Life can be hard and sometimes all you really need to get yourself through the day is a good cry to let go of all your frustrations. Ikemenso, a Japanese therapy service based just outside of Tokyo, understands the healing power of a good, deep lacrimal release and is now offering a special service to help people cry the pain away.
For the reasonable price of ¥7,900 (about $66 U.S.) Ikemenso will send an attractive young man to your home or place of work who will make you cry (if need be) by showing you an emotionally wrenching video designed to get you into a good, sad space. Once you're crying, the man will gently wipe your tears away with a cloth or prop that matches his particular archetype.
"Ikemenso" is a portmanteu of the neologism "ikemen" (meaning attractive men) and the word "mesomeso" which means to cry. Each of the ikemen is modeled after a very particular kind of identity and aesthetic, the idea being that you can choose just what kind of man you want wiping the liquid sadness from your face.
According to Ikemenso's site, there are at least six different kind of men to choose from. We've gone ahead and ranked the men (based on their head shots) in the event that you find yourself in Shinjuku and think you might be interested in Ikemenso's services:
Though his name might suggest that he holds the sash and title to a city-wide competition, Mr. Tokyo actually comes across as the most generic of the men that Ikemenso has to offer.
For all his traditional charm, Mr. Tokyo seems like he'd be exactly the kind of background character in the movie of your life who would mumble the sort of hollow reassurances that would make you feel worse, not better.
If Mr. Tokyo had too little personality, one imagines that the Bad Boy would have almost too much to really be well-equipped to help you through your time of need. The Bad Boy's appeal is obvious: he's brusque and rough around the edges in just the right way. But ask yourself, would the Bad Boy really be able to understand just why the passive aggressive cashier at the coffeeshop has you so emotionally distraught? No, no he would not. Also his hands would probably be rough.
Where to begin with the Little Brother?
On the one hand, he knows you very well. He's been there for your highs and lows and the two of you will undoubtedly have a rapport unlike any you'd have with Ikemenso's other men. Bonus: no one said that your crying buddy has be a romantic crying buddy, so your familial bond doesn't have to be low-key creepy!
On the other hand, depending on what kind of stress you're coping with, the Little Brother might not be able to provide you with the kind of warmth and reassurance you might get from an older, more experienced man. Also the Little Brother smiles too much. Nobody wants to cry while someone smiles and watches.
The Intellectual is a complicated man. He, like you, is world weary enough to understand the anguish that made you summon him. He knows what it's like to contemplate the meaning of his existence while staring up into the sky.
He will gaze into your eyes as you cry and you'll know that he's not just dabbing away at your tears, he's looking into your soul. Or, at the very least, he's looking in the general direction of your soul.
Given his affinity for deep thought, you can assume that even while sobbing at the Intellectual, part of his mind is far, far away from you pondering life's more interesting mysteries.
The Sweet Dentist is a wild card. Like the Little Brother, he isn't a romantic companion by default, but that doesn't mean that he can't be. One imagines that he's a working professional, which is good for those work-related cries and, of all the Ikemen, his schtick is by far the most novel.
Depending on how you look at the the Sweet Dentist's whole dentistry thing is either a feature or a bug.
Pro: This man will (presumably) brush your teeth for you while you bawl your eyes out. The quality of one's dental hygiene can be severely affected by prolonged depression, so having an expert in oral health paying attention to your teeth while you're sad could actually be a great thing.
Con: Crying while having someone else brush your teeth sounds incredibly difficult and sort of traumatic if you really think about it. Also, again, it's weird when people smile while they watch you cry. Your call, though.
At the end of the day, you know the Showa-Era Man is the man best-suited to guide you through your scheduled, pre-paid, emotional release. Unlike the Intellectual, who's too caught up in his own head, or the Bad Boy, who's got his own demons to deal with, The Showa-Era Man is that perfect balance of experience, understanding, and stoicism.
His name refers to the more recent Showa Period (1926–1989) and is a reference to his age. He's more than a bit older than you, but quite a bit younger than your parents. He knows what it's like to feel alone, but also knows that loneliness can be a good, healing thing in and of itself.
He doesn't care that you're ugly when you cry, he knows that it means you're being honest with your feelings. He'll wipe away the tears and the snot and the spit cascading from your face with a steady hand and a decided lack of judgement. He will tell you that it will get better, and you'll believe him because he wears flannel, the most trustworthy of all the woolen fabrics.