What Are Anime Husbandos - And Why Are They So Popular?

Jul 14, 2023
An anime husbando isn't just a cool character fans love. He is an ideal partner who could help build a loving household.
What Are Anime Husbandos - And Why Are They So Popular?

Enthusiasts of Japanese manga, anime, and games possess a delightful assortment of playful vocabulary and slang to express their adoration for beloved stories and characters. Terms like tsundere and moe exemplify this lexicon. Almost any endearing character can be considered moe, and any female character has the potential to become the cherished "Best Girl." However, it takes an exceptionally exceptional character to be deemed someone's waifu or husbando.

These terms, intentionally reminiscent of the English words "husband" and "wife," do not describe fictional characters who are happily married to each other. Instead, they encapsulate the fantasy of a character marrying their real-life fan, with fans regarding these characters as their would-be spouse. A waifu represents the embodiment of an ideal female partner, while a husbando, as expected, embodies the ideal male partner. The intricacies and nuances surrounding these concepts can be surprisingly complex.

What Makes For An Anime Husbando?

Anime waifus and husbandos are not simply a fan's preferred character from a manga or anime series. These characters are envisioned as potential life partners who would contribute to a fulfilling long-term relationship, even within the realm of imagination. That's why waifus and husbandos are assigned such matrimonial terms, rather than being regarded solely as daydream boyfriends or girlfriends or merely moe characters. The term "husbando" combines the English word husband with a pseudo-Japanese ending (-o) to approximately match Japanese phonetics. It's a fabricated yet highly intuitive term used to describe any male manga/anime character that a fan considers their idealized spouse, even if it exists solely in their fantasies.

In both fiction and reality, numerous qualities contribute to being a good spouse, extending beyond physical attraction or gimmicks like a distinctive verbal tic or unique hobby. An anime fan designates a remarkable male character as their husbando because that character fulfills their criteria for a genuine life partner, rather than someone to merely go on a single date with. A true husbando possesses all the qualities necessary for a long-term spouse, such as a well-rounded and likable personality, a stable lifestyle, a willingness to commit to one partner, and the ability to make their partner feel secure, valued, and respected. These universally desired traits are what make husbandos so appealing, in addition to the novelty and entertainment of daydreaming about being married to an anime character.

The qualities that define a husbando can vary considerably and are subjective, as some anime fans may prefer an unconventional and rebellious individual as their husbando, even if such a character would struggle to establish a stable household in reality. However, many anime husbandos are portrayed as already being married within their respective stories, offering ample opportunities to present themselves as ideal partners. The capacity to create and maintain a stable and healthy household alongside a romantic relationship is a significant criterion for a proper anime husbando in the eyes of many fans.

Husbandos Are Different From Best Boys In Anime

In some cases, an anime husbando and the series' Best Boy may be one and the same. If an anime fan likes ideal husband material in their characters, then they'll decide upon their Best Boy accordingly. However, the definition of Best Boy, and Best Girl is broader than husbando, meaning the terms are not interchangable. Even if a husbando can be a type of Best Boy, not all Best Boys are suitable husbandos. Any factor can go into a fan's pick for Best Boy, such as the male character with the coolest and most exciting combat techniques or a male character the viewer can strongly identify with due to their worldview or lifestyle. A Best Boy might even the be comic relief character, the most wholesome and innocent boy, or the male character who happens to have that undefined "it" factor.

This means an anime fan who's trying to decide on their favorite male character must bear in mind that the series' most compelling or entertaining character may be totally unsuitable as a would-be romantic partner, while the actual husbando might be a total dandere who never stands out, but still has the right qualities to be someone's spouse. It's most convenient when a Best Boy and husbando overlap, but picking a Best Boy is simply about adoring the series' most substantial male character while husbandos call for more discretion. Put another way, a Best Boy is someone the fan would hang out with, while a husbando is worth starting a family with.

Examples Of The Best Husbandos In Anime & Manga

Even if husbandos and waifus are subjective by nature, the anime community has elevated a handful of anime men to the status of prime husbando material due to their popularity and broad appeal. This selection of husbandos also serves as a great reference for what truly makes an ideal husbando, compared to a favorite Best Boy.

Loid Forger the Westalis spy in Spy x Family is a prime example. He isn't just a compelling action spy in a 1960s pseudo-European setting, Loid is also the head of the Forger found family, a role he enjoys more than he ever expected. Loid married Yor and adopted Anya for the sake of Operation Strix, but he couldn't help forming real emotional attachments to his wife and foster daughter, to the point he worries it might compromise his mission. Loid isn't just going through the motions. He's a genuine, caring foster father for Anya and a supportive spouse for Yor, and that's why Anya and Yor both love him so much, as do Spy x Family fans. Alone, Loid is still a cool and fun character and would be a Best Boy, but his domestic bliss and protective ways make him a real husbando.

Kakashi Hatake from Naruto is another popular husbando. While characters like Naruto Uzumaki and Shikamaru Nara are typical Best Boys, Kakashi has a more paternal role in the series, even if he has no children of his own. Kakashi is almost like Naruto's foster father, having a parental role for Team 7 in their early days. Kakashi is protective, pushes his genin to be stronger, gives them vital life lessons, and has a genuine emotional attachment to them, which also honors Obito Uchiha's memory about never abandoning a friend. Biological anime fathers can also serve as fine husbandos for their fans, too, from Isshin Kurosaki in Bleach to Joichiro Yukihira in Food Wars! and Colonel Maes Hughes in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Like Loid and Kakashi, they have protective, warm paternal instincts, while also being a cool, slick hero in their own right, the perfect package for anyone seeking their next anime husbando.

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