So you’re a middle aged person living in Japan with a mind to tie the knot but can’t seem to find that perfect match.  You went to a goukon and followed all the rules but still couldn’t land that potential spouse.

It could be because you’re a geek.  Now, that’s not as bad as it sounds. Statistics that I just pulled out of thin air suggest that up to 31% of us carry the otaku gene. Some of our best and brightest are nerds, such as Mark Zuckerberg, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wayne Gretzky.

However, for the otaku, marriage can be as hard to complete as that level in Battletoads where you have ride the hover bike. This is why the town of Washimiya has set up the Otaku Marriage Hunting Masquerade Ball.

The masquerade ball, titled Ota’s Bizarre Marriage Hunt, will be held on October 27 is a way for otherwise reclusive people with intense hobbies to meet equally obsessed people of the opposite sex.

Being a masquerade ball, everyone is required to wear a mask.  They can bring one or the event will provide.  Any mask is okay as long as it covers the face completely from the nose up.  Full on cosplay is also okay as long as arrangements are made in advance.

According to the organizers, to participate you must:

1)   Be a single man or woman between the ages of 20 and 40
Be some kind of otaku
Have an understanding of otaku
Be a rather geeky person
Not be picky about appearances
Place an emphasis on one’s inner beauty

The organizers are planning on a group of 20 to 40 people gender balanced. The entry fee is 4,000 yen (US$50) for men and 1,000 yen (US$12) for women. The itinerary is as follows.

1)   Self-Introduction Time
Check First Impressions
First Free Time
First Dance
Second Free Time
Second Dance
Confession Time *still masked
Announcement of Couples *before announcement everyone takes off masks

I’m hardly Fred Astaire myself, but I have to imagine that the dancing segments for a room full of otaku would be quite a scene, unless they’re playing Dance Dance Revolution.

So if you’re in the Washimiya area and are looking to land your very own NeoGeo expert this is the place.  All successful matches will receive a gift certificate to Cineplex Satte where they can watch Liv & Ingmar together.

Source: Washimiya (Japanese)

■ The banner from last month’s event, Fukushima Fantasy