How to spot a herbivore boy and a carnivore boy


One popular ranking survey from lat year was how to spot an otaku and otakette, so I wonder if this recent survey from goo Ranking into what image people have of a herbivore boy (both men and women) and a carnivore boy (both men and women).


Between the 20th and 22nd of August 2009 1,077 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private online questionnaire. 51.1% of the sample were male, 8.4% in their teens, 14.2% in their twenties, 26.7% in their thirties, 28.2% in their forties, 11.1% in their fifties, and 11.2% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

Herbivore boys have been the subject of news features such as this one from Reuters after a marketing firm identified (the more cynical might say “invented”) the trend. I’m definitely in the herbivore category, and not just because I’m a vegetarian, although I’m sure there’s some correlation there.

Ranking result

Q1: What is your image of “herbivore boys”? (Sample size=550, male)

Rank Score
1Indoor type100
2=Matches behaviour with women74.5
2=Likes spending time in his own room74.5
4Has small voice71.6
5Gets drunk easily63.7
6Doesn’t do vigorous sports57.8
7Likes narrow-legged trousers48.0
8Good listener47.1
9Likes computer games46.1
10Poor at deciding which restaurant to eat at44.1
11Has a weakness for all the latest sweets39.2
12=If he drinks, he prefers to drink at home29.4
12=Takes his own lunch box, drink bottle to work, school29.4
14=Handwritten characters are small25.5
14=Likes getting together with the same group25.5
16Doesn’t really like travel18.6
17=Loves wearing his parka15.7
17=Likes snack sweets15.7
19Has lots of female friends14.7
20Usually wears sneakers13.7

Q1: What is your image of “herbivore boys”? (Sample size=527, female)

Rank Score
1Indoor type100
2Likes spending time in his own room87.0
3Has small voice67.8
4Matches behaviour with women62.3
5=Doesn’t do vigorous sports59.6
5=Gets drunk easily59.6
7Likes narrow-legged trousers58.2
8Good listener56.2
9Likes computer games52.7
10Poor at deciding which restaurant to eat at50.7
11Takes his own lunch box, drink bottle to work, school40.4
12If he drinks, he prefers to drink at home38.4
13Has a weakness for all the latest sweets29.5
14Likes getting together with the same group26.7
15Goes Dutch on dates24.7
16Handwritten characters are small20.5
17Has lots of female friends19.2
18Doesn’t really like travel16.4
19=Loves wearing his parka15.8
19=Usually wears sneakers15.8

Q2: What is your image of “carnivore boys”? (Sample size=550, male)

Rank Score
1Works out at the gym100
2Has lots of female friends89.9
3Outdoor type82.0
4Regularly goes to drinking parties75.3
5=Good talker59.6
5=Loud voice59.6
7=Always praising the girls58.4
7=Visits a tanning salon58.4
9Doesn’t wear a vest under shirts57.3
10=Smooth talker51.7
10=Likes competitive sports51.7
12Likes stolen love50.6
13Is well-known46.1
14Interested in cars, motorbikes43.8
15Has two mobile phones28.1
16=Good at karaoke27.0
16=Picks up the bill on dates27.0
16=Has a long leather wallet27.0
19Good listener25.8
20Knows all about new restaurants, etc23.6

Q2: What is your image of “carnivore boys”? (Sample size=527, female)

Rank Score
1Outdoor type100
2Works out at the gym99.2
3Regularly goes to drinking parties84.3
4Is well-known83.5
5Has lots of female friends81.8
6Loud voice81.0
7Good talker73.6
8Interested in cars, motorbikes69.4
9Smooth talker60.3
10Likes competitive sports59.5
11Always praising the girls55.4
12Picks up the bill on dates50.4
13Good at karaoke38.0
14Loves junk food34.7
15Good listener33.9
16Knows all about new restaurants, etc30.6
17Doesn’t wear a vest under shirts28.1
18Likes stolen love26.4
19=Visits a tanning salon23.1
19=Likes getting his photograph taken23.1
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  1. darg said,
    October 19, 2009 @ 22:39

    Hey Ken- just as a note, 顔が広い means that someone is well known/well connected, not that they have a broad face – makes a little more sense that way! 😛

    • Ken Y-N said,
      October 19, 2009 @ 22:49

      Damn, I knew that had to be an idiom, but I just didn’t bother looking it up! I’ll fix that.

  2. PeterD said,
    October 21, 2009 @ 03:20

    Under both herbivore listings, you have intelligent as the first category. I don’t see that on the Japanese version. Both men and women seem to list インドア派 as the top listing. I a translating this as “indoor clique”, which would seem to be the same as the ranking saying wanting to spend time in their own room? Does it actually mean intelligent?

  3. Ken Y-N said,
    October 21, 2009 @ 07:28

    PeterD, you’re absolutely right! When I first translated it in my head it was “Indoor type” to contrast the “Outdoor type” for the carnivores, but when I actually typed it out for some reason I read it as インテリ系!

  4. PeterD said,
    October 21, 2009 @ 08:06

    Thanks for doing these. I enjoy reading them. And once a quarter, I have to do a presentation for my Japanese class – and I often use one of these rankings as what I present on. I may be doing herbivore/carnivore for the presentation I have to do next week.

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