Japan's maid cafe industry can be a competitive one. It's not enough to have a bunch of cute girls wait on girl-deprived customers, you have to have something special to stand out. We've seen samurai maids, zombie maids, and boys-dressed-as-girls maids, but at some point, the whole "sexy young girl" thing becomes played out and you need to bring back the classic.
Ikebukuro's new Grandma's Maid Cafe Rottenmeier aims to do just that. Inspired by the strict housekeeper in the classic anime Heidi, Girl of the Alps, the cafe only hired women who "see themselves as grannies" to give the proper old-fashioned feel. The women wear a custom-made dress, wig, and make-up designed in the 19th century European style to match the similarly designed decor. I wondered if the wig is really necessary, but apparently the ages of the 29 "grannies" ranges from 24 to 77 years old! What kind of 24-year-old girl already considers herself a granny?
The cafe will only be open for a month to correspond with Festival/Tokyo, but I'd imagine that if it does well enough, the owner might consider opening it again in the future. It is certainly unique enough in a sea of cutesy maid cafes catering solely to otaku tastes.