I’m just back from Japan, whilst there I managed to fit in a little visit to the Gintama Characro cafe in Ikebukuro. Sorry about my stupid pose in front of the cafe, I was super excited, and for the poor pictures, those are mine from my old phone camera. I was a bit hesitant to go because my level of spoken Japanese is pretty poor but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go. I didn’t understand alot of what was being said but I’ll describe it a bit :)
We booked a place online (there are timeslots that you choose), its fairly easy to fill in, and then just show your booking e-mail to the cafe staff. The place itself is easy to find and near to Animate for some post-food shopping! The staff speak a little english, they asked me if I spoke Japanese and I said not so well so they showed me an english-language page in the menu that explains the rules. Apart from that the whole menu is in Japanese. We were seated at the back by the Otose-style bar and next to a glass cabinet containing figures of Kagura and Gin and a pair of glasses!! There wasn’t a spare table in the cafe and we booked into the 13:50 session, but I think a couple of people walked in and were randomly seated. There are clips from the anime shown throughout on a bunch of different screens, I was trying to rapid-fire explain the clips to my other half haha. The menu is all ordered via ipads, so you click on the food/drink you want and then it gets added to your basket. With the food, we just ordered dessert, when you order it there are two options, and I couldn’t read them properly but I think they asked you to choose whether you want it now or after other food. I’m sure somebody can clarify that better than me though! I also ordered a cute lanyard. The menu is online so you can look in advance, and there are unthemed items too but what is the fun in that ;)
I had Kagura’s drink which had an apricot and blueberries in it to look like Gura’s head, so cute! I also had an Otsu dessert (sorry I had started eating it before I remembered to take a photo!) My o.h. had Shinpachi’s drink, it had a cherry (cherry boy xD) and some wafer megane, and the Gintoki parfait, which had a wafer Toya-ko bokuto!
After food, one of the cafe staff did a lot of talking and there was a bit of crowd participation, we played rock paper scissors to spin a wheel with all the characters on, the lady next to me won and I think she said her favourite was Kagura, anyway she spun the wheel and got Kagura! So we had a video montage of cute Gura moments. The lady next to me and her daughter both had so much of the merchandise from the cafe, they must be regulars, actually I was a bit nervous to go over the top with showing off any merchandise but everyone had plushies sat on the table and bags/hair accessories/badges, etc, I felt like I was with kindred spirits!
For each item of food/drink you order you get a coin to vote in a machine at the back, I have no idea what the question we were voting on was but Hasegawa had no votes and the staff pointed it out, my o.h. felt sorry for him and voted for him and the staff said thanks to him after! I just voted for Gintoki as some Okita fans were piling on the pressure, I think by the end Sougo was in the lead.
At the end when you pay, you get a receipt showing your merchandise purchase and you collect that from the staff at the door on the way out.
I’d definitely recommend it if you’re a Gintama fan, it is a real novelty thing but plenty of fun!