There has been much talk about waifu and Pokémon cards over recent months. This article explains what waifu is and what it has to do with Pokémon.
What does Waifu mean?
The Japanese word for wife is ‘Kanai’, a word that literally translates as ‘inside the house’. Similarly the Japanese word for husband ‘shujin’ literally means ‘master’. During the latter part of the 20th century, young couples began to reject these words as they no longer described the roles within a modern marriage. Instead they chose to adapt the English words wife and husband, to waifu and hazu.
Waifu in Anime
Japanese animation, termed anime, rose in popularity around the World in the early 21st century. Anime is a combination of art, characterisation and often exaggerated features that gives anime characters a unique style.
The genre has an army of die-hard fans who live and breathe the anime genre. Some go so far as using cosmetics to achieve the unique look. A number of fans have such a strong affection for a particular anime character that they consider them their waifu (wife or husband). Some form a life committment to that character and wear a wedding ring. However, for most, a waifu is a character that they have a genuine deep affection for and often one with whom they can identify.
Waifu Pokemon cards
Trainer supporters first appeared in 2002 in the expedition set and are unique in that they depict people rather than Pokémon or items. Trainer supporters are important to the Pokémon Trading Card game because they allow the player to perform a specific action on their turn. They are therefore much sought after.
When the Black and White set was introduced in 2011, full art cards made their debut. The first full art trainer, N, appeared in the Noble Victories expansion set. Displaying typical anime features, N started a trend that saw full art trainer cards become highly collectible cards. Over the years the artwork has improved and today’s full art trainer cards are beautiful works of art.
As with the anime genre, waifu Pokémon cards are those that the enthusiast has a real affection for. Misty’s Favour from the Sun and Moon Unified Minds expansion set truly fits the waifu label. She is depicted winking at the viewer and surrounded by hearts.
Effect of waifu on prices
Over the last few months shortages in supply has led to a significant increase in prices, particularly of sealed products. For the most part single card prices have not risen at the same rate. The exception is cards considered waifu with some collectors and players complaining that they are paying a ‘waifu tax’.