Monday, October 25, 2010

Moe Sake

I may be coming to this particular game late, but I just recently learned about "moe sake". I was at the Tokyo Anime Center last week, taking pictures of some of the new exhibit items for the "You Look Delicious" anime, when I got to talking with the manager there. He mentioned the (at the time) upcoming Tokyo International Anime Festival in the UDX building and then followed this up with a flier for moe sake, which had a showing on the 24th, also in the UDX building.

Turns out that moe sake is regular sake produced by Kaito Otokoyama Brewery, in Fukushima, and then given an entire backstory involving cute female characters, including the fairy of sake brewing. Much of the website is bilingual, but the character descriptions aren't available in English yet. Naturally, you're paying extra for the "moe" artwork. Prices run from 1000 yen to 2000 yen depending on the flavor. Sill, after having seen someone selling "moe rice" last year, it's only natural that "moe sake" would follow.

Ok, Oct. 24th comes and goes, and I figure that I might as well drop by during my lunch break. There was more of a crowd around the back of the UDX than I'd have expected for a sake event, and that's when I realized that they were doing a combined event with the Cosplay Summit people that seem to be meeting there about every 3 months. Not as many cosplayers as last time, but that may have been because the weather was cool and threatening to rain all day.

(Moe Umeshu)

(Moe fruit juice)

The sake portion of the event consisted of a number of tables, not just for Tomulier, selling sake, fruit juice, cosplay wigs and accessories, and more sake. There was even a table set up for sampling. Each label was represented. A small container held the sake, and a plastic squeeze bulb. You filled the bulb and then squeezed it into your sampling cup. Just enough drops to be able to get a taste for each label, but not enough to say that you actually had a drink of it. I stayed at the low end of the price range, at 1200 to 1500 yen. The majority of the bottles were at 2000 yen, and some for as much as 3000 yen. Most of the cheaper labels tasted cheap - you're just buying them for the artwork. I did like the ume shuu (plum wine) enough to get a bottle for 1200 yen. It's blended with grapes and other fruit, so it's not as sweet and "plummy" as regular ume shuu, and at 8% alcohol, it's not as strong, either. But it mixes well with club soda to make a decent wine spritzer. On the other hand, it's not a very big bottle, so it's easy to empty quickly.

Some of the women running the tables were dressed up as the characters from the sake labels, and they encouraged photos. Some of the cosplayers weren't as camera-shy as normal, either. Overall, it was a fun event, and if you bought some of the sake you were eligible for some kind of drawing at the end, but I had to return to work before that so I missed out on the drawing. Still, there were more people hanging around and enjoying themselves than there were at the same time the day before at the TIAF event. I wonder why.

(Some of the cosplayers at the back of the UDX building for photo shoots.)

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