Fate/Grand Order is only one of the most popular mobile games in Japan. Of course there’s a collaboration café.
Fate/Grand Order is a spinoff of the popular Fate series. An expansive universe where heroes and gods of myth and legend can be summoned—with, perhaps, some slight “differences” from their historical depictions—to fight for you. Fate/Grand Order itself has had a game, an anime special, an AR app, and an in-development VR app. It was only a matter of time before they opened a collaborative café. How was I not going to check it out? (And if you’re wondering, “Is Toshi not going to shut the hell up about Fate/Grand Order again?”—No, Toshi is not going to shut the hell up about Fate/Grand Order again.)
Starting on February 3, the SEGA Collabo Café Akihabara began a collaboration with Fate/Grand Order, offering themed food and drink items in a café decorated with all kinds of Fate/Grand Order artwork.
Unfortunately, due to popularity and limited table space, you can’t just waltz in, get a table, and enjoy a meal. You’re required to sign up online and enter in a lottery just to make a reservation. If you’re fortunate enough to be chosen for your desired date and time slot, you need to show up before your time slot begins. After being let in with the other people of the same time slot, you’ll be seated and the staff will give a brief explanation on the café rules. Once the explanations are finished, your time begins and the staff will begin taking orders. You will have an hour and thirty minutes before you are required to leave.
The drinks each cost 600 yen (approx. USD $5) and each drink comes with one of eight randomly chosen collectible coasters.
The food items cost 1,200 yen (approx. USD $11) apiece. Only one food order is allowed per person. I went for “Merlin’s Garden of Avalon Pasta.”
What better way to enjoy a meal than to play the game while eating?
The food was really good. The people who came up with the menu items have put a lot of creativity into making food that is both delicious and thematically fits with the characters of the game.
You can also order from three different parfaits. Each goes for 1,000 yen and comes with an Arts, Quick, or Buster character coaster, depending on what you ordered. You can order more than one of these, but they’re pretty hefty.
There’s also various merchandise for sale.
On the whole, the café is quite cozy. With the promotional videos running on the monitors and the music from the game running in the background, it really does feel like a space just for fans. There’s even an interactive summoning program in the corner where people can summon various servants—with the odds of drawing a five star servant cranked up to unrealistic levels, of course.
Perhaps it’s because everyone there is a fan of the game, but there’s an open atmosphere of affirmation and acceptance to the whole place. I saw a couple order every single drink on the menu at once. Twice.
There were several people for whom this was obviously not their first time to the café, judging from the stack of coasters they had. Some would get up after finishing and wander around, casually trading coasters they’d obtained multiples of for ones they didn’t have yet. Some people were striking up conversations with people they had obviously never met before. Most people were strangers but, with the common fandom for the game, everyone was a friend.
On one wall, there was a whiteboard where people could write messages of support for the café or just messages saying how much they loved or enjoyed the game. There were also messages from the voice actresses, Rie Takahashi and Minami Tanaka, the voices for characters Mash and Nitocris, respectively.
The SEGA Collabo Café Akihabara Fate/Grand Order collaboration café can be found near Akihabara station in Tokyo.
The café was scheduled to close on April 2, but thanks to popularity and high demand, the open period has been extended to May 14. You can sign up for the online reservation lottery here. (Depending on what characters are released in the next batch of coasters, I might be tempted to go again…)