Ahoy there, Admiral! The Good Smile Company & Animate Cafe offers you safe port along the Kanda River as you pass though Akihabara--assuming, that is, that you're a fan of Kantai Collection. If you haven't played that game it's understandable--you need to win a lotto to even create an account--but now that the anime is airing you have no excuse! The show will be a watershed moment in otaku history. You wouldn't want to miss out on the biggest community-driven trend since Touhou Project, would you?
Life-sized standees and male-sized cosplay mannequins, I know I'm in the right place! Figmas, Ramune bottles, branded glowsticks for official fan events--you name it, the cafe's got it. Japan is Ka-RAZY for Kancolle. It's all thanks to the charming designs and detailed back stories of the colorful cast. The characters fit into their respective archetypes like a well-worn sneaker. Moe tropes exist because they work, and if it ain't broken, don't try to fix it!
Houshou, being the old-fashioned model housewife she is, had the sake ready before I took my seat. She's a Light Carrier, I'm a lightweight--baby, we got so much in common!
Remove your Admiral's cap and all the responsibility that comes with it as you sit back and sip a kanmusu steamer. The beans are military-grade, which is to say, plenty strong! After three cups you may even be able to keep up with Shimakaze. (No promises there.)
Mix a bit of black sesame into your soy milk to give it that "dry concrete" skin tone enjoyed by Wo-Class ships. And if you want to go one step further and recreate the look of a Standard Carrier, just add a scoop of black sesame ice cream on top!
The Kongou Class Battlecruisers are represented by keema curry. I have to assume it's because the vessel was designed by a British architect and, uh, the Brits love their curry. A more pressing mystery--why are there only three slices of chicken when there's four Kongou sisters? Maybe Yukikaze ate one while I wasn't looking. You can see her little mouth in the corner ready to snag another piece! Don't push your luck.
Akatsuki wants to be recognized as a grown-up but she's still a kid, hence the sweets alongside the meat on her namesake dish! The multi-grain rice is there to ensure she grows up big and strong. Wait--can kanmusu grow? Do their rivets pop if they get too big for their rigging? Hopefully the anime will address this along with the countless other questions I have.
Irako and Mamiya, our hosts for the afternoon, serve as the fleet's supply ships and their specialty is Japanese-style sweets. These heart-shaped confection cups are one heck of a morale boost. They say you can't wage war--or hunt for rare figures--on an empty stomach, so fill up before you head out.
Admirals gathered around the sketchbooks on the back table to swap war stories and drawings of their best ship girls. Me? Oh, I'm partial to I-19 and Yukikaze. With over 200 ships to choose from I bet you'll have at least one favorite in the fleet. 2.2 million registered users can't be wrong!
Event dates: November 29th-February 22nd
Address: Akiba Culture Zone 5F
1-7-6 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
Hours: 11:00-21:30 (Must register online with Animate membership card)
Official homepage: http://www.animate.co.jp/special/cafe/pc/akihabara/collabo_menu/kancolle/