If you’re an animation geek (and if you aren’t, I’m not sure what you’re doing on this site, but welcome!), you’re no doubt familiar with Production I.G. The studio behind works like Ghost in the Shell, Eden of the East, and A Letter to Momo, Production I.G are known for their high-quality animation and digital compositing techniques.
And they make a pretty good pizza to boot.
Yep, you read that right. On the first floor of their offices in west Tokyo, not far from the Ghibli Museum, Production I.G run a restaurant. Named Campus Musashino after the city in which it’s located, the restaurant serves up pizza, pasta and other Italian food, as well as coffee, beer and wine.
One of the most immediately striking things about Campus Musashino – compared to some of the places we’ve covered for this series – is how un-anime it is. The restaurant as a minimal, modern style that’s very cool and relaxing, and there’s nothing that screams “this place is run by an anime studio.” Makes sense, though – the target audience for Campus Musashino are people who work in the building, for one, who no doubt appreciate a quick escape from anime madness, and people who live or work in the neighborhood, which isn’t known as a tourist spot.
The anime connection is definitely there, though, most notably on the walls, which are adorned with hand-drawn art and signatures from anime and manga artists who have come to visit the restaurant. There are some serious big names on those walls, and it’s a testament to the kind of talent Production I.G attracts. How many names and characters can you recognize?
The food, which is mostly simple Italian fare like pizza and pasta, is quite good. Campus Musashino cook their pizza in a stove oven, and the margarita pizza we had for lunch was a very reasonable 890 yen (about 9 bucks), which included access to the salad and drink bar.
If you’re in Tokyo for a short time, Campus Musashino isn’t an anime must-see: aside from the (quite cool) wall art, it doesn’t feel especially “anime.” On the other hand, it’s about a 20-minute walk from the Ghibli Museum, if you’re a fan of Production I.G, it’s a thrill to hang out in the building where they actually produce their stuff. And who knows, the person sitting next to you might be involved in anime.