New frontier in otaku tech smashes crowdfunding goal, set to ship soon.
The American broadcaster’s We Bare Bears features a panda, a grizzly, and a polar bear…and in its most recent episode, also an anime schoolgirl pillowcase.
The creative team at Bibi Lab have been at it again. The inventive brand dedicated to bringing weird and wonderful items out into the world have delighted us with life-sized human-shaped pillows, mosquito net jumpsuits and even sailor-style schoolgirl uniforms for men.
Now there’s another item we’ll be adding to our growing collection of Bibi Lab products: the giant anime-style pigtails pillow.
A proper anime character huggy pillow seems to have become a critical component of the full fetish and fantasy regalia of a well-rounded otaku, but there are certain things you just can’t do with such a 2-D crush. Sure, anime girl pillows will let you squeeze them and passionately insert your sweet nothings into their non-existent eardrums, but no matter how fervently romantic you become, you can’t expect any sort of pillow talk from your pillow.
Unless, that is, you’re curled up beneath the sheets with the Ita-Supo, the first talking huggy pillow that responds to your touch with verbal responses, including angry outbursts if you get too grabby.
When you look at them a certain way, huggy pillows with pictures of cute anime girls on them are kind of creepy. Well, actually, they’re creepy in several ways, but for right now, let’s limit our discussion to one way in particular.
Even if we accept that there’s nothing wrong with consensual love between a man and his pillow, their relative sizes make the situation kind of weird. After all, a person’s height is far greater than a pillow’s length, so wouldn’t Miss Anime Pillow feel a little awkward cuddling with her much larger otaku owner?
It’d probably be a little like squeezing a gigantic anime pillow that’s six meters (19.7 feet) long. Of course, if that sounds like your personal vision of bedtop bliss, there’s a company giving away just that.
We’ve talked before about Japan’s love affair with gigantic hug pillows. Even if they’re not covered with pictures of your anime or celebrity crush, dakimakura, as they’re called in Japanese, have a number of physiological advantages, as well as the psychological benefits some people reap from having something to hold as they sleep.
Of course, some people also feel more secure and relaxed being held as they sleep, which is why Japan has a new, double-pronged huggy pillow that can hug you back.
We recently looked at the physical and psychological benefits of sleeping with hug pillows, or dakimakura as they’re known in Japan. But while that discussion was limited to plain, undecorated dakimakura, it’s no secret that a large number of jumbo-size pillows in Japan are adorned with drawings or photos of the owner’s anime or celebrity crush.
Sometimes these dakimakura end up being used for relatively chaste purposes, like a romantic train ride. We don’t think it’s going too far, though, to speculate they’re also put to more lascivious means as stand-ins for obsessive fans’ lust towards their unattainable objects of desire. As a result, one new dakimakura allows you to tear the clothes off a rock star.
Back in my teaching days, some of my more hormonally afflicted students would take great pleasure in asking me whatever inappropriate or perverted questions popped into their heads, often wrongly assuming that I wouldn’t understand what they were saying. Sometimes they’d even break out some crude English with questions like (pointing to my crotch) “Sensei, are you long boy?”, “Do you play sex?”, or “How about Japanese adult video?”
One question that came up curiously often, though, was whether I was “esu” or “emu“, or in English: “Are you a sadist or a masochist?”
I’ve never really thought of myself as either, but chats with a few of my Japanese coworkers soon led me to believe that a surprising number of people here consider themselves to be one or the other. Can you guess which group the owners of these gagged dakimakura belong to?
Well, wouldn’t you know it? Just because app developers are releasing a program which would allow otaku the interactive experience of sleeping next to Hatsune Miku doesn’t mean that Japan’s commonly found love pillows are losing any ground. In fact, two of Animate’s most recent pillow case and perfume sets sold out within a day of release! There’s nothing about this item set that isn’t to some extent creepy.
Ever wanted to take your favorite anime/TV/movie character to bed with you? Of course, Japan has the answer in dakimakura covers, essential items in any otaku home that usually feature cute anime girls (bishōjo) splayed out and staring up with wide, innocent eyes. Dakimakura comes from daku, meaning “to embrace” and makura, meaning “pillow”. They are sometimes referred to as “love pillows” in the West (I’ll leave you to figure out why).
Taking inspiration from Japanese dakimakura, some Western fan artists have decided to create their very own covers featuring some well-known characters. Now you can see Marvel favorites Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America as you’ve never seen them before – in your bed!
Warning: Some of the pictures below might not be safe for the workplace, or those averse to a bit of (male) bare flesh.