New Akiba Style

10 May

New Akiba Style
15/JAN/2011 on air

Akiba (Akihabara) has been developing with moe businesses. Is it true there are fashionable people hanging out in Akiba, the forefront of “moe”? They maybe cosplaying like a character from Kuroshitsuji mixed with Shibuya style. “Nowadays girls who like ageha or Shibuya fashion possibly like anime as well.” It’s true, young people in Akihabara have become fashionable today.


Hikari is a high school model who belongs to popteen. She is a gyaru who likes anime and akiba. She loves mixed style with Shibuya gyaru fashion and anime taste. Her Death Note style cosplay for example looks so cute.

AKB48 is a Japanese idol group born in Akiba. Their fashion influences Japanese fashion industry. In autumn 2010, red checkered skirt or school uniform worn by AKB48 was a big hit. “We always pay attention to AKB48 and their fashion.” Even one of the most famous gyaru fashion brands Cecil McBee cannot ignore them.

Hayano-san is a special fashion stylist who designs AKB’s costumes. She has experiences of styling Morning Musume‘s costume before. When she designs AKB’s costumes, she makes it from scratch and one by one for each member. 35cm from below the knees is the ideal length of skirt that makes legs thinner and longer, according to her.

Mr. Ikki and Beni-chan decided to visit a maid cafe “Maidreamin” among over 50 maid cafes in Akihabara. It was their first time visit to a maid cafe. Usatan parfait (800yen) is the most popular sweets in this cafe that sells 50 daily. This parfait is so popular as to be introduced with other famous sweets created by famous patisssiers in a book. The maids give special magic when the customers eat this parfait. It’s just embarrassing but this magic has some psychological effect. The more the customers feel embarrassed, the more they feel content.

Akiba Top Sweet is a maid cafe that targets businessmen. Its atmosphere is different from ordinary maid cafe. There’s no magic, no embarrassment, but the maids just serve the customers elegantly. Some play piano. The sweets are also gorgeous.

Nadeshiko Sushi is a famous moe sushi bar where female sushi chefs in their 19-25 make kawaii sushi such as deco sushi rolls. However it’s not a casual restaurant, because these chefs are instructed by a 35-year experienced professional sushi chef who chose Akiba to open his sushi restaurant so he can have more foreign customers visiting from around the world.

Speaking of Akiba souvenirs, electric appliances or canned meals have been popular. But lately cosplay purikura (cospri) is also popular.
Kotobukiya is a store of anime character goods and figures that is supported by foreign tourists. They have over 30,000 items but the “shobon” emoticon cushion is top-selling item that is purchased 600 daily.

Felissimo is a major mail-order sales company in Kobe. Their new business is to make clothing from manga. “Clover” is a manga that targets working women and is sold over 8 million copies in Japan. It was a big hit when they manufactured a dress that the heroine wears in the manga. It’s part of their work to read manga at work. They find clothes from manga they think good for merchandise. However it’s not always easy. Even though they design clothes from manga, they do not always look good on humans. Then, they will have to arrange the samples little by little.

27-year-old moe woman is an owner of a Wotagei live bar in Akiba. Wotagei (Otagei) is a unique performance especially given by the fans of Akiba idols. This Wotagei live bar is very popular in Akihabara and there are 40+ idols who may appear on the stage. The cool thing is the idols serve the customers by themselves after the show is over. The fans who are excited to see the Akiba idols are more likely to buy the CDs of the idols.

Otaku can be a main stream in the near future!?

=====
Kirin’s opinion:
I’ve never tried a maid cafe yet and I don’t feel like spending extra money for extra magic service or being called “Ojo-sama” (lady or madam). It’s the good atmosphere and good music rather than this kind of funny things that makes me feel good.
Speaking of Akiba idols, they are the idols we can see and talk in person. Otaku boys may not be proactive enough to ask a woman to go out for a date. They are likely to get passionate about Akiba idols, anime and game characters or dolls and figures rather than a real woman. That’s why Otaku is considered weird, scary and minor in Japanese society but they can be just too shy and pure if looked at from differnt angle. ^ ^;
=====

Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.

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27 Responses to “New Akiba Style”

  1. nomitai May 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Wow I didn't know they had classy maid cafes for businessmen or moe sushi bars. I tried a regular maid cafe when I went on an anime tour of Tokyo a few years ago, but I'd like to try a butler cafe the next time I visit Japan…hehehe

    • kirin May 11, 2011 at 5:11 am #

      I didn't know it either. Hope you enjoy your next visit to Japan. ^ ^ (Don't worry Tokyo has been safe so far. The Fukushima nuclear crisis seems to need several more months to be settled.)

  2. Patty May 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    You know, I just recently been to a Maid Cafe in LA, it's called Royal T, the food aren't bad, but they are really known for being an art gallery. Very neat.

    • kirin May 11, 2011 at 5:12 am #

      You have a maid cafe in L.A? Is that like ours or different? It's so interesting to see how foreigners import our culture and arrange it in their way. ^ ^

    • nomitai May 11, 2011 at 5:15 am #

      I like Royal/T as well, they always have cool stuff in the shop. Definitely more artsy than cuteness overload.

      • kirin May 11, 2011 at 5:46 am #

        Royal T … this one? http://www.royal-t.org/cafe/

        Cool!! ^___^

      • Patty May 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

        Yep, that's the one. It's neat, they invite interesting artist to have installation or exhibit at the space. They wear the maid outfits, but they don't do the song thing like they do in Japan. Food is not bad.

      • kirin May 15, 2011 at 11:11 am #

        I don't like the songs and etc. as if given to a small kid. 😩 That's why I have no reason to go check out a maid cafe in Akihabara by myself. Thank you for your information. If I had a chance to get L.A, I'll check it out!!

  3. maneki neko May 10, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    My Japanese friend told me she wanted to go to a maid cafe with me! I was so surprised, I didn't know girls or women could go to a maid cafe.

    I think shy and pure otaku is really cute, like densha otoko! I thought that was so cute. To me, I love shy, so cute!!! ♥

    • kirin May 11, 2011 at 5:15 am #

      Maid cafe is not limited for men. Women also go there. Men are called "Goshujin-sama" while women are called "Ojo-sama" at a maid cafe. ^ ^;

      Most Otaku are shy and pure but they are likely to be ignorant of their appearances and some really fall in love with anime characters instead of real women. -_-;;

  4. StephanieMvl May 10, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Yo he escuchado de esos maid cafes en Japón, en la televisión, y siento curiosidad. Creo que solo iría una vez para saber como son. Por cierto, subí un vídeo en mi blog para enseñar español ! y planeo continuar haciéndolo, pero me gustaría que me dieras una crítica porque el sonido salio horrible y creo que mi voz es difícil de entender. Así puedo saber que podría cambiar para hacerlo mejor. Gracias 🙂

    I have heard about those maid cafes in Japan, on the tv, and i feel curious. I think i would only go once to know how they are. By they way, i uploaded a video on my blog to teach spanish ! and i'm planning to continue doing it, but i would like you to give me a critic because the sound came out awful and i think my voice is difficult to understand. So i can know what could i change to make it better. Thank u 🙂

    • kirin May 11, 2011 at 5:20 am #

      Thank you for telling me about the video. I'll check it out and leave you my note in your blog.
      Hasta luego! 🙂

  5. Rosa May 11, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    キăƒȘăƒłă‚ă‚ŠăŒăšă†ïŒ
    I can't wait to see the next episode about beautiful legs. haha

    • kirin May 11, 2011 at 5:21 am #

      ă©ă†ă„ăŸă—ăŸă—ăŠ^ ^
      Haha, I don't know when I do that but OK, I'll remember there's someone who expects that episode.

  6. JP May 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Do I get any congratulations for recognizing the song at 16:08 as being the English version of “Rouge no Dengon” ?

    Originally it was sung by Yumi Arai (荒äș• ç”±ćźŸ).

    • kirin May 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

      Oh is it? Don't ask me much about J-pop, I don't know it well. ^ ^;;

  7. petitpaindepice May 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    arigatoo gozaimasu !
    thank you very much for this video, it was so interesting to hear about new akiba style !
    the previews for the next episode seems very cute too , I hope you'll put the next episode on your blog ^___^

    • kirin May 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      I'll do so little by little, because making this post takes me much effort and time. ^ ^;;

  8. lluvia May 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    So interesting as ever ^^ Thank you for translating. I learned a lot!

    Time ago I saw a book that explained about the 'akiba girls' in early 90's as the precursors of current cosplayers. Really I don't know about that. I think Akiba (Akihabara) is slightly less known that other popular areas in Tokyo. Is not so easy to know about the akiba fashion, the moe, the Idol world, and the word 'otaku' has been adopted (at least in my country) with a softer, different meaning like 'anime fan'. We receive single information about Maid cafes but not about the complex world in which them are involved.

    About the program, I like very much the mixed fashion. It matchs with unique people with varied interests. And I like your opinion about otaku people. It's possible that the growth and popularity of Akihabara has been amazing even for Japanese people, as much as some views about his world may change in the future?

    • kirin May 13, 2011 at 11:36 am #

      Akihabara has changed a lot. It's been famous for an electric town. I think it was since foreign tourists started to visit there often that Akiba is known as a mecca of anime. Some interesting shops and services such as maid cafes appeared especially since then. As Otaku is considered abnormal in Japan, most of young women dislike to visit Akiba. Of course when they are not anime fan or fond of moe, there's no reason to go there.

      But it seems like these days Akiba is full of foreign tourists and the image is not dark any longer.

      • lluvia May 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

        It started been an electric town? 😼 and after a mecca of anime, and so more. It makes sense 🙂

        I has been thinking in the term otaku. I think is difficult to explain this term outside of Japan. People here think about otaku like some kind of obsessed 'anime' person, in the meaning of super fan of something but not in a negative way, more in a passional way (our fault ^^'). But then japanese people try to explain us that 'otaku' was a more dark sense that seems to refer to an asocial person, and we would imagine it in a romantical/dandy way and not see the bad side ^^'' Then you can tell that they can do weird things like to falling in love with fictional girls. Then I remember that in old european culture the best classical and medieval poets write his best poetry inspired by his ideal and imaginary ladys, or that in catholical culture nuns are married with God, literally. And we can think 'what is the problem in loving in an ideal way?' :p
        Well, I don't want to offend, I'm sure there is more deep reasons involving japanese people, society, culture and subculture that we can't understand so well but japanese people can sure understand. Comparing cultures can be just so funny 🙂

      • kirin May 17, 2011 at 1:50 am #

        It's difficult to explain Otaku well. Yes, Otaku people are obsessed with anime, but how can I say…it's a bit pathologic. Not as a healthy hobby, you know. Some of them cannot communicate with humans properly and some of them cannot go to school or work but just stay at home watching anime and playing game, and their parents take care of them. Such people are called "Hikikomori" and it's considered a social issue. 😩 So, people who just have anime as part of hobby and Otaku are very different.

      • lluvia May 22, 2011 at 10:30 am #

        Thanks for your patience and your explanations. I can now understand much better 😀

  9. nina May 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    moe moe. hehehe. it really funny when i watched mr ikki doing the magic. xD but the moe sushi bar is totally awesome. besides moe cafes, there must be a lot of other unique cafes in japan 😉 haaa~ i wish i can visit japan one day 😀

    • kirin May 13, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Right, there are many unique cafes in Japan.
      If I have a chance, I'll go check them out and report on TKE. ^ ^

  10. meeker May 16, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    I think these maid cafes are really cute. I could totally get lost in the embarrassment of it all. I guess I am just sentimental like that. So, whenever I get into a 'situation' (aka: a maid cafe) I want to participate and make it a memorable time! I've never been in love with an anime character though LOL.

    • kirin May 16, 2011 at 10:55 am #

      Many tourists will enjoy maid cafe. 🙂
      Otaku being in love with anime characters are very weird and I know not many people can be like that. They really wish to get married with a 2D character. Some insist their right to do so, and they request we should change our law so they can legally get married to a manga character. lol I cannot understand them well…

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