Japan, as you might suspect, is actually pretty damn otaku itself, though I am sure it would be loathe to admit it… how else to explain that Numazu (沼津市, Numazu-shi), a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture just last week decided it would remove all of the “Love Live! Sunshine!!” character man hold covers in the city after a vandalism spree.
Seriously… the city has manhole covers decorated with characters from an animated cartoon series?
And people are stealing the manhole covers because they want more souvenirs of their favorite animated television program?
Look… if the crime was actually committed by teenagers, people around the world might understand… but it’s Japan… the odds are equally good that the crime was committed by an adult.
Firstly… “Love Live! Sunshine!!”… what’s up with Japan’s insistence in using English… and doing so in grammatically incorrect fashion, when naming its anime?
Plus… two exclamation marks? Not one, which is enough. And not three. Two. Some graphic artist in Japan decided that one was too few, three was too many, and two was just right.
I have news for you. Seeing two exclamation marks rather than one or even three, just looks wrong.
But whatever. That’s not what this is about… but it probably should be.
It’s about a dating service for otaku. A geek dating service.
Hey… a great idea. I won’t put the idea down. Geeks gotta love, too, right?
I was a nerd… or a geek… but I didn’t have world domination plans for any ONE anime or manga. Despite having 35,000 comic books (still), I actually enjoy reading them, and while I may like some characters more than others, I’m not fanatical about them.
I don’t give a crap if Superman is stronger than the Hulk, or if Picard is cooler than Kirk (it’s Captain Kirk). I enjoy them all, and don’t have the time to waste arguing with others over such trivial matters.
I used to enjoy going to the comic book stores once a week, just to feel superior. Not only could I out geek anyone with my comic book knowledge, I could also play, coach and talk sports, teach music, play and talk video games, and yes… I have been known to talk to girls/women… even getting a date or two. Sometimes for the same evening.
Anyhow… in Japan, there’s Tora Con, an otaku dating service started by Tora no Ana, a anime/manga specialty retailer begun in 2017.
Surely there’s enough love in an otaku heart to love their anime/manga as well as another real person… right?
As it turns out - kindda yes, and kindda no.
Otaku are, of course, capable of human love… and not just love of the self, which is not only fun but inexpensive.
No… they can go out on dates with people, have relationships, have relations, and even get married and have kids.
But… while the Tora Con dating service does pre-screening of its members (ha) to ensure all are true anime otaku, what it failed to screen for was if the otaku like the same anime.
Apparently there’s a real deal-breaker going on within the site as otaku will not date other otaku who do not like the same anime they do.
It’s especially pronounced amongst lovers of the Japanese anime “Love Live! Sunshine!!”… who are actually calling themselves “Love Lifers”.
If you don’t like “Love Live! Sunshine!!”, you aren’t getting a date with a Love Lifer.
Now… to the rest of the world, this sounds like pure Japanese WTF material.
But I can assure you it is not.
Would a Boston Red Sox fan want to date a New York Yankees fan? Hell no. It’s been done, but it makes the news.
|Yankees fan, dammit... back to having the world's largest forearm. |
It’s like trying to decide if you should raise your child Catholic or Protestant in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.
I, myself, was tired of the bar scene. No one looked at me. All the women would drool over the three hot guys (they were gay… they had to be), while every guy eye humped the three hot supermodel women (probably escorts - how much?).
I went on a telephone dating service… the Internet was around, but Internet dating was still a few years from starting up.
I put in a voice message… I even dropped my voice to the deeper, more relaxed version I am capable of, and relayed a bit about myself. Not too much… I did state that I would like to find a smart woman, someone as smart as or smarter than I am… naive is fine, stupid is not.
The problem is that the stupid don’t know they are stupid.
Now… I had 35 messages after a day, listened to them all… ignored the two guys, and picked the top 3 who had potential.
I called them in no particular order, left a message with my phone number… and then… that’s when I determined if there was anyone who could live up to my expectations.
I married one of them.
She was, by the way, the only one who actually said she liked sports. She may have lied, but she at least didn’t outright say she hated it. LOL
What’s interesting in this Japanese otaku dating kerfuffle, is that the anime, “Love Live! Sunshine!!”, is aimed at male fans.
So… if there’s a woman out there who actually likes “Love Live! Sunshine!!”… they are In Like Flint… or what ever the Japanese equivalent is for that 50 year-old outdated western saying.
But… if there’s a woman out there who is not into “Love Live! Sunshine!!”, the male fans are completely offended, and even if it was the hottest AV (porn) start out there, these otaku are geeky enough to rebuff the sexual advances in order to main their “Love Live! Sunshine!!” principals.
Now that’s an otaku.
On the flip side… any woman who actually meets a Love Liver who feels that way… that woman is NOT going to want to be even remotely connected with such fervent geekdom.
In the play As You Like It by William Shakespeare, the clown Melancholy Jacques is asked why he doesn’t like having sex with the country-bumpkin girl Audrey. (I’m pretty sure those are the names… it’s been 40 years).
Jacques responds: “T’would be like putting good meat into an unclean dish.”
Yes, he’s calling Audrey a whore… but also, he doesn’t think they have enough in common.
I fully understand the need for the Japanese otaku trying to date other otaku to ensure they get the best fit possible.
I don’t understand why some media outlets are looking at this “story” and thinking it’s strange that someone wants to find a match… figuring that geeks et al would simply be desperate enough to date anyone.
No... of course not... T'would be like putting good meat into an unclean dish.
PS: Photo at very top of article by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
PPS: When I read As You Like It back in high school I thought it was bloody amazing that the school would let us read a book with perhaps the filthiest dirty line I have ever come across, and I've come across plenty of things. I was actually sitting at my desk in English listening to someone else struggle through their reading of this line... and when I heard it, I burst out laughing... and no one else did.
Seriously... no one else did. Like no one else understood that the "meat" Shakespeare/Jacques was talking about was his own penis... and that the unclean dish was his STD-riddled (unclean) babe (the dish), Audrey. Seriously... was I the only 15-year-ild with such a beautiful mind? Or was I the only one who couldn't controls his urge to guffaw? I was 15 in a class of 17-year-olds, so maybe I was immature - but c'mon! Shakespeare wanted the audience to titter at his bon mot!
PPPS: Man I miss sharing a laugh about such things with Alice.