Robotic fantasy women. From Metropolis to Blade Runner, the idea of creating a humanoid female doppelganger has been an obsessive – and mainly male – fantasy since Pygmalion made his sexy statue in Ovid’s Metamorphosis. With the invention of robotics, the sexy statue has taken a step closer to reality.
In the district of Kabukicho, the mecca of gentlemen’s entertainment in Tokyo, seizure-inducing flashing neon lights advertise the thousand and one earthly delights one can experience for money. But between hostess bars and soaplands stands a sexy storm trooper’s invite into one of the venues. Here the robots have their own techno-cabaret.
A robot that can be programmed to act and look like a human female mate, albeit one that takes commands and won’t question authority, has a creepy undertone, but like Pygmalion offers a kind of perfected beauty without the possible pain of rejection. These sexy androids are especially popular for male Otakus, the manga-obsessed fringe of the Japanese population. Otaku or not, a visit to the robot cabaret intrigues on many levels. Thanks to Japanese robotics, like Venus granting Pygmalion’s wish to marry his statue, visitors to the Kabukicho Robot Restaurant can get close to their own robotic fantasies.
In the stroboscopic set of blinks and flashes, the Robot Restaurant highlights dinner with a unique performance; gigantic female machines, with large-breasted Valkyrie torsos and Gundam engine legs on wheels will dance and pirouette in an intriguing spectacle much closer to “ParaPara” (synchronized Japanese dancing) choreography than to an actual striptease. Modeled on video game characters, their cyborg faces mimic a large variety of positive emotions, rolling rhythmic eyes in their synthetic sockets, and equipped with “pneumatic busts” that can grow on demand. Each of these clockwork amazons is piloted by one or two actual living, breathing bikini gogo dancers, so onlookers can still enjoy a bit of human flesh.
The three-hour show resembles a kawai version of Tron, with a twist of J-pop and some sexy giggles.
Update as of October 2022: The restaurant is closed indefinitely.
Know Before You Go
Access is via the Shinjuku Station (Yamanote, Chuo, Marunouchi, Keio, Odakyu lines). You must show up 30 minutes before the show. Sunglasses and large wigs are not allowed. Despite the "restaurant" in the name, the place does not serve actual dinner. While there's popcorn, beer, and three dinner items up for grabs, the food is not as good as the performances. Choices are usually cold bento boxes and hotdogs and various type of snacks. Tickets can be purchased in advance, but during weekdays, there are often last-minute tickets that can save you some money.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic the restaurant was temporarily closed in 2020. It has yet to reopen as of October 2022.