Otaku USA Magazine
Eating Out Otaku Style: Animesia

In English, it reads like a portmanteau of anime and amnesia, but the new Japan-based Animesia has an entirely different meaning – “anime” plus “meshiya,” meaning, roughly, “restaurant.”

It’s a new project based in – no surprise here – anime capital of the world, Akihabara, dedicated to the world of anime food. That is, food that’s been portrayed in various anime productions.

It makes a certain sense: how many times have you seen your favorite anime characters chowing down on some delicious-looking cuisine and thought, “if only that weren’t fictional and two-dimensional…”? Heck, there are entire manga and anime series devoted to food (and drink) – Silver Spoon, Ristorante Paradiso, and Drops of God, just to name a few recent favorites (see how many more you can name in the comments, fair readers).

Animesia launched back in September of last year, researching the history of food in anime, developing dishes and forming partnerships with anime studios and restaurants.

Now they’ve revealed the fruits of their efforts with a one-two punch of deliciousness – an exhibition documenting the world of food in anime and, more importantly, a mouth-watering, heaping plate of pasta, from one of anime’s most-beloved films: Castle of Cagliostro.

If you’ve seen Cagliostro, you’ll remember the scene early in the film where Lupin and Jigen plan their heist over an enormous portion of spaghetti and meatballs, and if you’re anything like me, your stomach rumbles every time.

Animesia made this dish a reality at chiocciol@pizzeria, a restaurant located in the same building as their food exhibition. It proved so popular, in fact, that by the time we made it over to Akihabara late last week, it was sold out. You can imagine our disappointment.

It was small consolation indeed, but we at least made it to the exhibition, which was interesting in its own right.

Basically, Animesia tasked a number of restaurants in the building with recreating dishes shown on-screen in various anime shows spanning both time and genre, including recent titles like Girls und Panzer, Date a Live, and Madoka Magica, plus a well-regarded show from a few years back, Maribito, magical girl classic, Creamy Mami, and, of course, Castle of Cagliostro. Diagrams explained what the chefs came up with, and though some of the dishes were somewhat liberal interpretations, everything looked pretty delicious.

The only item they’ve actually offered so far is the Lupin dish, but we would not be surprised if more were offered in the following weeks. We’ll keep you informed.

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.