No Sex Please, We’re Japanese: Anita Rani investigates the world of the super geek

Has this nation’s population swapped hanky panky for computer games and Manga cartoons? A new BBC2 programme finds out what’s causing Japan's declining population

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Some men in Japan “would much rather have a relationship with a virtual girlfriend than a real one,” explains Anita Rani, BBC presenter of new three-part documentary series No Sex Please, We’re Japanese (9pm, October 24). 

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In this fascinating mini-series, Rani investigates the world of ultra geeks known as ‘Otaku’. She meets men in their late thirties who have been dating virtual teenage girlfriends for years as part of a role-playing game. “They have no interest in sex or women,” says Rani. “They are extreme geeks, if you like, living an introverted existence in a perpetual state of childhood.”


Visit Japan with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


The ‘Otaku’ subculture is part of the reason why Japan’s population is in decline. By 2060 the country’s population will have reduced by a third. The series will see Rani exploring this fascinating and bewildering nation, the land of gourmet dog food, automatic taxi doors and heated toilet seats. She visits the Manga, Anime and computer game Mecca of Akihabara, in Tokyo: “It’s street after street of neon lights, fashion experiments and single men shopping for their obsession,” says Rani. “It’s a real spectacle to behold and great fun for tourists. 

“It was my first time in Japan and I utterly loved it. On the surface it’s all very familiar, just a very high-tech version of the west. But scratch not too far below the surface and you quickly realise its a world away.”

Rani claims we’ll find an ancient, ridged and formal culture, where a new generation of men are disillusioned about their future and in need of some serious sex therapy and lessons. As well as a stagnant economy, an unhelpful immigration policy and the unusual mindset in Japan that the company comes first. Rani explains that the show delivers a very sobering message: “Disappearing into our tech worlds and closing our borders could make a nation extinct”. 

Watch No Sex Please, We’re Japanese at 9pm, October 24 on BBC2


Visit Japan with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


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