Special FeatureExploring Akihabara, Japan’s Electronic Market
Do you have a secret desire to become a character from the fantasyland of animé and video games? If you do, join the cosplay crowd. Akihabara has lots of cosplay cafés where the staff dress up in costumes and take on a fantasy persona. One café, called Candy Fruit☆Strawberry, offers their female customers a most unusual costume experience.
“Couples come here, too. Typically, the guy has his favorite female animé character in mind, and he gets his girlfriend to put on the costume,” confides one of the staff, Nekomura Nagisa. The café stocks over a hundred costumes, and female customers often try them on, with cameras flashing left and right.
Or you could buy a costume. Don Quijote Akihabara is the largest outlet, and prices are reasonable. They stock more than 1,400 costumes on one of the store’s levels.
So who buys them? “Well, for example, women who see somebody wearing a maid costume and want to do the same, and their male friends who want to see them dressed up like that,” says the store manager. “Some of our customers don’t know much about animé, but that doesn’t seem to matter at all.”
It could be that cosplay is something anybody can enjoy.