After Hours Experience (Anime Expo 2018)

Anime Expo really has something for everybody. And this year, the adult entertainment was somehow even better. After Hours, previously known as Night Café, is a sexy anime-inspired night of entertainment, games, glamour, and drinks. Guests even get a free drink! So don’t forget your ID.

The Experience

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As soon as you walk into After Hours, you feel sexy and classy. The place is set up with tables around a stage/catwalk, the lighting is dim and warm, and the decor is stylish and with a Japanese flair.

Once the doors close, host Steven D’Onofrio welcomed the crowd with his unique mix of anime geek, diva, and stand-up comedian; immediately cracking us up and setting the mood for what was to come.

Between performances, Steven kept us entertained and even led a couple of games involving members of the audience in order to win drinks for their table and other great prizes. There was a NSFW trivia game and a lip-synch battle; the latter turned into a strip tease competition and the real winner there was the audience.

The Talent

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After Hours is basically a variety show for adult otaku. What that means is we get the best of both worlds! Do you love sexy dancers and anime? Why not both together?
The first performer was Marcella Raya, who graced the stage in a Magi cosplay and entranced the audience with her belly dancing and use of veiled fans. Morgiana even brought a lucky guy on stage to dance with her for a bit before she danced with a sword balanced on her head. Pretty impressive stuff, and sexy to boot!

After a few laugh with our host, we were treated to a Lust (Fullmetal Alchemist) burlesque performance by Lady Mekaella. Her cosplay was on point and she embodied the lusty character perfectly, slowly removing each glove and then her dress to reveal a corset beneath, which would soon hit the ground as well. The busty homunculus had us under her spell.

After picking up our jaws from the floor, we finally got to see the pole at the end of the stage being used -not counting the lip-synching competitors! Andrea Kim, a gymnast and pole dancer, hit the stage in a sexy, kawaii maid outfit and owned that pole, flying up and down and suspending herself in the air. Once again, the audience was left speechless.

Last but not least, our very own host, Steve D’Onofrio actually sang for us! Not just any song, the K-pop version of Larger Than Life by the Backstreet boys! Steven, like the rest of the performers at After Hours, lit up the stage with his amazing voice, sexy choreography, mesh shirt, and rocker pants before closing up the show by bringing all the performers out and reminding the audience to embrace our uniqueness and be our true selves. What a positive ending to a wonderful show.

Final Thoughts

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We attended Night Cafe last year and were wowed by the talent and professionalism. 2018 was no different, as Anime Expo clearly knows how to pick talented acts who also share in the congoers’ passion for anime and all things Japanese. There are few things as fun and exciting as combining several of your interests into one, and seeing Lust perform a striptease and a cute little maid float around a pole in her skivvies, was just what the ecchi otaku doctor ordered! If you’re planning on attending Anime Expo next year, and will be 21+ by then, we at Honey’s Anime recommend you check out After Hours!

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Author: Lizzy Nyanko

An otaku as far as I can remember. I grew up playing video games, watching anime in Spanish in Mexico where I grew up, and then was a member of both anime clubs at UTEP for my entire university life when I moved to Texas. I love going to cons, I used to cosplay (always hoping to get back into it), and I got to live in Japan for 2 years and be an otaku there! It was literally a dream come true! Now back in the US, I love being a writer and editor for Honey’s. It’s a great chance to keep up with all the latest anime each season and up to date with all otaku news. And without our readers, that wouldn’t be possible so, thank you for being a part of our hive!!

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