Excitement coursing through our veins in the early morning of March, we hopped off the train and traversed through the winding underground passage towards the west side of Ikebukuro, searching for exit 1A. Upon seeing the signage pointing towards the exit and a few twists and turns, we located the stairs leading up to the ground level. We then quickly made our way towards Ikebukuro Torico for the day’s Boys’ Love (BL) cafe agenda: PVT Cafe.
But what’s PVT Cafe?
It is a collaboration cafe with Ikebukuro Torico and two BL manga titles under Home-Sha Inc.—Simplified Pervert Romance and Rational Pervert Romance. Both titles are collaborative works between author Nanako Semori and artist Neg Sekihara. “PVT” plays with the word “pervert,” so you can just call it “pervert cafe” (LOL).
Simplified Pervert Romance is a story about the lone wolf, delinquent-looking Yuki Kashima, who gets his high from getting hit by guys, and his new handsome classmate, Ryouji Sanada, who intervened in one of his fights. What started as some meddling turned into an eventful day, akin to opening a can of worms as both sides discover each other’s secret “perversion” that snowballed into a complicated relationship between the two.
Rational Pervert Romance, on the other hand, is a spin-off with Shou Uzuki, a side character from Simplified Pervert Romance, as one of the main characters this time around. His eccentricity leads him to a fateful encounter with the manly Naoto Yoshihisa in women’s clothes!
Enter the PVT cafe
We descended the dark staircase to the basement onto the entrance of the cafe. We found ourselves enchanted by the overall atmosphere of the place. A unique cafe and gallery situated like a live house complete with romantic dim lights setting and slow music playing in the background, quite a scene that embodies its Tokyo metropolis flare.
Inside the hall is a well-partitioned area that separates the cafe space from the colored illustrations and reproduction manuscripts display area. Deep in the center of the room, propped on stage are four massive signage screens that flashed different PVT Cafe adverts: two PVT Cafe art illustrations, a digital menu spread, and venue exclusive goods guide.
The tabletops are artfully overlaid with its PVT Cafe-themed illustrations, choose between the couple of your choice or opt for the group spread; either one is perfect for taking food pictures. In front of the stage is a long high table with introductory leaflets neatly piled in a clear case free for everyone to take. Behind it is a craft space in which you’ll spot a red scrapbook with the author and artist’s names in kanji placed on the table where you can scribble messages and draw illustrations. There are even slips of paper, colored pens, and stickers provided in designing your message notes to Nanako Semori sensei and Neg Sekihara, now isn’t that neat! Just next to it is a low table with blue clear file folders arranged on top filled with drafts and comments from the creators, all files waiting to be perused. Be careful and look at the sign that says you can’t take pictures of it. Another worth checking is a specially signed illustration board for the cafe collaboration with all the main characters drawn and signed by both the author and artist; you can find it inside the glass display case on the side.
PVT Colored Illustrations and Reproduction Manuscripts
A wonderful collection of colored illustrations is the first thing that will catch your attention on the right-wing of the room. The artworks displayed include numerous private art illustrations for Pocky Day, Simplified Pervert Romance 2 release, and winter greetings, to name a few. Noteworthy are the illustrations for the 2019 and 2020 Chil Chil BL Awards nominations, 2019 Kono BL ga Yabai! nomination and 5th place ranking, as well as the 1 Million Pixiv page views. Next to it are a compilation of carefully selected reproduction manuscripts for Simplified Pervert Romance volumes 1 to 3, and Rational Pervert Romance. The fun part with these panels is that you can read comments from the editor on certain scenes such as, “This line is so like Yuki” or “This scene (Ryouji removing his surgical gloves) is as per Semori-sensei’s passionate request.” It’s entertaining and gives a much more personal touch to it as if letting the fans in on some secret. Also, we made sure to check the very last panel, which includes a display of character design sketches, book cover drafts from conception to final art, and Chil Chil augmented reality (AR) draft plan. The last one is absolutely adorable since they used chibi drawings of Yuki and Ryouji.
PVT Cafe Menu
Of course, our BL cafe trip won’t be complete without trying the concept menu PVT Cafe has to offer, so we ordered everything from their curry omurice to drinks. The Ryouji’s special Yuki-exclusive curry omurice (#1 on the menu) has a rich Japanese style curry sauce texture and taste, while the omelet covering the ball of rice in the center is soft and creamy.
Naoto’s Special Parfait (#2), our personal favorite has granola topped with honey, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream and slices of kiwi and lemon. Image drinks for each couple are also served: SanaKashi’s drink (#3) is a butterfly pea drink with red jellies while Shou-Nao’s image drink (#4) is REAL GOLD, a popular carbonated drink in Japan with green jellies. There are also alcoholic drinks: a tall glass of gin tonic with the PVT cut-out (#5) and Kahlua Milk (#6). Last but not least is a cup of black coffee (#7), a good finale to wash the aftertaste of curry and the saccharine parfait after a filling meal.
Since we ordered the food, dessert, and all drinks on PVT Cafe’s menu, we get to have one random acrylic coaster for each order! We tried our luck, opened the packets, and nearly got all the designs except…
PVT Cafe Goods on Sale and Mobile Game
Available for purchase at the cafe are PVT Cafe-themed acrylic clear files, acrylic stands, and acrylic keyholders. You can also buy physical copies of the manga of both Simplified Pervert Romance and Rational Pervert Romance at the venue with HorinLoveBooks benefits.
On top of the physical goods you can purchase, there’s also a game that fans of the series can enjoy. All you have to do is pay ¥400 at the counter to receive a serial code, which you need to enter to access the game. Read the QR code at the goods section and follow the arrows to progress in the game. Players get the chance to read a special episode on the eve of PVT Cafe’s opening especially written for the cafe by Semori-sensei. Fans are also in for a treat as this episode has 8 illustration cards and 2 manga especially drawn by Sekihara-sensei. Endings will depend on your choices, so make sure to try all the routes!
One more for those feeling extra lucky, the gashapon area, which offers PVT cafe tin badges, has more exciting prizes in store for its guests beyond the surface. Aside from acquiring PVT Cafe exclusive tin badge designs, the cafe added slips of paper inside the capsule containers that can either win you signed prints or signed acrylic coasters. They even placed the said prizes right on top of the gashapon machines and a few others inside the glass case for extra motivation.
PVT Cafe postscript
After paying the ¥500 entrance fee, you get one out of the two versions of the newly drawn double-sided card that is randomly given as a bonus.
When ordering food, you have to go to the counter and pay as you order.
Once your order is ready, they will call your number for you to pick it up.
Return plates, glasses, and other cutlery at the bar counter.
There’s a special counter where you can pick and exchange your random acrylic coasters or tin badges, so do check it out.
PVT Cafe Details
|Date and time||February 28 until March 15, 2020|
|Place||Ikebukuro Toriko (Access Map)
Osaka Taniroku Toriko (Access Map)
|Entrance Fee||Ikebukuro Toriko: 500 yen
Osaka Taniroku Toriko: Free
|Official Site||https://www.manga10.com/schedule/756/ (in Japanese only)|
PVT Titles on futekiya
Simplified Pervert Romance is available in English in the futekiya Library. The first chapter is available to read for free. Subscribers have access to succeeding chapters.
Rational Pervert Romance is scheduled to be released on May 26, 2020. The date is subject to change without prior notice.
About futekiya: BL manga subscription
In 2018, futekiya began as a Boys’ Love manga news and culture website operated by FANTASISTA, INC., a CG/VR production studio based in Tokyo, Japan. futekiya transformed into a budding global distributor of officially licensed BL manga in 2019.
futekiya launched as an online subscription service for officially licensed BL manga on July 8, 2019. Determined to connect fans around the world with English-translated BL legally and conveniently, futekiya empowers readers to support creators and the manga industry.
Readers who subscribe to futekiya and pay a flat monthly fee of $6.99 will have access to our expanding library of English-language manga. To subscribe, please go to read.futekiya.com and create an account. More information is in our guide.