Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: Pokemon pork and corn curry.
Is there any product that doesn't benefit from having a smiling Pikachu slapped onto the front of the box? Ignore the fact that Pikachus vastly prefer ketchup over all else.
"Just as delicious even if you don't heat it up." Mmmmm, appetising.
Please assume - as I did - that there is no real Pikachu content in this curry. No Pokemon were harmed in the making of this bizarre anime-food collaboration.
Also got a sticker - Mega Bakuda. (Known as 'Mega Camerupt' in English versions. The interesting translations of Pokemon names could fill another blog post by themselves.) One of 40 different designs to collect. Trust me, I'm not buying another 39 boxes to see if I can complete the set.
I bunged the packet in the microwave and hit 'start'. A few seconds later, I heard a 'bzzzzzt' sound. And then another, louder and accompanied by flashes of light.
The vast majority of box curries can simply be shoved in a microwave for 2-3 minutes and it's all good. I hold my hands up - I didn't fully read the box on this one. If I had, I would've anticipated the (metallic!) packet trying to light itself on fire.
A more considered read of the instructions revealed it to be a boil-in-the-bag curry. One that takes 10-15 minutes in total. So I did what I'm sure any of you would do in the same situation. I snipped the top off the bag, poured the curry into a nice safe ceramic bowl, and put it back in the microwave.
I don't have a pic of the curry itself, because it doesn't look good on a plate. It's the exact yellow colour you don't want to see when you open a nappy. And who needs that when they're trying to eat?
The curry is described on the box as 'amakuchi' (甘口) taste. Literally means 'sweet mouth', realistically means no spice whatsoever. Glad to report that the curry, while supremely mild, didn't seem sugary. It also didn't have the cloying, overly strong curry powder aftertaste that Japan has down to a fine art.
There was definitely corn. 50% of the description was on the money. After quite a bit of searching, I gave up on finding any pork.
One good thing about this packet was the serving size. You'd expect Pokemon curry to come in a tiny pack for little kids. It turned out to be only 10g less than standard curry packs. So I didn't go hungry for this review, either.
6/10. The Magikarp of Japanese box curry: not particularly impressive to look at, but something everyone can appreciate.