May 25

Hibari-sensei: Interview with Neko Neko Maid and Host Club

Jen Wang (Miyagi, 2008-09) is a lab tech in Dallas and a staff writer for the Japanese music website Purple SKY.  Her love of cosplay and her junior high school students inspired the name for her own Japanese pop culture blog, Hibari-sensei’s Classroom.

Maid leader Kitti and maid assistant Minami at A-kon 21 anime convention

Neko Neko Maid and Host Club (originally the Neko Neko Maid and Hostess Club) is a traveling maid troupe that makes appearances at anime conventions across the country. Unlike most anime con maid cafes, which consist of cosplayers serving food, Neko Neko brings the interactive experience integral to Akihabara maid culture to its guests. The girls (and guys) make small talk and play games with guests and sing and dance to J-pop songs.

The club is ready to kick off its 2011 tour with an appearance at Comicpalooza in Houston, Texas this weekend. Then they will be at Dallas’ anime convention, A-kon, from June 10-12. I was introduced to Neko Neko at last year’s A-kon, and I had a chance to sit down with one of its founders and maid leader Kitti Maherin and maid assistant Minami to learn more about the club.

How did Neko Neko get started?

Kitti: We formed on July 4, 2009. It started as four girls who enjoy maid cafes. When I went to Japan, I fell in love with the maid café I visited in Akihabara.

What made you decide to focus on the performance aspect rather than serving food in cosplay like other maid cafes at conventions?

Kitti: I enjoy performing, and it was a low cost option.

Who decides on the music you dance and sing to?

Kitti: The maid leaders and assistants choose the music. Miki, our choreographer and another founder, has a lot of input.

How long do you practice your dances?

Minami: It depends on the dance.

Kitti: I practice every day.

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

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