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Maid cafes

When I saw this headline, ‘Maid in Japan’ cafes treat geeks like lords, I thought, “That’s old news to people who’ve seen Densha Otoko.” I went on to read the piece, thinking it would be a neat culture explanation to link to, and to my surprise came across the following:

Patronage is also on the rise among young women, some hoping to snag a geek and turn him into Prince Charming in a real-life imitation of last year’s hit movie “Train Boy”, a love story set in Akihabara that also became a popular TV series.

Hahaha! (Although they should have mentioned that “Train Boy” [“Train Boy”?!] was based on a true story.)

The article also mentions some things I didn’t know, like the following:

Hair salons in Akihabara are also cashing in on the trend.

At one such establishment called “Moesham”, stylists dressed as maids give shampoos and cuts to a mainly male clientele not intimidated by the salon’s decor, which resembles the bedroom of a young girl besotted by hearts and lace.

A few customers even come three or four times a week for a shampoo, said Yuki Todo, stylist-manager at the shop.

Too bad they don’t explain “moe“. From Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC:

萌え 【もえ】 (n) (1) sprouting; budding; (2) crush (anime, manga term); fascination; infatuation.

Obviously the “sham” is short for “shampoo”.

I’d like to go to a maid cafe at least once. I’m afraid, however, that I’d feel the same way I felt at the hostess bar: awkward and somewhat irritated.