The revolutionary girl is the latest anime icon to become the face of a cafe in one of Tokyo’s anime fandom hot spots.
The Pokémon anime hitting its 20th anniversary this year is sort of overshadowing other Japanese animation milestone celebrations, but it isn’t the only landmark series that made its debut in 1997. While the initial season of Pokémon was delighting kids and kids-at-heart with its straightforward adventure tale, pensive adolescents and young adults were tuning in to watch Revolutionary Girl Utena, a symbolism-heavy story examining gender roles and the process of self-realization.
Following last month’s unveiling of Utena lingerie sets inspired by the series’ central couple, Animate Cafe, a chain of restaurants with revolving anime themes, has announced that an Utena Cafe will go into operation next week in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood, long a mecca for female anime fans. Customers can expect an array of Utena-themed decorations and fare, such as a wealth of non-alcoholic cocktails that feature nods to their character inspirations and come with some very cool freebies.
▼ Utena Revolutionize the World Drink (cranberry, Calpis-style white water, white sugar rose candy) and Anthy Rose Bride Drink (violet, lychee, tiara cookie)
▼ Toga Kiryu Playboy Tea (iced tea, strawberry syrup, gold leaf, red rose sugar candy) and Kyoichi Saionji Hardliner Soda (white grape, mint, kiwi, green rose sugar candy)
▼ Miki Kaoru Shining Drink (apple, music note cookie, blue sugar heart candy) and Happy Nanami Milk (milk, mango, cowbell flower sugar candy)
▼ Chu-Chu Tea Time Chocolate Chip Cookie (cappuccino, chocolate chips, cookie) and Do You Know? Do You Know? Have You Heard the News? Shadow Girl Hot Milk (strawberry milk with cocoa powder)
Each drink is priced at 500 yen (US$4.50), which is a pretty good deal for a Tokyo cafe, and an especially good value for an anime themed restaurant, where nostalgia tends to drive up the prices. As has become the norm for anime dining establishments, each drink you order gets you a character coaster.
As an added bonus, you’ll also get one of four complimentary Utena cookies per drink order…
…and each 2,000 yen you spend also gets you one of three stickers.
And if you want even more extras, following the Animate Cafe Ikebukuro Twitter account, tweeting a photo from inside the cafe with the hashtag ＃ウテナカフェ (“#Utena Cafe”), then showing the tweet to the restaurant staff will net you one of two special illustrations.
Much like the Utena anime doesn’t lay all of its cards out on the table at the very beginning, the Utena Cafe is yet to reveal its food menu. The official website does give a glimpse of some of the special merchandise that’ll be offered for sale at the attached shop, however.
▼ Key holders (600 yen) featuring scenes from throughout the TV series and Utena tea (800 yen)
▼ Pins (300 yen)
▼ Three-coaster set (1,000 yen)
The Utena Cafe will be in operation from August 1 to October 1, and reservations can be made here.
Animate Cafe (Ikebukuro branch) / アニメイトカフェ（池袋店）
Address: Tokyo-to, Toshima-ku, Higashi Ikebukuro 3-2-1, Animate Sunshine 7th floor
Open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s honestly surprised the Chu-Chu drink isn’t banana-flavored.