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Japanese Government Didn’t Expect its Ghibli-themed Dating Event to be So Popular


The Japanese government is sponsoring a special event in Aichi Prefecture for people who are looking for romantic partners. What set this event apart from usual match-making events is that one of the requirements to attend was that you must be a fan of the famous animation studio Studio Ghibli. However, the organizers did not expect how popular their event would be, with almost six times the number of spots available applied for when the event went live.

In Japan, the number of marriages and children continues to drop every year. That is why the Japanese government is stepping in to make these kinds of matchmaking events, hoping to help people meet one another and become interested in starting a family – especially with the high population of elderly people in the country. Some citizens who are not interested in meeting other people are indeed otaku, satisfied with anime and games and not feeling a need for romance. But this event specifically aimed at bringing Studio Ghibli otaku together, which seems to have been a good idea.

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Participants at the matchmaking event had to meet a few simple requirements to apply – be single, be between ages 20 and 39, and live, work, or study within Aichi Prefecture. The last requirement was an unofficial one, but definitely what drew most applications – you must be a fan of the works of Studio Ghibli. The event itself is set to be in Aichi Expo Memorial Park, which is the park in which the Studio Ghibli Theme Park is set.

While none of the event takes place within the walls of the actual theme park but sticks to the public space around it, it still has a Ghibli theme. Potential couples must work together to find hidden Ghibli art around the park. They will work together in teams of six, with three men and three women spending the afternoon together searching for the hidden Ghibli art, and hopefully sparking up some conversations that may lead to a deeper relationship down the road.

When planning for the event, the organizers anticipated numerous applicants – potentially as many as 400. These matchmaking events have been on hiatus for a long time due to COVID-19, and have been in demand for a few years to make a return. However, they did not set their sights high enough. When the application period from August 1st to September 18th closed, they had received 2,249 applications. The applications were split almost evenly among men and women, with 1,175 men and 1,074 women.

Because the event is set to take place on October 7th, there was neither time nor resources to try to accommodate so many applicants. Unfortunately, a lottery had to be held to choose 400 of the applicants at random, and those people would be the ones to participate in the official event. However, the other 1,800 need not worry – hopefully with how popular the event is, and Japan’s investment in marriage and childbirth, another similar event will be held soon that will be able to accommodate all of these Studio Ghibli fans looking for love!

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Source: SoraNews24

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