CNN has an article on "Maid Cafes" in Japan, a popular place for some otaku.
TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) -- "Welcome home, Master," says the maid as she bows deeply, hands clasped in front of a starched pinafore worn over a short pink dress.
This maid serves not some aristocrat but a string of pop-culture-mad customers at a "Maid Cafe" in Tokyo's Akihabara district, long known as a Mecca for electronics buffs but now also the center of the capital's "nerd culture".
"When they address you as 'Master', the feeling you get is like a high," says Koji Abei, a 20-year-old student having coffee with a friend at the Royal Milk Cafe and Aromacare.
"I've never felt that way before." [CNN]
I've been aware of the whole maid thing in Japan for a while just due to the amount of anime shows about maids. They are a whole genre in and of themselves. Everything from victorian romance type stories to action shows with robot maids to catgirl maids. But for some reason the idea of going to a maid cafe just sounds... wrong. It just sounds like too much of a bad joke. I especially like the line in the article about being able to get your ears cleaned (WHAT?). It actually is probably mostly an extremly focused version of what I've heard of called cosplay cafes, where the waitresses are dressed like characters from various anime shows.