Even if you’ve never been to a maid café before, surely you’ve seen one in anime where cute girls in cute maid outfits bring food and drinks to their customers and provide a fun atmosphere for people to relax in. While the Anime Expo maid café steers away from the food service part, they provide a particularly entertaining atmosphere that makes it one of the most popular things to do at the convention. Even among other anime convention maid cafes, the AX maid café is well known. Just what makes this café such a huge crowd-pleaser? Read below to find out!
As you enter the maid café, a large number of huge tables fill out a giant room, every seat filling with eager customers. It’s about split between men and women because, who doesn’t like cute maid outfits? Each table has one or two maids, though it’s not uncommon for a maid to summon another for special purposes we will elaborate on later. There’s a huge stage up at the front and to the side of it is the food stand manned by non-maids. The maids themselves don’t take your order or get your food, as their job is to stay at your table and keep everyone entertained. They have matching outfits but each maid is able to accessorize freely. Some wear cat ears, some wear wigs, some have unique headpieces, but all of them look cute, fresh, and ready to work! Cute drink coasters, little jewels, and flowers adorn the round tables. Due to the huge size of the room, it doesn’t feel crowded, unlike the butler café which is perhaps less than half the size of the maid café. As you settle in, your maid will introduce herself and have everyone introduce themselves to their table-mates. Once everyone is seated, the rules of the café will be read by the head maid with cheering from the other maids. Rules are in place to protect the maids and to let you know what to expect, such as that pictures can be purchased at the end of the show.
Your table maid makes your happiness her personal mission, greeting everyone with a happy attitude and trying to find common ground with everyone. They’re good about letting their patrons make choices and also taking the lead when it’s helpful. They’ll choose a game for the table to play and implement punishments for those who lose to keep things interesting. These punishments usually include something mildly embarrassing or making you interact with the people around you. One such punishment was to make the loser ‘confess their love’ for another maid. Of course, everyone is so on top of things, the maids never miss a beat as they accept these confessions in dramatic manners, quite cute for one to behold.
This is not just chill time for the maids, though. A couple of times throughout the hour, at least one maid and up to 10 maids perform a dance. It’s clear these maids consider it their duty to entertain you as even the one-person dances are intensive and long but completed with energy and a smile. Their group numbers are very impressive with lots of place-switching and over-all synchronicity. Whether it’s K-pop or J-pop the girls are capable of various styles and seamlessly switching back into maid-mode when their performance is over. They have an especially cute custom at the café when someone orders food or drinks. The current table maid will ask for the help of another maid to ‘make your food more delicious’ by teaching you a special maid spell. They say “Moe, Moe, KYUN!” and make a heart with their hands, and send their maid magic to your refreshment in order to make it even better. If nothing else, the effort and attention are appreciated! At the end of the hour, you have a chance to pay for a polaroid of or with your favorite maid (it doesn’t have to be the maid that served you!) by a pretty flower backdrop.
The maid café is a great place if you want a nice, cool place to relax away from the general bustle of the con, assuming you’ve bought your ticket in advance! They tend to sell out before the start of the convention. Whether you’re more of a social recluse or someone that loves to meet new people, chances are your maid will easily be able to meet your needs and that of the table’s. It’s also fun knowing that despite having your main maid, you’re very likely, at some point, going to meet another maid. If you’re a fan of moe and dancing maids, the Anime Expo maid café is definitely worth a visit.