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In the Jdrama Todome no Kiss, there's a male host at a cabaret-style club, and before he goes out to the host floor, he drinks this energy-drink looking thing.

energy drink

What the heck is this supposed to be? At first I thought it was an energy drink to keep the host attentive during the job. But then I read the label, and it's "todome, shoubu shitai yori ni, umanami" (basically "going in for the kill, for night's you want to go for it, like a horse"). So I get this is some kind of sexual stimulant but...what exactly is it? The host is a young man (early 20s), doesn't have erectile dysfunction (like some older men who need viagra or something), and isn't drinking it before going to bed with someone, he's drinking it before going to the host floor where they chat up and drink with girls. And I'm not sure where "horse" factors into this....

Maybe I'm just a man who's too innocent and literally just asking a sex ed question on Japanese StackExchange, and if so, I'm sorry ;-;. Fwiw, the drink seems to be an important plot point that's constantly recurring, so having some idea what it actually is relevant.

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It is just a kind of viagra, except that the effect is less scientifically attested (I suppose). I've heard taking viagra without medical advice can be dangerous; drinks like that in the picture are sold for something safer but less effective (or simply dubious), as far as I understand. Just like normal energy drink, people drink them to 'work hard', regardless of the real necessity of it.

For the naming,

  • とどめ is used just because it is used in the title of the drama.
  • 勝負したい - not necessarily sex, but making advances in sexual relationships is often considered as 勝負, as can be seen in 勝負服 or 勝負パンツ (basically clothes or underwear for 'special occasion', what is special depends on contexts - dating or going to bed is one of them).
  • うまなみ connotes sexual vigor. (You can see this chiebukuro regarding this anime song).

So, the drink just says it will help the drinker to be energetic in bed (like a horse). You can think it is simply a watered-down viagra (or maybe sexually oriented Red Bull).


Added (probably off topic JLSE-wise).

Regarding aphrodisiac, it looks a broader concept. The kind of drinks in the picture is (usually) exclusively for males and called 精力(増強)剤 as naruto suggests. Its supposed effect is to increase sexual power, not necessarily desire. Traditional ingredients include すっぽん or まむし. Aphrodisiac seems to include what is called 惚れ薬 or 媚薬/催淫剤1.

1The Wikipedia definition includes drugs for erectile dysfunction, but I believe the emphasis of 媚薬/催淫剤 is on increasing desires. Of course, they may end up doing the same thing, and these things are not something clearly defined and there are some ambiguities.

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    I think the word you're looking for in English is aphrodisiac. They're meant to affect the user's psychology (and energy level); Viagra has blood-thinning properties and is designed more to make things physically easier, so to speak. Commented Mar 23 at 7:26
  • @KarlKnechtel Maybe you are right, but I have no idea how they are different, bio/chemically speaking.
    – sundowner
    Commented Mar 23 at 9:33
  • They have these types of drinks everywhere. It's not exclusively a Japanese thing, and @KarlKnechtel is right that the English term for them is "aphrodisiac".
    – cmw
    Commented Mar 23 at 17:57
  • @sundowner シルデナフィルは局所の血流に作用します(元々心臓病の薬として開発されたくらいですし、気分には影響しません)。このドリンクはもっと全般的な気分とか精力的なものに作用しそうなのでこっちのつもりなのだと思います。
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 24 at 2:17
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As you've correctly surmised, this drink is clearly not an ordinary energy drink (like Red Bull or Monster Energy) but a drink intended for increasing one's libido. Young men normally don't need such a drink, but it may be useful for a host who deals with women every day. I think he is drinking this basically as a substitute for Red Bull, not as a substitute for Viagra. I don't know the story, if but if this drink comes up repeatedly, it may simply mean his job is so hard that ordinary energy drinks are not enough for him.

馬並 is not a Japanese idiom or set phrase, but if you haven't seen what an "excited" male horse looks like, try doing an image search to see for yourself.

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