Calling all Sailor Scouts, Moonies, kawaii lovers, and otaku! “Temple of the Guardians” is a Sailor Moon-inspired fan cafe and exhibit running from June 11-27, 2021 in Houston, TX. The pop-up cafe takes place inside of Popfancy Dessert Bar located in Bellaire Food Street on the west side of Houston for a limited time. This event is a must visit for Sailor Moon fans as it includes themed foods, photo-ops, merchandise, and a gallery of all things Sailor Moon.
Sailor Moon is a shoujo manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi which has inspired multiple anime series, movies, live actions, games, and more. Viz Media describes the series as “the quintessential magical girl phenomenon beloved worldwide that chronicles the adventures of a 14-year-old girl and her friends, chosen by destiny to defeat the forces of evil.” For many fans, Sailor Moon served as a gateway into Japanese pop culture therefore held dear in many otakus’ hearts. Netflix recently acquired the streaming rights to both of the two latest Sailor Moon Eternal movies earlier this month.
A Sailor Moon Cafe Made by Fans for Fans
The pop-up is a collaboration between Popfancy Pops and Snap2 who have previously organized several other fan cafes. They’re the same team that created “Tavern at Wall Rose,” an Attack on Titan-inspired cafe, “ARMY Cafe,” a BTS-inspired cafe, and several other anime and K-pop themes. Their goal is to create unique events “for fans, by fans.”
Enter the Temple of the Guardians
When you first walk into Popfancy, on the left is a stunning cosplay display of all nine planetary Sailor Scouts. At the ordering counter, you’ll also see Tuxedo Mask and Chibi Moon. To the right, play a game on two arcade cabinets while you wait for your order.
Walk further into the dessert shop and you’ll see a merchandise area with clothing and collectible figures. In the back, the Moon Castle shimmers brightly in the dim light. There’s also a display of several of the series’s magical girl wands.
Anime Cafe Menu
When it comes to anime cafes, most of the fun comes from the themed foods! This cafe has 5 drinks, 5 sundaes, and 5 other special items to order from. During the week of June 14-20, they’ll also be serving special Pride themed cakes in celebration of Pride month. By the way, Popfancy is indeed one of Houston’s LGBTQ+-owned dessert spots!
In total, we tried 4 of the drinks and 2 of the specialty items. For drinks, we tried the Moon Gorgeous Meditation, Jupiter Oak Evolution, Venus Love and Beauty Shock, and Moon Kitty Strawberry Milk. Each drink comes with a cup sleeve and matching straw of the respective characters that the drinks are modeled after.
Disclaimer: merch not included.
First we drank the Moon Gorgeous Meditation drink, the Sailor Moon-inspired drink. It’s a sparkling pink guava and cherry blossom lemonade with crystal boba. The butterfly is a recurring motif throughout the series.
Second to drink was the Jupiter Oak Evolution modeled after Sailor Jupiter, my favorite Sailor Guardian. Her drink is a green apple sparkling lemonade with crystal boba. Since Sailor Jupiter has some thunder attacks, this drink’s the sour taste will shock your taste buds.
Venus Love and Beauty Shock is an ode to Sailor Venus. It is a sparkling passion fruit lemonade with crystal boba. The name Love and Beauty Shock comes from one of her attacks.
Moon Kitty Strawberry Milk is modeled after the cats Luna and Artemis. Their drink is a Japanese-style strawberry milk with fresh strawberry puree and topped with a cat paw gummy. This one is my favorite out of the four drinks since I like dairy.
The mochi waffles are a must try item when you visit Popfancy. The themed version for this event includes two strawberry parfait mochi waffles and a scoop of strawberry ice cream. The waffles are always heart-shaped which fits perfectly with the relationship between Usagi and Mamoru.
Last, we finished the meal off with a variation of the Outer Senshi sundae. On the menu, it’s Chibi Moon, Uranus, Saturn, Pluto, or Neptune. This variation is closest to the Sailor Pluto version. It featured two scoops of chocolate ice cream on a bed of Fruit Loops and drizzled with taro chocolate.
I definitely recommend snapping a picture with the cosplay display since its colorful. If you attend the event in the day time, you’ll be able to catch some natural light shining through the front windows.
In the back of the store, is a replica of the Moon Castle of the Moon Kingdom. A projector shines on it with glitter making it shimmer! The event name, Temple of the Guardians, also displays as a nice memorial in your picture. Since it’s located farther back, natural light does not hit it, so taking a properly lit photo will be a little more challenging.
The layout of Popfancy is narrow, so using wide angle lens, like a phone camera, is the most effective for taking photos.
Don’t Miss Out
Overall, I highly recommend checking the event out if you like anime and manga! Even though I haven’t watched anything Sailor Moon related in years, I still enjoyed channeling some of that 90’s-00’s childhood nostalgia. Eating good dessert and weebing out are my two favorite activities, so I had an extremely pleasant time visiting with a matching sugar rush afterwards. Thank you Snap2 and Popfancy for inviting me to the media day!
I visited the cafe with Noeru who kindly let me borrow some of her merch for the photos. She helped me with holding a lot of the drinks and taking photos of me. We’ll definitely come back for the specials in the later weeks of the event.
Visit the Temple of the Guardians
Temple of the Guardians cafe is open June 11-27, 2-10 PM daily. If you plan on visiting on a weekday, walk-ins are more viable and you’ll avoid most crowds. On weekends, the easiest way to get in is to make a reservation online. They have a convenient virtual queue system as well.
June 11-27, 2021
Popfancy Dessert Bar
9393 Bellaire Blvd. Ste A6
Houston, TX 77036
For the most up-to-date information, please check Popfancy’s and Snap2’s websites and social media.