Dating is tough. It's not always easy to find a partner into the same things you are. Anime, for instance. Not everybody is into that. Wouldn't it be great if there were blind dating events for anime lovers? In Japan, there are.
Animax, the Japanese television network dedicated to anime broadcasting, is teaming up with dating site Machicon for several group blind-dating events for anime lovers. Group blind dating events, called "goukon" (合コン), are fairly common in Japan. "Gou" (合) is from "goudou" (合同) or "to join", while "kon" (コン) is from "konpa" (コンパ) from the borrowed German "kompanie" and the English "company", which became slang for get-togethers ("konpa"). Sometimes, "goukon" can simply be referred to as "konpa".
Usually, only a handful of men and women attend goukon, which are held at restaurants and bars. Certainly, not all the participants are into the same thing!
In recent years, there have been more and more blind-dating events for people with similar interests, such as anime. And thus, we have "anikon" (アニコン) or "goukon" for people into anime! Involvement with a mainstream anime broadcaster like Animax shows that these events, while niche, are becoming slightly more prevalent.
Anikon seems like a really good idea. Even if you don't find a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you might have an interesting conversation about an anime you like or you could find out about an anime you've never really seen -- or never given much of a chance.
The Animax anikon will be held in Tokyo on August 23, Osaka on August 30 and in Sapporo on August 31. These are large-scale blind dating events. For example, the Tokyo and Osaka ones will each host 500 participates (250 men and 250 women), while the Sapporo event will host 300 participants (150 men and 150 women). Organisers note that this is for singles (no married people, sorry!), and each event will be held at several participating restaurants and bars with people receiving maps so they know where to go.
If that seems overwhelming, and honestly, it kind of does, there is a smaller anikon in Yamagata. Above you can see a photo from a previous event! The upcoming anikon in Yamagata kicks off on August 3 and has spots for 50 men and 50 women. Like the other events, participants must buy tickets to attend. And yes, the men's tickets cost around $US65, while the women's tickets are around $US26 -- though you can get a discount if you cosplay!