News Sakura Wars' Taishō Romandō Shop & Sakura Cafe Closes (Updated)
posted on 2008-02-02 06:31 EST
Taishō Romandō & Sakura Cafe, Tokyo's shop and cafe dedicated entirely to Sega's Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) game franchise, will close on March 30 after almost a decade of service. The shop opened in Tokyo's Ikebukuro neighborhood on June 13, 1998 — two years after the first Sakura Taisen game became a hit with its alternate history portrayal of an all-female theatrical troupe that defends Tokyo with steam-driven robots. Four games, shelves of platform ports and spinoffs, manga, anime, and a string of live musical shows would follow.
As the franchise's popularity waxed and waned, the store grew and shrank accordingly. It remodeled several times, but kept its faux 1920s Tokyo motif, as well as its life-size figure of the first game's Sakura character and its basketball-player-sized Kōbu robot statue. The store eventually opened its own in-house Sakura Cafe in 2003. There, the fans can order dishes and drinks named after the characters. A second store opened in Osaka in central Japan, but that store closed in 2003.
Between February 16 and March 28, Taishō Romandō will hold 18 store-closing events with the character voices of the game and anime franchise, original creator Ouji Hiroi, and "other surprise guests." The last event will feature Chisa Yokoyama, the voice of Sakura herself.
Update: Added more guests to the store-closing events and more links.