It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Love Livers, as the most hard-core fans of anime idol franchise "Love Live!" are called. First came the story of one getting kicked out of a fan event for wearing too much anime merchandise on his person, and last week the town of Numazu decided to remove its "Love Live! Sunshine!!" character manhole covers following a vandalism spree.
But hey, maybe those dimished opportunities to spend time with anime girls will encourage Love Livers to spend more time with real ones, right? Except, there’s a bit of a problem there too, apparently.
Last year, anime/manga specialty retailer Tora no Ana started Tora Con, a dating service for otaku. But while Tora Con’s dating pool is prescreened to ensure that all members have a love of anime, that doesn’t mean its members all love the same anime, and on June 6, Tora Con made the following announcement thorough a now-deleted post from its official Twitter account:
“In regards to otaku matchmaking, there is a definite prejudice against male Love Livers, and among our members are women who specifically request not to be introduced to any men who are 'Love Live!' fans. Male Love Livers, please turn your frustration towards the pattern of fans who engage in troubling eccentric behavior.
On the other hand, this stigma is not associated with female Love Livers, who on the contrary are often preferred due to being able to enjoy a series primarily aimed at male fans.”
▼ "Love Live! Sunshine!!’s" first episode (Warning: watching/enjoying may make you less popular with women).
Some Twitter users were curious as to whether this was simply a case of women not liking men who watch idol or cute girl anime, and asked if similar requests had been made by female Tora Con users to not be introduced to men who’re fans of "Love Live!’s" rival idol anime "The Idolmaster" or magical girl series "Pretty Cure," whose primary target audience is little girls. However, Tora Con responded that none of its female members have said they don’t want to be introduced to male fans of those series, implying that it’s just Love Livers who some women want nothing to do with.
However, it’s not all bad news for male "Love Live!" fans. Tora Con also tweeted that on June 2 it held a matchmaking party that included a visit to Kanda Myojin, a shrine in Tokyo located near Akihabara that’s strongly associated with the "Love Live!" franchise. Ostensibly a large portion of the participants were Love Livers, and Tora Con reports that 62 percent of the participants ended up becoming couples at the end of the day.
That’s an impressive success rate, and suggests that there might be a sort of inelastic demand for Love Liver boyfriends, in that while they might be less popular among the general dating pool, or even the otaku one, love has a pretty good chance of blooming between a guy and girl who’re both "Love Live!" fans. Still, since that demographic is a subset of a subset, it’s unlikely that parent company Tora no Ana will go to the trouble of handing out special anime condoms just for Love Livers.
Sources: Twitter/@ToraCon_Akiba via Hachima Kiko, Jin
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