This was originally supposed to be a caption to my Best Nine posting on instagram itself but I reached the character limit and didn’t get to say everything I wanted to. I’ll link to this from my instagram account so if you’re coming from there to read this, thank you for checking it out!
It’s not even the end of the year but all the cool kids are putting up their best nine so here’s mine!! We still have the Christmas performance on the 20th so this will probably change.
Time for some realtalk.
Honestly, when I started this Instagram account back on April 8th (I just checked my first post, lol) on my 3rd visit to the café, it was just a place for me to dump the pictures I take so my personal insta account wouldn’t get flooded and I could still have my own identity instead of being ~that guy~ that just takes a bunch of pictures at the maid café. If you scroll through, it slowly became less about the food and my personal experience and more about really trying to capture the mood during the weekly 1 hour performances the maids put on every week.
Before this, I barely took pictures, phone or otherwise. Having generated my best nine on my personal account, it turns out that I’ve taken more pictures on this account and have more likes. The Rebel XTi I’ve been using towards the latter end of this account isn’t even mine — I borrow it from my sister. The only real camera “training” I have is from my grade 10 photography class and I’m WELL out of high school. What I’m trying to get at is that I’m really appreciative to the Angel Café staff and management and, of course, the maids for allowing myself and other photography enthusiasts to capture the moments during the 1 hour performance and other events in the café. In contrast, many maid cafés and idol events in Japan are extremely strict about camera usage.
I am a idol fan and follow many underground idols but only really pay close attention to 4 or so different artists. I’ve been to Japan twice with the majority of the time being spent at idol related events and that’s a crazy community to be part of. I have a great deal of respect for a lot of the people I’ve come to know who are well respected in their idol wota groups for their dedication in developing and unifying a community of fans and going as far as to organize fan initiatives to further their appreciation and support for the people they cheer for.
When the café first opened and I became aware of the kind of potential there was to having something like that here, I was ready to support it with all my heart, but I quickly learned that I’m not a super social person and being the type to organize things on that kind of level really caused a lot of social anxiety. I tried to power through it as much as I could. There are some weeks where I’m hype af but then there have been days where even some of the maids went as far as to ask if everything was OK because I’m just wasn’t my usual self. It turns out I’m not quite the social butterfly I want to be but I think I can work on that for next year.
Another realization I’ve made over the months is that, at the end of the day, all of the ladies who work as performance maids at the café mostly perform for their love of dance and the stage. Unlike Japan, there is no market for the kind of idol-style entertainment here in North America. Even in Japan, there’s still a bit of a negative connotation towards idols and the idol fan communities even though there are many mainstream idol groups. A lot of the maids know this but still come out every week with the kind of energy that I can normally only experience in Japan. For this, I am grateful and appreciate that they perform week after week.
A lot of work goes into the production of the shows that, I think, many people don’t realize and without there being much of a career in it for the performers, there really isn’t much incentive outside of knowing the audience is having a good time and getting the crowd reaction after a good performance. Therefore, when you go to the café for performances, please give your honest feelings to them. Let them know you appreciate them. I try to show my appreciation for them and their efforts through flattering photos of them doing what they do best here on this Instagram account. Seeing their likes on the pictures with them in it is really all the thanks I need as a fan of their work.
2017 looks promising for further growth in the performance maid roster and song lists as well as the community as a whole, but as the end of the opening year of the café approaches, I’d really just like to say
Thank you, Maids.
Thank you, Staff.
Thank you, Café.
Thank you for choosing Toronto, Uncle Tetsu.