Anime studio had something to say about the restaurant filled with its characters and a menu inspired by them.

There’s a cafe in Nagoya called Kodama. If you’re a Ghibli anime fan, that name might ring a bell, as it’s the same as the little forest spirits with the rattle-like heads that appear in Princess Mononoke.

That connection is intentional, and definitely not lost on passersby, as Kodama is located in the Osu neighborhood, Nagoya’s main otaku district. And should you poke your head inside, you’ll spot tons of even more direct references to Studio Ghibli’s anime films, as the interior design features Soot Sprites from My Neighbor Totoro

Castle in the Sky Laputa’s robot and fox squirrels

…and, of course, a whole bunch of Kodama.

The theming even extends to the menu, which includes items like the fire demon bacon and egg set, a less-than-subtle allusion to Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle.

There’s also the “It Was a Dream, but It Wasn’t a Dream,” a chocolatey reference to the magical midnight gardening session in Totoro

…and even a rice omelet modeled on the straw hat little sister Mei wears for much of the anime.

Despite the obvious inspirations, though, Kodama is not an official Ghibli-managed restaurant. It’s just a cafe with an unabashed love for the studio’s films. With the greater Nagoya area being the site of the currently under construction Ghibli theme park, though, representatives from the studio are passing through the city with greater frequency these days, and so it was only a matter of time until they caught wind of the unofficial Ghibli cafe. So what did they do?

They visited it, then made sure to let everyone know they liked the place.

“Came here with Goro,” tweeted the official Studio Ghibli Twitter account on Wednesday, along with photos of Kodama’s bus stop-style sign, clearly taking visual cues from the bus stop in Totoro, as well as a page of the cafe’s current menu. “Goro” is, no doubt, Goro Miyazaki, who’s acting as the primary designer and planner for Ghibli Park.

▼ His order apparently included the “Reunion with the Kohaku River,” Kodama’s special drink for fans of Spirited Away’s Haku.

▼ The visitors from Ghibli were also apparently intrigued by Kodama’s extra-tough “force-fed jerky,” which seems to be a reference to the scene in Princess Mononoke where San feeds the dried meat to a near-unconscious Ashitaka.

All in all, it’s a heartwarmingly accommodating reaction from Ghibli, as it wouldn’t have been surprising for a less magnanimous group of rights holders to make a stink about the whole thing. Considering some of the other generous moves Ghibli has made, though, maybe it’s not such a shock.

Restaurant information
Osu no Mori no Cafe Kodama / 大須の森カフェ コダマ
Address: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi, Naka-ku, Osu 4-2-47 4th floor
愛知県名古屋市中区大須 4-2-47 4階

Source: Twitter/@JP_GHIBLI
Top image: Studio Ghibli
Insert image: Studio Ghibli
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