Otaku Sekai is a brand new anime lounge located in Massachusetts, which features gaming setups, space for tabletop games, and a recurring Maid Café!
A little background
Owned and operated by John Le, Otaku Sekai opened its doors recently in August of 2022 and offers a wide variety of things to do for local nerdy enthusiasts of all ages. Otaku Sekai strives to bring the best anime, videogame, and Japanese culture merchandise to New England residents.
“It’s been my dream ever since I was a kid to have a place I can belong,” states John. “Growing up it was hard for me to fit in. I dreamt of having a place where I can be with my friends, make new friends, and just do the things I enjoy.” So he created a new type of concept store: a lounge where anyone is welcome to stop in and hang out.
“I love making new friends, so many customers come in and fall in love with the store and become regulars and friends too.” employee Liyah says. “Honestly I’m horrible at making friends but thanks to the store it’s a thousand times easier.”
Otaku Sekai sells not only licensed anime merchandise but also offers snacks and drinks imported from Japan for customers to enjoy while they hang out. The shelves along the walls house hundreds of anime figures, plushies, wall scrolls, and posters. Customers simply see what they like, and ask an associate to grab a packaged item from the back room for them to purchase.
On top of selling imported merchandise, the store also sells products from local artists such as Chu Charms and Devious Drawing, as well as offering signed prints of local cosplayers and Polaroids of the Maids.
The Gaming Lounge
TVs and projectors play an array of anime at all times, with plenty of couch room for you and your friends to sit and relax while you munch on snacks. But don’t worry, you’re more than welcome to change the show or commandeer the Nintendo Switch to play games with your friends. You can even bring your gaming setup if you feel up to it.
Tables are set up throughout the section so that you can play tabletop games with your friends like Yu-Ghi-Oh, Magic the Gathering, or one of the store’s on-hand board games. You can also set up shop at these tables to work on your homework, do regular work, or just lounge around and decompress. I like to hang out and work on content ideas and concepts for videos. Something about working in a fresh space gets the creativity flowing.
The Maid Café
This is the part I’m sure many are most curious about. While it is not a fully functioning Maid Café, patrons have the option to sit down with one of the Maids and enjoy a little slice of Akihabara culture. Maids are there predominately for events but can also be booked by request.
Otaku Sekai’s Maid Café functions similarly to those seen at anime conventions. Patrons will be seated with a Maid and can play tabletop and party games with their Maid and munch on snacks and beverages together.
On top of regular operating hours, the store also holds regular events such as weekly Smash and Yu-Ghi-Oh tournaments, themed events for holidays, and even birthday parties.
“The events are a great opportunity to cosplay outside conventions. They keep me motivated and the people are super nice!” states a Discord patron.
For a full view of what Otaku Sekai offers, click here or head on over to the Auburn Mall to visit them!
All photos used courtesy of Stephaniqua Productionz