Kanzen naru shiiku: Maid, for you (Japan 2010)
Moe Moe Special Beam!
Japan’s maid cafes are an otaku culture offspring fighting for its share of the mainstream kawaii cake enjoyed not just by male nerds but ordinary citizens and normal girls alike.
In Maid, for you the ‘always two steps behind the trends’ master filmmaker Kenta Fukasaku provides his essay on the subject, enhanced with 3D sex scenes.
Maid, for you a ridiculous entertaining affair, accurately missing almost every intellectual point, and most likely not on purpose. Of course, in reality, maid cafes are silly let loose entertainment for most customers, and employ a very much entirely sane staff.
None of that would go well with Fukasaku’s nerd-maid kidnap romance but nor does it have to. The reality is out there, this is a movie. Grab a beer and enjoy the ride, filled with cinematic wft-moments, cute maids, occasionally quite beautiful digital cinematography, and gravure idol gone nude Ayano’s 3D assets that home technology does no justice.
– A series of 7 movies (so far).
– The premise is always the same: a man kidnaps a woman and tries to educate her into a loving partner.
– The series is highly uneven, with entries varying from Masaki Kobayashi’s art house drama (the 5th film) to the more serious minded kidnap film (the 2nd film), and post-modern semi-parody (the 1st film).
– The third film is a Hong Kong co-production, shot in HK, and starring a multinational cast.
– Naoto Takenaka stars in the first film, and plays a supporting role in all others, except the 6th entry.
– Other notable supporting stars and guests include Shinya Tsukamoto (1st film), Lam Suet (3rd film), and Ken’ichi Matsuyama (4th film).
– The female stars are as follows: Hijiri Kojima (1st film), Rie Fukami (2nd film), Kana Ito (3rd film), Hisako Shirata (4th fim), Keiko Oginome (5th film), Mika Ito (6th film), and Ayano (7th film). All of them appear topless in the films.
– Hisako Shirata (the female star of the 4th film, released in 2003) was Japan’s selection for the 2006 Miss International Contest. It caused a small scandal when it was afterwards discovered she had starred in a movie where se does nude and sex scenes. The judges were completely unaware of her past career.
– Exploitation is the purest form. See an innocent maid brutally kidnapped! Witness a forbidden romance between an otaku and maid! Watch a pure girl turn into a sexy beast!
– Uses every otaku-cliche found in the book.
– Was not a big release in Japan. It only played in a couple of major cities, skipping many cities like Sapporo (population: 1.9 million).
– There are only 4 or 5 scenes in 3D. These include 2 sex scenes, 1 dance scene, and possibly something else (I watched the film in July or August so I can’t remember so well).
– The Japanese DVD release comes with two pairs of red&blue 3D glasses. With casual TV set at least, you can hardly get any 3D effect, just distorted colors.
– Cute Japanese girls dressed as French maids, serving over-priced coffee and chocolate cake, and occasionally singing and dancing a bit (depends of the cafe). Photographs at premium price.
– Customer is referred as goshujin (master)
– Has its roots in Japanese otaku (geek) culture, but is effectively making its way to mainstream as silly and harmless “let loose entertainment.
– The phenomena is not sexual in nature, but instead a part of Japanese kawaii (cuteness culture). Innocence is the key word. Still, a maid cafe secretly offering sexual favors (probably run by the yakuza) was discovered by the police in Akihabara.
– Originating from Tokyo’s Akiba (Akihabara) district – the official geek block full of Anime and IT shops – but spreading to other cities (saw one in Sapporo, too) and even foreign countries. In Akiba you can find them easily – just grab a map from a street maid.
– Some maid cafe’s have Engrish speaking maids.
– Increasingly popular among female customers, especially university age girls.
– Variations exists, most notoriously, zombie cafe!
– Ayano is a former gravure idol. Her current “gravure status” is arguable, as she has topless scenes in the film, and has appeared in nude photos before. Gravure idols are typically swimsuit etc. models who tease but never show real skin.
– Ayano’s full name is Ayano Oami.