First, from Honey’s Anime, we would like to give a huge thank you to both Mariru and to maidreamin for agreeing to an interview with us, and sharing their valuable time with us. We hope you had as much fun answering our questions as we had writing them and hearing your answers! Thank you so much for everything, it was an incredible experience being able to have an interview with you, Mariru!
Mariru is one of the most famous maids in the maid café chain maidreamin, which has many locations throughout Japan. She works in Akihabara, right in the centre of moe culture in Tokyo! Our interview with Mariru is in honour of maidreamin’s 10th anniversary, which is an incredible achievement. We asked Mariru questions about herself and her life as a maid, maid café and moe culture, and of course about the café’s monumental anniversary.
We hope you enjoy learning more about Mariru and maidreamin – and of course, that all of our readers can experience maidreamin for themselves someday, too!
How did you start working as a professional maid?
I'm originally the queen of Pokke Mura (Pocket Village). Pokke Mura exists inside the pocket of each of our masters and princesses. One day I heard loud laughter coming from somewhere, and that's how I found maidreamin, the dream world where the laughter gathers. I wanted to be part of it so I came here. I want to bring happiness and laughter to all our masters and princesses who enter our dreamland.
Why do you think maid cafes are so popular with worldwide fans?
Maid culture is where all the cute and kawaii "moe" things gather! And you don’t have to be shy about enjoying moe. Moe originally means the energy when something grows out from the ground, like flowers and grass, and now it's become the word to describe the feeling that grows inside you when you see something lovely or cute and your heart feels warm and sparkling. Everybody’s moe is different, but many feel moe by coming to maidreamin. The best way is to come experience it for yourself.
Why do you think Akihabara is the perfect place for maid culture?
Akihabara is full of professional people who really put all of themselves into what they love. That's a happy spirit that you can find everywhere in Akihabara -- that type of passion, mind, and soul are all right here. Many of our masters and princesses are collecting something, like anime, games, figures, but what matters is that they all want to find happy moments and share happiness with each other. I think maidreamin in the perfect place for this kind of pure happiness.
What are your best memories of your performances overseas?
At Anime Expo 2017, there was a girl who came to us and said, “It's on my bucket list to come to Japan and visit maidreamin." Her eyes and cute energy made me feel so happy and energized, then two months later she really came to Japan to see us! And at Ani:Me 2016 in Abu Dhabi, there was a girl who had never met an actual maid, she had only seen them in Japanese anime and manga. So that cute princess spent three days with us following us and taking photos.
What are the special points about maidreamin that brought the chain to its 10th Anniversary this year?
It's because there's a dreamland here. Every person has a dreamland in their heart -- it's not some concept or format that we give you to enjoy by paying the entrance fee. We communicate with each of our guests one-by-one to add fun and laughter to their dreamland. When we started, our masters and princesses mostly came from Akihabara, but now there are so many tourists coming to see us every day. People come to see our live performances, and families visit us with their little princes and princesses. It's a truly friendly place for all kinds of people, and that's the secret of how we've continued for 10 years and it's how we'll continue for another 10 years.
Do you have any advice for foreign visitors that are considering trying out a maid cafe while they're in Japan?
If you're coming in a big group, or if you want to see a lot of live performances, the best place to start is our Heaven’s Gate shop. My advice is to come visit us and be ready to have fun. If you need to get our maids' attention, just make your hands into paws and say "Nyan Nyan!"
What advice do you give to new maids when they're training?
New maids with all different types of personalities come to join us all year round. We teach each maid how to make others happy, and you learn to do that by finding out what makes you happy, yourself. Our cast members grow a lot, personally, even if they think they're shy at first. Giving wonderful service and bringing smiles to others is the best thing we can do, and that just gives us the energy to keep doing it more and more.
What do you look forward to most every day when you go to work?
I think about who I'm going to meet today, and what kind of creative and fun dreamland we'll make together. Maybe it will be someone new, like a couple coming to visit for their honeymoon, or maybe it will be one of our regular masters who visit every day after a hard day at work. No matter what, it's the smiles that I know are waiting for me.
What do you hope to help maidreamin achieve in the next ten years?
I would love to help more young ladies grow their confidence and spread more happiness around the world. Maidreamin is a place where everyone can find their dreamland, and it doesn't have to be just here in Japan. The feeling of "moe" can be found anywhere people come together to share smiles and a fun feeling. It's like a party every time, and I want to be at every party!
If you've never been to maidreamin, please come and experience our kawaii and moe dreamland. We will deliver happiness to your heart! Moe Moe Kyunn! 💖
Living the dream in Tokyo, where you can find me working at a theme café catered towards women. When I’m not writing for Honey’s, I’m working on original dystopian science fiction or blogging about Tokyo’s trendy coffee scene. I spend my free time in Harajuku and Shibuya wearing alternative Japanese street fashion. I love video games, J-rock, tattoos, and Star Wars.