The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief informs me (and Tokyo Mango informed them) that The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief is now available online, free, in its entirety. I reviewed this magnificent documentary when it ran at Docfest last year — here’s my review or, hell, go ahead & check the thing out online.

In Osaka, a thriving Japanese metropolis of 2.7 million souls, there’s an establishment known as Stylish Café Rakkyo, aka “The Great Happiness Space.” At Rakkyo, gorgeous women pay for the attentions of “boy hosts,” such as the club’s owner, 22-year-old Issei. In a business model not too different than at some strip clubs across the U.S., the girls purchase vastly overpriced bottles of champagne for consumption by them, their friends, and the male escorts. A high-rolling dame can drop over a million yen (let’s say, $10,000, give or take), and Issei admits that his best-ever customer left Stylish Café Rakkyo about $50,000 lighter. Now that, my friends, is a damn fine champagne.

What’s being sold, of course, is not Cristal and Dom Perrignon, but the time and attentions of the hosts. Issei has turned this gig into an art: The service of choice is the illusion of a relationship, to the tune of perhaps a dozen young women proclaiming their love and adoration for Issei throughout the course of Jake Clennell’s magnificently entertaining documentary, The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief.

Read the rest of my review at Eros Zine.


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