The survey concerned body proportion, an important indicator of physical maturity. In a nutshell, characters with a higher head-to-body ratio look more mature, and graceful. Characters with a lower head-to-body ratio look more youthful, and cute. For the survey, I created five nondescript bodies, whose proportions ranged from 7.5HH to 5HH. This is the middle range area that most figures fall into.
To better explain what I mean about proportions, I've prepared a sheet with some examples. I also defined the body proportions of the silhouettes used in the survey. In the Proportions survey, I didn't provide any formal numbers for the characters' proportions. Respondents simply rated the bodies on two unlabeled charts based on their gut feelings.
|Some people state head-to-body proportion as a ratio, like 1:9. I like to indicate the total number of heads high a character is, like 9HH.|
For the second set, I scaled all the silhouettes to the same size, but kept the head-to-body proportions the same. This way, the characters with smaller head-to-body ratios wouldn't look as childlike, and the characters with a larger head-to-body ratio would look a bit more youthful. Sure enough, the poll results showed a less dramatic point spread between silhouettes. Even the Adorable Mascot proportioned silhouette scored higher in the second set, though it was still at the bottom of the list.
On the second chart, the most desired body was the one with the youthful proportions, as opposed to the silhouette with womanly proportions, though the numbers were so close it was practically a draw (56-points youthful / 53-points womanly).
Here's the combined data for the two-part survey:
Womanly (7HH) = 122 points
Youthful (6.5HH) = 120 points
Moé (6HH) = 98 points
Model (7.5HH) = 92 points
Adorable (5HH) = 64 points
Overall what the survey told me is that despite the Japanese affinity for moé characters with adolescent proportions, by far, western hentai fans (who subscribe to Cutepet) like their characters cute but mature looking, with roughly the same proportions as adult women. I know this shouldn't come as a surprise, but it's something I've been wondering about for a while.
|Hiding beneath the silhouette.|
And If you were wondering who the woman behind the silhouette was, well, it was no one in particular, just a quickie sketch I put together for the survey. Here she is, the mysterious young woman, known as Silhouette. :p
As a side-note, she's 7HH.
As for me, it's back to the drawing board.