It seems like I have been introducing such trendy word as アラフォー[aro-four] rather than anime-related words lately. Boring? I am sorry. As I doubted, perhaps I have started to care about my not-so-far future. Most otakish words do not seem to have clear origins as to who actually came up with them. Before we know it, those words have already made it to the mainstream. Don’t you think so? そう思いませんか？Unlike those otakish words, some of the trendy words coined by the irresponsible press so far have clear origins. But meanwhile, it doesn’t take that much for people to forget.
At any rate, I was quite disappointed to hear this word for the first time because I thought there was another word that should have come before this, 草食男子[soushoku danshi]. I will explain it later, as I shall now introduce this new word first. 草食[soushoku] means herbivorous. Yes, it is supposed to categorize animals by the kind of food they eat. If they eat grass, they are classified as 草食動物[soushoku doubutsu]or herbivore. If they eat flesh, they are 肉食動物[nikushoku doubutsu] or flesh eater. If they eat whatever, they are 雑食動物[zasshoku doubutsu] or omnivora.
So why is this used to categorize men? We men don’t eat grass (neither do women). No no no, that’s not so. A herbivore like a goat is very quiet, not wild, aren’t they? What if this goes for men? The answer is, yes, a man who is gentle, quiet, and soft. Such a guy is what’s called 草食男子[soushoku danshi] or 草食系男子[soushoku-kei danshi]. Wait, hold on a bit. What exactly does that mean? Just because it means such a “softie,” the word 草食 is not even necessarily required here. You have caught on, haven’t you? You’re right. It also means a stoic guy who is not crazy about sex, or a guy who is not aggressive in love. If that’s the case, 肉食男子[nikushoku danshi] means such a ”stud,” ? Then could 雑食男子 be bisexual? 両方OKってこと？
In 2007, a book entitled 平成男子図鑑[Heisei danshi zukan] was published, and the author Maki Fukasawa[深澤真紀] named this tnew ype of guy. The following year, when the monthly magazine for women, non-no interviewed her, it started to become famous. Let’s see what are the characterstics of 草食男子, then.
a. Not proactive nor aggressive in love although he can get a girlfriend if they want.
b. He tends to value women as a human being, not as a sexual object.
c. He prefers to stay at home rather go out.
d. Very sensitive.
e. He would travel with a woman, but wouldn’t do anything to her. Even if he stays overnight with her, he wouldn’t do anything.
f. He would prefer to spend money for his hobby or clothes rather than for girls.
g. He would be counted as just a nice person[ただのいい人] by women.
h. He likes to cook, and loves confectionery.
Remember I said I was disappointed to hear this word? That is because I really really wondered why the author didn’t use オトメン[otomen] when she coined the term 草食男子. If she had done it, オトメン must have become in the mainstream. I dare to say the era of otomen might have come…yes, my era! See above? Most of the items go for otomen, especially d and h. Darn it!
Putting it aside, why did this word get popular? For one thing, it is said that men are no longer more powerful than women. Like I said in アラフォー, women work as well as men. So men called 草食男子 seem to accept the fact. Rather, if they are as wild as before, it might become sexual harassment. Besides, it is no exaggeration to say that the terrible recession is one of the reasons. Men are too mentally and physically tired to…do it. Come to think of it, I’ve heard even married couples are sexless lately. That is to say, most men are getting 草食.
Speaking of 草食男子, most Japanese people might think of 草なぎ 剛[Tsuyoshi Kusanagi] who is a member of the most popular idol group, SMAP. He is so gentle and good-hearted that he is counted as a 草食男子. Coincidentally, there is a kanji 草[kusa] in his surname. But it was until a few days ago. He got too drunk and showed his naked in public. Even when the police came to him, he didn’t stop yelling. He got arrested and won’t be able to come out for a while…Well, he was too drunk to remember, I am sure he regrets what he did. But there is a time when even 草食男子 want to be 肉食男子. だって…男だもん。I mean, the more people say he is 草食男子, the more he has to act like that. That could be stressful for him. When things get to the point, he might break down.
Me? I am an otomen. Otomen will never do such a thing. くっくっくっ…but I am dark-hearted. You have no idea how evil I am. 俺って結構腹黒いから気を付けた方がいいかもよ（呪笑） だって反逆を企む王子様だから^^
Wait, as I learned this word, something came to my mind. Yes, that’s カレセン[karesen]! Are those characteristics vey similar to karesen? The different point is that karesen is old, that’s it. So my assumption is,
草食男子 + old = カレセン.
Oh no, then I would definitely be カレセン too if I get older.