Where do you sit on the otaku dating ladder?

Japan is home to a wide variety of otaku “geeks” that show their fandom for things like trains, manga, anime and video games. However, being classified as an “otaku” comes with a stigma attached, as the term is often connected to individuals who choose to escape from the real world by staying at home and indulging in their solitary obsessions, which can make it hard for them to find someone to date or marry.

This quandary led Japanese matchmaking consultancy Partner Agent to conduct a survey into the issue, asking 1,500 single Japanese men and women, aged from their teens to their thirties, to answer a number of questions relating to whether or not they would hook up with an otaku, and what type of otaku obsessions they would be most willing to let slide.

Interestingly, a large number of respondents identified as “otaku” themselves, with 72 percent of teens, 65.2 percent of those in the 20s bracket, and 54.2 percent in their 30s saying they would classify themselves as otaku.

Otaku and non-otaku alike appear to have standards when it comes to their image of an ideal partner, though, so let’s take a look at the responses to the questionnaire below.

Would you be able to date or marry someone with an otaku interest?

Almost half of the respondents in each age bracket answered yes to the above question, with the breakdown being:

Teens 46.6 percent
20s 49.6 percent
30s 43.0 percent

If you were to marry an otaku, which of the following interests would be tolerable?

Manga (44.1 percent)
Anime (41.5 percent)
Games (35 percent)
Video games (30.7 percent)
Idol / Voice Actor (26.1 percent)
Singer / Vocaloid (25.7 percent)
Boys’ Love (16.6 percent)
Dream Girls (13.4 percent)

According to the responses, the most common types of otaku obsessions (manga, anime and video games) would be most tolerable to a prospective love interest, dropping dramatically for those into boys’ love or 2-D character obsessions classified as “Dream Girls”.

What if your potential marriage partner has an otaku interest you can’t relate to?
I’ll just listen to them when they talk about it (28.8 percent)
They can just enjoy it as they have in the past without worrying (24.8 percent)
They could make an effort for me to join in (17.9 percent)
I’d want them to give it up (6 percent)

The good news is that most of the respondents were pretty understanding when it comes to otaku interests, with only six percent saying they would want their partner to give up their otaku hobby if they weren’t interested in it.

What if your potential marriage partner can’t relate to your otaku interest?

I’d just enjoy it out of their sight (36.1 percent)
I’d want them to just leave it as it is (26.3 percent)
I wouldn’t make it a marital issue (22.5 percent)

It’s not necessarily a dealbreaker if your partner doesn’t relate to your interests, as you can still enjoy your hobby in your own time. After all, just because you’ve found love doesn’t mean you have to lose the hobbies that make you happy.

Rather than paint a negative picture of being an otaku in the dating world, the survey results actually show a lot of compassion and respect for potential partners and their geek obsessions.

Which is welcome news, especially when it’s not usually all that easy for an otaku to be accepted for doing what they love.

Source: Livedoor News via Jin
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2, 3)
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