Maid cafes have become a quintessential symbol of Japanese otaku culture and many foreigners who visit Japan make a trip to one an essential stop on their travel itinerary.
In recent years, some enterprising foreigners have even opened maid cafes back home, though some argue that they don’t translate well into other cultures and that foreign girls look awkward trotting about in stylized French maid costumes. In some cases, it is (see the video at the end of this article).
However, doubters need only look to Moscow’s first ever maid cafe, Otaky, which boasts a staff of young Russian maids so cute that even Japan acknowledges they’re doing it right.
Otaky opened in 2011, and while rumors spread that it had closed earlier this year, it was confirmed to still be in business after being featured on a Russian website on October 31.
The interior is surprisingly similar to a standard Japanese maid cafe and looking at the images, you can tell that the owner must have put in a lot of time and effort into getting things just right.
Many of the decorations and supplies used in the cafe appear to be directly from Japan and there are even Russian-language manga available for customers to nerd out on while sipping their English Breakfast.
If you look close enough, you can also spot little hints of local flavor that make the atmosphere all the more charming.
Like any good maid cafe, the main draw of Otaky is the staff. Whereas Japanese maids layer on the makeup to create that perfected pop idol appearance, the Russian maids of Otaky let their natural beauty do the talking—and it works for them.
When posted this article on our Japanese site, the photos received an overwhelmingly positive response from our Japanese readers on twitter, who comment:
・Brb, going to Russia
・Now THIS is a maid cafe
・Whoa, these girls are seriously angels. I love Japanese girls, but this is a close competition.
・I didn’t think foreigners could pull maid cafes off after seeing that American one (see below), but this after seeing this I have to change my mind
Otaky is only open on Sundays, so you may want to call in advance if you’re thinking of visiting. Check the official site for more information.
▼ How it’s not done. Seriously: they closed down this September after only four months in business.
▼ Otaky shows how it is done. It’s all about the atmosphere!