Is Love Really Difficult for Otaku? Part 2: Women's Responses
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Last week, the Anime! Anime! website published one half of the responses to its survey asking otaku whether they found romance difficult. The survey was inspired by the currently airing Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku anime series. More than 500 individuals responded to a survey asking them if they found romance difficult or not. The majority (64%) said "yes, love is difficult," while 29% said that it was not and 7% said they were not sure.
Anime! Anime! published the results of its male participants last week, but the majority were actually women (67%). How do their responses correspond to their male counterparts, many referencing 2D and 3D women as a major hurdle? Women cited their own issues, some stemming from their status as fujoshi, playing mobile dating games, or general disinterest in giving up time and money spent on their hobbies.
"I know it only comes up in love simulations, but there were times when I'm interacting with men that I really want different text options...In the end, we broke up after half a day together." (21-year-old woman, dream guy: B-PROJECT's Kento Aizome)
"I have to watch what I say because men might misunderstand when I talk about a character and say I 'like' them and want to date them." (18-year-old woman, dream guy: Idolish 7's Ryunosuke Tsunashi)
"First of all, it's almost impossible to have romantic emotions between the same type of otaku. When you confess that you're an otaku and a fujoshi, men say things like 'Are you going to have these delusions even about me? That's gross.' They wouldn't understand me even when I explained many times that it wasn't like that." (26-year-old woman, dream guy: Gintama's Shinsuke Takasugi)
"When I was in junior high and high school, I liked boys-love and went to Comiket, but around that time I had no understanding of the opposite sex. How many times have I broken up with my boyfriend..." (21-year-old woman, dream guy: One Piece's Sanji)
"I love 2D female characters. My addiction is said to make me like an old man. I can't really understand the difference in appearance [between 2D characters & real people]." (25-year-old woman, dream girl: Fate's Rin Tohsaka, Sailor Moon's Minako Aino, among many others)
"I earn my own money and prefer to spend it on things for myself like fashion and health goods. I have no room to spend money on 'other' things like love." (27-year-old woman, dream guy: Library War's Atsushi Dōjō).
"I want to hide that I'm an otaku. Desperately. Even if I go to karaoke, all I can sing are anime songs, so I'll only sing famous ones like "Sobakasu" by Judy and Mary. Then one time my secret was leaked when a guy came to my home. I was told it was disgusting when he found a DVD Box of Digimon Adventure that I should have hidden. My friends ask why I just don't date an otaku, but I don't want to let them into my hobby 'territory.'" (27-year-old woman)
"Part of being a geek is adding more depth to your hobbies. I don't want to hear any complaints or have my hobby disturbed. Sometimes humans have to compromise for 'love.' NOPE!" (46-year-old woman).
Other women mentioned that dating was difficult because they needed to have their calendar open for release dates and other events related to their hobbies. Others preferred to spend their money on their hobbies than others or felt that their hobbies are regarded negatively by men.
Like the previous poll, other respondents said love is not difficult. A high school student said most of her class are otaku and about half seem satisfied with their real (offline) lives. Another woman, age 24, mentioned she makes accommodations when she's out with her partner, like discussing normal things instead of centering the conversation around her hobbies. She added, "I think that hobbies aren't the problem, and in the case of the number of people who withdraw, it's a problem with communication abilities."
A 30-year-old married woman thinks there's someone for everyone. She said she likes everything from boys-love to girls-love and voice actors and games, too. Like some of the other participants, initially when she began dating she didn't want to give up the time she spent on her hobbies, but she "got used to it." She admitted she might just be lucky, but she thinks there are understanding people out there.
For one 42-year-old, it was a balancing act. "I think it's the degree of how geeky you are followed by your appearance and personality, so I don't think it's difficult to find love. I liked anime, manga, anime magazines, and read dōjinshi and boys-love without hesitation, but I was dating normally and going out without being shunned." She added, "There are various people in the world, and I think it's important to balance geekiness and communication."
One otaku credited manga with helping her learn how to communicate in particular situations while another introduced her husband to her favorite anime and manga so they could enjoy it together. Many said their husbands or boyfriends aren't otaku but they don't hinder or complain about their hobbies.