August 3, 2005
Otaku Should Get a Life
"Densha Otoko," which tells the story of shy otaku dweeb's attempts at wooing the heart of a beautiful young woman, has been a huge hit, selling over 1 million copies in book form, spawning a movie that has already attracted over 1 million theatergoers, a top-rating TV series and a call girl service. It has also sparked a huge increase in sales among places related to the story, like Benoist, a Tokyo tea room that has seen sales triple since it featured in "Densha Otoko" and Hermes cups, which was the product that gave its name to the book's heroine.
"Densha Otoko" and its tale of innocent love follows on from the huge following attained from "Winter Sonata," the maudlin South Korean TV program that spawned a huge market that has drummed up an estimated 250 billion yen in Japan and South Korea over the past couple of years.
So how can Japan's dweeb population be an economic engine?
"One private think tank has estimated that Japan's otaku population is about 2.8 million. If only half of them fell in love, the economic effects would be enormous, with dating alone likely to generate about 330 billion yen," Kadokawa says. "That sum alone would raise the GDP by 0.1 percent. If the otaku ended up getting married, it could also go a long way to solve problems created by Japan's low birthrate and aging society."
Don't you just love social engineers?
*** As a large collection of male geeks, we don't really know how to encourage/attract these female creatures. We certainly are not doing anything consciously to discourage females from volunteering and helping out. Rasmus Lerdorf
Posted by witnit at August 3, 2005 12:44 PM
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