Last year, I had the pleasure of spending my last hours of 2015 at the Cute High Earth Defence Club LOVE! (hereby referred to as “Boueibu”) x AnimePlaza café in Ikebukuro. As a big fan of the series, I was thrilled to finally experience a themed café of an anime I’ve spent countless hours watching and re-watching, so you could probably guess how excited I was!
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In case you didn’t previously know about the café, it is a collaboration between AnimePlaza and the anime series Cute High Earth Defence Club LOVE!. Boueibu aired in January 2015, making this month the one year anniversary of the anime. The series follows the members of the Earth Defence Club:
The series follows the members of the Earth Defence Club: Yumoto Hakone (Kazutomi Yamamoto), En Yufuin (Yuichirou Umehara), Atsushi Kinugawa (Kotaro Nishiyama), Io Naruko (Yusuke Shirai) and Ryu Zao (Toshiki Masuda) in their daily activities. The five of them, with a trusty pink wombat by their side, transform into the Battle Lovers, the heirs to the throne of love, who are tasked with saving the world from monsters. Of course, they do get their due time off with a nice visit to the hot springs after all their work is done.
Meanwhile, AnimePlaza café, a concept produced by entertainment specialist Adores, has seen overwhelming success with their anime themed cafes. Not a stranger to collaborations, the AnimePlaza has also hosted collaborations with well-loved favourites such as Free!, High School Star Musical and DIABOLIK LOVERS. And just in case the name seemed familiar to you, Adores had a booth selling limited-edition Durarara!! x2 merchandise right at AFA 2015 back last year.
The Boueibu x AnimePlaza café started on 11 December 2015, and will last till 31 January 2016. It is held at two locations: the Ikebukuro and Machida branch of AnimePlaza café. Both sides feature a specially-designed café layout and themed menu, as well as exclusive character goods that are only available for sale here.
Without further ado, let’s start on my quest there!
This time, I booked a slot at the Ikebukuro branch of the AnimePlaza café, held on the fifth floor of the PROJECT ADORES Ikebukuro building. On the first floor, they were displaying the vacancies for today on a board:
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Wow, it’s almost a full house! (Well, that could have just been because I took this photo during the last slot of the day…)
On the fourth floor was a counter for buying Ichiban Kuji, some UFO catchers, and the display of the café standees.
The illustration used for the standees are specially drawn for the occasion, and feature the Earth Defence club and Student Council members in waiter outfits. These versions of the characters were also used for the café exclusive goods which can only be bought right here at the AnimePlaza café.
As of 5 January 2016, new goods featuring the characters in chef outfits have also been added. Here’s an overview of everything the café is selling:
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- Can Badge Volume 2 (Random) – 500 yen
- Acrylic Charm Volume 2 (Random) – 600 yen
- Wall Sticker (Random) – 500 yen
- Can Badge Volume 1 (Random) – 500 yen
- Acrylic Charm Volume 1 (Random) – 600 yen
- A2 Poster – 780 yen
- Clear File – 500 yen
Every nook and cranny is filled to the brim with Boueibu! The first thing I noticed when I stepped in was the giant 80-inch TV screen beside the counter. Beside the screen is the cashier where the staff hands you your lunch mats and coasters after your meal. You can also order your goods up here.
Noticed the rack on the other side of the TV screen?
The café’s guest books are stored here, along with the fond memories of those who’ve visited so far. Customers can take a guest book back to their seat to jot down their experiences here. There’s also lots of amazing art drawn in them too!
While the trend of carrying bags decked out with character goods has become very common lately, the staff here also have their own way of showing their love for Boueibu – they wear badges and key chains of their favourite characters right on their café uniforms! It was really heartening to see them enjoying their job so much.
Now without further ado, let’s get into the topic everyone has been waiting for: food!
Drinks – all 680 yen:
- Tropical ♥ Scarlet (Banana Puree, strawberry Curaçao, cassis Curaçao, Sprite, Strawberry whipped cream, cut strawberries)
- When I Need To Do It, I’ll Do It! Dilly-Dally Cerulean (Blue Curaçao, Calpis, Sprite, whipped cream, milk, coloured sugar)
- Calm and Passionate Epinard (Melonade, Calpis, vanilla ice-cream, mint, Pocky)
- ¥ Golden Sulfur ¥ (Marmalade, milk, whipped cream, grapefruit juice, golden dragees, mango sauce)
- Lovely Pure ♥ Vesta (Strawberry Curaçao, coffee, milk, cherry, whipped cream, chocolate stick)
- Noble Aurite (Milk, grapeade, whipped cream, blueberry, mint, golden dragees)
- Sharp Argent (Melon syrup, blue Curaçao, strawberry Curaçao, cut kiwi, mint, milk, silver dragees)
- Beautiful * Perlite (Mix berries, strawberry Curaçao, milk, pink grape syrup, whipped cream, silver dragees)
- Popping ☆ Love Shower (Drinking yoghurt, milk, whipped cream, konpeito, star-shaped sugar, coloured tapioca pearls)
- Love ♥ Fluffy: Yumoto’s Favourite Onigiri! (Three types of onigiri (Salmon, Tarako, Ume Yukari), miso soup, sakura denbu, pickles) – 880 yen
- Atsushi’s Homemade Curry (Keema curry, onsen egg) – 980 yen
- Aim for One Hundred Million! Naruko’s Miser ☆ Gyudon (Gyudon, shredded egg, lettuce) – 980 yen
- Ryu’s Recommendation on a Date ☆ Pink Rose Pasta (Salmon cream, ikura, ham) – 980 yen
- The Student Council’s Grandiose Lunch (Smoked duck, quiche, salad, clam chowder) – 1,080 yen
Dessert – all 880 yen:
- Relaxing-Together-With-En Sweets Box (Onsen manju, pudding dorayaki)
- Girls or Money? (Coffee and chestnut Mont Blanc, strawberry and cherry cake)
- Rich Donum (Cassis tart, purple potato ice-cream, waffles, shiratama, red bean)
- Fill the World with Love: Je t’adore (Strawberry cake, Wombat-printed cookie)
- Domination Over Everything on Earth: Conquest! Parfait (Ice-cream-filled mochi, zunda, matcha jelly, chocolate, sponge cake, Zundar-printed cookie)
After a short wait, the food arrives! (´﹃｀) o0(I’m hungry…)
First item up: Io’s drink, ¥ Golden Sulfur ¥!
This drink is made by mixing marmalade, milk, whipped cream, grapefruit juice, and mango sauce. In general, the drinks here are all quite thick (almost all of them are either milk-based or have whipped cream on them), and ¥ Golden Sulfur ¥ wasn’t an exception.
Personally, I’m not too good with thick and sweet stuff, so I was a bit apprehensive at first. However, much to my surprise, the refreshing fruity flavour of the marmalade helped lighten up the thickness of the cream, making it the perfect complement to my meal.
Next we have the Yumoto-themed drink, Tropical ♥ Scarlet.
It’s made with banana puree, Sprite, strawberry Curaçao and cassis Curaçao. The fizzy nature of the drink serves justice to Yumoto’s reputation as the Earth Defence Club’s lively mood-maker. To top it off, the drink is garnished with whipped cream and cut strawberries.
As for the taste, one thing’s for sure – it’s really tangy! Just drinking it makes me feel all sunny inside!
Moving on to the main course, we have Atsushi’s Homemade Curry.
This one packed a punch with all sorts of fragrant spices in it, giving it an authentic spin from the milder Japanese version. It tended to get a bit spicy at the end, though. The onsen egg was also at the perfect texture, not too hard and not too soft.
Aim for One Hundred Million! Naruko’s Miser ☆ Gyudon was probably the most visually-attractive dish for me.
The colourful contrast of the beef, red ginger and shredded egg couldn’t help but stimulate my appetite. The meat was very well-marinated, and together with the unique taste of the picked red ginger, put a whole new spin on this flavourful dish.
The last main course I’ll be reviewing is Ryu’s Recommendation on a Date ☆ Pink Rose Pasta.
The presentation is simply adorable! Here we have heart-shaped pieces of ham at the side, pearly ikura, and a sizeable slice of salmon placed in the shape of a rose on the top. The pasta cream also had a hint of salmon which added on to the overall stylish feeling of the pasta.
This dish is definitely a great representation of Ryu’s playboy character!
Moving on to the desserts, we have Wombat’s Fill the World with Love: Je t’adore up first.
It’s a great balance of taste and looks – the arrangement and bright colours of the cake go well with the sweet taste of the strawberry cake. The Wombat cookie was also a welcome addition, and I must say, I had a hard time trying to eat it because it was just that cute!
The last dish is Girls or Money?, the second-year’s duet dessert. On the left is Io’s coffee-chestnut Mont Blanc, and on the right is Ryu’s cherry-strawberry cake.
The choice of dessert really brings out the character’s personalities: Io’s love for money is represented with the small gold flakes around his cake, while Ryu’s favourite food, cherries, are placed on top his. The volume of dessert is really whopping, so this is a definite recommend for all the sweet-toothed people out there.
With that, my meal at the Boueibu x AnimePlaza café came to an end together with 2015. As I welcomed the New Year, the reminder that there’s still a second season coming made me even more excited for 2016. That’s not the end of this review, though!
Here’s a quick guide on how to get to the café:
To recap, the Boueibu x AnimePlaza café will last till 31 January 2016. It is held at two locations: the Ikebukuro and Machida branch of AnimePlaza café. The addresses of the café are available here for the Ikebukuro branch and here for the Machida branch.
Although bookings for the remaining dates are now closed, the café still allows for walk-in customers. Numbered tickets for all timing slots will be given out every day via a first-come-first-serve at 9.30am, so even if you are not an Adores member (you can sign up for free here), you will be able to dine at the café. However, do note that in the occasion that there are many customers requesting for tickets, they will be given out via ballot. In such an event, there will be announcements made on this Twitter account here: @ad_anipla
If you’re around in the area, why not try giving it a go?
Official Boueibu x AnimePlaza Homepage (Ikebukuro): http://www.adores.jp/anipla/boueibu-ik/
Official Boueibu Anime Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/boueibu
Official Boueibu Anime Homepage: http://boueibu.com/