Tough love from Akihabara-based matchmaking service reflects the changing nature of anime fandom.

Earlier this year Tora no Ana, one of Japan’s most popular anime and manga specialty shops, launched a new otaku matchmaking venture. Specifically, Tora Con is a konkatsu service, which focuses on bringing together singles who’re looking for serious relationships that they hope will eventually lead to marriage.

But while Tora Con encourages its clients to wear their otaku pride on their sleeve (going so far as to administer “otaku diagnostic tests” to help pinpoint their interests), even it admits that it’s difficult to find love with another person when the only things you love to do are all connected to otaku-oriented media, as explained in a series of recent tweets the Tora Con official Twitter account.

1. People with only otaku-related interests
2. People with otaku-interests, but who also do non-otaku things
3. People with otaku-interests, but also some other attractive quality

People in groups 2 and 3 are the ones who’re most likely to have romantic success, so if you can, it’s best to give yourself some sort of “added value.” As much as possible, really. So we’d like you to explore non-otaku interests as well.

To those of you who say “The only things I want to do are otaku stuff,”

That sounds like a lot of fun, and we don’t deny your right to live that way. But…

What will you talk about when you run out of otaku stuff to talk about?
Where will you go on dates?
What will you talk to your partner’s parents about when you spend time with them?
When you have kids, how will you play with them? Will you push your hobbies onto them?
What will you do when you can’t do otaku stuff?

It’s a surprising message from an otaku dating service, but also a logical one. Forming a strong interpersonal relationship is seeing if you and your partner are compatible in a variety of situations and settings, and while chilling on the couch watching TV (anime included) together is definitely one of them, it’s probably not enough to base a full, healthy romance on. As also alluded to in the tweet, a serious relationship also usually involves some sort of contact with your partner’s family or other acquaintances, and establishing some sort of rapport and connection with them is important, even if they have no real interest in otaku culture.

Tora Con went on to clarify that it isn’t saying it can’t find a match for otaku with a narrow range of interests. They’re professional matchmakers, after all. “It’s fine to have otaku interests. Actually, it’s awesome!” the organization said in a subsequent tweet. “But speaking realistically, people who also have something else going for them are the ones most likely to form a successful relationship.”

Many Twitter users appreciated its straight talk, as shown by the huge numbers of likes and retweets Tora Con’s advice received. The whole situation once again shines light on the changing nature of otakuism, in which a growing subset of fans are balancing a love of anime with enthusiasm for more conventional social activities. The term that’s come about to describe them is “real-type otaku,” and according to Tora Con, they’re also the ones with the best shot at real-life romance.

Related: Tora Con
Source: Twitter/@ToraCon_Akiba (1, 2, 3) via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Tora Con