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Is Love Really Difficult for Otaku? Male Nerds Weigh In on Experiences

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Love isn't easy out there for otaku, as this season's Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku illustrates. Its office worker couples Narumi (a fujoshi) and Hirotaka (a gamer) and Hanako (a popular crossplayer) and Tarō (a casual otaku) do their best to navigate relationships, although they more or less fall in their lap from the start. Real-world otaku aren't always so lucky, and services like ToraCon's matchmaking service are attempting to fill in the gaps.

The website Anime! Anime! decided to ask its readers just how difficult finding love really is out there for otaku. From April 25-30, more than 500 individuals responded to a survey asking them if they found romance difficult or not. The truth is in the title: about 64% said that love is tough, 29% said it's not difficult, and 7% said they were not sure.

Survey participants were predominantly female (67%). However, the male participants shared some similar opinions, including references to the difference between 2D and 3D women as a major hurdle.

"I watch beautiful 2D romances too much and tend to dream. Real romance is very difficult... I don't understand what partners (non-otaku) are thinking at all!!" (27-year-old man, dream girl: Clannad's Kyō Fujibayashi).

"I have no romance experience. Due to the influence of anime, the disconnect between my ideals and reality is extreme, and I don't know how best to connect with women." (28-year-old man, dream girl: Rumbling Hearts' Mitsuki Hayase).

"Since I unfortunately my ideal image of a woman is two-dimensional, the gap with reality ends up getting even bigger. Time to connect with women gets to be a hassle, so I want to prioritize time for hobbies." (29-year-old man, dream girl: Charlotte's Nao Tomori).

"I feel like going out with real women is a waste of the money, time, and effort. Instead of that, I think it's fun and there's no loss in buying and enjoying games and manga, watching anime and being healed, and being moved by voice actors' talent." (18-year-old male, dream girl: Dragon Quest 11's Martina).

"I'm prejudiced against girls. No matter how much people make the point that 'two-dimensional and three-dimensional [girls] are different,' I don't trust them at all." (26-year-old-man, dream girl: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Heart Throb-'s Satone Shichimiya).

"I have no free time to fall in love with 3D [women]." (29-year-old man).

One 32-year-old man stated that enjoying otaku media can put a social stigma on people if they live in a rural area outside the Kanto region. He added that he has never met a member of the opposite sex who likes anime.

Not all men found their hobby or real women a hurdle in finding romance, though. Men who wrote that love was not difficult said that being otaku is irrelevant when it comes to love. They said that social attitudes towards otaku have changed, even leading to a sense of community in school and the workplace. A 26-year-old man credited online games with improving his communication skills in person. A 29-year-old man stated that his girlfriend isn't an otaku, but that hasn't led to any problems between them. A 45-year-old dad even boasted that he's married with kids, and his children are growing up as geeks, too.

Perhaps the truth of the matter can be found in a comment that resonated across the board with survey participants: it's not that love is hard for otaku, but that love is hard in the first place.

Anime! Anime will publish the comments from the female participants in the future.

Source: Anime! Anime! (Taichirō Onose)

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