What is a Waifu?

What is a Waifu and Husbando? Something massive Otaku and Weeaboo use.

Waifu is a word used by Otaku and Weeaboo to identify a specific female anime (or manga or video game) character they love dearly. “Hatsune Miku is my Waifu.” Since anime and manga has become a bit more mainstream, some use Waifu for fun among other Otaku and Weeaboo as their favorite female character. Others take it very seriously and might get angry if you insult their Waifu or say they’re just 2D characters. It is rare, but some have fallen in love with their Waifu and have even gone so far as to marry a Dakimakura or video game that features their beloved character.

This man married a girl from the NDS game "Love Plus."
This man married a girl from the Nintendo DS game “Love Plus.”

This term comes from the Japanese way to say the English word “Wife.” Of course, they must use select sounds from their Katakana characters and often have extra vowels when creating words: WA-I-FU in Katakana is ワイフ. According to Know Your Meme, this spread to internet culture after it was featured in the anime Azumanga Daioh. A man drops a picture of a woman. The girls say it’s a picture of a pretty woman and ask who it is. The man replies with “My Wife,” or “Mai Waifu.”

After Waifu became a thing on the internet for female characters, the term “Husbando” was created for male characters. However, this isn’t the correct way Japanese spell Husband. The real Katakana version for Husband is HA-ZU-BA-N-DO: ハズバンド.

And that’s all you need to know about Waifu! If someone else ask “What is a Waifu?” or “What is a Husbando?” make sure you direct them here! You can find more information on Japanese subculture terms just like this in my growing Otaku Encyclopedia.