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Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010

Saitama geeks freak after 'otaku' matchmaking party deluged by applicants

SAITAMA (Kyodo) A local commerce and industry association organizing a matchmaking party for geeks in Saitama Prefecture is amazed that around 500 people applied for an event originally intended to draw only 20 men and 20 women.

The association was initially anxious about getting enough women to participate because the event in the town formerly known as Washimiya was aimed only at "otaku," the term for geeks obsessed with manga, animation and video games.

About 120 women applied.

"They may feel comfortable being with others who share their interests, since people are likely to avoid touching on nerdy topics at a regular matchmaking party," said a member of the association, which will hold the event in an area that was merged with the city of Kuki.

The party was planned because it was thought fans of the TV "anime" (animation) series "Lucky Star," who make pilgrimages to nearby Washimiya Shrine, which appears in the series, lacked dating opportunities due to their preoccupation with two-dimensional characters.

Now that the application deadline has passed, the participants will be selected by lottery to engage in various activities that will allow them to get to know each other during the party Sunday.

"Lucky Star" is based on a four-frame cartoon penned by Kagami Yoshimizu.

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