13 June, 2006

Hidden Otaku Cafe

Matt at Digital World Tokyo interviews the proprietor of a ‘male clothing cafe’, where ‘hidden otaku‘ women are served by androgynous waitresses dressed to look like male anime characters.:

MaledresscafeWord of Japan’s medo kissa or “Maid cafes,” where the staff call you goshujinsama (”master”) and serve omelets with love-hearts drawn on them in ketchup, has reached envious male geeks around the world, but what about the anime-loving women?

I spoke to one woman working to redress this injustice: Kira Ayumu, owner and proprietress of 80+1, a dansou kissa (”male clothing cafe”) in Ikebukuro, where the female waitresses dress as men for a spot of role-playing.

Can you give us a short description of 80+1?

TuxedomaskA hideaway for girls. Our all-female staff uses dansou to embody the slim lines of anime characters in a way that men just can’t. Women can get much closer to the two-dimensional feel of a male anime character. It’s a hip cafe that appeals to both the otaku and fashion-loving side of modern Japanese women.

What’s your clientele like?

Mostly sharp-dressing kakure-otaku (”hidden otaku”) — they have some otaku leanings, but you wouldn’t know it to look at them.

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by @ 10:19 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

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