Waifu Meaning: Definition, Origin & History


If you’ve just heard about “my waifu'' (or you’ve been hearing the term for a while but don’t know what it means), then you must also be digging a little deeper into the world of anime. There’s so much exploring to do in this wonderful community, and we’re glad to help you on your journey.

The quick answer we can give you about the term “waifu” is that it’s a word some use to call fictional characters they’d ideally want as a wife. But before we get into the juicy details, let’s take a step back — you just have to hear all about the culture and history behind this interesting term!

Let’s start off by explaining some of the details of its origin.

Japanese Culture & Otaku

Every nation has its own unique customs and traits, and this is especially true in Japan. Japan is known around the world for its cute culture that has made its way into many popular trends in Western culture. Japan is known for its fashion statements, its media and animations, and more.

Some of those that have made a significant impact worldwide are anime, manga, video games, and idols.

In bookstore chains across the globe, you can find shelves upon shelves of manga. Access to Japanese anime is widely available online, even on DVD and Blu-ray. You’ll also find that Japanese video games are some of the most popular worldwide. And the reach of their idols has been steadily growing over the past decade or so, too!

One of the distinguished sectors of Japan’s fandoms is Otaku culture. Otaku is a term people use to describe those who have an unfiltered obsession with Japanese pop culture. But because there are different facets Otaku can be fixated on, you can distinguish them from one another through more specific names, like “Anime Otaku.”

The term used to have a negative connotation because it was originally associated with those who people would perceive as nerdy. Otaku were those who fit the stereotype of the geek who spent lots of time on his or her computer, wore tacky clothing, and didn’t have many friends. 

Once the cultures of manga, anime, and everything else related to them became popular, people started using the word Otaku as a neutral term for people with a deep love for these art forms and their fandoms. 

Anime Otaku

Anime is so widely loved and considered a normal part of life in Japan that you won’t find yourself short-handed when searching for anime of any genre, whether you prefer action, romance, or mystery.

With that being the case, it’s very common to find Anime Otaku. You can usually spot them by their fashion choices and social media. Anime fans will likely have tons of merchandise: fashion accessories, posters lining the walls of their bedrooms, and maybe even a body pillow of their favorite anime character.

Manga Otaku

Manga Otaku are people who have a huge love for manga. This kind of Otaku may be the greatest in number of all Otaku. If you’re a bookworm or a comic lover, then you’ll understand what it’s like to get lost in the plot of whatever you’re reading and get attached to its characters. 

Once you have that attachment, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole and lose yourself in Manga Otaku culture. You might find yourself spending all your free time getting lost in the latest manga, cheering on your favorite manga characters, or re-reading your guilty pleasure manga for the fifth time. 

Game Otaku

Those of you who love video games more than the average person would be Game Otaku. Of course, this doesn’t just apply to gamers in Japan. Game Otaku is mostly used for those with Japanese-related video games but can apply to any gamer. 

Though, it should be noted that some of the most popular video games in history that Game Otaku are typically knowledgeable about did originate in Japan. Final Fantasy is just one example of many.

Idol Otaku

Idol Otaku refers to those with an unbridled passion for girl groups in the pop music industry. These people will be similar to members of any other fandom. They’ll be connected with their idols on social media along with the fan accounts that keep everyone updated on their idols’ activities and content.

A typical Idol Otaku will know all the details about their favorite idols, like their birth dates, where they’re from, who they’ve been romantically linked to in the past, or who they may be with in real-time. They’ll learn about their idols’ interests and dislikes. In other words, they’ll know everything there is to know about them.

How Does Waifu Come Into Play?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Otaku culture, we’ll explain the connection between waifu and Otaku. The best explanation is that waifu is the word Otaku use for their ideal wife. This can be a fictional female character in a manga, anime, or video game. Some popular waifus can also be real people, like J-pop idols.

The word started to appear online in 2007 when “mai waifu” became a definition on Urban Dictionary, but it’s been around a bit longer than that. Waifu is a Japanese word taken from English that portrays the word “wife” but with a Japanese pronunciation.

Although the Japanese have their own word for “wife,” changing times have made many feel uncomfortable with its use. “Kanai,” or wife in Japanese, carries meaning from Chinese culture that translates to residing within the home. Words for “husband” also carry meaning that implies that the husband is the wife’s master.

As a result, many people in Japan have adopted the English words for wife and husband in place of words like “kanai.” Once the English word “wife” became commonplace, the word “waifu” was born soon after, with “husbando” used to describe fictional male characters that would make ideal husbands following soon after.

What Does It Mean to Have a Waifu?

There are plenty of perks to having a waifu, but here are some critical things to know before committing to one. The Otaku community takes choosing to have a waifu in your life very seriously, so make sure to take these factors into consideration. 

First, taking a waifu requires the utmost commitment. Otaku see this as a relationship as real as any other, meaning you’re making a long-term commitment. There won’t be much tolerance for switching out your waifu, so be sure to think long and hard before picking one.

It’s also important to keep in mind that your waifu is a fictional manga, video game, or anime girl. For mental health purposes, it’s essential to remember this. Many in the Otaku community agree that it’s possible to have a waifu while participating in a real-life (or the 3D world, as they call it) marriage or relationship with a significant other. 

The people who participate in this aspect of Otaku culture should feel comfortable and confident in it. It’s an idea that may be difficult to understand, but when it comes down to it, it’s really a group of people who can connect well with who a character is. 

Part of the job of a writer is to create characters with real and complex personalities, so it’s natural for a person to become invested in a character’s story to also feel invested in the character. 

Though they’re fictional, they can inspire you and compliment you like a person in the 3D world can. A character’s growth can influence that of your own and may end up being exactly what you need to positively affect your life in the 3D world.


If waifuism appeals to you at all, we would love to show you how you can bring it into your own life. At MOEFLAVOR, we seek to create lingerie, clothing, and accessories that are inspired by anime, manga, and gaming. 

We produce an easy way for you to incorporate waifuism into your and your partner’s life. One of the easiest ways to dip your toes into the water and start introducing it into your life is by trying out our Danger Cyber Cat Headband. This is the perfect way to play with the idea of waifuism whether you want to wear it yourself or you want your partner to wear it.

These sexy cat ears will be sure to drive you and your partner wild as you start fulfilling the cosplay daydreams we’re all having.

Or you could fully dive in and try one of our lingerie sets. One of our favorites is our Hell Rider Succubus Lingerie in pink. This faux latex body suit is as sexy as it gets and will compliment your body in all of the right ways. It’s a thing of fantasies.

Whether you pick our Danger Cyber Cat Headband, Hell Rider Succubus Lingerie, or anything else, you’ll soon find out that our products will be your deepest, darkest desires.



Otaku: What is the Otaku Culture in Japan? | Japan Web Magazine

What Does Waifu Mean? | Japan Powered

10 Perks Of Having An Anime Waifu | CBR