In which three men embark on an existential journey to the darkest heart of Akiba and come away laden with goods, yet unable to answer the question burning in their minds: where is the moe in Moe Burger?

I made the two-hour trek down to Akihabara today intent on killing several birds with a single stone. In no particular order, the birds were the following:

the catalog itself

Toranoana’s sales promotion paired it with a stylishly-encased umbrella

a free pamphlet detailing industry booth presence at the event. Note: the Comiket staff member pictured here may or may not be representative of the actual con staff

  • September’s edition of Hobby Japan (not officially on sale for three more days, whee – will scoop the contents soon),

  • Kaiyodo’s BOME Ignis,

  • Lilith MIST’s flagship title Ayame ([ERO], click for uncensored),

  • and some dirty manga (click for uncensored again).

All of this shopping was done after the day’s main event, which consisted of meeting up with cohorts rabidkimba and sspoon and journeying once again to Moe Burger. Unlike the abortive attempt of a few weeks ago we arrived today to find its doors proudly flung wide, so in we went.

After the initial discomfort of being greeted by the obligatory “okaerinasaimase, goshujin-sama” and fumbling about in an effort to figure out the shop’s system (do we order now? later? when do we pay? do we seat ourselves? what?) the three of us settled down to what we came to agree was a rather mediocre dining experience.

The food itself was surprisingly decent, though expensive; the ugly stick did not afflict the wait staff with nearly as much prejudice as the site made it seem. That said, their performance as moe mascots was not incredibly convincing. I don’t know whether we felt more unease at their existence or they at the three unsightly gaijin tramping into their store, but our sudden appearance didn’t help their act any.

Added to that was the store’s ambiance, which seemed incredibly random (and that’s a charitable description). Like many stores in Akihabara, Moe Burger is a narrow dive with the cash register up front and tables in the rear – a small place, with seating for not more than twenty or so. The walls were adorned with… the crap in the background here is the only way to describe it. I don’t know if they were going for some sort of elementary school kitsch aesthetic or what but it didn’t work particularly well. There was a decent-sized plasma TV mounted on the wall, but it was playing – of all things – a Mr. Children concert DVD through most of the time we were there.

There will be time to cobble together some more coherent observations later, so I’ll leave it at that for now. I did pick up the store’s point card, though I doubt I’ll be going back any time soon…