Around Akihabara station, the geek and gadget filled shops contain some weird, questionable stuff. Wandering around there last week I stumbled across something particularly bizarre.
Now I am quite comfortable with the concept, if not the practice, of talking to women. I am also aware that is possible to hire a woman, even buy a woman. But I never realised until last week you can make your own woman.
Now do not get carried away. You obviously cannot construct their minds (no market for this), but you can build their 60cm high bodies, limb by limb, and then dress them in seasonal outfits. I saw these creatures, the so-called Dollfie Dreams, on the 3rd floor of a store called Volks. Except for me, the other customers were all adults, mostly but not all male, and some foreign.
Wandering around, my eyes were bursting out of their sockets trying to take it all in. The most shocking, ghoulish section of all was ironically the enormous display of eyeballs . These eyeballs come in a variety of sizes, shape and colours and cost 1,000yen (8pounds) for a pair – even tightwads surely would not buy just one.
The visit was made more disturbing by the fact that outside the store were dozens of young girls in school uniform trying to convince customers to come into maid cafes (also popular with foreigners).
Given Japan`s extrenely low birthrate, are the dolls acting as a substitute for children? I don`t know. But the fact the Dollfie Dreams website is in English and that many of the customers are foreign suggest this is a global issue.
So we all need to talk about this. Or is it just me who is confused? Are cleavage or legs not so important anymore? Is it now just all about a good pair of eyeballs? What`s next? Ears? Heart? Soul?