Waifu Meaning: Definition, Origin & History (2024)

Waifu Meaning: Definition, Origin & History (1)

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

Waifu Meaning: Definition, Origin & History (2024)


Waifu Meaning: Definition, Origin & History? ›

Anime fans began using waifu to refer to a character they were particularly fond of, one they viewed as being special to them. The earliest Urban Dictionary entry for this use of the word dates from 2007, and there's evidence that the term dates back in its anime sense to at least 2006.

Where did the term waifu come from? ›

The Japanese therefore borrowed the English word "wife" and pronounced it their own way -- "waifu" -- and used it as a more neutral, general term for female spouses without the homemaker implications of kanai.

What is the male version of a waifu? ›

The term is literally a Japanese romanization of the English word "wife" with the male equivalent of the word being "hasubando" for "husband," more frequently spelled as "husbando."

What makes someone a waifu? ›

A waifu is a fictional female character, usually in anime, that a fan considers their ideal life partner or "wife." She's typically beautiful, smart, and funny, with a well-written character arc. Anime fans know their waifus are fictional characters, but still tend to consider the relationship to be a real thing.

What does waifu mean Japan? ›

“Waifu” is the Japanese romaji spelling of the english word “wife”. It pretty much just means you are sexually attracted to a female character or you would consider her your fictional “wife”, but it does get out of hand most of the time. And, yes, often times they are minors, which cannot be excused.

What is the opposite of waifu? ›

Husbando. Pronunciation: WHOSE-BAN-DOH. An attempt to mirror the weeaboo language waifu [ https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=waifu ] by similarly weeaboo-fy the word "husband".

What the heck is a waifu? ›

An anime waifu is a fan's idealized romantic partner, someone they would conceivably marry and spend their entire lives with, if that were somehow possible. The simplest meaning of waifu is "my ideal wife," hence the term, but there's still some nuance that's worth exploring.

What is a waifu husband? ›

A fictional character whom an anime fan considers to be their wife or husband.

What is it called when a guy looks like a girl in anime? ›

Bishōnen characters are fairly common in shōjo manga and anime. Many of the male characters show subtle signs of the bishōnen style, such as slender eyes or a feminine face.

What is considered a waifu? ›

Definition of 'waifu'

1. a fictional character (esp from an anime cartoon) whom a person regards as a romantic partner. 2. facetious. a wife.

Who is the number one waifu? ›

Katarina is a charming anime waifu with genuine compassion and altruism; combined with her innocent, friendly demeanor and classy but unpretentious looks and aura, Katarina is an excellent waifu.

What are the benefits of having a waifu? ›

Having a waifu can create connections with others who are part of the waifu community. Whether you're debating the merits of certain waifus, or simply expressing why you love your waifu so much, they can provide a bridge that allows you to communicate with others who share the same interests.

Does waifu mean crush? ›

The term "waifu" is derived from the English word "wife" and is commonly used in the anime and manga community to refer to female characters that someone has a strong affection for or sees as a significant other, even though they are fictional. It's often used in a playful or affectionate manner.

What is a yandere? ›

Yandere is a portmanteau of two Japanese words. The first is yanderu, which means “to be sick,” and the second is deredere, used here for “lovestruck.” A yandere is often sweet, caring, and innocent before switching into someone who displays an extreme, often violent or psychotic, level of devotion to a love interest.

Where did waifu originate? ›

The term itself is a Japanization of the English word "wife," and was first used in an anime. "Waifu" is typically used to refer to anime characters, but can be used for other fictional characters as well, such as those in movies, TV shows, or books.

What is waifu for men? ›

The male equivalent of waifu is husbando. However, this likely isn't taken from an actual Japanese loanword, as the Japanese borrowing of husband is hazu.

Who created waifu? ›

Waifu is a term used by Japanese men when referring to their wives. Its usage predates Azumanga Daioh, though it was through said series that the word became known to the Western audience and acquired Internet meme status.

What is a waifu anime wife? ›

An anime waifu is the theoretical ideal life partner for a viewer—typically a female character with desirable traits such as beauty, intelligence, personal loyalty, certain talents/skills, a fascinating worldview, a good sense of humor, and more.

What is a senpai waifu? ›

In the vast world of anime and manga fandom, the journey from being an admirer of a character (senpai) to forming a deep emotional bond (waifu) has become a cherished and fascinating phenomenon.

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