Akihabara noodle joint becomes sacred ground for fans of voice actress game.

If you work in Akihabara, Tokyo’ neighborhood for all things anime and video game-related, you can assume that a lot of otaku have laid eyes on your place of business. However, even some people who’ve never visited Akihabara have seen local ramen restaurant Ryuken.

▼ Ryuken (exterior pictured top right)

That’s because the eatery shows up as a setting in mobile game Cue, in which the player helps a group of attractive and eager young ladies chase their dreams of becoming anime voice actresses.

Cue

Specifically, Ryuken shows up in a scene involving the character Mahoro Miyaji, a college student whose favorite food just so happens to be ramen. Being as aspiring voice actress naturally takes her to Akihabara, and she stops by Ryuken for a bite to eat.

▼ Mahoro

Ryuken’s owner didn’t know his restaurant had been featured in the game until some of his customers started telling him, but was happily surprised. “A customer just told me that some game called Cue was kind enough to use our restaurant as a setting. Thank you!!!!” reads the above tweet from the Ryuken official account.

Since then, Ryuken has become a seichi, or “sacred ground,” as real-world locations featured in anime and games are called by fans. Two months after the restaurant’s owner learned about its appearance in Cue, fans started bringing in Mahoro fan art and merch as gifts for the restaurant, eventually inspiring the owner to try the game out for himself, with helpful customers showing him how to play.

▼ “A customer who came in this evening gave me this Mahoro illustraton. It’s so well-done! Thank you. Oh, and I’ve also started playing Cue.”

▼ The fan art in a place of honor on Ryuken’s wall

Cue features a cast of 16 characters, but naturally Ryuken’s owner has a soft spot for Mahoro.

▼ “I heard there was a Mahoro gacha event going on, so I tried a pull, but it was no good LOL LOL. Gotta save up my points again.”

Ryuken has been in business for 43 years, serving up rib meat ramen and other types of noodles at extremely affordable prices, with the simplest bowl costing just 480 yen (US$4.60) and with a location right in front of a branch of popular dojinshi independent anga store Tora no Ana. Cue, on the other hand, just came out last year, but the extra attention from the game is now helping introduce a whole new generation of otaku to Ryuken’s ramen, just as they in turn are introducing Ryuken’s owner to a whole new part of the pop culture scene.

Restaurant information
Ryuken / 竜軒
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Soto Kanda 4-3-12
東京都千代田区外神田4-3-12
Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Closed Mondays (Tuesdays if Monday is a holiday)

Source: Twitter/@akiba_ryuken via Kinisoku, Cue official website
Top image: YouTube/CUE!
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