Casual Fujoshi Musings: Butlers and the Butler Cafe

Today, a friend and I managed to do one of the things a lot of anime fangirls would want to do should they have the chance: visit a Butler Cafe.

Okay, so it’s not a real one. I don’t think there’s an actual Butler Cafe here in the Philippines unless you mean those that you see in anime conventions. We went to Blush Con, a yaoi/BL convention (and I swear I will tackle that later!), and one of the attractions that they offered was the Butler Cafe. Of course, who were we to turn down the chance to be waited on by a handsome butler? And so we signed up and so we found ourselves waiting outside this room that was designated for the cafe.

It’s not surprising that we’re probably one of the older patrons and it’s also not surprising that we’re not the only ones who had lined up. The line was long and filled with squealing, excited young-uns, waiting for their chance to experience firsthand to be a Butler Cafe Princess for 30 minutes. There was an uproar when one of the organizers came up and said that only 15 pictures will be allowed in the next session (you can pay P50 for a chance to take a polaroid picture with your favorite butler). And just like the disillusioned old ladies that we were, we rolled our eyes and muttered about the kids expecting too much. They had no right to complain as they haven’t paid for it yet; complain when you have paid for it, kids! It was then that we decided that we won’t be taking a picture with our favorite butler, because we didn’t want to get in the middle of that madness. Even if one of our good friends happened to be one of the butlers. It’ll be okay. We can ambush her some other time and then we can take as many pictures as we want, haha.

And then it was our turn. And ohmyGod, our Butler was cuuuuuuuute. He was tall, cheerful and moe. He called himself Moo. He tried to recite the whole menu from memory and he failed, but it’s okay. He looked adorable doing it anyway. Our simple afternoon tea was certainly made more exciting by his presence. We played some games with him and we interviewed him a little. Apparently, he was dragged into doing the Butler Cafe by his brother and it was his first time. He said it was all kinds of awkward and then he looked weirded out and edged away when one of the girls in our table dragged out her BL paraphernalia from the con. Then he asked what fanservice was and I had to stare and ask, “Are you for real?” Because really. Really?? You work in a Butler Cafe and you don’t know what fanservice is?? He soon got what it was though when he had one of the Butlers come to our table. He leaned in to whisper into his ear and one of the girls in our table squealed. A moment later, he was asking if he was doing fanservice by grabbing the other butler by the hips. Thirty minutes passed by so fast and the next thing we knew, we had to get up and leave. Moo said goodbye and gave us all a hug, thanking us for coming. He even saw us out. He was such a sweetie and I pretty much could say that I enjoyed my time at the Butler Cafe. Too bad we didn’t get to have our picture taken with him.

It made me wonder, though, was it all real? Was Moo really that sweet and cheerful and awkward? Was his story of being recruited by his brother true? Did he really not know what fanservice was? The happy customer in me wanted to believe that it was, that Moo was really like that in real life, but the fangirl who did her research knew that Butler Cafes catered to women who had their fantasies.  Fantasies of being catered to by handsome young men who appreciate and enjoy their company, who will give them hugs, see them to the door when they leave and look forward to their return. It was just a bit sad to think of something like that after being taken in by the magic that was the Butler Cafe. And Moo, too, who took care of us very well while we were with him.

Will I be going back next year for another Butler Cafe session? I don’t know. I pretty much know how to ruin a fun, happy, thing, I think. No one said that I didn’t over-analyze these things and I did it a lot. So I don’t know, we’ll see. Who knows. Maybe next year, I’ll actually have a real, cute, huggable guy who wouldn’t mind playing games or having afternoon tea with me and I wouldn’t have to pay to get him.