Hi, everyone! This is Ayumi with a new Manga.Tokyo themed cafe photo report! I went to visit some very handsome swordsmen at Tower Records Cafe. The swordsmen of Touken Ranbu -Hanamaru-!
Touken Ranbu -Hanamaru- is a Fall 2016 anime series that is living up to the expectations (it’s a very popular onlien game) with its excellent quality. I am one of those fans and that’s why I visited the collaboration cafe, Anime Touken Ranbu Hanamaru x Tower Records cafe.
I have lots of pictures, so let’s get on with it!
●The warriors welcome you at the entrance! A citadel in the corner of Tower Records.
My reservation was for late in the evening at 8:55 p.m. I didn’t expect the place to be so busy! I was welcomed by a huge panel of the main characters in front of the cafe. At the time I arrived, everyone was so excited and busy taking pictures.
Kashuu Kiyomitsu, Yamatonokami Yasusada, and the errand boy for the lord, Heshikiri Hasebe
Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki, Sakamoto Ryouma’s favorite sword (on the left), and Shokudaikiri Mitsutada, Date Masamune’s sword (on the right)
Yamanbagiri Kunihiro (on the left), and Kasen Kanesada (on the right)
Shishiou (on the left), and Yagen Toushirou (on the right)
There were many more! Since all the stands were life-sized, the female fans were checking them out and standing next to them. I also tried standing next to them, smiling to myself and thinking things like ‘This boy has got long legs!’ and ‘Yagen is so small and cute!’
As the staff guided me inside, I heard that the speakers were playing the opening song, Hanamaru-biyori! The screens were showing the anime commercial, and the customers were saying things like ‘How cute!’ and ‘What to do?!’ It’s been a year and a half since the game was released by DMM.com, and it’s overwhelming for the fans to have the chance to see the otherwise static illustrations as moving characters that talk to each other. Fans on Twitter call the series as ‘the anime that will make you lose your words out of happiness’. I wholeheartedly agree. All the customers I saw there were so happy. This is the Touken Power, or should I call it the power of the otaku culture!
This is the Touken Power, or should I call it the power of the otaku culture!
At collaboration cafes of anime shows targeting women as the major fanbase, you often see fans bringing a stuffed doll of their favorite character. I asked a friend of mine who loves the series to come with me and bring some plushies with her.
You can decorate them in line in the cafe or take pictures of them with the dishes, and just enjoy the cafe with them as you like! It’s just another way to show off how much you adore the characters!
●The menu is based on the Touken Ranbu characters
First, we took some drinks.
Hasebe’s Grape Calpis-Soda:
The grape flavored Calpis tastes pretty good. The family crest on the rim of the cup is edible as it is actually a wafer!
Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki’s Caramel au lait:
Caramel au lait was pretty sweet. The cream on top was very thick and rich. Those with a sweet tooth won’t be able to resist! It tasted like Meiji civilization. (a quote from Episode 3.)
Hachisuka Kotetsu’s Blueberry Yogurt Ginger:
This drink was my favorite. It had a rather light taste. If you are attempting a Drink Fight (what fans call the act of ordering and drinking many kinds at once for special coasters and gifts), I’d say this drink would be the easiest to go with.
I could only visit there late in the evening, so I could only order desserts, but their food menu looked very nice too.
Yamanbagiri Kunihiro’s Biscuit Sandwich:
They reproduced Yamanba Kunihiro’s white cloth so accurately! As ‘don’t call me pretty’ is his line and he doesn’t want the cloth to be too pretty, it’s dirtied with chocolate powder. Such a subtle detail to the dish made fans at the cafe let a sigh of admiration. You could hear the fans saying ‘how precious’ and ‘so cute’ here and there. The biscuits had whipped cream and fresh strawberries, with vanilla ice cream on top; a perfect combination that can never fail. It’s too perfect and great to damage it by piercing it with a fork. I ate it saying ‘Manba-chan, Manba-chan!’
I ate it saying ‘Manba-chan, Manba-chan!’
Kasen Kanesada’s Berry Sweets with Cherry:
The elegance of Kasen Kanesada is expressed beautifully with this cake . The candied cherry is there to describe the character and it is so fancy! The bitter chocolate cake matches with the berry mousse and sauce. It’s filling but still easy to eat.
This is Touken Ranbu, so they of course served traditional Japanese sweets too! They cost 1,200 yen each.
Some anime collaboration projects prioritize the looks too much and do not work hard on the taste and that can be disappointing, but the Tower Record’s cafe has great quality food in general. They care about using the characters accurately in their motifs, yet they also try to make the dishes taste great as well. The staff members are all very nice and friendly. They asked questions and engaged with the fans. They were curious to know ‘Who is your favorite?’ but that’s not an easy questions to answer. It made me want to come back here for another collaboration project!
An order of 1,000 yen or higher gets you a free coaster
Now, the most important part (at least for me): Yesss, they offered us a free coaster per an order of 1,000 yen or higher! Many female anime fans collect these coasters, and some people enjoy exchanging them with others at the cafe as part of the culture. Everyone wants to obtain the coaster that features their favorite character desperately!
Sometimes, you can make new friends after exchanging coasters! This is another reason fans bring in plushies of their favorite characters and line them up. You show other fans who your favorite character is, and someone may talk to you and ask you for instance, ‘Is Kashuu your favorite? Would you please exchange yours with my Yasusada?’ Many fans find it hard to talk to strangers and having something to break the ice is a way to start smooth and have a nice conversation with another fan. If you see people walking around, they are probably looking for someone to exchange their coaster with.
We received 4 coasters out of the 15 available. The staff members bring random ones (hidden with the face upside-down) to us, so you’ll never know whose coaster you’re getting until you actually receive one. These special coasters are like gambling. Would I get my favorite, Yagen Toushirou!?
Yasusada-chan! The protagonist of the anime series.
So, the last coaster I received… There are 15 different illustrations, and I almost gave up any hopes of…
YES! I GOT IT!! On the fourth coaster! I was sooooo pleased and I unconsciously let out an odd voice ‘Faaahhhh’. Some people were holding their fists up in triumph, some already started looking for someone to exchange it with, and some let out a weird voice like mine. It’s quite funny to see how fans react after receiving the coasters. If you ever have an opportunity to see them, don’t be harsh and think ‘that is a funny otaku’. Be nice! But if you find yourself in a situation like that, you are probably an otaku yourself. OTAKU POWER (in a funny voice.)
●TOWER RECORDS CAFÉ
As of November, 2016, Tower Record Cafe is hosting a Dragon Ball collaboration!
They are hosting various collaboration projects with anime, stage drama, singers, and musicians, so check their project schedule and try their quality collaboration menu when you have a chance! It’s the happiest thing to enjoy a meal on the motif of your favorite anime series, and even better when the food tastes great!
Touken Ranbu is one of the most popular series and we needed to make a reservation and buy advanced tickets. If you are planning to visit one of these collaboration cafe projects, please check out the schedule and ticket information before you go. You may have to pre-purchase the tickets!
Don’t forget to check the rest of our themed cafe reports here on Manga.Tokyo, and I will soon be back with a new article!
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