Maid cafes are a dime a dozen in Tokyo’s geeky Akihabara district, but Kigurumi Cafe t.t.t. one-ups them all by introducing waitresses wearing full-body suits and creepy plush heads to reallybring anime characters to life.
Wikipedia defines cosplay as a performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. You’ve probably seen cosplayers dressed as popular video game or anime characters at geeky events, or at least photos of them posted online. But few people know there’s an extreme type of cosplay known in Japan as Animegao or Kigurumi. It implies not only wearing a character’s costume, but also an oversize fake head complete with giant anime-style eyes to bring popular 2D drawn girls into our 3D world. If you’ve seen my post on Anna Amemiya, the half-human half-anime model, you already know what I’m talking about, if not, get ready to be freaked-out.
If you thought Japanese maid cafes, reptile cafes or vampire cafes were weird, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Featuring a staff of seven differently-costumed anime faced maids Kigurumi Cafe t.t.t may seem like an otaku’s paradise, but it’s actually pretty darn creepy. Inaugurated in 2011, the bizarre venue has already gained considerable popularity among members of Tokyo’s anime-loving community, who come her to be waited on by kigurumi bishoujo (“beautiful young girls”) they fantasize about while watching their favorite shows. Although the cafe’s site mentions that “touching the maids is prohibited”, clients are allowed to take photos of the waitresses and even interact with them for an additional fee. The real-life anime characters will even play mini-games with customers, but as not to break character, they will only communicate with them via body language and in writing.
Kigurumi Cafe t.t.t. has already started booking reservations for this fall season, in case you’re interested, and it even has a new cast of anime-dressed waitresses. The question of what’s really behind those costumes remains, but judging by the success of this place, it doesn’t bother very many people.