Looks only cited as one of many problems.
In recent years, a lot of the stigma associated with being an otaku in Japan has been gradually eroding, as anime, manga, and video games continue to expand their fanbases outside the die-hard fan demographic. New slang terms, such as “reality-based otaku,” have even started springing up to describe otaku who can indulge in their hobbies while also maintaining an active social life.
That said, being an otaking doesn’t necessarily mean a guy is going to be seen as Prince Charming by potential romantic partners. Even anime fan-centric dating events can have trouble attracting female participants. So what makes otaku guys still relatively unpopular in the dating pool? Japanese Twitter user @kiha401740 has a theory…or actually several theories, in this list of reasons why otaku aren’t popular with women.
オタクがモテない理由 ・会話が一方通行(自分の事、趣味の事ばかり話す等 ・相手との距離感が掴めない(行き過ぎ、引き過ぎ、キョドる等 ・お洒落が苦手、自分に合った服が着れてない(ネットで見たコーデを真似するだけ等 ・素直すぎる ・理想家 ・駆け引きが苦手 ・自信の無さ ・優しすぎる—
北海@転職したい (@kiha401740) June 18, 2017
The reasons why otaku aren’t popular with women
● Conversations with otaku are like a one-way street (all they talk about are their own interests and hobbies)
● They just don’t get personal boundaries (they go too far, are too forceful, and act plain creepy)
● They have poor fashion sense, and don’t wear clothes that suit them (they just copy clothing combinations they see on the Internet)
● They never push themselves
● They’re idealists
● They’re not skilled in flirtation tricks and tactics
● They lack confidence
● They’re too nice
While there’s a mention of uncool clothes, @kiha401740’s list primarily focuses on personality, painting a picture of someone with abundant yet fragile pride and uneven certainty in how they interact with others. The tweet quickly gained traction online, racking up thousands of retweets and comments including:
“That’s…an exact description of me <shudder>.”
“It’s not that otaku can’t become popular, but that guys who can’t become popular become otaku.”
“I think you’re overlooking that a lot of otaku aren’t even really trying to be popular with girls.”
“More so than copying fashion choices they see online, I think a lot of otaku try to dress like anime characters, especially the handsome characters that girls like.”
Yet another theory offered by a commenter is that male otaku’s lack of experience trying to woo the opposite sex can become a self-perpetuating cycle. Without the feedback that comes from interacting with another person in a romantic setting, they receive neither confidence from success not rejection-born impetus to change, which can lead to the uneasy stubbornness @kiha401740 describes.
Of course, hard-core otakuism isn’t the only path to the unattractive traits in @kiha401740’s list. Others would also argue that an otaku boyfriend brings his own set of unique benefits to the relationship, so maybe it’s best to evaluate potential romantic partners on a case-by-case basis.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he strongly recommends finding a romantic partner you can enjoy watching anime with.