As you probably know, our ace reporter Mr. Sato has his own special way of doing things. Rather than just going to check out a popular speedy steak-cooking restaurant, he instead cooks the steak himself and shoves it in people’s faces. Rather than just buying some butter, he straps a bottle of cream to a helmet and goes around a track in a racecar, getting the g-forces to churn it for him.
So when he heard about the ganguro dress-up and makeup cafe Black Diamond in Shibuya, he couldn’t just write a quick review of the place and be done with it; he had to become one with the cafe and its staff. This is the story of how Mr. Sato became a fashionable gyaru for a day, and we have the glorious pictures to prove it.
For those unfamiliar with the terms, ganguro or gyaru fashion usually involves girls darkening their faces with bronze-colored makeup, wearing extravagant clothes, colorful wigs, and other accessories. It can be a little off-putting the first time you see it, but it certainly adds a little color and spice to anyone bored by normal fashion.
The Ganguro Cafe was only a short distance away from RocketNews24 headquarters, so Mr. Sato and his faithful companion Sanjun headed out to see what it was like. Little did they know what the rest of the day had in store for them.
▼ The innocent sign outside provides no clues as how it will transform you forever, inside and out.
As soon as they stepped inside the cafe, they were greeted with this sight:
▼ “Welcome to our land of rainbow and fingernail extension wonder!”
It was a bit overwhelming at first, but the girls were all extremely nice and helpful. Here they are one by one:
▼ The very, very pink Erimokkori.
▼ Fingernails-for-days Ayuyun.
▼ Poofy-hair Pomitan.
▼ Purple curls Konomin.
▼ And Baabii, who came from Texas just to be a part of Black Diamond.
▼ Here’s a closeup of those nails. I hope she doesn’t have to wear contacts….
▼ And here are the shoes they wear. I can now finally say I’m impressed simply by someone’s ability to stand up.
▼ The inside of the cafe, which turns into a normal bar at night, hence the lack of rainbow color and cute things everywhere.
Once our reporters were finally feeling settled in, the menus came out. You can order one of five sweets that comes with an autographed postcard of one of the girls. You can get a doughnut, banana shortcake, chocolate cake, coffee jellies, or egg pudding.
▼ But the thing that caught our reporter’s eye was the item at the bottom: an ice cream eating contest with the girl of your choice.
▼ As if there were any other option after seeing that on the menu.
▼ And Sanjun actually won! Apparently he was the first to ever defeat a staff member in icy battle, so yeah, he’s got that going for him!
▼ They also ordered one of the cafe’s specialties: Ganguro Balls, which are takoyaki (fried octopus balls in batter) made with black squid ink. Depending on your tastes that may sound disgusting, but we can assure you they are delicious.
▼ There they are, black takoyaki. Anywhere else you’d think they were burnt, but here, the takoyaki are just being fashionable!
▼ And what better way than to wash them down with some colorful cocktails. The alcohol also helped them loosen up for the next part of the visit….
▼ There it was, staring at them from the bottom of the menu: a Get-Your-Own Gyaru Experience, complete with makeup and purikura photo session. They’d come this far, it was time to dive into the deep end.
▼ Sanjun: “Wait, you mean I have to dress up like a gyaru?”
Mr. Sato: “No, it’s too expensive for both of us. I’ll just do it.”
▼ Sanjun was in much higher spirits after that conversation.
Now Mr. Sato has had some experience with getting all dolled-up in the past, but this was on a whole new level. Still, he didn’t let fear get in the way, and he just sat down and let the girls get started working their magic.
▼ Mr. Sato, saying a final goodbye to his old self.
▼ These girls are pros, applying makeup like champs without even having to remove their nails.
▼ Ah yes, there it is! The orange gyaru glow is starting to shine through!
▼ Mr. Sato gets a very nice line of white to show off his well-defined nose bones.
▼ He kind of looks like a guy who remembered to put sunscreen only on his nose.
▼ And out come the big guns. Mr. Sato is looking quite dapper with his eye shadow and eyelash extensions.
▼ A bit wobbly-eyed, but we’re getting there!
▼ Geez, you could take out an eye with those things! I mean, besides your own!
▼ Wow! Mr. Sato, you are so kawaii!
▼ Uh, that’s a lot less kawaii and a lot more confusing.
▼ And a set of lower eyelashes complete the facial makeup. Now it’s onto hair!
▼ Mr. Sato, if you’re going to wear that wig then you need to…
▼ …smile! There we go! Kawaii!
▼ Mr. Sato is almost one of the gyaru, there’s just one more thing he needs….
▼ Oh yes. The clothes truly do make the man.
▼ Fun fact: the universe peaked at the exact second this picture was taken, and everything has just been downhill since.
▼ I can’t even tell which one is Mr. Sato anymore.
▼ Is he the upper left one? No, the bottom right one?
▼ Everyone looking away from the camera in proper gyaru fashion.
▼ And now it’s time for purikura! Just a short, horrifically embarrassing walk down the street away.
▼ Mr. Sato doing his best to smile.
▼ Ah yes, giggling while writing on the photos – a time-honored purikura tradition.
▼ What a cute souvenir for Mr. Sato to remember his new friends by.
▼ And that brings us to the end of Mr. Sato’s gyaru adventure. If you go check out the place yourself, don’t be surprised to see him working behind the counter, trying to get customers to order his cigarette smoke-infused cow tongue off the menu.
Name: Ganguro Cafe
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Udagawa-cho 34-6 M&I Bldg. 5A
Hours: 11:00-7:00 Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun
Photos © Rocketnews24
[ Read in Japanese ]