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Okay, three, two, one let’s eat.
Long-term popularity can be hard to come by in the anime world. With so many new series being made and commanding attention, last season’s hits get quickly pushed out of fans’ collective memory. Then there’s the fact that some otaku simply can’t keep themselves from picking apart a show for even minor flaws, preventing them from developing positive feelings about it in the first place.
And yet, Cowboy Bebop remains one of the most widely respected, admired, and enjoyed anime ever. Credit a combination of director Shinichiro Watanabe’s inimitable storytelling style, Yoko Kanno’s unbelievably eclectic musical score, Toshihiro Kawamoto’s distinctive yet well-aging character designs, and a fantastic voice cast for keeping Bebop in fans’ hearts, even two decades after its initial release.
So in honor of the show’s 20th anniversary, a Cowboy Bebop Cafe is coming to Tokyoand Osaka, courtesy of a collaboration with the standing Animate Cafe branches in the two cities. Unlike other limited-time themed welcoming diners in both Tokyo’s Akihabara and Osaka’s Nipponbashi neighborhoods.
The management promises an interior filled with Bebop artwork and visual motifs, plus a lineup of food and drink saluting Spike, Faye, and the rest of the colorful characters involved in their bounty hunting adventures. The series’ soundtrack being played over the speakers hasn’t been expressly mentioned, but seems like a given.
As part of the festivities, Kawamoto has drawn a brand-new illustration of the show’s central quartet (fittingly with Jet being the only one doing any work). The new artwork will also be found on some of the exclusive Cowboy Beboop merchandise offered at the attached gift shop.
The cafe has yet to announce if it will be allowing reservations, but if not, you’ll want to show up early, if the six-hour wait for a table we had when we visited the Ranma 1/2 Cafe is anything to go by, The Cowboy Bebop Cafe opens on May 15, and goes out with a “Bang!” on June 10.
Animate Cafe Akihabara / アニメイトカフェ秋葉原
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Soto Kanda 1-7-6, Akiba Culture Zone 5th floor
東京都千代田区外神田1-7-6 AKIBAカルチャーズZONE 5F
Open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Animate Cafe Osaka Nipponbashi/ 大阪日本橋
Address: Osaka-fr, Osaka-shi, Naniwa-ku, Nipponbashi 4-15-17, 2nd floor
Open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.