Believe it or not, our crack Japanese-language reporter, Mr. Sato, has been struggling with his self-image recently. In recognition of all his hard work, we decided to spring for a makeover for the poor guy, and not at a pet grooming salon like we did before.
No, this time, Mr. Sato is getting the full-on host bar treatment, complete with a photo session commemorating his transformation into a guy so hot women would pay money just to sit and drink with him.
The RocketNews24 offices are located in Shinjuku, not far from Tokyo’s Kabukicho pleasure quarter and its warren of hostess and host bars. As Mr. Sato walks past the latter on his way to work, he can’t help but notice the photos of suave, handsome hosts plastered on the signs of the establishments they work for, and by the time he gets to the office, he’s completely depressed over how uncool he thinks he looks by comparison.
▼ Mr. Sato, in his everyday form.
But with a job that sits at the crossroads of modeling and hospitality, certainly hosts don’t just rely on their God-given good looks, right? As in any profession where appearances count, they obviously put a lot of effort into grooming and fashion, and those glossy photos that reel customers into their bars are taken by professionals. So we decided to see if we could get Mr. Sato looking just as sharp as a Tokyo host.
First up was a visit to AnZie, a beauty salon located on Omotesando in the trendy Harajuku neighborhood. AnZie’s stylists took Mr. Sato’s salt-and-pepper hair and dyed it a youthfully fashionable light brown, and also trimmed and styled his powered-up locks.
The makeup artist also touched up our man’s face.
Since no one’s been able to definitely settle that argument about whether the clothes make the man or the man makes the clothes, we decided to cover both bases by outfitting Mr. Sato with a fitted suit and subtly bold purple dress shirt.
▼ Is…is that really you, Mr. Sato?
▼ Oh, we guess it is.
But while he had the look, Mr, Sato still wasn’t quite capable of walking the walk. Hosts are supposed to be dripping with confidence, but the suddenness of his transformation had him feeling just a little tense when we turned our camera on him.
So our next stop was Urecco Studio Men’s, a photo studio in Kabukicho that specializes in taking professional-use pictures for hosts and host bars. “Is there any way you can help me?” Mr. Sato nervously asked as he stepped into Urecco, and the smiling cameraman assured him “You’re gonna look great!”
Being pros, Urecco’s services don’t come cheap. A two-photo set will cost you 5,400 yen (US$45), and each additional pose is 1,080 yen more. Still, the staff knows its stuff, and as the camera clicked away, they gave a steady stream of easy-to-understand advice to Mr. Sato, telling him to loosen a shoulder here, gaze of into the distance there, and make other subtle adjustments that he wouldn’t have thought of on his own.
So is it worth the price? Well, remember, Mr. Sato started out like this:
And here’s how he looks in his Urecco-produced host photo portfolio.
Seriously, we don’t think we’d have been able to recognize him, and we see him every day! We never knew the guy had so much sexiness in him.
▼ It’s just wrapped in several layers of silliness.
So on your next girl’s night out in Tokyo, take a close look at the guys in the host club, because one of them might just be RocketNews24’s very own Mr. Sato.