It was Tokyo Mew Mew (Mew Mew Power), a magical girl show about animal based powers. It aired on YTV in Canada and quickly became my favorite show. It was edgy for 7 year old me, because fight scenes and strong young girls. Without it, I just wouldn’t like anime or stories like I do now.
But the longer I watch the show, the more I realize that I don’t know a lot about it. For background, this show was licenced by 4kids (ugh), who lost the rights to it after 25 episodes of calling onigiri sandwiches and making a cross weapon into a stick. The show is 52 episodes long. That’s half of the show I’ve never even touched. On top of this, YTV would only air ~ the first 10 episodes over and over. To compare here, the last main character is introduced in episode 10. Now that I’m at episode 11, I realized that things are going to be much newer. Each episode I see now I have either never seen before or have seen only once or twice.
Nostalgia is a strange thing. Without it, I probably wouldn’t be watching an anime about a cat girl and her friends fighting aliens, but here we are. However, I am really happy that I decided to finally know the full story of this show that meant the world to me years ago.
Most contemporary cafes in Tokyo these days share a similar look: modern and quintessentially western, or excessively cute and girly. This concept appeals to the younger generation, especially female SNS users who find photogenic cafe interiors and adorably decorated desserts a crucial part of their curation.
On the contrary, hipsters prefer to sip their coffee in the less mainstream, classic kissatens. Kissaten is a Japanese word for cafe, used to describe older establishments that have been in business since the Showa period. They are often characterized by heavily European-influenced interiors, skillfully brewed coffee, classic music, and friendly owners who have continued to manage their shops over the many years.
The moment you step into a kissaten, you will be taken on an instant nostalgic trip to the past. Most of them have preserved the same look through the decades, with interior decorations and furniture pieces aging beautifully over the years. Anything that looks old fashioned - whether it is a rustic, brass light fixture or sun-tanned chair - has most likely been used since the shop opened. It is truly fascinating to witness what was once considered a modern, trendy style back in the day when the Japanese began to incorporate western design in to their lifestyles.
With the growing trend of new cafes and western coffee shop chains emerging everywhere, many old fashioned kissatens have lost their grounds. There is a beauty in exploring the streets to chance upon these few remaining, quiet sanctuaries in the busy city.