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: Kirbyman!
Kirby 25th anniversary goods are everywhere in Japan right now (autumn/winter '17). From T-shirts to decoupage paper book thingers, loads of companies are pushing Kirby merch.
Convenience store chain Lawson is going all out, with Kirby foods and exclusive items. One of the highlights for hungry gamers is the Kirbyman. (There's also Kirby-shaped sweet mochi. But could I find that stocked anywhere? Like hell could I.)
The Kirbyman is a manjuu steamed bun. It's filled with 'Maxim Chicken Tomato'. Should've been 'Maxim Tomato Chicken' but oh well. There are 2 varieties, with different Kirby faces, but the flavour's the same.
Kirbyman cost just under 200 yen - the only bun more expensive at the time was the 'mushroom & chicken gratin'. I'd expected it to be higher, especially because it won't be around for long. The price, and the fairly low 179-calorie count, came as a nice surprise.
Here's the promo pic by Lawson:
And here's what the Kirbyman looks like in real life:
That's a difference, huh?
Like Kirby aged a few decades sitting in the Lawson manjuu steamer sauna. It's got wrinkles! The promo Kirby looks taut and bouncy and youthful. This looks like I picked the very last one left in the world. I pity whoever bought the rest after me.
Oh well, I'd bought it and taken it home already. Next came the painful task of chopping off Kirby's head. To inspect the filling, of course. I may be picky about my food reviews, but I'm not a total monster.
Terrifying. As you can see in horrific detail from this close-up shot, part of Kirby's eye fell off while I was cutting. Adding injury to insult there. Sorry...
The tomato chicken's fairly generous, with plenty of sauce. And it tastes good! Chicken and tomato's always a reliable combo. Nice, inoffensive, decent. Not too dry, and not spicy either. Perfectly satisfying as a hot snack.
Kirby's face was a bit chewy, though. Luckily the pink and black bits are just dyed, and the bun doesn't have a weird flavour to match the middle.
Verdict: 7/10. Not maxim enjoyment, but it got inhaled anyway.