Perhaps it just wasn’t the right time for a lunch loaded with existentialism.

It feels like only a day ago that manga artist Yuuki Kikuchi gripped Twitter users with the conclusion of the Crocodile Who Dies in 100 Days, when in fact it was 14 days ago.

That might not seem so long either, but it was plenty of time in which to both get an entire themed-cafe up and running and then close it down again.

▼ The cafe opened on 1 April and the closure announcement was made on 3 April

It’s a sacred tradition in Japan that anything of even remote cultural significance be honored in the form of a limited-time and overpriced cafe from Pen Pineapple Apple Pen to Facebook. However, this time some people were rubbed the wrong way in that a story which had moved them so deeply was suddenly commercialized.

▼ For those bittersweet 100 days the nation laughed together, cried together, made instant ramen together

Those who weren’t as hung up on the authenticity of cartoon crocodiles rushed down on opening day to try some of the custom dishes and view the artwork up close. The day after opening day, however, was a totally different story. Attendance had plummeted and by day three the organizers had decided to throw in the towel, despite planning to stay open until mid-May.

Of course in light of current events, they probably weren’t surprised by this in the least. These days most people are of the mind that it simply isn’t worth risking death to get a limited edition smartphone case.

On the cafe’s official website they announced that it will reopen at a later date and any reservation-holders will be issued a full refund.

Even though it was more or less a foregone conclusion, the luscious irony of a cafe based on something with a rigidly enforced lifespan suddenly getting swiftly and prematurely snuffed out itself was too much for most online comments to pass up.

“The Cafe Who Dies in 100 Hours.”
“That crazy crocodile died yet again.”
“Sorry, but I’m glad that happened.”
“If it’s just postponed, I’ll go when it opens again.”
“Why did they even bother opening now?”
“I think they’re using corona as an excuse for poor attendance.”
“Coronavirus killed a crocodile that was already dead. That’s scary stuff.”
“They say they’ll give refunds, but how many reservations do you think there were in the first place.”
“I get it! Life is fleeting! Why is this crocodile always reminding me of this?”

Given the controversy surrounding the capitalization of this web comic, many speculated that this was all just a cover-up for lack of interest. I admit I probably wouldn’t have gone. Then again, I probably wouldn’t have gone to any pop-up cafe ever made, with the exception of the Final Fantasy ones…. those are usually pretty full-on.

So if the Crocodile Who Dies in 100 Days Cafe is truly a victim of the coronavirus prevention measures, then we should be concerned that this noble Japanese tradition of pop-up cafes, which dates back nearly a thousand weeks, may itself die in 100 days.

Source: Crocodile Who Dies in 100 Days Cafe, Itai News
Featured image: Twitter/@100_wani_cafe
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