Sometimes life can change with the click of a mouse.
Despondent over a recent breakup, I sat and contemplated the meaning of life, relationships, and other such weighty things. I didn’t think anything could possibly sew up the savage tear in my heart.
That is, until I came across Ita-Supo, a life-sized “anime hug pillow” adorned with the likeness of a Japanese high school girl, who can talk to you and even responds when you rub certain parts of her 2-D body.
I wasn’t even aware that “anime hug pillows” were a thing. But sure enough, the Japanese are there to show me how little I know about love and relationships. Called “dakimakura,” the full-sized pillows offer comfort and solace to those who would otherwise sleep alone. Hardcore pillow enthusiasts can even pick up a copy of “Hobby Pillow” magazine, where one can learn how to wash the dakimakura (I won’t ask), and read up about “Fabric Choice: Your Most Important Decision.”
My head was still reeling from the all the heartbreak-healing potential, when I came across the latest iteration of the dakimakura — the aforementioned Ita-Supo.
The talking girlfriend pillow’s developer, Koichi Uchimura, told RocketNews24 how the idea came to him: “When we’d sleep in the same bed, I’d start to think, ‘I wish she could talk,’ so I wanted to make that a reality.”
But, as with all world-changing innovations, Uchimura’s idea soon took off and morphed into something else altogether.
“If you don’t rub her, she won’t make any sounds,” Uchimura explains in the pillow’s instructional video. “You have to rub her.”
Indeed. Sensors inside the pillow measure the force of your groping, so if you’re too harsh, Rina Makuraba (you didn’t ask her name before you took her to bed?) will respond with “Hey, hands off!” or, “Hey, that hurts!” But get it just right and you’ll be rewarded with the whisperings of sweet nothings into your ear: “What’s gonna happen if I start to love you more than I already do?”
Aw, shucks. MY girlfriend never said anything that nice to me. Still, it’s too soon for another platinum blonde…
Ah, but it looks like I’m in luck! Two other girl pillows can be ordered: the hipster, red-headed librarian-meets-Disney princess-looking Shion Kamitsuki, and the carefree, cape-wearing, already-disappointed-in-me Shiho Natsuki.
These girls are pre-loaded with 500 sayable phrases, and Uchimura promises downloadable smartphone updates that can be uploaded directly into the pillow.
I’m sold. Where’s my credit card? Let’s do this.
20,000?! Oh right, that’s 20,000 yen. Let’s just Google that conversion rate, carry the two… Grand total of 166 bucks.
A single tear rolls down my face as I place my order. I refuse to let my finances get in the way of love.