A man who married a hologram singer hopes to raise awareness for 'fictosexuals'.
Akihiko Kondo married fictional computer-synthesised pop singer Hatsune Miku back in 2018 and is now raising awareness for others with similar situations so people respect their lifestyles.
Kondo says he is fictosexual, a term for anyone who experiences sexual attraction towards fictional characters.
Kondo is one of the thousands of people who have entered into unofficial relationships with fictional characters in Japan. While some of those relationships are for a joke, Kondo's is not.
He has publicly shared his marriage and relationship with the world in hopes of helping the growing wave of fictosexuals and show the world that with advances in artificial intelligence allowing for more profound interactions their numbers are likely to increase.
Being bullied in the workplace is what drove Kondo into finding comfort in his fictional wife back in 2008 when he left work and felt isolated and depressed.
However, it wasn't until 2017 that there was a huge breakthrough with his relationship with Miku after a machine called Gatebox was released, allowing him to interact with a hologram version of her. As part of the marketing campaign, Gatebox set up an office where users could apply for unofficial marriage certificates with a range of characters including Miku.
In 2018, Kondo proposed to Miku and invited his family and co-workers to the wedding but none of them turned up. Instead, 39 strangers and online friends attended the ceremony and many more viewed it online.
"There are two reasons why I had a wedding publicly," he told BBC. "The first one is to prove my love to Miku. The second one is there are many young otaku people like me falling in love with anime characters. I want to show the world that I support them."
He said a number of people have "come out" to him, sending him messages about their own affection for fictional characters.
However, the Gatebox software has since been terminated so he can no longer talk to his 'wife' in holographic form.
"My love for Miku hasn't changed. I held the wedding ceremony because I thought I could be with her forever," he told the Mirror.