Hopefully by now you’ve sampled the delights of Nijisanji EN’s “Lazulight” ensemble, consisting of dragon trainer (and dragon) Elira Pendora, forest fairy (and office lady) Pomu Rainpuff and everyone’s favourite feesh, Finana Ryugu.
Finana has been working hard ever since her debut — not just on her highly enjoyable, comfy streams but also on discovering what really makes her audience tick. Ever since she got access to the YouTube community tab, she’s been posting regular polls to find out her viewership’s opinions on a wide variety of topics. And I’m sure there’s something interesting we can learn from the results. Probably. Maybe. Possibly.
The first poll Finana posted was this question for the ages: pineapple on pizza or no pineapple on pizza.
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure why this has become a meme in recent years; the concept of a Hawaiian pizza has been around for as long as I can remember, and I only remember people ever having a “problem” with it in the last couple of years or so.
According to KnowYourMeme, the earliest known Internet thread on the topic was from January of 2009, when NeoGAF user TheGrayGhost (now banned, because everyone gets banned from NeoGAF eventually) expressed his surprise that it was so disliked.
A surprisingly lively and respectful debate ensued, with many people admitting that pineapple did indeed have a place on pizza if paired with the appropriate ingredients; pineapple and jalapeño was cited as a particular favourite for many people.
The NeoGAF thread seems to back up the surprisingly even results of Finana’s poll, which over 19,000 people participated in. All this suggests that hatred of pineapple on pizza is largely performative; a significant proportion of people are completely fine with it, and some even actively seek it out.
Perhaps the widespread hatred of pineapple on pizza being a meme is further evidence of negative messages on the Internet — or “hatebait” — tending to spread further than enthusiasm.
Emboldened by the surprisingly level-headed responses of her fledgling Ryuguards, Finana then asked another question along the same lines — this time concerning whether or not people believed pickled gherkins to have a place in burgers. Once again, the results came out mostly even, with those favouring pickles in burgers taking a marginal lead.
Although a taste for pickles on burgers is seemingly as divisive an issue as pineapple on pizza, this is not a debate you seem to hear anywhere near as much about these days, at least on social media. There are still plenty of memes about it, however, as a quick Google Images search will reveal; a popular image macro is some sort of variation on “the McPickle”, which is a burger stacked high with pickles after the “narrator” of the meme supposedly asked for none.
Given the nature of memes, it’s tricky to track down the exact origin of this image, because it’s put in several appearances over the years. This image dates back to 2017, for example:
Meanwhile, McDonalds’ Australian Instagram account made a surprisingly convincing promotional video for the “McPickle” for April Fool’s Day in 2019, to which they got a surprising number of positive responses — particularly from pregnant women who found that their situation caused them to crave pickles, even if they weren’t normally a fan.
I guess pickles are here to stay, then. I used to pick ’em off, but I don’t mind if they’re there now.
Finana’s next poll was less controversial and more about facts. Of the 16,000 people surveyed, 84% of them identified as right-handed, while 16% were left-handed.
According to studies — including Papadatou-Patou, Ntolka, Scmitz, Martin, Munafo, Ocklenburg and Paracchini (2020) and Scharoun & Bryden (2014) — between 10 and 15% of the population are left-handed, with the younger end of the population seemingly being slightly more likely to consider themselves left-handed.
This may partly be attributed to changing societal attitudes towards handedness, however; in years gone by, left-handedness was seen as somehow “different” from the norm — which in extreme cases might lead people to identify as right-handed when in fact they favoured their left hand. In more recent years, meanwhile, it has been embraced and accepted more readily, with a variety of products available in specifically left-handed variants.
Either way, Finana has a marginally higher-than-average proportion of fans who are left-handed. According to multiple studies over the years, this means you’re more likely to be good at sports. Go figure.
This one is just correct; nothing more needs to be said, really.
That said, according to Statista, the world slightly favoured dogs as of 2018, with 471 million dogs kept as pets worldwide compared to 373 cats. However, according to a 2021 social media study conducted by Australia’s Budget Direct insurance company, it seems that in terms of online photos, cats are more popular than dogs in 91 countries, while dogs are more popular than cats in just 76 countries.
According to this study, which primarily focused on Instagram and arguably had somewhat questionable methodology, New York City in the United States has the highest proportion of social media photos that are specifically dog or cat related, with 59.6% of these being about cats rather than dogs.
With that in mind, Finana’s results on this one would seem to back up social media trends — if not necessarily actual societal trends.
I mean, there really isn’t a lot to be said about this one. There are very few people in the world who don’t like waffles or pancakes, and thus it makes sense that this one would be split right down the middle.
The marginal win for waffles suggests that Finana might have some viewers in countries where waffles are a particular specialism, such as Belgium.
This one wasn’t a particular surprise. Milk chocolate dominates the market when it comes to confectionery, with dark chocolate often being positioned as somehow “luxurious” or more “grown-up”. Some people also shy away from dark chocolate due to its association with being “cooking chocolate” that shouldn’t be eaten by itself.
After an unfortunate black vomit-related incident during my university days, I can confirm one should not eat too much dark chocolate in one sitting, regardless of whether or not it is intended for cooking.
White chocolate, meanwhile, is still relatively unusual to see — and in some territories such as the UK it is even associated with childishness to a certain degree thanks to advertising such as Nestlé’s classic “Milkybar Kid” campaign.
This one actually was a bit more of a surprise. Given the prevalence of coffee shops worldwide as opposed to teahouses — yes, I know your average Costa serves tea, too — I thought coffee would have this one in the bag. Particularly as “I need coffee” is often used as a social shorthand for “I’m tired” or “I don’t want to be doing this thing I’m obliged to do”.
That said, in many regions coffee’s bitterness has somewhat adult associations, though this is often countered by the prevalence of milk-based drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes.
The statistics would seem to back up my surprise at this result, too; according to a study by Euromonitor in 2009, coffee outstripped tea to a considerable degree in the vast majority of countries around the world. Only a few — including the UK, thoroughly living up to our tea-sipping stereotype, along with Ireland, Chile, Morocco, Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, India and China — favoured tea instead, and it was often a close-run thing.
These are far from the only polls that Finana has posted to date — plenty more can be found in her community tab on YouTube — but these ones have all had about a month to stew so far, suggesting the results are probably the most comprehensive we’re going to get at this point.
What have we learned? Well, mostly that Finana likes polls — but also that her viewerbase is happy to share their opinions on a variety of different topics, and that they don’t always feel pressured to conform to popular meme-related opinions on supposedly “controversial” but ultimately completely unimportant subjects.
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