Tokyo Damage Report

cosplay hostess bar!


("Costume Play Cabaret Club")

This is a type of hostess bar where you can pay $40 an hour to talk to a lady who is dressed up like someone who pilots a giant battle-bot, or perhaps a magical fairy princess with a short skirt.

I have to say, it is not the bee’s knees.

In the first place, I don’t even LIKE anime. But I decided to go, in the spirit of multiculturalism, and just ask everyone, "Yo, Miss? What planet you from? Miss . . .? What do you got in the way of super-powers, ray guns, things of that nature?"

And here is what I found:


They are not in character. See, in america we have like SCA guys and Rennisance Faire guys who actually ACT all mideval when they put on the costume. So, being the imperialist, bigoted American I am, I assumed the Japanese clubs would be like, “I am Konekosama from Princess Planet Super Mygar, here to enslave the humans!! And I demand that you order me a drink!”

But in fact, they just acted normal. The regular customers, although total anime nerds, apparently WANT to talk to Space Princess Super Fumiko about her chemistry midterm. Huh?


Not only are they not in character, most of the time, the women DON’T EVEN KNOW what the character’s super-powers even are!!

A typical exchange would go like this.

me: "So, um. Can you fly?"

her: "Um. Er." (to co-worker) "Hey, Kumiko! Can I fly?"

The reason for this is, the stupid-ass managers just choose the costumes for the workers when they start their shift. Not only does this garuntee that they can’t be in character, it also is a good bet that the costume doesn’t even fit. Great. So now it is unrealistic AND unattractive.

So anyway, we just wound up talking about Shoko Asahara and the tokyo subway gas-bombings instead. "So is the cult leader a mass murderer?" "No I would say he is more like a terrorist."

in Japanese terrorist is pronounced TERO. so instantly I thought of the Sanrio guy, KERO KERO KEROPPI. . . .and his new suicide-bombing cousin, say hello to TERO TERO TEROPPI.


The conversations are stressful because the managers are always poking their noses in to make sure you are not groping the occasional knee, and switching the ladies around like musical chairs so you feel like you are speed dating with a strict time limit.

The first lady seemed around my age, and I guess the manager had lectured her about “paying more attention to the customers,” because she put her head like a foot from mine and STARED at me without blinking or moving at all for like 10 minutes. Instead of being flirty or intimate the effect was startling and off-putting.

The last lady, maybe it was her first day or something. She just sat there and figited like we were a Hassidic Jewish couple on our Hassidic first date — you know, surrounded by 30 relatives all watching us and muttering.


But in truth, at least half the fault is mine. See, In my head I knew I was paying THEM to perform for ME, but force of habit made ME perform for THEM. Anyone who has ever been on a blind date knows what I mean. And I don’t mean to boast when I say that I peformed better than half the women I dealt with. Even though there was a language barrier, I was funny and attentive and drank when I was told to.


About awkward silences, filling them up is apparently the responsibility of the customer? And generating them is the duty of the worker?

For instance, I would finally ask a question like, “So, about this war you are having with the Megalons, how is that working out?” and she would be like, (5 second pause) “I dunno. This is a rental.” And I would be like, “Look, this is all fantasy anyway, right? Just make something up, lady. Jesus, I don’t really believe you are a space princess fairy general, I am just trying to have some interesting conversation here for Christ’s sake. Your job is to lie to men and make us feel important, and here I am asking to be lied to, so let’s get on with it.” And the worker would invariably NOT make anything up. I was like, “Jesus, you women should be paying ME!”

to sum up–

Having said that, though, I would heartily reccomend this club to guys who find that blind dates are not awkward or expensive enough, end in sex too often, and do not generally have enough lasers.



found out why guys go. The club IS selling a fantasy. But the fantasy is not, "I am dating a Space Princess Pirate Super Astro Babe With A Furry Tail." The fantasy being sold was just too subtle for my American mind to comprehend. but according to my pal, the fantasy is like, "I am an anime nerd, and i am dating a FEMALE anime nerd (finally!) , who has regular human activities, including cosplay, . . . . and she actually finds me interesting." I guess, compared to talking about her superpowers, talking about her everyday life is more like something an actual couple would do.

But still, as far as fantasies go, it is pretty fucking unambitious!

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