They say you can tell a lot about different countries and their people by comparing consumer trends between them. However, a recent comparison between the best selling books on and has both Japanese netizens amused and horrified at the results. Which country is more well-read? We’ll let you be the judge!

So what exactly was all the fuss about?

First, let’s take a look at the American side.


Besides once again proving that sex, even the poorly written variety, sells with Fifty Shades of Grey, I don’t really see anything out of the ordinary here.

Okay, so moving on to the Japanese side. I bet we’ll see some titles by some of Japan’s top contemporary novelists, like Haruki Murakami, Mitsuyo Kakuta, or maybe some Kenzo Kitakara…


…or maybe not. Clearly erotic art books, cats, light novels, and Satoshi Ohno (member of boy band Arashi) are forces that are too powerful to contend with!

But does this ranking actually represent the average Japanese Amazon buyer? Japanese netizens were quick to speak out on the issue.

“But the cover on the top seller is so cute!”
“Otaku really like their cats!”
“Wouldn’t it be better to compare all of the other genres, too?”
“This is just because people are buying the stuff on Amazon that they can’t get at regular bookstores in Japan. It just goes to show Japanese bookstores are better. I love Junkudo.”
“The second U.S. best seller is by some Japanese chick.”
“Comparing DVD rankings is even better. US  Harry Potter, etc. Japan → Madoka Magica everywhere”
“Well, this is Japan we’re talking about here.”

What do all of you think? Are Americans more well-read, or are Japanese tastes more refined? Let us know! At the very least, I hope some of my fellow Americans can explain why Fifty Shades of Grey is still the current top best seller…

Source: Kinsoku
Top image: Seller Express, edited by RocketNews24
Insert Images: Kinsoku