Fighting Evil By Moonlight, Enjoying Cute Drinks By Daylight
Everyone has that one television show that defined his or her childhood. For some it was the Power Rangers, Pokémon, Family Matters or Full House. For countless children in the 1990s that show was Sailor Moon. Personally, Sailor Moon has played a key role in my life. Growing up, it taught me to believe in myself, to believe in love, and to believe that girls can (and will) kick butt! So when Toei Animation announced they were going to release a new Sailor Moon adaption I was ecstatic! Not only did this mean new, updated episodes but it also meant new merchandise and new promotions! One type of promotion has been Sailor Moon cafés. From January 16th, 2016 to February 14th 2016 there was a Sailor Moon Crystal café in Osaka city and as soon as I heard about it I made sure my friends I had a reservation!
The cafe was held by アニON Station Osaka in Namba Parks. The website indicted that we arrive 15 minutes prior to our reservation. If we were going to be late, we had to call otherwise we would lose our spot. My friends and I met up at 10:40 in Namba Parks however the cafe was closed, along with everything else! Turns out our reservations for 11:00 were the first for the day!
Finally at 11:00 Namba Parks opened up and we could head up to アニON Station for our Sailor Moon cafe date! アニON Station is right next to an arcade with purikura, which was fun and convenient.
The outside was decorated with Sailor Moon posters. When you first walked inside, there were shelves of Sailor Moon goods on sale. There were goods such as a small travel mug, a white and pink towel, manga, dvds, key chains etc.
After getting past the merchandise we were taken to our seat. Around the tables were small television screens with frames meant to look like pictures. They changed between stills of the characters. They also had Sailor Moon goods on display. There was one giant screen projected on the wall that showed ads for Sailor Moon goods (such as makeup) as well as clips from the new Sailor Moon Crystal.
Each table had menus, information cards, ordering cards and light sticks. You could turn the light sticks on and press the button to change colours. We were given instructions about them but unfortunately I missed half of it, as I was too busy chatting with my friends! But I didn't ever see anyone else use them so I figured I didn't miss much.
Another cool feature was that there was a list of songs at each table. If you wanted, you could use twitter and hashtags to request a song and they would play it!
The menu was quite simple, but super cute! You could choose between two options; the Crystal Star Pancakes or Usagi’s Not-So-Well-Made Rice Omelette. The omelette came with two takoyaki balls made to look like Usagi's hair buns, added as an "Osakan touch" to the dish. Both dishes cost 1,000 yen (approx. $12.23 CAD, $8.88 USD). You could also choose a special drink based off of your favourite Sailor Moon character! It cost 700 yen (approx. $8.56 CAD, $6.22 USD) and you could choose from Sailor Moon, Chibi Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus. They also offered simple, not themed drinks such as basic coffee and tea on a separate menu.
We all ended up ordering the Crystal Star Pancakes. I am a sucker for pancakes! Looking around at the other guests I noticed that those who ordered the omelette seemed to get it fairly quickly whereas the pancakes took a bit longer. But whether or not this was based on cooking time or when we ordered I couldn’t be certain. For my drink, I ordered the Pink Moon Tiara.
The drinks arrived and they were just as cute in real life! They had ice cubes that glowed (all the drinks had this, except for the Chibi Moon drink) and they came with a matching coaster and marshmallow. My drink was sweet and delicious! I am not usually a fan of super sweet drinks. Maybe because it was Sailor Moon, maybe because I love peach, but I really enjoyed it! It sort of reminded me of a Shirley Temple like I used to get at Swiss Chalet back in Canada (any readers out there know Swiss Chalet? Best. Chicken. Ever.)
Finally our pancakes arrived and the design was so precious! I almost didn't want to eat it! But of course I did. It was one big, thick pancake. The coloured candies on top plus the maple syrup made it extra sweet but because the pancake itself is small (despite being thick) you finish it before OD'ing on the sugar.
They also give you a place mat with a picture of Chibiusa and Usagi. It is made from just paper, and I saved it instead of using it as a place mat!
As everyone was seated at the same time we all finished around the same time. People seemed to be getting ready to pay when the projected screen started to play the ending of a Sailor Moon Crystal episode (Act 26). It was funny how everyone became quiet and watched the entire clip. We were all true fans! Once it finished everyone got up to pay and leave. It was then that I realized they must have reservations made in shifts. To be honest I am not sure but with the clip and everyone leaving sort of together I got that feeling. The website did state that each reservation is limited to 90 minutes as they anticipated a huge number of patrons.
Overall I had a wonderful time! The location was easy to find, the food and drink were yummy, and enjoying the cafe with other fans left a positive feeling all around. I would highly recommend it if the cafe ever comes to your town. The only improvement I would suggest is hiring male waiters who dress like Tuxedo Mask!