Tucked away on the outskirts of Toronto lies a place I thought only existed in my dreams…You may get a little lost at first, but the beacon of light that is the Akira mural in front of the window will immediately set you on the right path.
AKibA KiSSA is a newly opened cafe that celebrates the love of all things otaku with a stacked manga library, converted gaming machines and drool-worthy consumables that make me wonder if I should ever leave. Though the location isn’t favourable, it’s made up for by the variety of activities you can distract yourself with and the generous hospitality of the staff. I felt incredibly grateful after they went out of the way to obtain a dairy alternative for Holly and I for our drinks, as they could have very easily not lifted a finger. They’ve dedicated their space to a niche audience that is often neglected, which leads me to believe that this not just a business venture, but also the making of a sanctuary.
The shoot with altovenue and Pink City gave us the chance to explore this hidden gem and bask in all its nerdy glory in between shots. For starters, Overwatch was made playable in old-school arcade machines through some extremely clever witchcraft, and from what I saw, there were also spots for brawlers that enjoy the Street Fighter series and Super Smash Bros in adjacent machines. Looks like they even had an area to give the PSVR a test drive too, so if you’ve not got a soft spot for the classics then you can immerse yourself in Sony’s latest treat instead.
But gamers aren’t the only ones who benefit from this venue!
If you’re a cosplay pro like Soni and Gilly or just like to dabble in the craft, AKibA accommodates all levels by providing a spacious change room and vanity wall to ensure that your wig is always on straight and your makeup is flawless. No more awkward maneuvers in a stuffy public stall or devastating drops of accessories in the toilet bowl! I’m not the only one that this has happened to, right? A very shitty situation… Pun certainly intended.
If you’re curious to know more about cosplay events, gaming tournaments, or just looking for something new, I highly recommend giving this spot a go! They are constantly updating their page with themed parties, console sessions and meet-ups that attract both gamers and anime fans alike.
Still not sold? Go just for dessert! That is, if you can bear to eat something so kawaii as their mini Totoro cake. Your thirst won’t stand a chance either with a the availability of a scrumptious bubble tea, flavoured latte, or sweet soda of your choice. Too many to have in one sitting, so I’ll be sure to try them all eventually.
I’d like to also give a massive thank you to everyone that made this day such a pleasure. You are all so incredibly talented and I feel extremely blessed to be a part of this community with you. Until next time! xo