[Anime Culture Monday] Anime Hot Spot: Capcom Bar

One of the most famous Japanese video game developers and publishers in the world is probably CAPCOM, which is well-known for creating immortal franchises of all genres. Indeed, CAPCOM has scared the hell out of fans with games like Resident Evil, produced great hack and slash works like Devil May Cry, made tons of fighting players go crazy with Street Fighter, and gave life to big action role-playing like Monster Hunter. There is probably no gamer in the whole world who has never at least heard about one of the mentioned masterpieces and, particularly in Japan, CAPCOM has been awarded the title of one of the best game-making companies, due to its games’ difficulty. Playing one of CAPCOM’s games can be a very frustrating experience, but also exciting for those people who don’t like games to be too easy.

Besides that, one reason for CAPCOM to be popular is also the high quality of its works; enigmas and puzzles are hard to solve, and each character is designed to have its own characteristics and personality. This is probably why CAPCOM lovers need a place to enjoy their favorite games and beloved characters at first hand. Not so many western fans know it, but that place actually exists; it is in Tōkyō’s commercial district Shinjuku and it opened in January 2012 under the name of CAPCOM BAR. CAPCOM BAR was born by a collaboration with Pasela Resorts, in particular its karaoke section. On the Pasela website it says CAPCOM BAR is an entertainment place created for all games’ lovers where people can choose among 80 kinds of concept food and drinks inspired by CAPCOM’s most loved characters.

Curious to know more about the CAPCOM Bar? Then, let us give you a tour inside!

Capcom Bar Info

Location
  • 1-3-16, Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Pasela Resorts Shinjuku 1F
  • JR Shinjuku Station, East Exit
Cost of Admission
  • Free (but reservation is highly recommended)
Hours of Operation
  • Mon-Fri 14:00 to 23:00; Sat, Sun 11:30 to 23:00 (Last order 30 minutes before the allowed time expires)
  • 0120-706-732
Official Website

The Experience

Experiencing CAPCOM BAR for the first time is a thrilling experience, both due to the concept by which it was inspired and the way guests are welcomed. Since CAPCOM BAR is a product of two big companies, it was decided it should be located inside one of the many buildings belonging to Pasela Resorts, to be precise, the first floor. At the door, people are received by a member of the staff who will explain to them the rules, such as the bathroom’s location, the way to order food and drinks, and how and when it is possible to purchase merchandise. After the short explanation (unfortunately in Japanese), visitors are guided in the inner part of the building toward a door which reminds a little of Resident Evil: Revelations and which is the entrance for an unbelievable place. The bar extends from the right to the left and it is actually pretty large. The first thing you will notice once inside is the great amount of action figures from the Street Fighter, Sengoku Basara, and Monster Hunter scattered all over the place, cosplay jackets and giant posters of characters from different sagas, original sketches, dolls, and… actual weapons from Resident Evil!

CAPCOM BAR was, in fact, thought to be not only a restaurant to enjoy themed-food and drinks but also to be a place in which customers can have a complete experience in an environment where they observe and interact with the company’s products such as in a real art gallery. Still, CAPCOM BAR isn’t just a place where you only enjoy a nice meal while looking at dolls and posters. Indeed, visitors can also watch the newest promo trailers of games already published or in development thanks to big TV screens placed in front of the tables, borrow books for reading while having a meal, and play their favorite videogames through console available for free. Also, you can play together with your friends by using food on the menu. There is a Russian roulette made of takoyaki in which one special takoyaki filled with wasabi (a super spicy sauce) is hidden amongst others. The one who picks it will suffer a very spicy punishment!

Even more interesting, ordering drinks can be a very fun experience, too. In fact, drinks and some food are named after famous characters from the Devil May Cry, Street Fighter, Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright, and the Resident Evil sagas, so for each of them, there is a character’s quote corresponding with the drink. If you order Ryū’s cocktail, for example, the member of the staff who will serve it to you will certainly yell “Hadoken!” in your face, while if you ask for the onion rings pater, the whole staff will turn into a court for a moment and yell “IGI ARI! (“objection”)” all together in chorus. You can order anything you want by using a preprinted list on your table and you will want to spend time turning the pages of the menu that is graphically awesome!


Additional info

Of course, there are more surprises in store for fans. Together with the food and drinks list, there is also another preprinted sheet for the merchandise, and all the available goods (properly numbered) can be find on the menu. Some items are limited edition and can be found only at CAPCOM BAR, so it is possible you will find out many of them are already sold-out. Gadgets which can be purchased are diverse and varies from simple keyholders to cups, stickers, dolls, T-shirts, and posters from all of the biggest sagas, such as Sengoku Basara and Monster Hunter. They get changed seasonally and their price goes from 800 up to 3000 yen.

As for the food and drinks, they were designed in a clever way, since many of them associates by color or shape to some characters and monsters but are still actually pretty cheap. Indeed, prices range from 480 to 900 yen for the drinks, and 800 to 2000 yen for food. For example, a Street Fighter’s Ken no Tatsumaki Senpu Kyaku cocktail will cost you only 580 yen, while the famous onions pater (that is actually huge) will cost you no more than 580 yen. The best part is that the food and drinks has some special mark or symbol on it which reminds of the character or monster it is inspired from.

Also the desserts part is fun and cheap. You can enjoy a strawberry parfait inspired by Devil May Cry’s Dante for 730 yen or a Nero & Kyrie roll and ice cream for even less. Unfortunately, for the most part, the desserts will be on the menu only for a short period of time, although some of them are evergreen and will always be there waiting to be eaten. The most interesting on the evergreen desserts’ list is probably the Lickers’ Brain Cake inspired by the well-known creature from Resident Evil. You can order it together with an Anti-Virus cocktail, and the funny thing is that when you will stab it with the provided blade, the person who served you will pretend to have a headache!

Now, compared to normal restaurants or eateries, CAPCOM BAR wasn’t designed to be very big, so it has a limited seating capacity of only 32 tables. That is why it is recommended to make a reservation before deciding to visit the place, so as not to risk to be left at the door. The reservation can be made through Pasela’s website and it is free of charge. However, you will need to understand a little Japanese to be able to complete the reservation on the official site, although there are some sponsored travel websites in English which could make it for you.

Also, it is not recommended to just suddenly show up and hope to get a table as like many other themed cafés, CAPCOM BAR has a pre-programmed time system too, so you can’t visit the place anytime. There are 5 time slots per day (11:30~, 14:00~, 16:30~, 19:00~, 21:30~) and visitors are allowed to stay up to a maximum of 2 hours before the next group’s turn. In case you get there earlier than expected, you could also take a look around the area surrounding the building. CAPCOM BAR is located in one of the most entertaining quarters in Shinjuku – Kabukichō – which features many other interesting places, ethnic and traditional restaurants, and shopping malls selling also Lolita and steampunk clothes.


Final Thoughts

If there is a word to describe CAPCOM BAR, it would be “awesomeness”. The place is a paradise for gamers, not only if you are a lover of CAPCOM’s products, but also if you are interested in spending some time doing something different from the usual with friends. The food is delicious, the inside of the locale offers every entertaining activity possible, and the fact the staff actually interact with guests to make them remember some of their favorite games is actually quite moving. Paying a visit to CAPCOM BAR would probably became one of the best experiences in your life. If you don’t go, you can’t call yourself a CAPCOM’s fan anymore!

Dareka Nobody

Writer

Author: Dareka Nobody

I’m an Italian dirty little girl obsessed with Japanese language, culture, literature, anime, manga, games, but also with writing, reading, and travelling, in general. I lived in Japan and I’m about to be moving there forever. When I’m not working, I translate yaoi light novels for a hobby. I’ve recently started a partnership with the website Novelleleggere.org where I publish my works. I run a page on Facebook about my translation and I’m also a blogger who likes to write about her experiences in Japan. Akiba addicted and enthusiastic Honeyfeed’s writer!

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