I always complain that US companies are too ball-less, greedy, and risk adverse to bring back good things like the Star Trek Experience or the Adventurers’ Club. It seems that the 90s were a golden age for theme parks and interactive experiences. I hope we will see that again someday.
Meanwhile, Japan is already doing it. A Resident Evil restaurant just opened this week. It will be open for a year only to promote the release of Resident Evil 6.
There is a scale replica of the Tyrant on display:
There is themed food which actually looks extremely delicious (as Japanese food usually is). The waitstaff is the S.T.A.R.S ANGELIQUE, which are dancing girls who perform a dance in which the Tyrant comes to life (thanks to a 3D projector). The girls will then shoot him.
One of the criticisms of the restaurant seems to be that it is more girls than zombies. I think this is valid judging from what I can see in the photos. Still, for those who are raising an eyebrow at the Hooters-like aspect of this establishment, I have to remind you that Japanese media may have more female protagonists than us but this kind of objectification is still normal over there. Many American Otaku make the mistake of thinking Japan is a happy wonderland, when it’s really just a nice country with it’s own different problems just like us.
Many might not know that it was only made illegal to refuse to hire a woman or specify “men only” in Help Wanted ads in the late 80s in Japan. (However, my Japanese professor said it still happens a lot, and you are still expected to retire (or be forcibly retired) at age 25 to have babies or else.) Also Maid Cafes are a real thing, and not just made up for anime cons. I am not saying this is bad, I am just saying that this is different than what you might see in America and normal. Still, we do have similar concepts in the USA. I can see why it might seem strange to those expecting zombies, though.
Now that I have made a pretty substantial digression, I have to say that this restaurant looks really cool. I totally want to go here, but won’t be able to afford it within a year. If anyone out there has gone or will go, please send in photos. In the meantime, you can look at photos of it and the food over at Kotaku.
If any native Japanese person can comment on gender bias or if it has changed since I was in college, please let me know.
Thanks, Bob for sending this in! 😀