Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Robot Restaurant, Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo

    The Robot Restaurant is one of those outrageous experiences that needs to be seen to be believed.  I went with a friend who described it as the most typically Japanese thing he'd ever seen.  Forget the 'restaurant' part of the name, you get a 'bento' box set for 'dinner' (read, cheap and convenient, available for microwaving from any convenience store).  But that's not the point.  The show is everything, and beer is served.
    It's a great touristy thing to do, and friends of mine still living in Japan when asked if they had been to the Robot Restaurant yet replied that they hadn't, but would consider it if friends visited from overseas.  Fair call, but I wouldn't have waited personally.  But I like outlandish kitch stuff like this anyway.
    There is a 'plot', or rather sequence of events would be more accurate, and I'll walk you through them via the photos.  Or you can just go for the pretty pictures and make up your own story.  That would work just as well, but with the stuff that went on, explaining it to friends that hadn't seen it, I felt like I was making up the most outlandish shit I could think up on the spot. I was nearly ready to call 'bullshit' on myself, it sounded so laughably outlandish in the light of day. 
    But it's real, my friends, oh so real...

The entrance is a couple of floors down, and the gaudy stairs are still no indication of the horror that awaits...

 First up, is a semi-decent Taiko show performed by semi-dressed ladies.  This will become a regular theme (not the Taiko)
 After a costume change, the girls come out again as a marching band.  Of course.

 After another break, at this stage, I'm wondering a little whether I've been let down a bit.  The stop-start has killed the atmosphere a bit.  But then the chain fences are brought out and the battles begin.  The reason for this becomes real obvious real quick.  The costumes aren't so good for seeing out of, and the action gets a bit real.  Then it's on like Donkey Kong.  First up, Champion Robo Big Boss Vs King Godzilla!
 Next battle, Champion Robo Big Boss Vs Kung Fu Panda.  Kung Fu Panda gets his tail handed to him, and he retreats...
 ...only to return charging in on a cow!
  Then it's Cutie Honey with a Captain America Shield and a Thor Hammer vs mecha.  Cutie Honey Wins!  Flawless Victory!
Then there were some girls on the back of a robot Armadillo attacking some mecha.  I'm not making this up!
 To celebrate, we then have a good old-fashioned Roller Disco.  With Robot dancers and robot DJ on the back of a truck.  Because Japan.
 Then the huge robot women that get carted around town as advertising get ridden into the roller disco by scantily clad girls.
 Then the giant robots come out for a dance.  For real.  They are basically large puppets from what I could gather, controlled by a ninja at the back.  I'm not making this up, honestly!
 The ladies explain that, before the finale, folk can come out and have happy snaps taken with the giant robots.
 Meanwhile, other scantily-clad ladies are suspended in seats above the customers, ready to go for a ride around the floor.
 The Robots are ready...
 The girls are ready...
 Just a quick reminder of the rules (basically don't be a lecherous jerk) in English!
 And we're off!
 This is the bit you may have seen on Youtube.  A bomber comes out of one side, with cute girls hanging from all parts and lights and sounds going nuts.
 A random portable toilet gets ridden around because it can
 Remember all the while, the girls suspended above you are giving you high fives while this bizarre show is happening...
 We all got handed these mini-light-sabers to wave around while this was going on.  Yeah, look down, below the nice girl, you might see a couple.  Of mini light-sabers that is.
  The Bomber circles around with its payload of scantily clad performers
 Limbering up for the final battle...
 Then the camouflage tank attacks from the opposite direction.  Camouflaged in a disco that is, with lights flashing, and cleverly hidden under more scantily-clad girls. 
 And it's tank vs bomber in the raucous finale.  And the winner?  All the innuendo flying about the place.  Stuff that up your Glee!
 Tanks for the show!
And back outside, the robots are taking over Kabukicho.  This is what I came to Japan to see.  

 My images do not belong to the Public Domain. All material in this portfolio is owned and © copyrighted by Peter Pascoe (Doctor Pedro). Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from myself is prohibited by law. All rights reserved.

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