Silver Huntress (May 28, 2010)
This seems like a debate question, but it has to do with Japanese culture so...
Are maid cafes able to survive outside of the Japanese region-specific cultural contexts?
First of all, a definition. A maid café, is not quite just like any other café. The waitresses in these themed cafés dress up like nineteenth century French maids and treat the customers as if they were their masters and employers in a rich estate. Even the décor suggests a rich household setting, fitting with the concept of role-playing. The fantasy aspect of it draws customers in, as well as the fact that the maids looked like they just jumped out of an anime/video game. Maid cafes are of course popular amongst otaku men in Japan, who feel at home in the anime-oriented environment and are delighted to speak to these maids who are so attentive to them, seeing as how many of them have a hard time holding a conversation with a regular girl.
There are massive amounts of maid cafes in Akihabara and other places like Nihonbashi in Osaka, all places known to be the locality of otaku culture. They serve regular cafe items, except that if you order an onigiri the maid will shape it herself at the table in the form of a happy bunny, and if you order an omeraisu, the maid will carefully squeeze ketchup out to draw a cute neko face on top. You call the maids over using a decorated bell, and when they take your order it's common for them to kneel dutifully beside you. You can take a picture with your favorite maid, play games with them, and in some maid cafes they ask you to join them in giving adorable magical blessings to the food to make it taste better.
Now, would these be popular in America? Think of the image a maid projects: innocent, cute, dutiful, loyal, and attentive to their master. Would men in America/Europe nado pay to go to a maid café?
Silver Huntress (May 28, 2010)
We have something similar along those lines, but not quite the same...
Its called Hooters.
Abu Dhabi (Mar 20, 2010)
Isn't the difference between Hooters and maid cafes an excellent way to describe the differences between American and Japanese culture, and what their men look for in a woman? Admittedly there are hostess clubs which may be closer to the topic, but still.
Japanese men want cute, non-aggressive women, while American men want sexy women who come on strong; a Japanese man would be horrified by a big-breasted, scantily dressed tall woman hanging on them, while an American man would be bored by a girl who does nothing but stand there and look cute.
We all ready have restaurants where girls dress scantily or in school uniforms. In this economy no one will go for something new for awhile.
Yes like aceman67 said we all have the same thing really just in a different theme. In Arizona we have a place called the Heart attack Grill and it has all the girls dressed up as Nurses instead of Maids. But they do go there for the women they aren't thinking pure thoughts when they walk in. They have one thing on their minds.
Last edited by The Beatle; Mar 20, 2010 at 11:08 AM.
!beast (Mar 20, 2010)
Last edited by rematche; Apr 08, 2010 at 01:01 PM.
I took a sexuality and culture class in my Japanese university where we learned that kawaii culture in and out of bed is indeed deeply influenced by what Japanese men look for in a woman. Is not gyaru culture a direct counter to this kawaiiness?
Also, for my Japanese class, I surveyed 50 Japanese college students, 25 boys and 25 girls, for my "Dating in Japan" project, and I definitely noticed a trend where Japanese young boys are still quite afraid of aggressiveness in Japanese girls. Japanese girls themselves say they can not be too "all-over" a guy, or he won't like it. Notice that these are students of an international university, where they encounter foreign students everyday, and still they have an underlying belief that girls should be cute and non-aggressive.
Of course things are changing, and the younger generation of girls, especially the bboy generation, don't give a damn about what boys think and do what they want. But my generation of 20-23 year-old girls are still pretty damn kawaii as hell.
BUT, we are talking about the otaku community here. Otaku don't have the chances you have of talking to real girls, because they're just too shy and inept. Fantasy is all they believe they have in their life.
Would American culture allow for a cafe full of innocent, attentive maids to open up in order to cater to those fantasy-inclined, socially-inept Americans? That's the question I want to ask.