Cringy Anime fan uses $1,500 headset to date Zero Two IRL

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Over the past few years, a number of people have taken romance to the digital realm. Famously, a Japanese man married an AI-powered hologram of Hatsune Miku; others have married robots. But one cringy anime fan has decided to go on a date with a JPEG in augmented reality.

Using the Meta Quest Pro headset, mixed reality enthusiasts are now able to see entire virtual worlds within real spaces. With the headset’s brilliant passthrough tech, the mixed reality headset can add entire screens into real space.

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However, as seen on Reddit, one user took the headset one step further, using its reality-bending software to go on a date with an anime character. Is this the future for lonely anime fans?

In the Reddit post, the user wore the Meta Quest Pro headset inside a bar. The $1,500 headset was used to display a 2D image of Zero Two, an anime girl from the series Darling in the Franx.

The video, lasting just 13 seconds, shows the still Zero Two image eating a lollipop in front of the user’s table. The anime fan then takes a sip from his drink whilst the rest of the bar remains completely unaware.

After being shared on the Oculus Quest subreddit, fans of the VR headset ridiculed the cringy anime fan. After all, having a mixed reality date with a 2D picture of an anime girl is one thing. Doing it in public is a whole other thing.

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A number of comments mocked the situation, asking if this was the “Metaverse that Mr Zuck was talking about”. Others begged the original poster to “please be ironic”, even though it obviously wasn’t.

Others notes that they couldn’t even tell the OP to “go outside”, a usual retort for such behaviour. As they’re already outside, performing such acts in public, they’re already following that advice.

One commenter believe it would be even funnier if the anime JPEG overlaid a human date, like Joi in Blade Runner 2049.

“I was an actually looking to see if it was over a real person sitting in the seat,” the comment said. “But then I realized this person will never have a real woman in the other seat when they are wearing VR headset in public, at a bar.”

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The original poster explained that they are a frequent patron of the bar they were at. In a tweet, the poster said: “Relationship with coffee and vr development has ended. Beer and vr waifu development is new best friend.”

It is certainly unexpected to see this as one of the few real-world examples of Meta’s next-gen VR hardware. Perhaps dating anime “waifus” will be commonplace if this technology takes off; God help us all.