Nugget, a Japanese web design company, has created the first (or at least most high-profile) “otaku” dating website.
Called “Aerura”, the site apparently groups interest-based categories together, allowing users to browse for matches in terms of shared interests, which the article refers to as “classifications of obsession”. As Japan Trends details:
The website itself has a very “clean” appearance, increasing its credibility as a legitimate dating service. It uses Nico Nico Douga, the growing Youtube equivalent for the Japanese geek segment, to advertise its presence; a marketing strategy aimed at at their direct audience. Amusingly, there are actually certain qualifications that these marriage seeking otakus must possess in order to find their one true “ani-mate.” Although any sort of women are allowed to join (as long as they are over 25), men must be single, over 25, have an income paying job, and have Japanese residency. On an online forum discussing the website, many reviewers have said that Aerura’s intentions are directed at a more “high end” otaku community base (defined as the geeks who have jobs and have intentions of eventually having a family of their own), which is interesting to see how the geek world also has hierarchy.
The site also features free relationship counseling to members, which is a nice touch.
Read the rest of JapanTrends’ article for more information about Aerura, but be warned that the article does poke a bit of fun at “otaku” culture.