Real-world manifestations of affection from 2-D crushes cause massive lines on a weekday morning.

As fun and unique as Tokyo’s Akihabara anime and video game district may be, it’s not exactly what most people would call a romantic place. The neighborhood is primarily a dense grid of specialty shops, cheap restaurants, and maid cafes, many with speakers pumping the sounds the latest idol anthem into the street

And yet, Akihabara was packed on Valentine’s Day, as otaku lined up to receive special Valentine’s cards and chocolate from their favorite anime girls.

Valentine’s Day isn’t an official holiday in Japan, so for schools and businesses, February 14 was treated like any other Thursday. Nevertheless, hundreds of otaku cleared out a block of time in their morning schedule to visit Akihabara. It’s not like they could just swing by and quickly grab their Valentine’s Day goodies, either.

A handful of retailers were passing out anime girl cards and chocolates, and for the most popular, lines estimated at roughly 500 people long formed even before the distribution began.

▼ The line for retailer Gamer’s How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend chocolates was so long that it ended directly outside the Akihabara Station building.

▼ The coveted How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend cards

Gamers was also handing out Gotobun no Hanayome/Quintessential Quintuplets cards…

…while competing specialty shop Animate was the place to go for Is the Order a Rabbit? sweets.

Unfortunately, the prepared-in-advance, first-come-first-served nature of the chocolates means that, applying normal logic, they’d fall into the platonic giri/obligation chocolate category. That won’t make them taste any less sweet, though, assuming the recipients’ collector instincts don’t compel them to refrain from eating the chocolates and instead leave them in their wrappers, much like the supposed fate of all those limited-edition free anime condoms.

Source: Twitter/@kaztsu via Otakomu

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he wishes Akihabara’s Square Enix Cafe would bring back its delicious hamburgers.