Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maid Photos

Maid Runner has been actively visiting and reviewing maid cafes in and around Akihabara for over a year. Other than a few bars that don't open until I have to be at work at night, and some reflex shops that I consider overpriced and have no interest in, there's really nothing left to visit in Akihabara that is maid-related. At the moment. New cafes are constantly opening, and there are a few that I've developed an attachment to that may have events worth writing up in the future. So, Maid Runner won't completely shut down. Let's just say "under renewal".

If you have suggestions for places to visit, add them in a comment to this post, or drop me an email.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maids Point Cards

One year's worth of members, and points, cards. Ah, the memories.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Maid Misc.

Over the course of a year, it's easy to pick up stuff from the various maid cafes. This is what I've gotten that doesn't include regular maid photos and members/points cards.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Review: Nagomi Style-cafe

Nagomi Style.cafe isn't actually a maid cafe. In fact, it's not technically a cafe. Instead, it's an internet cafe, which means that it's made up of a selection of small cubicles that you can sit in and play video games, watch movies on DVD or read manga on an hourly basis. There is a selection of chips for sale at the register, and a free unlimited soft drink bar in the back. You can even get gelato, if you want.

What sets NS.c off from other net cafes is the "nagomi-style" part. What this means is that the female staff wear kimono, and that the decor is designed to resemble an Edo-era house with garden. Soft music plays in the background, and you do the traditional "off with the shoes" thing.

Otherwise, NS.c is pretty much like other net cafes. Lately, because of problems of hackers working out of the net cafes, most places require that you show ID when you first sign up. For foreigners, this can either be a passport, or an alien registration card. You fill in the membership form (English is ok), and then you follow the staff member into the main cafe area. You take your shoes off at the entrance, and put them in a carry bag with you. You can choose smoking and non-smoking cubicles, and either western style chairs or sitting on tatami mat floors. You have your pick of the thousands of manga and magazines on the walls, the DVDs or the video games. Each cube has a PC, lamp, trash bin and phone. Any games or books you take out can just be left on the stack next to the drink machines for the staff to put away later.

As for the drink machines, you have your choice of hot or cold coffee and tea, grape and grapefruit juices, and a variety of sodas. There's even flavored syrups for the ice coffee. The snacks are a bit overpriced, but not that bad (think of the big snack boxes you find at the movie theaters, for 200 yen each). The best part though is that the price for staying at the cafe is just 300 yen ($3.50 USD) for 30 minutes. Granted, that's not a whole lot of time for playing, say, Monster Hunter or Bayonetta, but it is a cheap way to get a few glasses of Coke and tear through the complete set of Yaiba.

Ns.c is about 5 minute's walk north of Akihabara station, on the northwest corner of Chuu-ou Dori and Kuramaebashi Dori, in the basement of the building on the corner.

Recommended. No maid photos though. Sorry.

Name: Nagomi Style.cafe
Location: About 5 minute's walk north of Akihabara station, on the northwest corner of Chuu-ou Dori and Kuramaebashi Dori, in the basement of the building on the corner.
Price: Cheap.
Cover: 300 lets you stay 30 minutes.
Food: Just packages of snack crackers, chocolate and gelato.
"Love": No love.
Outfits: Kimono.
Photos: No photos
Wireless Internet: Yup.
Specialties: A net cafe with a very relaxing atmosphere.
Recommendation: If you're looking for a cheap way to kill a couple of hours reading manga or playing games within the Akihabara district, NS.c is highly recommended.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cleaning up the cafe

I started Maid Runner in 2009 initially as a way to change the public perception of maid cafes, and to record my experiences in them. As the blog turned into more of a review site, I was hoping to make it profitable by getting some kind of tie-in to one or more of the cafes, or at the least hosting some advertising. Unfortunately, that never panned out. And now, after 50+ reviews, I'm getting a little burned out. I'm also running out of new cafes in the Akiba district to visit.

I haven't really concentrated on maid bars, primarily because they don't open until after 6 PM, and I have to start working at 6:30. And, I don't get out of work until 11 PM weekday nights, which is about when my last train is running for going home. Basically, my work schedule doesn't fit visiting maid bars.

Places that I'm not going to visit in the near future are:

basicBar bB
Zoid Maid:Style
Little BSD
Little PSX
Dear Stage
Rea Uta

Mahjong Parlors (I don't play mahjong):

Boys Love:
Miracle Jump

A brief comment on this last entry, Miracle Jump. In Japan, there is a line of manga aimed at women, called "boys love", which is essentially guy-on-guy comics. Miracle Jump is a cafe based on the boys love concept (although, to be honest, half of the human cast are women dressed up in drag). The "cast" is divided up into "2D" (manga characters) and "3D" (the human servers). Worth checking out if you like this kind of thing.