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Kawaii Love Bomb: if i can't have you, nobody will

Phoenix Luna had only just graduated middle school when he began work as a construction industry. Having grown up in the Tochigi prefecture of Tokyo, his father had abandoned the family, and his mother lacked the financial resources to raise him. He had ended up in a youth institution, but by 20 years old, Luna was homeless on the streets of Tokyo. He was left to get creative with what he had, which led him to working as a bar host at a place called Fusion By Youth.

Though a bar host may sound like a pretty average job to us Westerners, this was a different type of host. In Tokyo's Kabukicho district, a string of clubs known as 'hosuto kurabo' employ good-looking males from ages 18-27, whose jobs are to pour drinks and provide company to lonely female customers. The conversations are mostly light-hearted, and can range anywhere from flirting to showing off magic tricks. The young men generally take on stage names, pulling reference from popular manga or movies, which is how Phoenix Luna chose his name.

Luna was a popular host at his club and with commissions, he was finally able to support himself comfortably. One of his regular clients was Yuka Takaoka, a 21-year-old manager at a similar club, but with the gender roles reversed. Despite being surrounded by men all day at work, Yuka found it difficult to meet men she was attracted to, and would frequent these types of clubs as a paying customer herself. She found herself smitten with Luna, and even though contact between host and client was prohibited outside the club, Luna found himself falling for Yuka too, spending many nights at her apartment. After a few months, Yuka was ready for an exclusive relationship. While Luna was prepared to oblige, he would not agree to her stipulation of quitting his job as a bar host. And so, love could not conquer all.

Yuka was heartbroken. The rejection sent her down a spiral of depression, jealousy, and eventually violent thoughts.

In May of 2019, still in contact, Yuka asked Luna to come over to her apartment to help with a cleaning project. Luna agreed, but after arriving three hours late due to work obligations, he said he was exhausted and asked to take a nap before helping her clean. Luna took a bath and then fell asleep in Yuka's arms. He awoke shortly after with severe stomach pain, and as he pulled the covers back, Luna saw that there was a large kitchen knife protruding from his midsection. Above him was Yuka, staring with fiery eyes.

Luna managed to fight his way past Yuka to make it to the building's elevator, but when he reached the lobby he had lost too much blood. He collapsed, and with Yuka standing over him he managed to say

"Please don't kill me. I like you."

Before completely losing consciousness.

When the police arrived to the apartment complex, they found a bloody Yuka Takaoka sitting next to Luna, smoking a cigarette and talking on her cellphone: an image that the press managed to capture. She showed no remorse, and was even caught grinning in the back of a police car in a separate photo. Both photos made it viral, and before long, the internet became infatuated with Yuka's yandere, or obsessive, female lover, esthetic. People idolized her beauty, and began sharing instagram photos of Yuka dressed in anime costumes in kawaii poses.

"Since I loved him so much, I just couldn't help it. I was sad and seeking to die, and I thought how i would go about it...

...I thought i would kill him because I thought that was how I could be with him.

I did not call emergency services because I intended to kill myself after watching him die from the stabbing."

Due to the extreme amount of blood he lost, Luna took five days to regain consciousness in the hospital. He underwent a series of surgeries, as well as months of counseling, and survived with an eery optimism.

"I do not hold a grudge, I think there was a reason for her to stab me. It was also thanks to her that I was able to achieve the sales that I did in less than a year since I became a host."

When he had arrived at the hospital, police were tasked with finding any of Luna's blood relatives to notify of the incident. They managed to track down two of his siblings.

"I met my older brother and older sister for the first time in five years. I'll be very happy to stay in touch with them in the future."

Despite living through what could be considered a decent horror movie plot, Luna Phoenix returned to his job as a bar host. One can only hope that this ordeal has helped his sales, and that the red flags of obsessive clients are just a little more obvious to him from here on out.

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