Adrian Favell quoted in The Observer article about Japan's 'stranded singles'

Japan’s interest in true love is creating not just a marriage crisis but a relationship crisis, leading young people to forgo finding a partner, resorting to falling for fictional characters in games.

Professor Adrian Favell has been quoted in a recent article by The Observer; ‘For Japan’s ‘stranded singles’, virtual love is much more romantic than the real thing’.

The article addresses a current trend in Japan where some young people are falling in love with fictional characters in online and video games, as opposed to having conventional ‘real’ relationships.

The article highlights Japan’s virginity rate, its low birthrate, and the trend for young people to live at home with their families until they meet a partner with good income prospects. The article claims that these are some of the reasons for people turning to the virtual world for romance.

Favell cautioned against the idea of a dysfunctional generation in Japan, saying that the West liked to exaggerate the "oddness" of young Japanese people. He added that a declining population was not necessarily "bad news".

"Is it unique to Japan for young people to obsess over pop, film stars, and the rest? Or to 'fall in love' over the internet. I don't think so," he said.

Read the online article here.