Japanese Men Reveal Which Manga Heroine Is Their Ideal Woman


A recent survey posted on Yahoo! Japan asked men between 24 and 35 which manga heroine was their ideal woman, claiming that women today can learn dating techniques from the well-known characters that had captured the hearts of the nation’s men.

The article soon became very popular online as netizens checked who had come out on top, but they soon expressed their disappointment at the ranking, with many saying that the respondents must have been lying about their age…

Do any of these heroines sound like your ideal woman? And can real women learn anything from fictional characters?

From Yahoo! Japan:

Men’s Ideal Women Are Characters From Manga Or Anime!?: Learning How To Get The Guy From Popular Manga Heroines.

Manga and animes in which everyone’s imagined idea of the opposite sex appears. If you’re a woman, then you would have read shojo manga and felt your heart flutter for a male character…But could it be that it’s the same for men, too?

So at that, we asked men aged between 25 and 34 who their favourite manga and anime heroines were!

And the results were as follows: number one was Lum (from “Urusei Yatsura”), number two was Mine Fujiko (from “Lupin III”), number three was Maetel (from “Galaxy Express 999”, number four was Otonashi Kyoko (from “Maison Ikkoku”), and number five was Asakura Minami (from “Touch”). After number five it was a close call, with Nana Komatsu (from “Nana”), Akagi Haruko (from “Slam Dunk”), Nami (from “One Piece”, and Nausicaä (from “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”) entering the rankings.

Characters from manga old and new cropped up, but the top rankings are all heroines from famous titles that are nostalgic to us! Why are these women popular?

“Though it might be from manga or anime, the girls that gave us butterflies when we were young steadfastly remain with us even when we become adults. Furthermore, these women have the right chemistry to attract men”, says Professor Shibuya Shouzou of the Graduate School of Psychology at Mejiro University.

“Firstly, Lum sets men’s impluses racing by always doing things they don’t expect, like raining down thunder and lightning on them or making extremely spicy food. Even if she gets cheated on, she’ll just punish you with thunder and then it’s over — for men, this kind of refreshing personality is ideal. Then, we have Mine Fujiko, who has Lupin at her mercy, betraying him or being kind to him. For men, who have had the “hunter” instinct since ancient times, it ignites their passions to chase after a woman like her, who they think they can overpower, but ultimately can’t”.

Interesting. So it seems that these women would be particularly attractive to “carnivorous men” [nikushoku danshi].

“On the other hand, for the widow Otonashi Kyoko and the mysterious Maetel, the fact that they are characters who have a “dark” side, and who don’t show their real feelings easily, is the key to their attractiveness. When men look at a woman with a dark side, who doesn’t seem to be able to be happy, this strengthens their protective urges ‘I’ll take care of you!'”.

These girls will probably be popular with “herbivore men” [soushoku danshi]. Looking at it like this, when Lum is unpredictable, Mine Fujiko has impish ways, and Otonashi Kyoko and Maetel have “dark sides”, then these heroines all have hidden “powers of attraction”.

Before long, the rainy season will be upon us. On your rainy days off, why not take a look at some manga and anime, and see what kind of dating techniques you could learn?

Comments from 2ch.net:


Aren’t these manga a bit old for the age group?


Seems like a bit of a lie that a 34-year old would pick Maetel…


This is more like men in their 30s and 40s…


No matter how I look at it, seems to me that these answers must be from men in their 40s and 50s.


If it was over 35’s I’d be convinced, but are there really any guys who are 25 and into Lum?


If they’d surveyed men in their twenties, then Sailor Moon would have definitely been in there. Ayanami Rei, too.


If you’re 34, then when you were a boy wouldn’t Dragon Ball and Slam Dunk have been at their peak?
If you’re 25, then I guess that would be at the peak of One Piece, so I don’t really get why people are disappointed w


I’m 28, but I kind of feel like I’m a different generation from this stuff.
I don’t really know Urusei Yatsura, Galaxy Express 999, Maison or Touch that well at all…
Wouldn’t it be Ayanami and stuff, usually?


Number one should be Hime-chan from Hime-chan’s Ribbon


The age range is a bit high here w
But I have no objections to Lum being top!

Comments from Twitter:


Everyone who responded to this questionnaire must have been lying about their age.


This really is weird.


Impossible. A lot of people who are now in their 20s wouldn’t even have heard of the top 5 (or their names). And did they pick Haruko [from “Slam Dunk”] as a heroine? w I’ve never read one piece, but at least I know Nami.


(◕‿‿◕) Don’t get it.


Haven’t they just nicked some old data?


Old staff make this ranking any old way, and you can see right away that they haven’t bothered to actually ask anyone.

dol – H.Fujii:

I’m saying this as a man in his mid-thirties — it’s weird. All I can think is that it was weighted in favour of the 34 year olds.


Shouldn’t they check things before publishing an article like this?


Hang on, Urusei Yatsura was on when I was in kindergarten….I mean, if they want to write an article without caring too much, fine, but add another 20 years on.


I reckon that they made them choose from the characters that the reporter knew. And of all characters Akagi Haruko appears there?

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  • Justin_kBANG

    a cross between Methel and Fujiko, defo

    • besudesu

      Well, I’m not really much of a manga fan, but I think Lum is pretty funny. I can see you like the dark side, Justin!

  • god

    where is madoka from orange road

    • tomoe723

      oh tat sly magical bitch.. XD

  • Flora

    So basically, “Japanese men secretly like more complex & worldly women” is what the article is implying.

  • Jack

    no Evangelion? Misato is my pick for sure.

  • EastAsianNationalist

    Japanese guys need to grow up and stop obsessing over vintage cartoon characters.

    • Mai

      Lol im pretty sure the question asked “out of animes”, its not like every japanese are obsessed with animes, its just part of childhood growing up in japan.

      • Echo_Seven

        Well, the survey was originally asking about manga, which I think has a broader mainstream following than anime specifically. All the winners just happened to come from manga that have been made into anime.

        Edit: oops I can’t read. It was manga *and* anime.

    • Thatguyontheinternet

      And you need to get out of other peoples lives.

      Would probably have to agree with Nana Kamatsu.

  • mormollio

    I feel like most men wouldn’t be able to handle fujiko, you look at her the wrong way and she pulls a gun on you

  • For me, it’s Frederica Greenhill from Legend of the Galactic Heroes

  • Chris Granzow XI

    Anybody else find it kind of weird that none of the characters look remotely Asian?

    • Vadim
      • Chris Granzow XI

        I gleaned through the article which basically asserts that the characters don’t look white…..0_o. Really? lol. C’mon now. Don’t give me that. Japan is also very homogenous. It’s not like they see people like this walking down the street. Half of these characters are blonde or brunette with fair skin.

        • Vadim

          So how often do you see white people with green hair and eyeballs larger than their mouth and nose put together walking down the street in your area? And do you assume that smileys are meant to be Asian? I mean, the round yellow faces, the tiny black eyes, the non-existent noses – there’s no way those things are white 😉

          • Chris Granzow XI

            @Kamikazi It’s my twitter, its the same wherever I comment.
            @Vadim Read the comments on this article. thesocietypages. org/ socimages/ 2010/ 08/ 30/ guest-post-why-do-the-japanese-draw-themselves-as-white/
            It’s like me drawing black characters and then saying “what do you mean? They could be anyone.” The fact is, they do look white: same facial traits, facial configuration/anthropometry (if that makes sense), hair types/colors, eye colors, skin colors, heights and body type. It’s no big deal, I just think it would be interesting if they surveyed Japanese citizens to see who they identify these characters with most.

          • Vadim

            Indeed it would be interesting, but as it stands now you are looking at it from the viewpoint of a Western society, where “white” racial features are the unmarked default and where everything that deviates from said default needs to be specifically marked as “the other”. The Japanese don’t see “whiteness” as the default and certainly don’t need to mark themselves as “the other” (except in cases where there are Japanese characters in shows set outside Japan, as Matt Thorn’s article mentions).

            Besides, you said yourself that Japan is a very homogenous society, so the people there aren’t exposed to individuals from other races on a regular basis, so racial markers are less ingrained in their culture. Usually when an anime has white characters that need to be “othered” this isn’t done by giving them larger eyes or a lighter skin tone, but with things like bigger noses, more prominent jawlines, the “blond hair-blue eyes” combo (as opposed to the crazy mix-and-matches of colours that are the norm for other characters), taller stature and, in the case of females, larger breasts. What people like you identify as “white” features in anime characters is really what YOU expect to be used as rigid racial markers in a setting with characters of multiple races.

          • Chris Granzow XI

            I mean, I understand what you’re trying to say, but you’re really reaching with these explanations. As far as the whole “white racial features are considered the default” nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, most of the comments on the link I provided also dispute that assertion. Did you grow up in the “west”? Because if you did, I think you would know how invalid that narrative is. Plus, look at pre-anime Japanese art and drawings…..when they depict themselves they don’t look like “westerners.”


          I have to agree with you shirtless Boy Wonder. I believe the reason for this is the influence of Western media and culture on Japan, whether anyone wants to admit this or not.
          BTW I’d put a shirt on if I were you, unless you’re trying to show all the guys (yes CSmack and JCrush are sausage fests) what you have to offer.

      • Ultra_Kraken

        Thanks for the article. I’d more or less come to the same conclusion concerning the “white appearance” of Japanese anime characters, but the article you linked to does an excellent job of articulating why such characters do not in fact look white and of refuting all of the possible counterarguments.


      If you judge anime by the standards of Western cartoons then yes it would be weird that none of the characters look really Asian, even though they’re supposedly Asian.

    • Rutim

      And if you carefully look at the bubbles and try to read them it’s in…. English!

    • chucky3176

      Yes, have a look at this link, on how Japan shows themselves vies a vie the rest of Asia.


      You can easily see which cartoon characters are Japanese (rounded eyes, blonde hair, sharp nose, oval face, etc etc), versus the Koreans (slanted eyes, flat nose, black hair Asians).

      How is this possible that Japanese are ashamed of their own true racial roots? (Yellow Oriental Asians) and insist on being a White race that they are not?

      By the way, I had to laugh at the excuses that were made by Japan Apologists below. They truly are something else..

      • Vadim

        So I’m a Korean troll one day and a Japan Apologist the other? Works for me! 🙂

        Anyway, this argument is also addressed near the end of the article I linked to. Basically, in settings where characters from other Asian countries are in the minority they are also subjected to “othering” using racial markers. There are some notorious examples where the belittling of Koreans and Chinese is deliberate and malicious, but mostly it’s the same kind of stereotyping that characters from Western countries are subjected to, in order to make their foregnness clear.

        When the foreign (in relation to Japan) characters aren’t in the minority, like in the various manga and anime adaptations of the Chinese classic novels, the obvious stereotyping isn’t used for them. And often in such settings it’s the Japanese characters that get marked with racial stereotypes as “the other”. As Thorn notes it’s usually done by simply giving them black hair and eyes, but sometimes minor characters get even more blatant markings, like this one-scene Japanese character from Monster, a manga taking place in Europe: http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121110004429/obluda/images/e/ee/Vlcsnap-2012-11-09-15h24m22s90.png
        Doesn’t look like much of a member of the Japanaryan Master Race to me 😉

      • bang2tang

        Yeah, even they neighbor take it to more advance level aka unrealistic doll plastic surgery.

    • Golbinnom

      Totally! Specially the blue-haired one

  • Anonymepelle

    Maho from Beck

  • MFawful

    Surprised Belldandy wasn’t on the list. I don’t really know what’s popular in Japan though.

  • I actually like Asakura Minami’s personality. 😀

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