Lucky Star Town's Matchmaking Event Attracts 501 for 40 Spots

posted on by Egan Loo
Organizers change age limits, fees to be more balanced between genders

The November 28 otaku matchmaking event at Washimiya, the Kuki City neighborhood that is home to the "Lucky Star shrine," attracted 501 applicants for only 40 spots. The "Ota-Konkatsu Washimiya Deai-Hen ~San-jigen no Kimi ni Todoke~" (Otaku Matchmaking: Washimiya Dating ~Reaching You in 3D~) event had 386 males applying for 20 spots — or 19.3 applicants for every spot. 115 females applied for 20 spots, or 5.75 applicants for every spot. Applications were accepted between October 19 and November 5.

The event organizers did change the application rules after feedback from the public; before the change in rules, male applicants had to be unmarried and between 18 and 40 years old, while females had to be unmarried and between 18 and 35. Under the revised rules, any unmarried person from either gender between 18 and 40 could apply, although high school students were excluded.

Under the original rules, each males entrant would have had to pay 8,000 yen (about US$100), while each female entrants would pay no entrance fee and received a gift. Under the revised rules, each male entrant pays 6,000 yen (US$74) and receives a gift, while each female entrant pays 1,000 yen (US$12) and receives a gift. (There is a 1,000 yen discount for paid subscribers of the Saitama Shimbun paper's mobile phone site.) The organizers acknowledged that there is still a difference in fees between the genders; however, they also noted that male visitors in the area outnumber the female visitors, and the lower fee for female entrants was intended to rectify that.

Organizers were still looking for male applicants who were "otaku of some kind of hobby," while female applicants were still required to "be tolerant of otaku or better yet, be otaku or be sympathetic to otaku."

Washimiya is the home of Washinomiya Shrine, which was used as the basis for a location in Kyoto Animation's 2007 television adaptation of Kagami Yoshimizu's manga Lucky Star. It has since become a popular destination for anime fans, who make "pilgrimages" to the shrine. The concept for the dating event originated in 2009, when many visiting fans who filled out surveys said that they were interested in marriage.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web

This article has a follow-up: Lucky Star Town's Matchmaking Event Pairs 7 Couples (2010-11-29 08:24)
follow-up of Lucky Star Town to Host Otaku Matchmaking Event
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