I’m currently watching an anime called “I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying”. It’s a collection of amusing shorts about a young married couple: Hajime and Kaoru Tsunashi. The pair love each other deeply. That being said, Hajime is a massive otaku, whereas Kaoru is more your bog-standard salaryman man woman. This results in all kinds of confusion and misunderstanding on Kaoru’s part. It’s not the best short anime that I’ve ever seen, but it offers up a decent helping of funny and even touching moments. I really think that it’s worth watching by virtue of the fact that its main focus is a married couple – there really aren’t many shows like that out there. This is quite appealing to me, being a married lady myself! It’s nice seeing my demographic and the things that we go through on a daily basis represented like that! What’s more, is that it’s a fairly accurate portrayal of married life. Though my experience varies ever-so-slightly from Kaoru’s in that both my husband and I, and not just my husband, are massive dorks! For those of you who may be interested, below is a brutally honest account of what a marriage between two otaku looks like. Enjoy!
One of the best things about being married to a fellow dork is that I don’t have to feel self-conscious over spending money on things that other people might deem worthless or childish. To my husband, it is perfectly understandable that I would spend my money on a cute Nendoroid or several volumes of manga (even if I still have a sizable stack of unread manga on my bedside table). Likewise, if he wants to spend his hard-earned money on a second copy of XYZ game (because this one’s a HD re-release, babe), more power to him! We may not value each other’s purchases exactly the same, but we understand the passion that we each feel for our own dorky pursuits and respective collections. I love seeing his eyes light up at getting his hands on something that he’s wanted for a while and I would hope that he feels the same way towards me!
Speaking of collections… Our respective collections are forever growing. With each new paycheck we’ll both treat ourselves to something new. Sadly, the space that we occupy does not grow commensurate to our collections, which means that we’re forever searching for new nooks and crannies in which to store our things. Our TV stand buckles ominously under the weight of five video games consoles, a repurposed Christmas hamper now stores the manga that no longer fit neatly on my bookshelf, and figures vie for space on top of our shelving units (I wouldn’t be surprised if they, one day, started turning on one another in a battle to take pride of place). We both eagerly await the day when we can upsize and bring much-needed order to our chaotic collections.
Another challenge that we two dorks face is an ongoing battle for the TV. We actually own two TVs, but my TV, which I shipped from the UK, is only compatible with PAL games (‘cause science). Not only that, but it actually got pretty banged up in transit. So, should I wish to play an NTSC game or I don’t especially feel like having my anime ruined by a cluster of dead pixels dead center of the screen I have to gently pry my husband away from the “good TV”. Fortunately, we’re both adults. As such, we know how to share. That still doesn’t make it any less offputting when I’m watching the latest pulse-pounding episode of Attack on Titan and, out of the corner of my eye, I can see the hubby lurking, anxiously waiting to get back to his game!
If, like me, you’re married, you’re probably no stranger to “date night” – the one night a month (or week, if you’re lucky) you dedicate to going out and doing something special together as a couple. For my husband and I, date night is yet another chance to indulge in our hobbies. Last month we got all nostalgic over Detective Pikachu, but we’ll usually visit our local arcade, eat at our favourite noodle bar, grab a coffee and browse the manga section in Barnes and Noble, or play “what TV and games consoles would we buy if we were rich?” at Best Buy. Our uncultured, mundie parents definitely do not understand this! I’m sure that they think we’re wasting our best (childless) years and that we should be spending our (very disposable at this point) income on concerts, expensive meals, and whatever else “normal” couples do on date night! Ah well, never mind what they think, we’re happy living our best lives together!
Because of their wildly different interests, Kaoru often struggles to understand what Hajime is saying (the clue is in the show’s title). Fortunately, my husband and I do not have that problem – the two of us understand each other better than anybody else we know (our parents included)! We can speak to one another almost exclusively in memes or references. Failing that, we’ll resort to chattering to each other in broken Japanese, reveling in the confusion of those around us! Our understanding of one another stems from our shared interests. A lot of our free time is spent playing games or watching anime together! As such, our conversations often turn to things that we’ve both experienced together. We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve had the same conversation over the pitfalls of Silent Hill 4: The Room, which has the worst filler arcs: Bleach or Naruto (Bleach), or what games we wanna buy on the Switch (when we can eventually afford one)!
As far as our interests are concerned, the biggest difference between them is in our taste of anime. In what is a complete depart from gender norms, he prefers magical girl or slice-of-life anime, whereas I prefer sports, action, and horror anime (the bloodier the better). I’ve actually spoken about this before. Really, the key to coexisting while having a passion for different things is being respectful of what each other enjoys. Even if you don’t get it, don’t belittle it. Kaoru absolutely nails this, which is why, in spite of their differences, the pair get along so well. And be willing to give what the other person likes a try. They’ll love sharing something they love with the person they love, trust me!
That’s it. An honest account of what it’s like to be married to an otaku. Are any of you reading this dating a fellow dork? If so, I’d love to hear how your experiences compare to mine or to Kaoru and Hajime’s! Thanks for reading!