Dark magic and a price too great to pay are great reasons for remaining single.

In English, we only use “make” to describe making platonic friends, and not a romantic boyfriend/girlfriend. However, in Japanese, you can use tsukuru/make to talk about new romantic connections too.

As a matter of fact, the phrase kareshi wo tsukuru, literally “to make a boyfriend,” is one that gets used when a woman proactively cultivates a romantic relationship. Because of that, it can be frustrating when a woman gets asked “Why don’t you make a boyfriend?”, since it sort of implies that her single status is the fault of laziness or inactivity on her part. Japanese Twitter user and female otaku @bmt_sn, however, has a perfectly prepared response for that annoying question.

When someone asks her “Why don’t you make yourself a boyfriend?” she replies:

“Okay, so I’ll need 35 liters of water, 20 kilograms of carbon, four liters of ammonia…”

Online commenters were quick to applaud her clever retort, saying:

“What a cool answer.”
“If you were a god, all you’d need to make a boyfriend is some clay.”
“Don’t forget to give him a soul too.”

While on the surface this sounds like, and would work as, a snarky way of shutting down an unwanted line of questioning, it also acts as a secret test to see if other people share @bmt_sn’s otaku interests. See, @bmt_sn’s isn’t making that recipe up off the top of her head. It’s actually taken from the Fullmetal Alchemist anime/manga franchise, in which magician brothers Ed and Al Elric try to manipulate the mystical law of Equivalent Exchange in order to bring their dead mother back from the grave.

▼ Ed Elric

“When I answer their question like that, people who immediately laugh show that they’ve completed compulsory education for otaku,” says @bmt_sn. “But ordinary people look at me like I’m some crazy witch that came down form the mountains or something.”

Adding yet another layer of meaning is that when Ed and Al try to make a human, their attempt goes catastrophically wrong, with Ed losing both a leg and an arm for his attempt at what’s actually a forbidden enchantment. It’s a nice metaphor that while there’s nothing wrong with being proactive in looking for love, it’s also important to refrain from trying too hard and forcing yourself to feel things you don’t, lest you end up losing a part of yourself in the process.

Source: Twitter/@bmt_sn via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso