Survey finds a big gap in the dating histories of women who enjoy Japanese girls’ comics and those who don’t.

Manga aimed at male readers is often chuckled at for its power fantasy overtones, what with all the chi-blasting martial artists and giant robots. But shojo manga, girls’ comics, aren’t exactly plausible plotlines paradigms either.

Certain romantic scenarios, such as your unassuming yet handsome new neighbor secretly being the filthy-rich heir to an financial/industrial conglomerate, or that alluring bad-boy local street tough actually having a heart of gold and working in secret as a patissier to support his mom and younger siblings, are far more likely to occur within the pages of a shojo manga anthology than real-life Japan. Because of that, there’s a common perception that shojo manga enthusiasts don’t have much aptitude for romance with an actual, human partner, but is this true?

To investigate, Partner Agent, a popular Japanese matchmaking service that specializes in clients looking for serious marriage prospects, did a survey of 2,060 single women between the ages of 25 and 39. The first question was whether or not they read shojo manga, with the results being:

● Yes: 36.4 percent
● I read it before, but now I don’t: 38.2 percent
● No: 25 percent

That’s not a particularly lopsided distribution, and next the survey decided to drill a little deeper, asking the women if they’d ever had a boyfriend before. Contrary to expectations, the results showed that current manga fans were the most likely to have had an active romantic life, while the group with no interest at all in girls’ comics had the largest proportion of perpetually single women.

Percentage of women who’ve had at least one boyfriend
● Current shojo manga readers: 76.3 percent
● Former shojo manga readers: 74.7 percent
● Non-shojo manga readers: 61.7 percent

OK, but even if manga fans are dating, they’re probably just copying the scenes and dialogue from their favorite series, right? That’s not really dating, but some sort of role-playing, right?

Wrong again. When asked if they thought shojo manga romance and real-world romance were two separate things, current manga readers were the more likely to draw a line between the two, as opposed to saying the two were similar or that they were unsure.

I think shojo manga romance and real-life romance are different
● Current shojo manga readers: 76.3 percent
● Non-current shojo manga readers: 52.8 percent

Shojo manga fans were even more likely to say they enjoy courtship, as opposed to just seeing it as a means to an end.

I want to fall in love, and I like romance
● Current shojo manga readers: 47.3 percent
● Non-current shojo manga readers: 23.6 percent

Perhaps as a result of their experience and enjoyment of dating, shojo manga enthusiasts also self-identified as more likely to hold out for an ideal catch.

I think I have higher-than-average standards regarding men
● Current shojo manga readers: 55.8 percent
● Former shojo manga readers: 44.7 percent
● Non-shojo manga readers: 29.8 percent

But for all those tempted to decode “high standards regarding men” as “wants a rich boyfriend,” that’s not what’s happening here. When asked if “rich” was a trait they’d use to describe their ideal guy, 19.4 percent of shojo manga readers said they would, compared with 27.3 percent of non-manga fans.

Source: PR Times
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