Previously Ai My Maid had held a Pokémon event and Miku Miku Kyun, the final event of the year was entitled; Super Smash Sisters, which took place inside Shimogamo, a Japanese restaurant located a couple of minutes’ walk from Camden Town Station. As I approached the venue I was greeted outside by Maid Mayumi and asked to pick a lucky fortune slip, unfortunately I received a curse (yikes!) luckily the shrine maidens were on hand to bless me and others who had been cast with the same ill fate! Those lucky few who had been blessed were awarded gifts ranging from chekkis (a decorated Polaroid photo) to other kawaii items.
As I entered Shimogamo I was instantly struck by the authentic Japanese vibe inside, more so then previous venues used, with the restaurants welcoming long wooden tables and stools, surrounded by kitchenware, wine and sake displayed on the walls. I could see that all the food was beautifully presented in bento boxes and looked absolutely delicious. Although I didn’t have one, the desserts especially looked amazing! Shimogamo is actually the name of a famous shrine in Japan, so it really was ideal for an Ai My Maid event to be held.
For those not familiar with Ai My Maid, I recommend reading an earlier interview with them here but I will briefly explain, they are based on Japanese mikus, translated as shrine maidens in English. Ai My Maid reflect this in the colour and style of their matching uniforms. They also have shrine maiden like powers with the ability to cast spells, blessings and a select few can even read tarot cards.
Ai My Maid used their shrine maiden powers to cast spells on goshujin-sama and ojou-sama (masters and mistresses) food bestowing luck and good fortune upon them! Each maid is unique with a special talent, from ribbon rose making, drawing and singing all are available on request for a small fee (50p-£3.00) with ten maids present there was a wide selection of things to choose from and a maid was never far away to oblige a request.
It is no secret that the staff at Ai My Maid love games, many of their events have a strong gaming presence so naturally the maids had laid out several consoles accompanied with the newly released Super Smash Bros available to play, attendees had even been encouraged to bring extra controllers allowing the maximum number of people to get involved. You could play fellow attendees or challenge the maids! Attendees could win stamps and ultimately a prize if they can beat the maids at a number of challenges – not just Smash Bros. Games ranged from guess who, connect four then there were more creative (and messy) inventions such as chubby bunny which involved stuffing as many marshmallows in your mouth as you can – poor Maid Ayami was challenged to this over 15 times during the day!
As well as Smash Bros, attendees could play retro games with each other, I think I played pop up pirate like a 100 times and lost a fair few times! The maids were a force to be reckoned with, as I watched Maid Nanami score connect 6 in a game of connect 4 (cognitive powers at work there..)! At the end of the session there were still some secret Santa presents left so the maids challenged the room to rock, paper, and scissors. The winners received the remaining gifts.
Ai My Maid are keen on interaction not only with attendees, as mentioned earlier with 10 maids present there was always one close by if you needed something, but creating a friendly atmosphere at their events.
I look forward to seeing what the Ai My Maidens have in store for us next year!