Lucky Star Town's Matchmaking Event Pairs 7 Couples
posted on by Egan Loo
Washimiya, the Kuki City neighborhood that is home to the "Lucky Star shrine," hosted its first otaku matchmaking event on Sunday. According to the organizers of the "Ota-Konkatsu Washimiya Deai-Hen ~San-jigen no Kimi ni Todoke~" (Otaku Matchmaking: Washimiya Dating ~Reaching You in 3D~) event, seven couples were formed out of the 20 male and 20 female participants.
A representative of the local chamber of commerce and industry's youth division acknowledged the high 35% success rate and added that the organizers want to run the event again — then mused aloud about how many times they can run the event in a year.
The event began at 2:00 p.m. with the male and female participants going into separate rooms. The members of each room then introduced themselves to the other room via microphones and speakers. An hour later, the two sides met face-to-face and discussed various things such as their favorite characters. Everyone joined together to make soba noodles by hand before dining.
At 7:00 p.m., each participant could choose up two candidates for their ideal mate and write those candidates' numbers down. (Each participant had the option of listing no candidates.) If two participants chose each other, they were declared a couple and received presents. The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper's Mantan Web site reports that many of those who did not "win" ended up asking each other out to go drinking.
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.
386 males applied for 20 spots — or 19.3 applicants for every spot. 115 females applied for 20 spots, or 5.75 applicants for every spot. 42 people actually received the invitation emails, although only 40 actually took part in the event since two did not show up. The male entrants had to be between the ages of 18 and 40, be otaku, and pay 8,000 yen (about US$100). The female entrants had to be between the ages of 18 and 40 "be tolerant of otaku or better yet, be otaku or be sympathetic to otaku"; and pay 1,000 yen (about US$12).
Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web
Images © Kagami Yoshimizu/Lucky ☆ Paradise