Harvest Moon – A Story of My First Waifu
Ah, February 14, Valentine’s Day. I think it’s only right that for this joyous (or not) occasion, I shared everyone my nostalgic memory of my very first waifu.
Even though I said that though, it’s interesting because back then, phrases like “waifu” and “best girl” weren’t even around. Could you even imagine? A world where internet could barely work and a world where there was zero memes? In such a world though, I remembered my experience with Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, a game on Playstation 1 — had the closest resemblance to my experiences on “waifu-ing” in the modern era.
To put things in a little more context, Harvest Moon is a farming/life simulator game. On top of working on the farm, you also do various things like mining, fishing and even interacting with people in the town. For the latter, you may trigger special events depending on the time and place; and yes, this is where the waifus come in.
I’m not sure about the other Harvest Moon games but for Back to Nature there are 5 girls you can marry. For the major part of the game, I spent time socializing with the folks in town and wooing girls. Every day I woke up at 6 AM, I milked the cows, I collected the chicken eggs, I pulled weeds, I tilled soils, I watered the plants, I harvested the crops and by the time noon comes around-it’s time to flirt with girls. In fact, I think I spent way more time doing that than farm work. Despite having an abundant of choices to go for though, I ended up choosing Karen out of the 5 girls I can marry.
So I guess you can say Karen was truly my very first waifu, and it’s interesting because my first waifu doesn’t even come from an anime. It makes sense though come to think of it, as even though I did watch anime back then, it just wasn’t as accessible as they are now with the widespread use of internet and whatnot. I barely bought anime CDs and what limited exposure to anime I had are restricted to a few horribly dubbed shows on TV or borrowed CDs from friends.
In contrast, games were actually an easier medium to get invested into the visual culture back then. As long as you had a console then you are all set, as I remembered buying games were even cheaper than trying to buy and keep up with the latest anime CDs. It was just a totally different time.
However, it has been more than a decade since I played Back to Nature, and from what I remembered, Karen belongs to an onee-chan archetype and is a drunkard — tropes that I don’t really feel as enamored in a character.
So why did I choose Karen then? To be honest, I have no idea. I seemed to recall when I stumbled upon Karen in the supermarket, I was like “Ah, this is it! This is the girl I’m gonna marry!” …I was young back then. They say “love makes you blind”, and then some statements also claimed “sometimes love just can’t be explained in words” and those statements are the perfect argument to use here, I guess. Karen is a character that infatuated me in ways I just can’t explain.
Fast forward to the present though, my taste changed. I like tsunderes, I like twintails and zettai ryouiki is the best thing the world has bestow upon us. If you were to ask about my waifus, I can write articles after articles as to why I like them. But as for Karen, this is the one waifu that I’m lost for words. Karen for me represents that first, bittersweet crush in school where your feelings will never get reciprocated, something you eventually moved on from as time passes on.
And my dedication to waifus in Harvest Moon was no joke too. While I enjoyed Back to Nature and was looking forward to the Harvest Moon sequel in Playstation 2, I was immediately disappointed after I realized there was no marriage system in it. To this day, I haven’t play any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory games since.
What can I say, waifu is important. No waifu no laifu.
P.S: Speaking of waifus, I recently just had another huge revamp for my lists and added a new page — Yearly Top Waifus. As it’s name would suggest, it’s a character list where I talk about my waifu of the year — candidates picked only from new anime aired that year. I backtracked for 5 years for now (works out perfectly fine since I actually started blogging around 5 years ago, coincidentally) but if my blog can somehow survive subsequent years, I will probably update that list with new entries. For now, feel free to visit that page and shit on my tastes.