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The Great Happiness Space (Original Japanese Version with English Subtitles)

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Jake Clennell

Welcome to The Great Happiness Space: Rakkyo CafĂ©. The club's owner, Issei (22), has a staff of twenty boys all under his training to become the top escorts of Osaka's underground love scene. During their training, they learn how to dress, how to talk, … see full wiki

Tags: Movie
Director: Jake Clennell
1 review about The Great Happiness Space (Original Japanese...

[3.5]--I will call this "Pimping Japanese-style."

  • Mar 13, 2008
I don't know much about the Japanese industry on this but I thought it was a interesting outlook. Throughout the world almost everyone that visits strip clubs or even brothels enters the exchange with the understanding that it's just flesh for money. "The Great Happiness Space," is a documentary by director Jake Clennell. Clennel profound us into the world of Japanese host clubs in after hours Osaka. Here, young men spend their nights providing physical but mostly emotional attention to women - or clients as they're referred to. In the early evening men pace the streets and woo women into a club in hopes of scoring a wealthy girl in needs of lip service.

Upon first visit the woman selects a "host" from a book, and he becomes the person that she will always spend time with. Often multiple women spend time with the same host. Competition, more accurately financial competition, ensues for the host's attention. A talented host can find themselves making thousands of dollars per night. In the U.S. women have the upper hand in nightlife entertainment. They are handed free drinks and always command attention from men individually or in groups. Even strip clubs, once considered blighted trash accessible only from neon lit back alleys, have become more acceptable as entertainment venues for both men and women.

The opposite exists at 'Cafe Rakkyo' in Osaka. The men of this and other host clubs seduce women with sweet talk, understanding, champagne, and large stuffed teddy bears. These women pay out the nose for the attention and companionship of the hosts. And they know that the attention and companionship is an act, but conversely they admit that an emotional connection exists. If the women suffer emotionally then the men suffer equally as much physically. Owner Issei explains that the trickiest part is keeping female clients "in the dream," - that is the host must continue to sell the dream that they could be together and in love at some point. When reality hits, as it did for one client, the game is done.

My only fall out about this film is that it dragged a bit long and not really develop into any profound conclusions. Both sides are brutally honest in discussing their realities, to the point it makes everyone else in the world seem like an opportunist just like them. The truth is, this is what everyone else is doing in every relationship in their lives. Telling people what they want to hear, going along with what happens at work because you need the paycheck and compromising your virtues to the point of denial. The gigolos convince themselves what they're doing is justifiable. Strangely, the men seemed more effeminate than the women. Putting a lot of effort into their hair and jewelry, to the point of becoming freakish. Another interesting analogy is that these gigolo boys seem to be "pimps" to the females in the movie. The females sell their bodies to make money to spend on the males. I certainly don't believe Osaka as a whole is nearly that seedy. But strange subcultures exist and are fascinating.

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