Being an otaku used to carry the stigma that your love life was destined to be limited to your 2D crush/harem, but in recent years there’s been an upswing not only in anime fans finding romance with a flesh-and-blood partner, but with such relationships blooming from their shared love of fictional media. A number of matchmaking services and singles events now specifically cater to the otaku community, one of which is coming up on Aug 9 in the city of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture.
The event is looking for single fans of anime, manga, and voice actors/actresses, but with one catch: participants can’t look like they’re otaku. There’s also a catch to the catch, in that the no-otaku-looking-people-allowed rule only applies to guys. Women who are participating can look as much or as little like an otaku as they want.
“Connect through your hobbies” says the ad for the event, organized by matchmaking service Party Party, which promises the chance to meet “attractive men who don’t look like otaku but are good conversationalists in the fields of anime, manga, and voice actors/actresses.”
Appearance isn’t the only area with different stipulations for male and female participants. For women, the only requirement listed is:
● Between the age of 25 and 34 and currently looking for a romantic partner
The men’s list, though, is quite a bit longer.
● Between the age of 26 and 34
● Does not look like an otaku
● Good conversationalist
● Earns more than 4.5 million yen a year or is a civil servant or is a college graduate or is over 175 centimeters tall
It’s not exactly clear what constitutes “looking like an otaku” in the eyes of the organizers, although ostensibly showing up in jeans, a flannel shirt, and a headband will get you turned away at the door. On the other hand, Party Party does offer some idea of what it thinks the male participants may look like, as the event announcement goes on to say:
“You’ll probably be able to meet a wonderful man like the kind that appear in manga and anime♡ What do we mean by the kind of cool and friendly man you’d see in a manga?
● Fuji-kun from The Prince of Tennis
● Kazehaya-kun from Kimi ni Todoke
● Ko Mabuchi from Ao-Haru-Ride
● Sugawara-san from Haikyu!!
The Aug 9 Ishikawa event isn’t the only singles party in Japan to specifically request the presence of guys who are otaku on the inside but don’t look like it on the outside. The same requirement shows up for an online singles party for Tokyo residents on Aug 8 from organizing company Naresome, and also in previous Party Party Kanazawa events held last March and October.
It’s sort of surprising that the party considers good looks and smooth conversation skills are absolute musts for guys but non-essential for girls who want to participate (and also that 25 is an acceptable age for a bachelorette, but eligible bachelors must be 26), it’s not unusual for Japanese matchmaking services/events to set the entry hurdle higher for men than women, and also to be quite open about financial expectations for potential boyfriends/husbands. While such standards might not be to everyone’s liking, there’s also not much to be gained from being less than forthright about what you’re looking for in a relationship.
That said, the gap in requirements here has raised some eyebrows online, which also led some to point out that guys can still participate even if they’re unemployed and uneducated, just as long as they’re not short. Further details for the Kanazawa event can be found on its website here, which also lists the cost of tickets as 800 yen for women and 6,000 for men, but that sort of gap really shouldn’t be a surprise.
Source: Omikare*,* [*Twitter/@shubni2*](https://twitter.com/shubni2/status/1280845495145914368)*,* [*Jin*](http://jin115.com/archives/52295355.html)
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