Step off the train at Tokyo's geek and gaming mecca Akihabara, and you'll see them: maids. Besides serving cake and coffee at maid cafes, maids pop up in video games, manga and anime. They're typically young. Not these maids, though.
This month, a temporary maid cafe with, literally, old maids is operating in Tokyo. Dubbed "Cafe Rottenmeier", it is staffed with maids between the ages of 24 and 77. Is 24 old? In a country populated with teenage idols, maybe! The maids were selected through a recruitment process looking for women who apparently see themselves as grandmas. According to blog Asiajin, the maids will don a custom-made 19th century European-style outfit, wig and make-up.
The cafe was inspired by the strict housekeeper from the anime "Heidi, Girl of the Alps", which is one of the most popular televised anime ever. Fun fact: A young Hayao Miyazaki worked on Heidi's opening credits!