I celebrated my birthday early this year by going to the Fukuoka Animate Cafe. During the month of April they were celebrating the 20th anniversary of Card Captor Sakura and Kinomoto Sakura and Li Shaoran’s birthday on April 1st.
For those of you wondering what Card Captor Sakura is, it’s a Japanese manga and anime written by the popular all-women manga artist team CLAMP. It debuted in 1996 and it follows the story of the energetic fourth grader Sakura, who one day stumbles upon a mysterious book in her house. She accidentally releases the magical Clow Cards within and she is tasked to become a card captor and collect all the releases cards. It fun, action packed, and full of great characters.
I was a fourth grader when I first watched the (terrible) English-dubbed version on TV. Everyday after school I got to become Sakura and go on amazing adventures. Celebrating my birthday at the CCS 20th Anniversary Cafe was a nostalgic dream come true.
Let just say reserving tickets was a feat. You can only reserve online through a series of timed steps. If you don’t complete each step in time you have to start all over again. A fellow ALT and I asked a Japanese friend to help us navigate the steps because we were having trouble reading the Japanese websites. Luckily, after a few attempts we were able to make a reservation for four people.
Once at the Cafe in Fukuoka, we had to wait in line to be seated for our reservation. The cafe sets up a timed reservations. We had two tables for 80 minutes in the late afternoon.The inside of the cafe was quite small. The tables were decorated with Clow Cards and the walls were decorated with the cafe’s character designs. There was original art from the creators on sale, special anniversary merchandise, and guests could take pictures in an empty Clow Card.
The menu was posted online but we still took our time looking at the food and drinks. All of it was very cute. After we were served our food we snuck off one by one around the cafe to take pictures of the character wall hangings. On the last order my friends ordered a special dessert where you could write a message in chocolate! They made me promise not to look until they were finished.
To finish a great afternoon we bought lots of merchandise and took pictures in the empty Clow Card aptly named The Guest.