Another month, another maid café opening. Cute Room opening in Akihabara on Oct. 4 boasts a bevy of girls who offer a wide range of services from a relaxing shoulder massage to a slap in the face. Why on earth, you ask, would any self-respecting otaku pay for this, when you can get smacked in the gob free of charge while taking up skirt shots of girls on the Yamanote Line?
Despite the obvious advantage of avoiding prosecution by the transport police for perversion, there are added advantages of doing this in privacy of the maid kissa (café). First, you get to dress the girl up in a costume of your choice. Then she can act out the moe (roughly translates as character charm) of your favorite tsundere anime character. The tsundere character type is basically a pretty disagreeable figure, whether it be stroppy, conceited or just plain mean, who suddenly becomes sweet and agreeable in certain situations, revealing her inner charms.
To see a tsundere girl in action watch this video of the Little Sister maid café in Akihabara. It doesn’t contain subtitles, but here’s the gist of one of the funnier moments. When the men are at the door of the café, the girl says, “Why did you come here? Just go home. Well, if you’re going to stay standing in the way, you might as well come in.” After grumpily throwing down their napkins, she takes their order, grumbling, “That’s a pain to make.” As you see, toward the end of the video, she finds it hard to keep her tsundere character up as the hosts of the show tease her and she bursts into giggles.
While we would consider Haruhi Suzumiya from the popular anime “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” to display tsundere character traits in her treatment of love interest Kyon, this is a highly controversial opinion, as many fans feels Haruhi is altogether too energetic to be truly tsundere.
Cute Room isn’t the first maid café to offer a slap service. Cafe and Kitchen Cos-Cha has a service where you get to play a game with the maid to decide what goes into your mixed juice drink. You then have to finish the drink in one gulp or get slapped. At Cute Room a slap will only cost ¥1,000, but that’s on top of the room and costume charge, which will set you back for ¥5,500 an hour. While that might seem a little steep, Cute Room’s individual selling point is that you can enjoy your humiliation in the privacy of your own room. After being disciplined, your tsundere sweetheart can show you her soft side by reading you a bedtime story . . . for an extra ¥1,000.