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Repeatedly I see that people in animes drink milk, often after bathing. Females tend to say that it helps to grow their chest. Is that true? But also male characters sometimes drink it, like Kurozuma Watarufrom.

Oishii~ milk

Image from thedreamingotaku. Sanae Dekomori from Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai in episode 5.

What is the meaning behind the drinking milk trope, what do people gain from it and why is it shown so often in anime?

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    It's healthy for you and builds bone structure. also stops you ending up like Edward Elric (who hates drinking milk) – Memor-X Feb 17 '15 at 22:59
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    This probably largely comes from the fact that, unlike in the USA or Canada, in Japan you can get milk from vending machines fairly reliably. It's a really common beverage, both in vanilla and flavored forms. (And since you mentioned bathing, I'll point out that public bath houses all have milk available either in the change room or lobby.) – Killua Feb 17 '15 at 23:24
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    This is such a bizarre question. Why do people drink milk? Why do people drink anything? – senshin Feb 17 '15 at 23:28
  • @senshin You are right! I edited my question. I hope it is better now... – Gerret Feb 18 '15 at 0:46
  • @キルア and by "both in vanilla and flavored forms", I suppose you mean "unflavored and flavored", not "vanilla-flavored and other-flavored", right? – Mindwin Feb 18 '15 at 17:35
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There's probably no one answer for why they drink milk in general, but as far as the bathing, it's considered a traditional drink in Japanese public bath houses after a soak:

There is usually a refreshment cooler here where customers can self-serve and pay the attendant. Milk drinks are traditional favorites and sometimes there is ice cream.

Most places don't know how the tradition started but it's been around for a long time and some people say that milk drinks (not just plain milk but also milk+coffee) taste particularly good after a hot bath.

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