Attendees at this month’s otaku gathering can get their hands on not just art books and posters, but limited-edition prophylactics too.
One could argue that for a long stretch of history, otaku had a built-in, practically bullet-proof method of protection against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases: being otaku. For many years, Japan’s manga and anime fan communities were overwhelmingly male and alarmingly unbathed, with the collective effect being a heavy reduction on their chances for sexual encounters.
Over the last few years, though, Japanese fandom has become increasingly gender-balanced and socially connected, to the extent that otaku-centric matchmaking services have even begun popping up. So with those changes to the dating landscape, it makes a certain kind of sense that at the upcoming Comiket, Japan’s largest gathering of independent comic and anime-style art creators, one booth will be handing out free condoms.
コミケで無料配布するコンドームが完成いたしました。 ・ブース 12月30日西れ25a 皆様、是非お越しくださいませ。 なお写真に写っているコンドームは約500個ですが、少なくともこの倍はご用意しております。 ちなみにラブホ… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
上野 ラブホスタッフ (@meguro_staff) December 13, 2016
Specifically, the condoms will be distributed at the west hall’s Re 25a booth, which is promoting the series Ueno-san the Love Hotel Employee (Rabuho no Ueno-san in Japanese). The franchise, which began as a manga and has a live-action TV adaptation coming soon, follows protagonist Ueno in his day-to-day work as a staff member at a fictional love hotel, which rents rooms to amorous couples by the hour, in the real-life Tokyo neighborhood of Gotanda, a noted second-tier hive of love hotels, hostess bars, and sexy massage parlors in the capital.
The condoms, which have an impressively thin 0.03-millimeter (0.001-inch) thickness, come in a custom-designed case (which, ironically, will make fans all the less likely to actually use them, for fear of damaging the original packaging). The booth is planning on giving away a total of 1,000 on a first-come, first-served basis on December 30, so fans will want to arrive early if they want to come home from Comiket not just with rubber straps, but straight-up rubbers as well.