Is ‘waifu’ trash?

By: Anime Feminist May 22, 201749 Comments

Another day, another display of questionable judgement from an anime or manga company’s marketing department. Today’s dubious decision comes from Funimation, which we’ve talked about before.

Image of an anime girl in an ill-fitting string bikini just covering the nipples on her large breasts. She is also wearing a witch's hat, a collar and sleeves, holding a magical staff. Text on the background: "Shop the Bikini Season Sale! May your cups runneth over." Underneath is the Funimation logo.

There’s a lot we could discuss here. Like how anime fandom was, less than a week ago, up in arms that a New York Times journalist went to Crunchyroll cold and chose Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor as his chosen representative of anime. Or how this is a style of anime marketing we had thought consigned to history, targeting an imagined audience of neckbeards watching anime primarily for enormoboob masturbation in their parents’ basement. Or the fact that string bikinis just don’t work that way, and neither do breasts.

You’re welcome to discuss any or all of those points in comments, but I’d particularly like to ask about the term ‘waifu’. Some people – including women – find this word useful, harmless and expressive. Some people find it irrevocably anti-feminist. We’d love to know what you think!

  • How would you define ‘waifu’?
  • How do you personally feel about the term?
  • How do you feel about the term ‘husbando’?
  • Do you feel there is an equivalent to this kind of label in other fandoms?
  • How could you use ‘waifu’ in a marketing campaign in a feminist-friendly way?
  • How do you feel about the way Funimation chose to use the word in this tweet?

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