The geeks of Japan who might ordinarily be too shy to ask someone on a date are trying a new kind of matchmaking. How?
They decided to attend a match-making party wearing cartoon masks!
15 men and an equal number of women wore plastic masks of Doraemon, Mickey Mouse and other fictional creations to try to find a date.
The party, in Washinomiya, was organised for the benefit of "otaku", often translated as "geeks", admit to being more at home with their 2-dimensional heroes than communicating with the real world.
"I feel this is an easier way to talk to people," said a 27 year old woman wearing a rabbit mask, who introduced herself as Jet-Black Wings.
"I wouldn't be able to do this without this mask. I would feel too embarrassed."
"The event was organised by the local chamber of commerce, who realized the power of the otaku-yen when their otherwise unremarkable town became a pilgrimage site for fans of the "Raki Suta" (Lucky Star) cartoon in 2007, all clamoring to see the place in which it was set."
7 male-female couplings were formed, giving the afternoon an approximately 50% success rate.