host club

Amazing portraits of male hosts

CNNGo has a fun interview with Numata Manabu, a Tokyo photographer who has been creating commercial and artistic images of male hosts for five years. I love these group portraits. Numata-san wants the viewer to see the hosts as individuals, and believes that many are smart and hard-working.

Numata-san also describes a progression in male hosts’ visual style, from old-school enka, to Kimutaku look-alikes, other popular Johnny’s boys, gyaruo and visual-kei. I think the kimono look is extra-festive!

Boys school and butler cafes, open for men, too!

During my visit to Ikebukero, I descended the stairs to the entrance of Swallowtail, the famous butler cafe. I had a delightful chat with the butler door man, who told me in a gentle and soft voice that reservations are required. Or so I think.

Swallowtail butler cafe

Thanks to an internet tip, I also learned that Shibuya now has a European-style boys boarding school cafe, Edelstein, also aimed at fujoshi (腐女子), or female otaku into boys love. Here’s a photo of the interior. I need to find some girlish company to make a reservation and check it out.

Edelstein, Euro style boys boarding school cafe for girls

Thanks again, Adrik, for letting me know that men are welcome at these “girls’ cafes.” Adrik, if you’re in Tokyo before May 23, let’s meet there!

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