This was their experience!
If you were ever a fan of Japanese culture at some point in your life, then visiting a maid cafe must have been in your plans for the future at some point in your life. But, if you aren't as savvy with the culture, allow me to explain:
Maid cafe's were originally established in Akihabara to cater to the Otaku (a term with very negative connotations in Japan). In these locales the maid's pretend you're the master, and they are your loyal servants, they play games, perform cute dances, gestures, and overall do a great job at catering to their loyal fan-base. The maids are also extremely beautiful/youthful looking girls which brings a certain appeal to the male Japanese men who seek innocence in their "prey".
It's important to note that they are a very big part of the cosplay culture in Japan, which I am a huge fanatic of as can be seen in my profile picture. The different cafes have various themes and can include anime characters and even video-game ones.
One important thing to note is that almost everything you do with these maids cost money, for a fee they will play games with you
My family and friends are planning to all get dressed up and visit these various hot spots in Japan at some point. But, enough about that, let's get to what we're all here for, the sheer terror that was the maid cafe.
I was extremely surprised when my wife asked to go visit one since she justified it with the advertisement made the food seem cute and our son might have liked it. Boy, if only we had known how this would become a... nightmare. We arrived a few minutes apart from each other. Now normally any man would think that they would be extremely happy to be greeted by 5 or 6 Japanese women in maid costumes, but in actuality this caught me completely off guard and the look on my face must have been of extreme fear since they actually gave me some space to move as I unsuccessfully tried to explain that I was there with my wife.
It's not that that the girls are scary it's just the fact that it's all so unexpected, I had never been greeted as such at any event I've been in and because of that it was merely surprising. But, once I finally located my wife and pointed at her, I was allowed to sit down and join my family. This wasn't as easy as I thought because the only other patrons there were fat pimpled faced middle aged men wearing plaid shirts and for a minute thought that it was the wrong place. My first reaction was to ask my wife (who had the same look of terror and awkwardness in her face) what she thought of the place. Her response was "Dash, I think these girls are secretly psychopaths", I laughed nervously while looking around and asked what we should do? My wife suggested we run, but these girls are smart. They make you pay an entrance fee of 500 Yen to enter! They had us trapped from the beginning we realized that we were getting to the point of no return. Yet, we didn't cross that line until they brought the wife and me a cat and rabbit headband respectively (of course I chose the cat!).
At that point it dawned on me that we were already losing in a battle that I didn't even know had started, afterwards we settled in our table to order. My wife said she had already picked something out from the menu, but was too afraid to order anything. When I asked her why, she said they make you meow (Nyan-Nyan) every time you want to place an order. My dignity and manliness already in question at this point, I did the only rational thing that could be done. I ran outside that store faster than a speeding bullet... and I lied. Nah, I gave up the last shreds of dignity I had and looked at the one maid who spoke English, put my hands up like a kitty cat and Nyaned like my life depended on it (which it probably did because I could tell these girls were getting annoyed at us). When my hostess arrived I ordered a burger and my wife ordered a curry, and some pancakes which actually had a little kitty cat face drawn on it (seeing a pattern here? Yes we love cats) after it arrived.
When I finally had a chance to sit down and speak to my hostess, it turned out that she was a really sweet girl, so sweet she probably gave me diabetes. But, the best part came when our eyes locked and I peered into the seething darkness that was her soul. She was wearing some strange contact lenses and for some reason when our eyes met we couldn't stop staring gazing at each other (for different reasons I'm certain, mine was a deep sense of dread, hers was probably looking at this hottie *sizzle* and realizing that I was good looking). But, thankfully our order was ready and she went to grab it for us. My wife asked me what I saw in those Japanese eyes of hers. I said... the darkness within... I'm not the man I used to be Elba... Not anymore.
I was also informed that our hostess had tricked our wife into a package deal which came with a picture and the headbands we were given to wear during the visit. After, I asked for the check came the worst surprise. These places are expensive and we spent 55 dollars on a meal that was tiny. But, I justified it in my head by telling myself that it was all worth it for the experience, but we'll never come back.
The honest verdict for this place? I think it's scary as hell. I feel awful for the things that these girls have to endure and part of me believes that when they get to their houses one of three things happen:
A) They drop the facade and admit to themselves how much they hate their jobs and lives while drinking themselves into a drunken stupor.
B) They hurt small animals to release the tension from dealing with annoying and stupid customers (like us dumb foreigners).
C) Or they perform acts of sadomasochism to ease the pain they feel on the inside.
They're not for everyone especially those who don't enjoy being pandered to and treated like a 7 year old girl. Honestly, nobody needs to pay so much for the company of women who are literally getting paid to patronize you. They're certainly not for us here. While I understand this might be an unpopular opinion it seems fairly common among the members of the military community. The Japanese love them though and if you ever pass by Akihabara and want to experience true terror, please visit Maidreaming and see what a real living nightmare is.