Cultural grime in Japan is like gold. I love wandering around the not-so-nice areas at night, seeing who is propositioning who and for what. I have no desire to actually blow cash in a soapland theater, but the sleaze factor makes suffering the hawkers worthwhile.
Shibuya and Kabukicho makes for good, close-to-home slumming. The aforementioned Login party was held at the Ruby Room, which sits just a bit inside the periphery of Shibuya’s naughtiness. This apple sums up the Japanese approach to commercial sex. In the west, everything is approached from the lust angle. Bras and panties are as revealing as possible, for example.
Japan takes a more “cutesy” approach. At first blush, it’s just an apple with a cartoon face. Interesting nose that face has got there, though. And cute is how it’s all approached: girls strive to be “kawaii,” cute, lingerie shops pass over the low-cut and revealing in favor of the thickly padded with little blue or pink flowers or hearts.
Of course, none of this is absolute. Kevin over at bastish.net talks about one ad that takes a sharp left when it hits cute and heads straight for sexual innuendo. But in general, it’s cute over sexy here.
All of which reminds me of the Tiny Toons scene where Dot screams out, “I. am. not. CUTE!”