Sometimes, the line between hospitality and hostility is a blurry one.

Certain anime and video game franchises become huge hits outside their target demographic. A prime example is Aikatsu!, the excitedly titled series about junior and senior high school students trying to become idol singers. The Aikatsu! arcade game was primarily designed for little girls, who can use separately purchased cards to dress up the on-screen characters in brightly colored, frilly outfits and watch them perform various song and dance routines.

That combination of cute female characters and a collectible card angle also scratches a number of itches for adult male otaku, though, and grown-up men who enjoy Aikatsu! have been dubbed Aikatsu Oji-san (literally “Aikatsu Uncles”). However, their ardent passion for the game puts arcades and shopping centers in a bit of a dilemma.

On the one hand, there’s nothing wrong with adult men enjoying a game originally meant for little girls, and the Aikatsu Oji-san are a major revenue stream, since they have far more cash to spend on their hobby than little girls too young to even have a part-time job. But at the same time, those extra financial resources mean that sometimes inconsiderate Aikatsu Oji-san hog the machines for extended gaming sessions, leaving kids with no chance to play.

So should the owners of the machines welcome the Aikatsu Oji-san with open arms, or try to drive them away? The Ito Yokado shopping center in Hitachi City seems to have decided to do both simultaneously.

Aikatsu! machines are built to the height of their original target market: elementary school-age girls. That means Aikatsu Oji-san usually have to squat down to play, which puts a lot of strain on their legs, but Ito Yokado is kind enough to provide a chair for people playing its machine.

However, that hospitality seems to come with a bit of hostility, since the machine stands right in the center of a rest area, meaning that whoever is playing it is going to be the center of attention for anyone resting their feet or walking past the lounge.

In other words, if any Aikatsu Oji-san want to keep playing while the line of kids behind them gets longer and longer, they’re going to be doing so with plenty of judging eyes on them, and just maybe that potential embarrassment will remind them of the importance of sharing.

While you’re waiting for your Aikatsu! turn, why not follow Casey on Twitter?

Source: Hamster Sokuho, Twitter/@eight12312