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  • On my recent periodic trips to the Godzilla Store in Shinjuku, along with the copious amounts of chocolate that I purchased (gosh, I am sick of the stuff), I was also pleased to see there were other fattening foods to help me achieve Godzilla-size weight gain, including ramune-flavored candies, print cookies, the gaufrette cookies which I already reviewed, and today’s subject of review, the Godzilla Popcorn from the Jippu Corporation. This one doesn’t do any tricks except raise your blood sugar, but let’s dive right in.

    The packaging itself consists of a clear plastic bag with a big packaging sticker on the front. The plastic bag is resealable, which is great because I didn’t want to eat the whole thing in one sitting. The packaging sticker features the usual Godzilla text, plus the now very familiar cartoon-style Godzilla and Mothra which we also have seen on a number of other kaiju food products, such as the Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla campaign and the Godzilla vs. Evangelion Box. For what it’s worth, I think this is the largest version of the cartoon Godzilla I have seen, so us fanboys can get a clearer look at the lack of detail in the drawing. I really like that the sticker features a sort of triangular cut-out which both shows the choco popcorn inside and represents Godzilla’s atomic ray.

    Strangely, the Godzilla that is shilling for all this snack food actually is much slimmer than the often much fatter Godzillas that appear in the movies.

    This raises the all-important question: What does the chocolate popcorn actually represent? Given that it features within the triangle of fire, so to speak, does that mean it is supposed to look like charred rubble? Or could it possible represent the boulders that kaiju sometimes use to play volleyball? Given that the dark black resembles some versions of Godzilla’s flesh tone, could it be representative of chunks of G-cells?

    I guess it doesn’t matter much—the more pressing question is, how does the popcorn taste? And it’s pretty good. Kind of a rich chocolate flavor, sweeter and richer than I expected. If you like chocolate-flavored popcorn, the Godzilla Popcorn is pretty decent, though the portions are not exactly voluminous. (Oddly, I cannot find anywhere on the package that expressly states the volume of munchies inside, but suffice it to say it’s less than your average movie bucket.)

    Still, the Godzilla Popcorn only costs 300 yen, it tastes pretty good, and it has pleasing if somewhat unimaginative packaging. This isn’t like the fancy Godzilla chocolates, but it isn’t trying to be, and given that some of the chocolates aren’t that great (I’m looking at you, Noshi), and many of the other Godzilla-related snacks are kind of hit-and-miss, the popcorn is a more sensible and still tasty alternative.

    Extreme close-up of Godzilla chocolaty popcorn goodness.

    Kaiju Kuisine // November 10, 2018
  • There is no guarantee that holidays celebrated in the west will be celebrated at all in Japan, to say nothing about being celebrated in the same way that, say, Americans would feel familiar with. Christmas in Japan, for example, is considered a romantic holiday, and if someone asks if you have plans for Christmas in Japan, they are often more or less asking if you have a significant other. Valentine’s Day, meanwhile, is not just romantic—it is a day in which the ladies of the island nation are pressured by custom into giving the men in their lives chocolate, with lovers sometimes receiving handmade goodies, and bosses and male coworkers receiving more boring “obligation chocolate” (guys are expected to repay their female counterparts on White Day a month later). Even Easter is, if not entirely celebrated, at least… acknowledged, with stores being decked out in Easter themed posters and paraphernalia every year.

    And that brings us to Halloween—a holiday known and celebrated in its way in Japan, but not quite in the same way as in the USA. Japan does not so much have trick or treat night for kids (although some people do the custom, and the Yakuza have a tradition of offering kids snacks on Halloween—no joke), dressing up in elaborate costumes has increasingly become cool in Japan, with monsters, zombies, sexy nurses, and movie characters of all sorts swarming the trains and gathering for special events in places like Disneyland or flashy clubs on Halloween night. In other words, it is an official day of cosplay for adults as much as if not moreso than for children.

    The beautiful box-art with the Marui building behind!

    Thus perhaps it should come as little surprise that even Godzilla is getting in on the Halloween spirit with his Godzilla Halloween Print Cookie, which I did not discover until Halloween was already over with last year. Similar in style and flavor to the previous Godzilla Print Cookie which I wrote about before, these Halloween Print Cookies are somewhat more elaborate even that the Namja Town edition of the traditional version. Each print cookie (this time produced by Coms instead of Sawarabi STK) comes individually packaged in white plastic packaging with doily-esque designs adding an air of class and sophistication to the Godzilla-goings on. The prints on each of the cookies, too, are more visually impressive than the monochrome red or black prints from the Print Cookies available in 2016, with these Halloween scenes going full, vivid color, and with fairly impressive detail on all four varieties. Although the box itself is less flashy than the previous Print Cookie packaging (no pop-up cardboard monster here), each box comes with one clear sticker randomly inserted depicting one of the Halloween-themed kaiju designs that appear on the cookies—and in this case, the designs are really the point of attraction.

    There are four designs, each one featuring a different kaiju—Godzilla, Mothra in her imago form, King Ghidorah, and the 1970s Mechagodzilla. Each round cookie comes with its own cartoonishly rendered giant monster of destruction interacting in some cute way with one or more jack-o-lanterns, random orange stars and bats floating in the background. So thus we have a red-eyed burning Godzilla about ready to take a bite out of a cheerful pumpkin in a wizard hat, Mothra carrying her jack-o-lantern (back to Infant Island?), KG proudly protective of a triple pumpkin tower, and Mechagodzilla dashing with five little pumpkins in his arms—including one mecha-jack-o-lantern with glowing yellow eyes! Each image is rendered nicely on the cookies, but even better on the stickers and on the box art in which the colors really pop (and the background on the box gains a skyline that includes the Marui building—location of the Godzilla Store).

    Here we have a cheap cash-grab sticker, but I still love the art!

    As to the flavor of the cookies, they are good, with a strong vanilla taste and an especially crisp texture (more so even than the aforementioned Godzilla Print Cookies from 2016). There is only the one flavor, though—the images on the cookies, while they look nice, make no difference as to taste, but the relatively mild, sugar-cookie flavor is pleasant if unremarkable.

    Despite the relatively uninteresting flavor of the final cookies, of the three varieties of Godzilla Print Cookie that I have tried so far, these Halloween-themed ones are probably my favorite. I like the extra crunch, I like the adorable art, and, though the “random clear sticker” is obviously a transparent means of tricking kaiju fans with extra cash into buying multiple boxes of cookies, I like the fact that a sticker is included. It’s just really fun, and while these omiyage boxes are definitely unnecessary, that makes them no less enjoyable for the fans. Still, Halloween cookies for omiyage seems like an odd mix given that omiyage is usually bought by travelers for friends and family back home. Do a lot of people travel on Halloween?

    Godzilla with heartburn from eating too much Halloween candy.

    Mothra on a mission to deliver a pumpkin.

    Mechagodzilla has a mech-a-lantern.

    King Ghidorah made a Halloween version of a snowman.

    Kaiju Kuisine // November 4, 2018
  • While I have really enjoyed all the flashy and ridiculous Godzilla Valentine’s Day chocolates, from the memorable Godzilla Can that can double as a thumb spinner to the Chocolate Blocks which are kind of like kid’s puzzles, I was in some ways most curious about the Noshi Chocolate Godzilla Store Noshi (why does it have such a stupid name?) because it looks so unassuming. I just had to guess that this choco might be something extra special because, on the outside, it looks like it doesn’t have anything to do with Godzilla. Instead, it features a traditional noshi design on the outside, with no Godzilla art, no silver military camouflage, no footprints, no ludicrous brown ribbon. Just that noshi design. Well, okay, it has the Godzilla Store Tokyo logo and a silver Godzilla 2018 sticker on the back. Whoopee.

    A noshi, by the way, is a kind of origami design used as a sort of wrapping for gifts, though I think it has also become just the design for an envelope. The gifts are apparently for well-wishing, and the gifts can be stuff like fish. Luckily, the chocolate inside was NOT fish-flavored.

    Anyway, in my mind I was imagining something elaborate. A secret Godzilla design carved into the chocolate, like with the Godzilla Milk Chocolate Bar. Given that the manufacturer of the Noshi Chocolate Godzilla Store Noshi is none other than Sawarabi STK, the makers of the pretty decent Godzilla Print Cookie and the quite delicious Godzilla Gaufrette, how could I not have high expectations?

    And, oh, how those high expectations can so quickly be dashed to the ground. Inside the noshi wrapping is some cardboard wrapped around another silver wrapper—can’t fault them for not providing enough wrappers. (I can fault them for bulking up the candy bar’s apparent size with that random cardboard, though.) Then, my friends, inside the silver wrapping paper was…

    A big, generic-looking pink chocolate bar.

    Yeah, okay, so I was complaining a lot before about how the other chocolates were almost universally milk chocolate confections, right? (Okay, there were a few white chocolate masterpieces, such as the Godzilla Disks, and those dark chocolate tanks.) Still, I didn’t really want a STRAWBERRY flavored chocolate bar. What does that even mean? Apparently it doesn’t mean actual chocolate with strawberry filling.

    It means a pink candy bar. That tastes like really bad strawberry candy. And leaves an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth.

    Look, I ate a few squares of that candy horror bar. It did not taste good. It did not make me think, Whoo, this is Godzilla! The strawberry flavor did not for me bring forth vivid pictures of giant monsters representing nuclear fears appearing in Tokyo and stomping buildings. Instead, that flavor brought forth vivid desires not to eat the rest of the pink bar!

    I saved this chocolate bar for the last! It was supposed to be something special! It’s a Godzilla Store EXCLUSIVE, man!

    And what’s more, apparently these Noshi Chocolate Godzilla Store Noshi thingees were a bit of a hit. I went to the Godzilla Store on another day, and I found that they were selling three flavors of noshi choco—the strawberry one that I already unfortunately bought, plus an apple flavored one and a blueberry flavored one. I wasn’t sure which one I had already bought because I hadn’t looked closely at the wrapping, so I didn’t buy the others (and I stupidly did not take a picture to share with this story either), but in retrospect, if the apple and blueberry bars taste anywhere as Not Good as this strawberry bar tastes, I dodged a Maser Blast by not buying those things.

    Okay, I am exaggerating a little bit, but I didn’t enjoy the Noshi Chocolate Godzilla Store Noshi—no, sir! Basically what we have here is a big pile of disappointment and an even bigger, “What does THIS have to do with giant monsters portrayed by dudes in costumes?!??!” Maybe the idea is that, like a monster costume, the outside looks cool, but on the inside is a boring pink thing that isn’t good to eat. Pass.

    Kaiju Kuisine // October 21, 2018
  • I have never really been a fan of overpriced chocolate. When I happen to visit a Godiva chocolate store (say, for one of their delicious chocolate shakes), the prices on their boxes of chocolate are positively terrifying—almost, but not quite, enough to kill my appetite. So it’s kind of ironic that I plunked down the huge chunk of change required to purchase the Godzilla Poster Collection chocolates—2700 yen?!!?? And, as with most (probably all) of the Valentine’s Day Godzilla chocolates, with the Poster Collection, you are mostly paying for the packaging… but in this case, gosh, the packaging is really flipping cool!

    The cool inside front cover!

    Once again provided by the fine folks at Hunter Confectionery, the box itself (on the outside) has the now-familiar “Godzilla Chocolate” ribbon and strange silvery military design, but this time the top of the box also features a huge footprint (I believe from the Shin Godzilla promo a few years back), and a list of 29 different years—the release years for the first 29 Godzilla films.

    The reason that the box features those release years is simple enough—inside, there are 30 square chocolates, and on those 30 chocolates are individual wrappers that feature the posters for all 30 Godzilla films released up to this point! (Why “2017” is not listed on the box is anyone’s guess—maybe it wouldn’t fit?). The posters often don’t fit very well on the wrappers, and thus the images for the posters wrap around the top and bottom of the chocolates… but once you unwrap the chocolates, the posters can be viewed more effectively, and the hungry chocolate muncher can also read the back of the wrapper, which features the sequential number of the film released, as well as its Japanese title. The unwrapped poster wrapper looks really spiffy, and I am tempted to stick some of them up around my apartment or office so I can happily squint at them all day. If I had a doll house or, say, Castle Grayskull or Krang’s Technodrome playset, these posters would look great plastered to the plastic walls while my action figures fought out their frustrations alongside.

    And… wow, look at that square… Godzilla chocolate.

    But what about the chocolates themselves? Well, again, we have some—rather high quality—milk chocolate here. This time the chocolate itself bears no Godzilla design at all, but rather a generic pattern running diagonally across the choco-squares that looks more like the impressions of tires than anything. I chowed down on two different Godzilla choco-squares—the original Godzilla (1954) square, and the Ebirah: Terror from the Deep (1966) square. Regardless of how you feel about the quality of those two movies (I happen to like Ebirah a lot), the quality of the chocolate is the same—pretty dang yummy. But still… when I pay beaucoup bucks (or should I say a yuge amount of yen?) on some chocolate, I kind of expect more than just… milk chocolate, no matter how good it is.

    But again, what you are paying for in this case is not so much the chocolate and much more the packaging—this time especially the wildly cool wrapping paper on the chocolates! The box is also spifferific, with the inside lid printed with a shimmery promotional still from the original Godzilla film. Still, you should only buy this admittedly impressive box of chocolates if you have a serious jonesing for mini-posters, because otherwise, honey, it just ain’t worth it.

    The most expensive—and the coolest—chocolate wrappers ever made!

    Flipping cool! The other side has the titles and sequential numbers!

    Kaiju Kuisine // October 19, 2018
  • Sometimes I buy something related to Godzilla, and it is so boring that I just don’t have the energy to write anything about it. That was the case with the recent release of the Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Wafers (GODZILLA 怪獣惑星 ウエハース) from Bandai, a promotional item that went on the market in November of 2017 to push ticket sales to Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017) movie (which I saw, and gave some impressions of, last year). Well, I also saw, and purchased, and consumed the Godzilla wafers. I was not extremely impressed with the movie—and I was extremely unimpressed by the wafers.

    Just to be fair, though, I will give a rundown of what to expect from these munchie little nothings. Each package comes with one wafer and one metallic plastic card. There are 27 of these metallic plastic cards, included at random to maximize sales. According to the description on the back of the packaging, three of the cards are “visual cards” (see the red Godzilla card pictured for an example), fifteen are story cards, five are character cards, and four are Godzilla cards. Of the wafers I have bought so far, I have only gotten visual cards and story cards, so I can’t offer comment on the other varieties. The wafers, on the other hand, are all chocolate flavored—no different kinds. Curiously, the art for the packaging comes in two varieties which have no impact (so far as I can tell) on the contents: One is a shot of the human cast looking stressed out, and the other is a shot of Godzilla holding a chocolate wafer (if this is canon to the story, then I guess we now know that ani-goji likes chocolate).

    Let’s start with a review of the wafer. …It looks like and tastes like a standard chocolate wafer.

    Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Wafers - Inside

    Moving on to the cards, they are shiny and metallic and plastic as promised, so they feel durable enough—they won’t just melt away if dropped in the sink, or get stained by a spill of orange juice or something. However, the design of the cards, beyond being kind of shiny, evoked a major mental yawn from me. One side has Godzilla lettered out in the familiar font on a black background, albeit with an inverted red triangle (ala the ones often featured on the windows of buildings in Japan indicating that you are not on the first floor) replacing the subtitle of the film. On the other side of the visual card I have is a shadowy silhouette of Godzilla on a red background with kind of a tin-foil shimmery look and the number of the card. On the story cards I have, basically we are given a screenshot with sparkles on the front and some kind of cool techno framing with the ubiquitous “Godzilla” written out in one corner, and the number of the card featured again. Same back of Godzilla on black. No story explanations or text of any sort. For those who like sparkly plastic, or have always thought that Godzilla needed more glitter, then your dream, my friend, has come to collectible card reality. But for me, given that I don’t really like the look of the CGI Godzilla anime that much in the first place, it’s like putting ugly art on a card, shaking sparkles on it, and selling it as something special. Excited I am not.

    Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Wafers Review - Cards

    Over Christmas I went back to visit my family and friends in the United States and shared some Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters wafers with my loved ones. Their reactions to the chocolate wafers was about the same as mine: “Well, that was a chocolate wafer.” (To me, I find the wafer a little bit dry, and the flavor inspires me to drink water and give away my extra wafers that I bought.) There is no Godzilla design on it—it’s just a block of chocolate cream and wafery wafers.

    Still, my friend Sam seemed to like the cards (he got another of the red Godzilla visual cards), so after I hope to donate the rest of my cards that I have collected so far to him when I get the chance. While I had very mixed feelings about Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, rewatching on Netflix gave me a better appreciation for the story. Re-eating the chocolate wafers after returning to Japan gave me a new appreciation for how bland they are, and a new appreciation for how uninteresting the cards are. I actually like the “speed lottery” Kamen Rider cards I got recently at Lawson’s more. At least those, while not plastic and not shiny, have cool shots of various Kamen Rider characters and you get a chance to win some stuff (I won some chocolate and soup curry).

    As far as Godzilla snacks go, bring back the Godzilla Gaufrette.

    Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Wafers Review - Package

    Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Wafers Review - Card

    Kaiju Kuisine // August 21, 2018
  • In Japan, if you are Japanese, when you go traveling, especially any significant distance, there is a special burden placed upon the weary traveler in addition to packing, lugging around suitcases, endless hours on the road or in the air, lost sleep, and the other usual headaches of vacation. In Japan there is a strong social expectation that the lucky traveler should bring back local snacks or souvenirs for all their close friends or even sometimes acquaintances, depending on mysterious (to me) social duties and ties. These souvenirs, called omiyage, are big business in Japan, and all the big train stations have ample omiyage stores for last-minute purchases by desperate and busy vacationers.

    It turns out that Godzilla also has his own omiyage–actually several. On my recent visit to the a Godzilla exhibit in Yokohama, I picked up four different kinds of Godzilla omiyage, and I saw a fifth at movie theaters when Godzilla Resurgence (2016) was released, though I didn’t buy that one. The particular Godzilla omiyage I will be discussing today is the Godzilla Limited Edition Yaki, which is kind of a standard omiyage snack that comes in one flavor with a Godzilla image stamped on the cake.

    Many of the omiyage in Japan are just the same basic treats in different shapes or with different designs stamped on them, but because they are from a different area of Japan it is a special treat to give your friends. Such is the case with this omiyage, which is basically a little round cake filled with sweet bean paste. These little cakes are pretty much standard omiyage fair, and I have had many over the years that have tasted just about exactly the same as the Godzilla Limited Edition Yaki. The cake itself is a sort of mild yellow cake, soft and slightly moist but not overly sweet. The sweet bean paste (or anko) is something of an acquired taste, and many of my Caucasian friends who live abroad in Japan don’t really like sweet beans. I actually like the stuff sometimes (the sweet azuki bean ice cream at Baskin Robbins is delish), but I don’t get excited about sweet-bean filled cakes. They are okay–the beans are lightly sweet with a texture that melts in the mouth, except for the bean skins. It’s not bad, but I much prefer the custard cream filled cakes. Some omiyage boxes include cakes filled with sweet bean as well as custard filled cakes, but the Limited Edition Yaki here are only sweet beans.

    The Godzilla stamp on the cakes is a lightly detailed silhouette of the Shin Godzilla design with “Godzilla” written in a familiar font, kind of a riff of the crumbled letter font found on any number of Godzilla-related merchandise. The font immediately reminded me of the Marvel comic series, but upon closer inspection they are not the same. Still, this little silhouette plus the Godzilla name are really the only distinguishing features of the snack. This is what you are paying for, folks.

    The box itself is gold and black foil with “Godzilla Limited Edition Yaki” written entirely in kanji and the now-ubiquitous Shin Godzilla head in profile with more cartoony-looking Tokyo buildings in the background. The back has an ingredients list, where to contact the company for any questions, the number of cakes included (ten), and information on how to keep the cakes from spoiling (which I should have read, as my last two cakes grew a bit of mold before I got around to eating them). Curiously, I don’t see any actual name for a company on the back. The closest I could find was an address in Chiba, but no actual name of a company. Oh, well.

    So far the Godzilla Limited Edition Yaki is the only Godzilla omiyage I have eaten, and I came away largely unimpressed. The little cakes are no better or worse than hundreds of similar omiyage, and so they come across to me as being a bit boring. Still, these are limited edition cakes (the sales guy in Yokohama was loudly insisting they could only be bought at the Yokohama exhibit), so I guess I feel special for having had the opportunity to munch them.

    Godzilla Limited Edition Yaki Review

    Kaiju Kuisine // September 22, 2016
  • I really love curry.

    Over the last several years, my love of curry has blossomed more and more as I have been exposed to the plurality of flavors of Indian, Thai, and even Singapore curries. My workplace in Japan has a fantastic cafeteria that always has curry, and I often grab me some curry to go with their other often scrumptious dishes. In Japan, curry is a very popular dish, though I am not especially fond of Japanese curries themselves. Nevertheless, Japanese curry packets (pop them in boiling water, then open the packet, empty over rice and add any condiments you like, boom, a meal!) are one of my favorite ways to save time on making dinner. Still, I was not expecting to find that Godzilla had his own curry, the Yokosuka Godzilla Curry (横須賀市 ゴジラカレー) from Dream Planet Japan.

    Not to say that Godzilla has no experience with curry, mind you. In fact, super-spicy curry was the fuel for his nuclear breath in the Japanese version of the Game Boy game Godzilla-Kun. Still, I was still surprised to find a real G-curry upon my recent visit to the Big Godzilla Special-Effects Kingdom exhibit in Yokohama. (There is also a King Ghidorah pilaf curry available until September 25 at Namja Town in Ikebukuro.)

    This particular curry was apparently made as a sort of souvenir one can buy at the giant Yokosuka Godzilla slide in Kurihama Flower Park, which was installed there because (according to Brian Ashcraft) Godzilla emerged from the sea in that area in the original 1954 Godzilla film. However, the packaging for this Godzilla curry features the Burning Godzilla from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), probably to underscore that this is one spicy curry. On the back of the packaging is information and a map as to how to get to the giant slide, and a picture of the slide as well. Curiously, Koichi Kawakita is listed as a supervisor for the curry, so this may actually be his recipe!

    Yokosuka Godzilla Curry

    Similar to the packaging of the Godzilla Butamen from the Oyatsu Company, the text on the front of the curry reads “It’s so spicy it can make you spit fire!” (Rough translation.) However, after eating the relatively mild Godzilla Butamen, I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. Is this curry actually going to be spicy?

    In this case, yes, it can. For my taste at least, the Yokosuka Godzilla Curry is quite spicy, enough to make me start hiccuping after just a few bites, and I had to refill my water at least once and add extra rice because this is some spicy stuff! Even after I had finished I munched on something to deal with the spice–which isn’t to say that the spiciness is particularly overwhelming or even painful, but it’s sure enough to make you thirsty! The actual flavor is similar to many Japanese beef curries (this one includes beef and vegetables, and even apples according to the ingredients list!), but the predominating flavor is the heat. Overall, not a terrible instant curry, but not one I would want to revisit anytime soon.

    Actually, the Yokosuka Godzilla Curry is one of the best novelty curries I have had in Japan–I picked up quite the collection of novelty curries last year, from Dragon Quest Slime curry to Curry of the Dead to Biohazard Curry, and I was pretty much disappointed all around. Godzilla’s curry is kind of tasty, though nowhere near my favorite curry in the world. Beware: if you are sensitive to spice, you may feel like Godzilla on the cover and get a nasty case of heart burn after eating this one!

    Yokosuka Godzilla Curry

    Kaiju Kuisine // September 19, 2016
  • The Oyatsu Company really capitalized on the release of Godzilla Resurgence in the summer of 2016 and released a number of Godzilla-themed snacks, all of which somehow include ramen for some reason–the Baby Star Dodekai Shin Gojiramen (in two flavors, hot chili and black pepper), the Godzilla vs. Evangelion Baby Star Ramen Box (which includes another couple flavors–garlic and spicy chicken), and the subject of today’s review, Godzilla Butamen (or pork ramen), the flavor of which is “extremely spicy tonkotsu.”

    Tonkotsu ramen is one of the most popular kinds of ramen, and the flavorful soup hails from Kagoshima, a prefecture (and city) in southern Japan on the island of Kyushu. The name tonkotsu comes from the kanji for “pig” and “bone,” and is a kind of soup made from pork belly, bones, spices, and other ingredients. I like tonkotsu ramen and sometimes buy a big bowl of the stuff from the local ramen shops, It is definitely not a healthy snack, and the tonkotsu broth can often be quite stinky and oily. If prepared with lower quality ingredients, it can give you a nasty stomach ache, which I have experienced.

    At any rate, the Godzilla Butamen (ゴジラ ブタメン) is not tonkotsu at it’s best simply because it is a kind of Cup Noodle type dish–a cheap snack to eat at home. The Butamen here is particularly small–much smaller than the standard Cup Noodle size–so it is not really satisfying as a meal on its own. Nevertheless, I liked it much better than the Shin Gojiramen chips, and I even liked it more than Cup Noodle (which I usually avoid, both because they are unhealthy and also because I just don’t enjoy them much).

    The Godzilla Butamen is a very simple snack. The cup includes nothing but the noodles with the spices already dumped in–there is no separate packet like with many instant noodle cups and bowls. You just pour in your boiling water, let sit for three minutes, and then eat with the little plastic fork that comes attached. I was skeptical of the effectiveness of said plastic fork, but it did its job quite well, and I was able to scoop out all but the smallest noodle bits with ease. The noodles themselves were flavorful enough to satisfy me for a product like this, and the spice I felt was not really extreme at all–I would call it more medium spice if that. It definitely has a kick if you drink the soup afterwards, but even that was not overwhelming to my tastes. My stomach was a little unhappy with me afterwards, however.

    Godzilla Butamen

    My favorite part of the dish is the cup itself, which shows the Shin Godzilla design breathing fire and roasting a hapless cartoon pig. It appears that the pig is saying “Godzilla also breaths fire,” which I am guessing means our big mutated monster ate some Butamen and spit fire in response. There is even a “Warning! Spicy! sign on the cup.

    Like with the Shin Gojiramen, the Butamen also has a sort of promotional contest of sorts where customers can write in to the Oyatsu Company to try to get a special promotional poster or media packet, with instructions on how to do so written on the inside of the cover flap.

    Overall, I enjoyed this cup of Godzilla goodness, even though it is cheap and silly. Sure, this is no great snack, and its gimmicky and may give you a minor tummy upset, but I still liked it. For some reason, though, I have only stumbled on these Butamen cups once, in one particular Seven Eleven near a movie theater. I visit Seven Elevens and other convenience stores very frequently, so I am surprised I have not seen more of them. Still, it’s just as well–I shouldn’t make a pig of myself!

    Godzilla Butamen

    Kaiju Kuisine // September 17, 2016
  • As a promotion for Shin Gojira, aka Godzilla Resurgence (2016), Aeon Cinema has created two varieties of hot dogs for sale at their theaters that they have dubbed “Shin Hot Dogs” (シン・ホットドッグ).

    These hot dogs don’t really look like Godzilla, though the creative consumer can try to come up with parallels to the new Godzilla design (Godzilla’s tail is really long in this movie, so maybe the long hot dogs are symbolic of his tail! The tomato and veggies hot dog has a lot of red sauce on it, so maybe that is supposed to symbolize the mysterious red gloop in the movie!) But really, the dogs are just dogs so far as I can tell. No monster symbolism.

    Each of the hot dogs is served in a red Shin Gojira paper sleeve for less messy munching, and they come with mini 2016 Shin Gojira calendars, which basically amount to little cards with the new Godzilla’s now familiar dark profile on one side and a six month calendar with Godzilla’s birthday marked on the other side against a black background. It’s pretty underwhelming.

    Shin Hot Dog Review

    The two hot dogs are really nothing all that great either, but the cross-promotion is fun. I ate the honey mustard dog first, and it proved the tastier of the two to my tongue. The liberally and artistically applied honey mustard gives the dog a nice tang, and me being a big fan of mustard anyway, I appreciated the vinegary bite. The dog itself is tasty, obviously better than your average supermarket 12-pack in America, but still not amazing. The buns on both dogs were a little tough and hard to bite through.

    The second dog is basically called a “tons of tomato and veggies dog.” The veggies don’t have much impact other than giving a slight texture and spice to the tomato mash all over the dog. There is an abundance of tomato stuff all over, which makes the consumption of said frank a messy experience, and I found myself in need of a tissue after chowing down. The second dog was acceptable, but I much prefer my frankfurters with mustard, so the honey mustard won the day for me.

    It’s worth noting that Aeon Cinema offers black triangular food holding tray thingees that attach to your arm rest in the theater. I ended up eating my dogs before entering the theater, but I rather like these trays because of how handy they are and would like to see more of them in the States.

    Shin Hot Dog Wrapper

    Overall, this along with the Lotteria cross promotion has me eating a lot of junk food recently. The Shin Hot Dogs are, in my opinion, rather less satisfying than the Lotteria goods given how underwhelming the buns are and the pretty dang boring calendars (though I am not a fan of Lotteria–especially their chicken nuggets). Nevertheless, for me it’s a kick seeing Anno’s scary new Godzilla shilling sandwiches and fries. It’s almost as good as the Snickers commercial from 2014! And with a little more munching, I am going to have a Kaiju-sized stomach!

    Shin Hot Dog Card

    Shin Hot Dog Honey Mustard

    Shin Hot Dog Veggie

    Kaiju Kuisine // August 11, 2016
  • Located at 1800 Divisadero Street (San Francisco, CA 94115), a short drive away from San Francisco’s Japan Town, one can find “Godzila Sushi”.

    I had driven past the location many times, but despite the name I never gave it a second thought. Godzilla named foods are not all that uncommon, High Tech Burrito has their Godzilla burrito for example. Furthermore, sushi restaurants are a dime a dozen in San Francisco. It wasn’t until I actually walked past the location that I had to do a full stop to stare inside in wonder. Godzilla was everywhere inside, and the restaurant clearly didn’t just pick a random name, but was themed around the concept.

    I had to go.

    While the food was nothing special, featuring two Godzilla items on the menu, the restaurant itself was quite memorable. I snapped all kinds of pictures of the Lower Pacific Heights location. From the mural to the posters and toys, while submitted art is also everywhere. The place is an homage to Godzilla, even down to the t-shirt they sell for the sushi location. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen (Toho’s lawyers would likely scoff at the missing “l” defense), but a pretty cool spot. Below are some of the many photos taken, to offer a visual tour of the place and show off the Godzilla themed items.

    The mural on the back wall
    The open kitchen with posters above
    The menu, which serves a “Godzila” Salad
    Back of the menu, with a “Godzila” Roll and a King Kong Roll
    The sake menu
    The “Godzila” Salad
    The “Godzila” Roll
    The entrance which has a Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) poster, the only Japanese one here
    Close-up of the open kitchen
    Some of the hand drawn art on display
    The bathroom decor
    More of the art on display
    Even more art, most of which uses “Godzila” although a few let Godzilla with the double Ls slip
    More of the art on display
    More of the art on display
    More of the art on display
    More of the art on display
    The Godzila Sushi shirt

    As a side note, these photos were taken back in November of 2014.

    Kaiju Kuisine // January 2, 2015