Enjoy – Theater Review
It’s Gen X vs. Gen Y in this offbeat comedy of 21st century manners, that follows the romantic adventures of employees in a Tokyo manga cafe. A panorama, by one of Japan’s cutting-edge storytellers, of young workers adrift amidst economic turbulence and social change.
ENJOY is a new play at 59E39 by Toshiki Okada. And apparently he’s the hot thing in Japan. This is a story of 10 young people who work at a Manga Cafe which has got comic books and a video store. You can take a shower, take a nap, eat ramen noodles, rent a cubicle by the hour. It basically the closest I can come to it here is a Starbucks although you can’t take showers at Starbucks but the set gives no hints about this. It’s just a bare room which is supposed to be the waiting room and the actors come and go. They’re all supposed to be between 25 and 35 although one of the actors is admittedly 22. And they talk about their lives which are completely uninteresting. They talk about themselves which are completely uninteresting and unpleasant. As one of my friends said, it’s like a bad junior high school production of kids just getting out there and winging it. I assume this isn’t being winged as evidenced if nothing else by the fact that they all have Japanese names which doesn’t really make any sense. They’re all played by Caucasian actors. I just thought this was a complete waste of time. I’m sure it should have been something fabulous but it completely alluded me. Zero stars.