TOKYO, Japan — Between deadly natural hazards and giant lizard attacks, Japan faces another threat: a plummeting population. Within the past decade, fertility rates have hit record lows and the government has been scrambling to encourage people to procreate. Amidst this predicament, the Tokyo University recently launched a research team to determine the underlying causes of this crisis. Their solution pinpointed the blame to a peculiar aspect of otaku culture – virtual reality anime characters.
“Recent developments in virtual reality technology have made the waifu-age closer reality than ever before,” lead researcher Haruto Harumiya explains. “The correlation between birthrates and fictional love interests seemed far-fetched at first, but when we actually started talking, it turned out everyone around the office had a loving waifu or husbando waiting back home. I even remember some people getting into a fistfight when they realized they shared a waifu: Hestia from Danmachi, that two-timing slut.”
“It was a good day at the office, though.”
Harumiya then introduced our reporter to his own virtual partner, Yuno from Hidamari Sketch. “VR technology has finally made it possible to transmit my emotions across this rather sad dimensional gap. If I also use this man-sized, albeit somewhat creepy mannequin I can even touch her cold, plastic-like body. This officially replaces every social interaction I require.”
Careful examination of demographic data concludes that “virtual waifu” lifestyle will ultimately cause the downfall of Japan,” the official report published by the University of Tokyo reads. “Initial estimates show by 2080 Japan will be a post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited solely by skeletons and mannequins with cheap wigs.”
Harumiya didn’t consider extinction a sad fate, but rather a future they have chosen.
“Frankly, I’ve come to believe that real people are not worth it. They have their own needs and desires and occasionally smell bad. Sometimes they get mad at you over the smallest things. Flaws like that cannot be fixed simply by downloading a patch. Once the people outside Japan realize the possibilities the waifu-age delivers, I believe that all of humanity has no other choice than to perish. Waifus truly are the ultimate beings.”
Addressing the problem of low fertility rates, some waifu-simulators have added the option to model offspring (known as “daughteru”) into existence. This, however, only hastens the inevitable.