Robot fans applauded elimination of idol “eyesore” next to mecha anime otaku attraction.

The majority of Japan’s anime-themed restaurants are pop-up operations, serving hard-core fans of a particular franchise for a few short weeks before shutting down and a new eatery taking their place in the venue. The Gundam Cafe, however, is a major exception.

Since opening its first branch in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood 10 years ago, the Gundam Cafe has not only been in continuous operation itself, it’s been so popular that the chain can now boast five branches. However, the original Akihabara location recently sent out the sad news that it will be closing down on March 23.

Don’t shed too many tears for its passing, though. In a parallel to how Tokyo’s temporarily lost its life-size Gundam statue but now has a replacement that’s even bigger, the Akihabara Gundam Cafe isn’t shutting down because it doesn’t have enough customers, but so that it can go through an expansion that will make the restaurant four times bigger than it is now!

However, if you take a look at the Akihabara Gundam Cafe’s location…

…you’ll see that it’s directly underneath the train tracks, and to the left of the entrance is what appears to be support columns and other infrastructure. That makes expanding to the right the most logical choice, and what’s currently there is…

…the AKB48 cafe, dedicated to the mega-popular idol singer super group that’s based in Akihabara.

Annexing the AKB48’s territory would fit with the idol restaurant’s recent fate, as the AKB48 Cafe closed permanently on December 31. The prospect of Gundam taking over the principality of AKB has filled some of the anime’s fans with glee, prompting them to post Twitter comments such as:

“Gundam defeats AKB!”
“Can’t wait. I am so happy to hear about this. The AKB Cafe was an eyesore next to the Gundam Cafe.”
“Every time my eyes fell upon the AKB48 Cafe, it irritated me. So happy that they’ve crushed it.”

Others, though, are just happy to know the Gundam Cafe good-bye is only temporary, and the grand reopening being projected for July gives them another Gundam event to look forward to in 2020, and something to tide them over while they wait for the unveiling of the moving life-size Gundam in Yokohama this fall. Oh, and don’t worry, the other Gundam Cafes, including the one in Tokyo’s Odaiba district in the shadow of the life-size Unicorn Gundam, will remain open as usual.

Source: Gundam Cafe via Otakomu
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he highly recommends the Gundam Cafe’s Beam Churros.