Thursday, 24 October 2013

Ai My Maid Fro-Yo Party

What makes Ai My Maid different is their traditional Japanese take on this concept. Of course the original concept is from Japan but the outfits and activities differ greatly. They also had pop up cafes at London Anime Con and London Film and Comic Con this year, but this is their first official event.

From the decor the team had transformed the busy and modern Tutti Fruitti venue to a Japanese Pokemon centre, there were Pokemon cards stuck to the walls amongst the talismans of the shrine maidens to ward away evil spirits. A Shide is a zigzag-shaped paper streamer, used in Shinto rituals.

Upon entering you were greeted by maids to come to the basement where Butler Kazuma explained the loyalty cards and the task of winning Pokemon badges from each Butler or maid to win prizes and to give you your raffle ticket and free Pokemon starter pack. A really nice addition for all customers who have purchased a ticket.

We were then escorted to our table and explained the ordering procedure with prices and if you wanted fro-yo then you were to help yourself upstairs. You could challenge a Butler or Maid for a game at 50p per fight and if you win collect your badge. Any games between customers were free. This way a lot of the customers could interact with other customer as a few came by themselves for the sake of trying out something new, or you could indulge in speaking and playing with one of the maids.

The maids had no real given character, there was more emphasis on talents than character they were themselves, for example, Maid Emi was the idol of the group she would go to tables and belt out a J-pop song to her customers. Maid Mei with the surreal white hair and cute moving neko ears was offering tarrot card reading with Cardcaptor Sakura clow cards, this was really skilful and entertaining. All of them liked to play games but each specific maid donned the consoles, Maid Ruri was happy to play Jenga or Smash bros. But Maid Mayumi would much rather play connect 4 but all would play any game requested. The Butlers also participated, sadly Butler Kohei bested me in a a couple of matches at Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

Also in honour of The Pokemon X &Y release that day they raffled the games at all three slots so all attendees could win it at random. If you also filled your Pokemon card you would receive a free chekkie (Japanese Polaroid photo with all the Maids and Butlers with customisation). If you are a competitive gamer this was not a hard challenge for you.

The audience ratio was an even mix of male to female attendees and everyone came for different reasons. Also the game selection really appealed to the crowd. The addition of talents meant people could leave with keepsakes such as a personalised drawing by the Maids.

Find more photos on Animepicks facebook:

To get the full experience, view our video here:

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