Asides: Valentines Day & Otaku – Some Tips On What NOT To Do


Initially, I was planning on posting a new edition of my long neglected Otaple Talk column, when I realized, that I hadn’t really shared anything regarding the dating game outside of what commercial interests would rather have us buy into. With that notion implated deep, perhaps it’s time to go ahead and share some ideas with those of you interested in a certain someone, and looking to make the weekend special. This applies to already established others, as well as those new to our lives. Many of us have had that moment where it feels like a good possibility to take the risk and just go for it. There already seems to be attraction in the air, and perhaps dating doesn’t seem like too much of an impossibility. It happens to anime/manga fans as much as anyone else, so here is a chance to share some tips on the subject for those looking for a little help. the name of discretion, here is a list of things that should NEVER happen. (unless they’re into that sort of thing..)

Many of these may seem obvious, yet over time, it has occurred to me that a little restating never hurts. So here goes!

5. Boring Dates.

Seriously, folks. This is among the most rudimentary things those setting out to date, even folks of a similar ilk. Whether your other is a fun-loving fujyoshi, or an AKB48 fan, you would do well to be inventive with where you go. There is simply no excuse to take your date out to yet another Taco Bell adventure. And it doesn’t have to be Japan pop culture centric either. There are plenty of things two can do that don’t involve exorbitant amounts of money, and travel. Growing up in a semi-rural area has given this writer a need to be a little more vigilant in looking for dating activities, and among the more fun ones I can share is to create projects to work on, or even investigating local libraries for cool stuff to do. Whether it be a museum trip, zoo trip, or even a trip to investigate local lore, there is always something to help one better enjoy their time, and in turn learn more about the other party. The point here is that you are here for THEM, and not merely your mutual hobby/ies. There’ll always be time for this, and one needs to truly test the waters without too much familiarity to bog things down. Again, this is about people, and not types. So get out, and get to know each other already!

4. No eCards, or Pre-Made Valentine Cards

Don’t trap yourself with this one. No matter how much grade school made it sound fun, this never was that fun to begin with. If you have sometime to say to your intended, please do so with something you made yourself, or by way of inviting them to something they never may have expected. All that comes to mind regarding this is the uneaten candy, and space-hogging amounts of cardboard and paper material taking up closet space. It is simply wasteful, and borderline callous in times like this. Besides, as a piece of commercialized material, it simply won’t do for those of us who were attracted to our hobby for it’s occasional breaks from the norm. There is no substitute for a creation of your own, or a gesture that last longer than a vase of flowers. And for crap’s sake, avoid the balloons.

3. Invite your friends over, or along with you.

Seriously. No. Do not ever allow this to become an option. As much as we love to have additional company around from time to time, the simple fact remains that this is about the two of you. Seriously. Dates, or dating activity are defined by actually spending time with the other which is the very simple definition of a DATE. A cordoned section of time dedicated to two individuals in the hopes of getting to know one another. And NO, this does not exclude dates involving walking a pet. If two are animal lovers, this may very well be a great opportunity. But to have any of your other pals around as “confidence”…Not a good sign in any respect. There may be time for pals at another juncture, but in the name of potentially advancing your relationships, DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER.

2.Get him/her another anime title as a V-Day gift.

For pete’s sake, I cannot stress this more. Especially when one can find out about these things with a minimum of effort. Subcultures can be a hotbed of easy buttons to push, and with anime this is no exception. Whether it be via a manga, or a DVD, activity like this can happen just about any day of the year, and with no real trial. So in the name of making your feelings stand out, please refrain from facile, uncreative solutions such as these. After all, isn’t the point of all this about how one singles out another from the entire pack?Man/Woman up, and make the time you have count by doing your homework! They deserve it, right?

Which leads me to the last tip, and main point of this entire post:

1. Allow Yourselves To Be Defined By Your Mutual Hobby

This is the core of it all folks. There is a great deal more going on between each of us that somehow gets marginalized when talking about the things we like, or the things that inspire us. And there are frankly so many other things out there that grant us the spark to seek out good company with others. And one of the great assets to meeting a fellow mind/heart is that they have ideas and loves that may be new to you. There is as much to be learned about yourself, as well as them through good dating discourse. But it all depends on where one is willing to go with all of it. Which is why it is so important to open one’s mind beyond the obvious to make a date or dating work out. Hobbies such as anime and manga are merely a touch point, an entry drug by which we find mutual means of connection. But there’s only so much this particular well can support what happens from that point on. Personalities are such the complex thing, and having a battery of new ideas and experiences can help bring this out of both parties. And a wheel like a relationship between two people can stop if noone chooses to take action. So make your meetings count, by taking that best leap forward with your best true self. Because in the grander scheme of things, this is all about you and the other, much less what you physically collect.

There is a great amount one can learn just by experiencing alongside someone else, so take advantage of this, and step outside the comfort zone with this person. Now that’s a true test of compatibility right there!

Try it. You might like it!

Author: wintermuted

Part-time wandering artifact, part-time student, Wintermuted's travels from the wastelands of California's Coachella Valley have crystallized his love of all-things soulful & strange. A child of the VHS era, and often working for the anime man, his voyages continue onward in the name of bridging generations of Japanese popular art together. Can also be found via , as well as !

6 thoughts on “Asides: Valentines Day & Otaku – Some Tips On What NOT To Do

  1. It’s great that you have given some tips on what not to do, but what about ideas for what we can do? Any gift ideas or places we can go?

    I would love to know.

    1. Thanks for the Q right off the bat, Gina!

      Perhaps the most vital part of the whole post, is the separating of ones’ self from one element in life.

      The key is to figure out if the other party is as active, or inactive. From there, figuring out activities may come to be a little easier.

      From personal female friends of mine, a good coffee house run/karaoke date can be a great downtown type of activity. Also bookstore dates have been quite popular with some. The access to so much diversity of interest and information can be a great way to learn about the company we keep.

      Other cool options include; Bowling, checking out rare little out of the way restaurants, local concerts, book events, even collaborating on an art project has been known to make memories. There’s also finding places to bike together, walk together. The operative being that a new outdoor experience is key to better knowing how each person reacts in a situation. Something that isn’t passive, and keeps two from advancing an understanding of mutual likes and wants.

      The cool part about all of this is that the sky’s really the limit if one considers surroundings, and not so much budget.

  2. These advice are only applicable in 3-D. How can I use these when I’m playing LovePlus?

    I think I will write tips when Black Day arrives. What you should do to celebrate Black Day, all by yourself.

  3. Excellent post. We’re all unique humans, with unique thoughts, feelings and perspectives to share with one another – and that’s the gold mine in relationships. Some of the externals are nice, too, but as a female, I have a point to add to No. 4 – please think for a moment before showing up for a date and giving a girl a flower or bouquet of flowers. Because for the rest of the evening – throughout dinner, to the movie afterwards, etc. – SHE’S GOING TO HAVE TO CARRY IT and flowers are awkward to carry. They’re not something you can stuff into your purse, so you can then focus on your date and what an interesting and appealing guy he is… just a little tip for the guys here. 😉 But, as wintermuted says, the main thing is to do interesting and fun things together and get to know each other. The rest is just stuff.

  4. Well put! There’s so much to be mined by just finding the relative connection between two people in their surrounding environs.

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