Don’t get your hopes up for one of anime and J-dramas’ longest romantic traditions to play out in your real life.

Generations ago, Japan decided to flip the script on Valentine’s Day and it became a custom for girls to give gifts, usually chocolate, to guys in the country. Yes, there’s a day called White Day when guys are supposed to give gifts to girls, but it’s not until a month later, on March 14, meaning that if Valentine’s Day romance is going to happen in Japan, it’s generally the girl who has to get the ball rolling.

Making chocolate yourself takes more time and effort than just picking up some pre-made stuff at the store, so home-made chocolate is considered to be the most emotionally sincere, and by extension romantic, variety. This can be seen in one of the most celebrated stock scenarios in Japanese anime and live-action dramas: the scene where the heroine, with her heart pounding, surprises her crush with a box of home-made chocolate on February 14, nervously handing it over as she confesses her love to him.

But does that sort of thing happen in real life? According to a survey from Japanese recipe website Cookpad, hardly ever.

In a recent poll that collected responses from 3,101 female Cookpad users, 72 percent said they either had firm plans or a desire to make hand-made Valentine’s chocolate this year. However, when that group was asked why they’d be making sweets, confessions of love were almost non-existent.

What is your reason for making home-made Valentine’s sweets?
● I think it’ll be fun to make them: 52.4 percent
● I want to show my appreciation to the people around me: 26.7 percent
● I want to express my feelings to someone I love: 25.6 percent
● It’s cheaper than buying ready-made chocolate: 13.5 percent
● No particular reason: 2.6 percent
I want to confess my love to someone: 0.5 percent

Yes, the respondents do have a sizeable romantic contingent, but the way the categories are phrased shows that the 25.6-percent group isn’t revealing their love for the first time, meaning they’re making chocolate for an already existing lover (or perhaps family member). Meanwhile, less than one-percent are combining their Valentine’s gift with a confession of heretofore secret love, and that number feels even smaller when you consider that the survey allowed respondents to give as many as three different reasons for their chocolate making.

The scarcity of confession chocolate was also highlighted when the survey participants were asked who they’d be giving home-made chocolate to, for which they could select as many of the options below as applied to them.

Who are you giving hand-made chocolate too?
● Lover/spouse: 52.3 percent
● My children: 38.5 percent
● Same-sex friend/coworker: 11.7 percent
● My parents/spouse’s parents: 11.7 percent
● My children’s friends: 10.1 percent
● Myself: 8.9 percent
● Opposite-sex friend/coworker: 6.3 percent
● Sibling: 4.6 percent
● School upperclassman/workplace superior: 4.4 percent
The person I’ll be confessing my love to: 0.5 percent

So while making the leap from having no girlfriend or home-made chocolate to having both on Valentines Day isn’t impossible, it looks like it’s statistically unlikely, and another example of how anime isn’t always like reality.

Source: Cookpad via IT Media
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he would like to thank his wife in advance for her home-made chocolate.