Some anime events allow you to hear from voice actors or see a performance by the band who does the opening song. An upcoming Aquarion Evol event has both of those as well, but you'll also potentially find a date while solving puzzles in real life?! Aquarion Evol teams up with the Real Escape Game to help you 'escape' the prohibition of love and 'combination' portrayed in the new Aquarion series where boys and girls are kept separated:
For a quick bit of background, here is a description of the original Real Escape Game from their official site:
You're suddenly locked up in a room. Around you are many people in the same boat.
It seems there are various items, codes, and puzzles hidden in the room.
Break the code, turn the key, open the box—if you can acquire the final key before the time limit is up, you'll succeed in escaping.
However, there's nothing to feel sad about if you don't escape;
you can just tackle the next puzzle.
These games are no joke, by the way. An event held in December had a 7.8% escape rate.
Real Meet-Up Game x Aquarion Evol: A Chance Meeting After 12,000 Years ~Once the Puzzle is Solved, Union~ takes place February 4th, conveniently just prior to Valentine's Day. Tickets cost 4,000 yen (about US $52) ahead of time or 5,000 (~$65) day-of. They must be purchased in either boy or girl type (with no cross-ticketing). There doesn't appear to be an age limit, but elementary school kids and younger require a guardian. All three sessions feature a performance by Akino with bless4 (who sings the opening and ending themes), but the cast participation varies depending on which time you go:
12:00 PM: Yuuki Kaiji (Amata), Ai Kayano (Mikono), Hiroki Yasumoto (Izumo)
3:30 PM: Hiroki Yasumoto, Kensuke Satou (Moroi), ??? (Kurea)
7:00 PM: Kouki Uchiyama (Kagura), Kensuke Satou, ??? (Kurea)
On the official website, there is a list of cautions starting off with, "This is an event where you will actually use your body, solve puzzles, and aim to meet someone." The puzzles include things like code-breaking and item combining. The cautions also remind you that you'll be around a lot of strangers and have to work together to escape, but that it could lead to a good chance to meet somebody. "The time allotted to meet someone is very short; however, even if you don't manage to meet someone, there's no reason to be ashamed. Now and then people experience growth through the sorrow of not achieving a chance encounter." They ask that participants come with the mindset of a great detective, since the puzzles are not obvious or simple. No giving away answers, either! "Also, please don't forget to bring a little bit of bravery for that chance meeting."
Apparently, the Seibu Dome is really cold so they warn participants about that as well. That said, this whole thing is pretty heartwarming. "We have a wonderful present for everyone who manages to meet someone—the limitless possibilities that spring from this small chance encounter." D'aww.
This isn't the first time Real Escape Game has mashed up with an anime—an Evangelion themed game was held last November. (It also has a great trailer). The first ever Real Escape Game in San Francisco, "Escape from the Werewolf Village," is being put on in March. Tickets are on sale now from New People, which cost just $20 ahead of time (only $15 through January!) and $25 at the door. More information at the English official page.
If you had a chance, would you participate in the Real Escape Game? How about the Real Meet-Up Game? ;) I, for one, hope we see at least one Aquarion-themed wedding come out of this.