Hey everyone! This is Ayumi, your favorite writer from MANGA.TOKYO!
Last time, Princess Café held a very successful collaboration with Yuri!!! on ICE. Now, the café will collaborate with Bkub’s sensational gag manga Pop Team Epic (in short: Poputepipic)! This popular manga has the titles of many famous manga awards written on its cover, such as ‘Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2016 (This Manga is Amazing! 2016)’ and ‘Zenkoku Shotenin ga Eranda Osusume Comic 2016 (Best Manga Recommended by Bookstore Clerks 2016)’ (notice how I just said ‘written’, not ‘won the award’, haha). The manga has gained increasing fame in the past few years, especially online. Today, almost every otaku who uses anime icons for their twitter account knows this manga written by Okawa Bkub.
(By the way, Bkub has even contributed an illustration for MANGA.TOKYO! See the article below!)
The stories that Bkub writes are something that could be categorized as ‘Manga Surrealism’. To be honest, when I first read Pop Team Epic, it was too surreal and strange for me. I thought ‘What in the world is this story about?’ However, as I read on, I was charmed by Bkub’s world. I have now become a big Bkub fan, and have even reached the point where I’m covering a story about a collaboration café! As you can see, Pop Team Epic is a manga that can strongly capture the hearts of people. Once you are charmed by it, you can’t stop loving it. The cynical comments of the characters are also a fascinating factor of the manga. But never use them in daily conversation!
During the summer of 2016, the Princess Café at Kichijoji collaborated with Pop Team Epic. It became a topic of conversation among all otaku online, and they were all wondering whether the event promoter had lost their mind. However, once the café opened, it became such a great hit that customers had to get numbered tickets and wait in line to get in. That is why the collaboration is coming back in Spring 2017, and this time, the café will open all over Japan!
As a big Bkub fan who always uses Pop Team Epic LINE stamps, I just could not miss this chance.
Therefore, once again, I have visited and interviewed Princess Café in Osaka!
The Chaotic Interior of the Café
During the collaboration with Yuri!!! on ICE, the café had a girly atmosphere, almost like a princess’ room. What kind of interior decorations would the café have for the collaboration with Pop Team Epic, the manga that even its author calls ‘Kuso Manga (Crappy Manga)’? Since I couldn’t imagine how they would make it look, I just opened the café door. And this is what I saw.
▲The room was completely yellow.
Not at all princess-like!!! Is it really the same café that I visited before? By the way, during the collaboration with YOI, the place was like this.
▲ Although it was on a different floor from Pop Team Epic’s collaboration, it’s the same store.
Pop Team Epic has never been adapted into an anime nor a drama CD, so it does not have any official soundtracks. However, some sort of BGM was playing in the café, and if I were to describe the music, I’d say it sounds like ‘RPG background music used in weapon shops or out on the streets.’
Umm, excuse me, where is this music from?
Store Manager: I don’t know for sure, but it must be copyright-free music, I think.
Thank you for such an ambiguous answer that best matches the world of Pop Team Epic.
Inside the café were two types of seats: The ‘Believer’s Seat’ and the ‘Anti’s Seat’.
You can choose either.
The table of the ‘Believer’s Seat’ was covered with a flowery-patterned tablecloth. On the other hand, a goza (Japanese rush mat) was spread on the table for the ‘Anti’s Seat’. The goza was much wider than the table, so it was really inconvenient. You need to be careful where to rest your elbow, or you’ll rest it where there is no table, slip and knock down everything or worse. I guess the anti-fans do not deserve comfort.
I wanted to know which type of seat was more popular, but on the day of the interview, a group of women happened to choose the ‘Believer’s Seat’ and a group of men were sitting in ‘Anti’s Seat’.
Store Manager: It was like a scene from one of the worst blind dates ever.
I'm a good-for-nothing otaku who works as a freelance web writer.
I live in Kyoto, Japan, but I am so often in Tokyo for anime-related cafes and products that people frequently misunderstood that I live there. Yowamushi Pedal helps me overcome all difficulties. I'm also a huge fan of Touken Ranbu! In order to deliver to you the latest otaku info and trends, I'll keep dwelling in the 2-D world. Thank you very much!