I recently came across a Japanese app called “PlusBoys” that was created to provide single women with a doting fictional boyfriend to dine with (I was doing research for a story on the culture of dining alone). Seeing as the English version of the app is free, I couldn’t resist going on a “dinner date” with every single one of these eligible Asian bachelors.
Here’s the low-down on the five men you can date with just a few swipes of your iPhone screen.
First impression: He’s got adorable glasses and he loves to read. Of course he was my first pick.
The date: Oh, heeey, Makoto! Good morning to you, too. Wait…you said good morning, but we’re having dinner?
Um, you’re asking a lot of questions about my health. I have a cold and a “broken” stomach? Am I dying?
If my stomach is broken, should I really be eating? And why do you have a watch on the table? Why do you keep glancing at it? Do I have only seconds left to live?
Makoto, that’s the second book that’s appeared on the table beside you. If we’re having a romantic meal, why are you reading multiple books during our dinner? And why do you insist on discussing my apparent IBS?
Also, you keep looking up at me. Am I a giant? I’m only 5′ 8″. How tall are you again?
You’re cute and all Mak. Can I call you Mak? But you come on a little strong with all the worrying. I just…I don’t think things are going to work out.
First impression: Not my type. He’s got this whole I’m-wearing-a-suit-so-I-must-be-important vibe going on, and his profile even reads “He’s a little selfish, but very good at his work. So he’s an important person in his company.”
The date: He greets me with a charming story about “an old man that threw up on the train.” Clearly, this guy is quite the conversationalist.
He then proceeds to remove his blazer and then starts on his tie.
Uh, Shota, I thought I was here for dinner? Let’s save dessert for later, all right?
Luckily, he keeps his pants on and mentions that he brought back a good meal today. That works. You don’t have to make me dinner every day. Takeout is a nice change.
Wait. Why are you smoking a cigarette, Shota? I thought it was dinnertime. I’m hungry! I didn’t eat a thing at Makoto’s, and I don’t even see any food here.
Now you’re making business calls? And you haven’t asked one question about me. Do you realize I’ve been sick? I have a cold and a broken stomach and you don’t even seem to care!
First impression: He’s not much to look at, but maybe he has a great personality.
The date: Right off the bat he asks about my day and starts cooking pasta, so I can overlook the fact that he’s sporting Abercrombie & Fitch.
But then, this move happens.
I don’t know, Tatsuya. That was a pretty Shota gesture there. And what’s with these glasses with the hearts on them? And the teddybear?
And wait…what are you doing now? Stop touching my food!
You made a heart in my pasta. Um…This is just…moving a little fast for me. You’re great though, really. It’s just that I recently got out of a relationship with this total workaholic and I’m not used to being shown this much attention. So if you could just wrap up the leftovers…
Verdict: Will likely stay up all night watching me sleep
First impression: He seems…sporty. I hope he doesn’t expect me to attend all his soccer games. I do think it’s very cool that he “loves [me] very much,” but I’ll admit I’m turned off by the fact that he’s “usually just thinking about food and soccer.”
The date: You’re making me fried rice? Excellent. I’ll get the chopsticks.
Yeah, I’m hungry too. I’ve tried and failed to eat dinner like three times today.
Yeah, the food does look really nice. Thanks for making it.
Yes, Kazuma. The fried rice is freaking amazing. Let’s just shut up about it, OK?
You know what? You should be a chef. Why don’t you go be a chef right now. You’d probably be a much better chef than boyfriend. So just go to culinary school and make your freaking fried rice and talk about how awesome it is with someone who cares.
Verdict: Dude makes delicious fried rice.
First impression: Graphic designer? Bedroom eyes? I can dig it.
The date: (Unlike with the previous boys, the free download entitles me to get the full Yuji experience — 13 whole “stories”)
Welcome home? Why, thank you, Yuji. Sooo are you in my house, or did I move in with you? Because if this is my apartment, I’m gonna have to ask you to lose the cigarette.
You made me curry? I love curry!
And you…love me. Huh.
That’s sweet, I guess. How long have we been together? Oh, three months now. Guess we can say the L-word.
Please pour me a beer too. Never mind. I guess you’re the only one who gets beer. That’s cool. I’m on cold meds anyway. Also, my stomach is broken.
Hey, you look pretty stern all of a sudden. What’s up?
I should eat three meals a day? Even when my stomach is broken?
You’re really insistent about this. OK, fine.
Well, that was patronizing.
Um…why do you keep talking about the size of your potatoes and carrot? Is this conversation really about vegetables?
That’s super sweet. What should we do? A trip to the seaside, you say? Sounds great!
Wait. Why would we go to the seaside if you don’t like to swim?
Uh…Yuji, I gotta be honest. That makes me a little uncomfortable.
And are you seriously reading a book right now? Who are you, freaking Makoto? We’re eating dinner! And if you knew I was coming over, why didn’t you make the bed and do a little housework?
Seriously? Yes, I said something.
Where is this even coming from? How many beers have you had? And my forelock? Am I a horse?
Aaand now you want to be with me forever? That’s sweet, but let’s not talk in terms of forever quite yet.
I don’t mean to brag, but do you know how many fictional Japanese men have asked me to dinner recently? I’m just not at a point in my life where I’m ready to settle down with just one guy’s series of stock photos.
OK, fine. I’ll see you later. But you are not watching me bathe.
Verdict: You could do worse.
Final thoughts: Unfortunately, to get the full dining experience with all of these guys, by my calculations, it’s going to cost you more than $40. There’s some bizarre pay-per-story system that eventually unlocks the mysterious “Charlie” boyfriend, but it hardly seems worth it as Charlie is likely also a creeper and, despite his American name, his English probably isn’t any better.
Also, there’s no way I can’t explain $40 worth of dates with fictional Japanese men to my real-life husband.