. I’m pleased he married who he loved. Who are you people to judge him? You can’t help loving who you love.

    I wish Sal9000 all the best.
    God Bless.

  67. Anonymous says:

    How is this unuon going to get consumated? Will a USB connection be involved?

  68. Anonymous says:

    The first headline I saw read “man marries video game character” — I should have guessed that it had to be some otaku in Japan!

    I long for the good old days when even the otaku understood the Japanese proverb, “deru kugi utareru” — the nail that sticks out will be pounded down”.

    But it is Japanese women who should be most concerned: the otaku may have started a trend of preferring stereotyped game characters to real Japanese women;)

  69. superluser says:

    There’s already a site where you can marry your favorite characters online.

    I’m fake-married to Pygmalion’s statue of Galatea.

  70. Anonymous says:

    “his devotion to his video game, and to pay homage to the otaku subculture that nurtures this type of creativity”

    I don’t know, what’s seriously creative about people taking their idol games too seriously? Isn’t that the point to the game? I don’t really see this as the height of “otaku culture”, I suppose.

  71. Anonymous says:

    lol, did anyone see the msg “ya mum”

  72. Anonymous says:

    wouldn’t this be comparable to marrying a fictional character from a TV show or movie, whether it is live action or animated? it’s like marrying someone who does not exist or someone you will never meet in person.

  73. Anonymous says:

    if he got to marry her does that mean i can marry albert wesker

  74. Anonymous says:

    I knew she had been cheating on me. I never thought she would take it this far. I will sues!

    I hope he’s happy. Wow.

  75. Anonymous says:

    How has no one commented yet on the horrible cringe inducing puns flying around here? You people are not mean enough.

  76. Anonymous says:

    what did her father ( Mr. Nintendo ) say about his girl marrying an outsider dude ?

  77. Anonymous says:

    Yet, they ban gay marriage?

  78. Anonymous says:

    This guy never got out much did he? ah man, this is kinda sweet, very awkward though. oh gosh, I’ll say nothing more.

  79. Anonymous says:

    They should just flood the internet with doujinshi of this chick, Oh look your wife is cheating on you.. and again.. and again.. and again………..

  80. Anonymous says:

    i’m happy for him ^^
    it’s not like he’s hurting anyone, if he wants to marry and be miserable/happy like the rest of us good luck to him.
    best wishes to them.
    “i am the swordsman they call samurai mars”

  81. LAWL_I_Registered says:

    I wonder how crusty this gimp’s DS is gonna be by the time he’s done with his virtual marriage. She’s the only girl in the world who will consent to sex any time he asks (and probably the only girl who would have sex with him period) so I imagine he’ll consummate the marriage at least 4 – 5 times a day.

    Gross…his red DS will be totally white in a few weeks.

  82. Anonymous says:

    I think I’ll get the game and talk her into an affair.

  83. Anonymous says:

    These are the best comments ever

  84. Anonymous says:


    Lets pay our due respects to the internetz. Sitting like the mighty pharaoh on top of the technology pyramid, passin’ judgement on all the lesser peeps of this world like a king.

  85. Anonymous says:

    the sex must be mindblowing

  86. Anonymous says:

    This is sad..he is not even concerned how his parents would feel and think.I feel that he better not go back home otherwise he will “kill” his parent,on matter how sane his parents are they would NEVER approve of this ridiculous marriage.

    sorry for the bad grammer

  87. Anonymous says:

    If this is real, this is so, soooo sad. How do you divorce a video game character? I mean, is the anime chick an avatar for a real girl?

  88. Anonymous says:

    She will make a very good wife. Keep her supplied with batteries and she will never forget anything…just like a human wife.

    As far as the consummation of the marriage, there’s bound to be some type of USB device out there for just such an occasion.

  89. Anonymous says:

    Another Gibsonesque ideal come to pass. I can’t wait to move to the Golden Gate, get my wetware augmented by russians, jack in and hack some ICE! Yea Me!!

  90. Anonymous says:

    It kind of reminds me of “Chobits”. It doesn’t matter if she feels real feelings or feelings she’s programed too, if he perceives them as being real.

    And they can totally come to all of my parties. :)

  91. Anonymous says:

    Perfect marriage. She wont tell him to take out the garbage

  92. Anonymous says:

    Oh no, I had a one night stand with that girl and she gave me a virus…now my computer is all f’ed up

  93. Anonymous says:

    How the hell did these comments turn political? This is just a wacky guy doing a wacky thing. To those who turned this political: Get over yourselves.

  94. Anonymous says:

    hey, who cares right? It’s his life…(dude, i like anime but you gotta keep the imagination to a minimum and try not to marry some video game character in real life…)

    I’m amazed he actually talked a priest to do this kinda job XD

  95. Anonymous says:

    Questions- if he were to wipe the drive, would that be murder? If he were to reinstall the software, does he have to remarry?

  96. Anonymous says:

    this has NOTHING… let me repeat that NOTHING to do with Left Wing or Right Wing BS. Just end it!
    It’s about a guy in JAPAN marrying pixels. Which is awkward and strange on so many levels O_o

  97. Anonymous says:

    I’m so going to marry Kasumi from Dead or Alive!

  98. Anonymous says:

    I dunno, I’m nearly crazy enough to do similar myself. Nearly. But someone I can’t actually hold simply won’t do.

  99. Anonymous says:

    he is now married to a woman whose picture he can’t show on his website etc. as he image will be copyrighted!

  100. Anonymous says:

    Many comments here are like “Tsk-tsk, what is this world coming to?” Hey people, get a sense of humor about the whole thing…
    And no use smashing his plaything to finish her off – she’s immortal! She does not live anywhere, she’s like Mickey Mouse or Peter Pan – omnipresent and indestructible! This guy can still be married to her when he’s 90 and she’ll still be that hot young girl that fascinated him. Great for him ! and never a rejection!

  101. Anonymous says:

    so, if he gets a new pokemon game, and creates a female character, will his wife get jealous?

  102. Anonymous says:

    how are they going to have kids……

    • Anonymous says:

      Why they’ll spawn processes, of course. Right after he gives her his random seed, at which point her kernel will begin recompiling.

      And when she’s not in the mood in a few months because all her userspace is occupied, he’ll always have his loopback interface to rely on.

  103. Anonymous says:

    im dealing with that too, i know a girl whose name is loyda n im in love with her but she won’t give a chance never that is the same bcause this guy will never touch and kiss this character in real life

  104. Anonymous says:

    Well, at least he’ll finally figure out how to turn a girl on.

  105. Anonymous says:

    Nobutsrsly: Makes you wonder, eh? It doesn’t seem like this kind of thing would be to far off. If Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality were to become advanced enough… Well, would you rather spend years in marriage counciling or seconds in a boot screen?

    I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned it. *shrugs* Coding that, though, would take genius and time. All that said, unless the A.I. girl can make a sammich, I don’t believe it’d make it past Japan.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Depending on her voltage, he could end up with “a diddle that will curl his hair.”

  107. Anonymous says:

    As amusing as it may seem. I think it ruins the game and character for everybody else.

    I watch anime and play games like that, but i treat it as art. To marry its characters, although not actual or legal, is like adversely claiming a piece of culture and art for oneself and ruin it for everybody else.

  108. Anonymous says:



    This dude is nutz!!.. But one this iz kool his so called wife can be programmed..HAHAHAH

  109. hilyario says:

    so how then does she live in the game after being married.. She will be a much less needed and desired character.
    How will it continue for her?

  110. Anonymous says:

    There will one day be “Hollywood Stars” who will be entirely Virtual and fake, but will star in various CGI movies, as different characters like current REAL actors do, but will carry with themself a persona that will see them have fan bases, and EVEN dudes (like this dude) and girls that will fall in love with them. Make this the beginning of my prediction.

  111. Jim says:

    This is rather sad. A Human who cares more about fake computer world then reality.

    Only recently another family were convicted of neglect when their child died of starvation. The parents were too busy looking after a virtual baby to care for the real baby they had.

  112. Anonymous says:

    What if his DS battery ran out, does that mean the wedding is off?

  113. Anonymous says:

    I’m married to Ann from Harvest Moon Friends of Mineral Townfor Gameboy and shes’s carrying my baby.
    Is that bad D:

  114. Anonymous says:

    Crap, she’s not even the cutest anime character.
    – Rhyme from TWEWY
    – Eri from School Rumble

  115. Anonymous says:

    Where did he put the ring?…if someone else plays that character is that considered cheating?…when the Ds Battery dies does he have to have a funeral for his wife?…to reproduce does he use the gameboy slot?….Just some food for thought xD

  116. Anonymous says:

    Then I’m going to marry Hanatarou Yamada from Bleach!

  117. Anonymous says:

    “Oh dear. I knew I should have shown him Electro-Gonorrhoea: the noisy killer!”

    This statement my friend is pure genius

  118. Anonymous says:

    prefiero tifa armstrong

  119. Anonymous says:

    “..No wonder the birth rate is dropping in Japan…”

    That’s just Darwin’s theory hard at work, right?

    Is there a category for this at the Darwin Awards?

  120. Anonymous says:

    I hope that Nintendo DS was waterproofed for the honeymoon!