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Column: Otaku

PESKY PERVERTS PRY ON OTAKU'S DOLLED-UP MAIDS. From the MAINICHI NEWS.  (Posted by dumbo of NYC, NY - November 02, 2006 10:43)
Akihabara, the one-time electronics district that has been turned into a haven for otaku, has now become a hotbed of "maid hunting" as lowlifes go after the domestic servant-clad cosplayers so adored by Japan's geeks, according to Shukan Asahi (11/10).

"Maid hunting" involves muggers targeting the hundreds of cosplayers catering to the otaku liking for domestic servants, with a growing number of young women accosted on the streets of Akihabara in recent weeks, the weekly says.

An 18-year-old maid has filed a criminal complaint to the Metropolitan Police Department after she was waylaid in Akihabara on the night of Oct. 17.

She was dressed up in her maid's outfit and handing out pamphlets to people as they left Akihabara Station. A young, bespectacled man approached her and asked for directions to her establishment.

The maid accompanied him there, heading up the dimly lit, narrow staircase toward her second-floor diner when the man suddenly turned on her, thrusting a knife in her face and his hand into her knickers before kneading her breasts. He eventually ran away.

Another maid, also 18, says the attack was not an isolated one.

"There have been at least eight other girls who've been targeted by this guy. A month ago, the same guy grabbed my ass a few times as I walked up the stairs. I turned around and gave him a real mouthful and he ran away," the maid tells Shukan Asahi.

Ea Moetto, the maid caf? where the assaults are taking place, only became a maid haven by default. Originally, it was supposed to become a peep parlor where guys paid for a private cubicle to watch adult movies and, well, practice their handiwork.

"I'd bought 3,000 adult DVDs and was hoping to open the peep parlor, but the government wouldn't give me a license because there's a university about to open up (and adult businesses may not operate within a certain distance of educational institutions). I had no idea what to do, but then came up with the idea of making a maid caf? with private booths. I don't get as many otaku customers as I'd expected. Instead, it's mostly normal guys who find us a cheaper alternative to a cabaret club. On weekends, I get as many as 100 customers a day," the operator of the maid establishment tells Shukan Asahi.

Ea Moetto charges 2,500 yen for each 30-minute session with a maid in a private booth, where the customer and cosplayer engage in such pleasantries as sharing a cup of tea or massaging shoulders. For 6,000 yen an hour, the customer may also escort maids outside the store on "walks."

"We strictly forbid anything sexual from going on, but, like cabaret clubs, don't ban love if it happens," one of the club's employees tells Shukan Asahi. "We had one customer pay for a maid for seven hours, then took her out on a date to Tokyo Disneyland." (By Ryann Connell)

November 2, 2006
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