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  • It seems like yesterday that Toho ignited the collective fan flames across the globe with the announcement that they were making a Godzilla vs. Evangelion movie—and then heartily doused said flames again with the follow-up “April Fools!” sneer cheer. However, not all was lost for the hope-dashed toku otaku faithful, for, even though we did not get scenes of giant armored mutant men piloted by hormone-addled teens fighting our favorite nuclear menace, we did get loads of cross-promotional goodies and art to guzzle nerd-cash everywhere. I even plonked a couple bucks down for one of these shameless promo pastiches—the Baby Star Godzilla vs. Evangelion Box (ゴジラ対エヴァンゲリオン BOX) from our friends at the Oyatsu Company. And it’s ramen snacks again. For those of you keeping count, this is the third ramen-themed Godzilla snack I have reviewed here—this time two flavors—garlic and spicy chicken. If only they had a real Godzilla ramen restaurant, but I guess you have to go to Vancouver for that one. But, well, the actual snack is perhaps the least interesting aspect of this box…

    First thing’s first, the snacks themselves. We got garlic ramen-flavoured munchies for Evangelion (probably in reference to vegetarian Rei Ayanami’s favored ramen flavor—garlic ramen sans pork), and spicy chicken for Godzilla (maybe because the third version of Godzilla in Godzilla Resurgence looks a little like a roasted chicken?). Predictably, my taste buds followed my fandom, and I preferred the spicy chicken, just as I prefer Godzilla to Evangelion, but neither flavour was offensive. The actual snacks are basically dry ramen noodles of the variety one might find in college dorms across the country, broken up as to be snacked upon by tots and otaku, and flavored with a bit more finesse than merely shaking the spices together. These seem to have their flavor cooked in.

    But who cares about the actual snacks? Check out that fantastic art by Gundam and Ultraman artist Yuji Kaida!

    Godzilla vs. Evangelion Box: Garlic Ramen and Spicy Chicken Flavored Snacks

    Golly, Godzilla looks bold and brilliant and beastly, while the Eva Unit One is dashing about with a knife (seems unsafe) and recklessly unplugging himself in the process, which has just got to be bad for the connectors. I learned that the hard way with my vacuum sweeper—it sucks, or rather stops your vacuum from sucking. Anyway, I love the art, I love the logo, and—what’s this on the back?

    That’s right, we have a sumo wrestling ring populated by popular kaiju and Evangelion characters on the back of the Godzilla vs. Evangelion Box! Sharp-eyed kaiju snack fans will doubtlessly recognise the art of the Toho menagerie as being the same used in the Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla campaign. Naturally enough, the Toho kaiju collective is stationed to the east, and the Evangelion crew to the west (maybe Asuka Langley’s foreign blood clinched that one). At any rate, the reason we have such a colorful sumo ring is because the snack box doubles as the staging area for cardboard combat! Inside the box you can cut out little cardboard combatants—only Godzilla and Eva Unit One unfortunately. Then you can place said wood-pulp warriors on the sumo ring and tap-tap-tap-tap the box to make Godzilla and Unit One engage in ferocious hand-to-hand battle.


    Or maybe just watch the two monstrous fighters kind of bounce around for a few seconds before one of them spontaneously falls over before either fighter even touches the other. Given that in this case each wrestler actually has the brain of a block of wood you can’t expect much from the resulting clashes. As I tried banging away at the box with my thumbs, I found Godzilla to be the tipsier of the two and was quite dismayed to see him nosedive several times over with little provocation. Godzilla may be the king of the monsters, but he sucks at sumo.

    Still, this cross-promotional artery-stuffer charms with its funny concept and fantastic art, and the snack itself, while far from glamorous, nevertheless pleased my palate. We may never see Godzilla actually engage in glorious combat against the Eva Units, but at least we have snacks like these to go head-to-head with our diet plans and come out victorious.​

    Godzilla vs. Evangelion Box: Garlic Ramen and Spicy Chicken Flavored Snacks

    Godzilla vs. Evangelion Box: Garlic Ramen and Spicy Chicken Flavored Snacks

    Godzilla vs. Evangelion Box: Garlic Ramen and Spicy Chicken Flavored Snacks

    Godzilla vs. Evangelion Box: Garlic Ramen and Spicy Chicken Flavored Snacks

    Godzilla vs. Evangelion Box: Garlic Ramen and Spicy Chicken Flavored Snacks

    Kaiju Kuisine // December 27, 2016
  • Have you ever wanted to eat a Godzilla hamburger? How about see a cute Godzilla wearing a giant hamburger on his head? King Ghidorah hanging out with a bunch of French fries? Mothra crawling out of a cup of soda? I personally never envisioned such brilliance, but I am glad I have seen them now, thanks to a lighthearted campaign through Lotteria, a kind of Korean-Japanese version of McDonald’s (Lotte, the company behind Lotteria, was founded by a Korean in Tokyo). The campaign, used to promote the release of Godzilla Resurgence (2016) in Japan, was called “Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla” (ロッテリア対シン・ゴジラ) and included several food items, including a Shin Godzilla bucket of chicken nuggets or fries with a special removable Godzilla-themed cardboard wrapped around the bucket, a similar Shin Godzilla gelato cup with sleeve, and the main attraction, the Shin Godzilla set, which included one of three Godzilla-themed prizes along with a cheese burger (made from “umameat”) and small fries and a small drink. Basically a happy meal, except the prize (which the customer was allowed to choose, thankfully) is not a toy… But first the sleeves!

    The larger of the two sleeves could be purchased with a Shin Godzilla chicken nuggets bucket or French fries bucket. The sleeve is just slapped on a boring white cardboard bucket of junk food, and it’s the same bucket with the nuggets or the fries. Since I was ordering my bucket to go with a Shin Godzilla set, I ordered the nuggets instead of the fries given that the set already comes with a small fries. That was a huge mistake. The chicken nuggets were some of the worst I have ever eaten, and immediately they went to war on my stomach and my taste buds. The whole meal only came with a small drink and I was too stubborn to order a second drink or throw away the nuggets, so I suffered through bite after excruciating bite, the obnoxious manufactured aftertaste invading every crevice and corner of my mouth. I would be tasting nugget chemical wash for the rest of the evening as my rebelling stomach sent nasty-flavored belches up the esophagus and bathed my mouth anew with pure nuggety torture again and again.

    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign

    And all for a cardboard sleeve featuring the Godzilla posters from the first 28 Japanese films in full-color, along with blood red dates indicating the releases of the films in Japan. Of course in Japan each Godzilla film had more than one poster, and the bucket sleeve only has room for one poster for each movie (surprisingly fairly clear images despite their size), but the posters are well-chosen, including the gorgeous painted Heisei posters by Noriyoshi Ohrai. This collection of posters is given the charming title of “Godzilla Timeslip Museum,” and while this prize is in no way worth an evening of digestive torment, it is still a pretty nifty item for obsessive collectors.

    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign

    The sleeve for the Shin Godzilla gelato cup is much less impressive, but also much cuter. Much to my stomach’s relief, the gelato did not cause me digestive upset either. The sleeve’s design is mostly red and white, with a collection of chibi-style Godzilla characters dressed in fast-food themed attire standing proudly and randomly about on the sleeve. Godzilla can be seen wearing a giant hamburger headpiece, as can be the 70s version of Mechagodzilla—both in full color. However there is also a Godzilla drawn in white with a soft-drink headpiece, a white-sketch MechaG with hamburger headpiece, a headpiece-less Godzilla, and a King Ghidorah with three huge heads. It all seems pretty random and cheap, especially since the cutesy Godzilla art is just recycled from the Shin Godzilla set items.

    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla CampaignAs for those set items, really, they are the main attraction here. The Shin Godzilla set came with a small cheeseburger, a small fries, a small drink, and one of your choice of three unusual Godzilla-themed prizes. The burger and fries I thought were tasty in a cheap fast-food way (compare to the cheapest McDonald’s burger on the menu), but the goodies that come with the food are memorable to say the least. Each of the prizes comes in a little white Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla plastic bag and two of the prizes come with instructions for use (just in case you happen to be an idiot, I guess).

    The first prize I got (I think right after my initial viewing of Godzilla Resurgence on opening day) was the King Ghidorah sticky notes, which come in a little cardboard box made to look like a french fries container. Each sticky note has the aforementioned chibi Ghidorah with big red eyes standing in front of cartoon illustrations of fries—thus highlighting how the legendary terror from outer space and one of Godzilla’s most fearsome enemies sort of blends into fries if you look at him squinty-eyed. The portion of each sticky note for writing features Ghidorah’s eye again, this time in the background with a light yellow color. I just think the whole thing is ludicrously cute.

    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign

    The second prize I picked up was the Mothra masking tape, which has a sticker with detailed instructions in tiny, tiny print as to how to properly use said tape (don’t lick it, don’t put it on your skin, don’t try to use it on dusty surfaces, etc). The actual tape is partially translucent and feels waxy with a pink checkered design. Mothra in her imago form can be seen emerging from a cup and crying out “Bah!”, perhaps as an expression of her frustration at not being featured in the latest Godzilla feature. The adult Mothra is followed by four Mothra larvae which are crawling out of overturned cups with the Japanese onomatopoeia word “mozo” inscribed above their heads (“mozomozo” just means to crawl or creep). Presumably the reason we are being treated to Mothra tape is because of Mothra’s well-documented use of sticky silk spray, which I guess loosely translates to pink tape in the world of Lotteria marketing staff. The Lotteria logo can also be found on the tape. So far I haven’t had the heart to actually use the stuff, but I love the crazy design.

    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign

    Last and perhaps most unusual because I can’t quite figure out what I would use it for is the Magnet Godzilla Clip, which features the same chibi Godzilla and Mechagodzilla from the gelato sleeve, and they are once again wearing the cheeseburger headgear. Mechagodzilla here can be seen destroying a skyscraper in the background, and Godzilla is shooting what looks like a blue fireball out of his mouth. Each monster is featured on one side of a plastic magnet clip. Actually, the material feels like thin vinyl over two circular magnets which clip together, thus referencing Godzilla’s inexplicable magnetic powers in the original Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). However, I usually think of magnet clips as something you stick on your refrigerator to hold papers or something. This clip seems to be something you would carry around in your bag, maybe holding some small document together or… something. I don’t know. The magnets aren’t very powerful, so I wouldn’t want to use them to clip anything important. Frankly I think it’s a piece of junk—a cute piece of junk, but junk nonetheless. The Magnet Godzilla Clip also comes with instructions such as “don’t give to small kids” and “don’t put too close to magnetized cards and wrist watches and so forth”.

    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign

    I am not usually one to collect much Godzilla paraphernalia outside of books and comics, but the Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign cross promotion tickled my funny bone and I figured no one else was going to be covering this rather unique bit of Godzilla history in any detail in English, so I decided to go for it. The products and promotions and food are all cheap but cute and clever, and I had fun. I hope you had fun reading about them, too.

    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign
    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign
    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign
    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign

    Lotteria vs. Shin Godzilla Campaign

    Kaiju Kuisine // November 24, 2016
  • This year I have been something of a glutton for Godzilla and kaiju related snacks and foods, but in general I haven’t been very impressed with most of the offerings. I didn’t care for the Shin Gojiramen snacks from the Oyatsu Company, nor the Limited Edition Yaki, and while the Yokosuka Godzilla Curry was better, I don’t care to eat it again. I actually enjoyed the Godzilla Butamen, but it has already disappeared from the market. I picked up the Godzilla Arare Crackers (ゴジあられ) from a company called Folcart when I visited a Godzilla exhibit back in August of 2016, but given the underwhelming flavors featured in other Goji-snacks so far, I wasn’t exactly scrambling to eat the stuff until I noticed that they were going to expire tomorrow (November 1)! Thus I partook with haste, and boy this might be my favorite Godzilla food yet!

    The packaging makes an immediate positive impression with Godzilla taking out some old-time Japanese fishermen in the midst of a huge wave, evoking the famous woodblock print by Hokusai (the art here mimics his, and seen at the end of the review). The whole milieu looks fantastic, so it may come as little surprise that I bought a t-shirt at the exhibit that features the same art. Given that As of this writing Godzilla recently visited ancient Japan in a particularly memorable IDW comic by Matt Frank, the art here feels especially serendipitous,

    Godzilla Arare Crackers Review

    As for the crackers themselves, they are arare crackers, which means roasted glutinous rice cakes. The ingredients listed on the side include glutinous rice, bamboo ash (!!!!), vegetable oil, and salt. The package proudly proclaims that the crackers are made to look like Godzilla and are delicious to boot, and the usage of bamboo ash in the product is especially highlighted–and I have to say it intrigued me! The individual crackers look something like Godzilla cells, which presumably was the intention.

    But what about the taste, my man? Well, I love glutinous rice, and these arare cracker have a fantastic texture and a crackling good crunch. The subtle taste of rice cracker is ever so slightly enhanced by a smudge of smoky taste and just the right touch of salt. I really love these crackers, and I wish I had bought everything more than one bag!

    If all Godzilla snacks could be this good I would probably be the size of Godzilla now from eating them all day, so I guess I should be thankful that Folcart’s crackers are the exception rather than the rule. Still, if you like Japanese snacks and you are crazy about Godzilla, you would be remiss to pass these crackers up if you should happen to stumble upon them like I did!

    Godzilla Arare Crackers Review

    Godzilla Arare Crackers Review

    Godzilla Arare Crackers Review

    Kaiju Kuisine // November 7, 2016
  • Along with any decent large scale summer release, Godzilla Resurgence (2016) in Japan came along with quite the variety of products and snacks and promotions to capitalize on the return of everyone’s favorite tyrannostegosaurus. Along with the Shin Hot Dogs and the Lotteria Shin Gojira Set (among other snacks) are the Baby Star Dodekai Ramen Shin Gojiramen, a cheap chip-like snack by the Oyatsu Company. The snack is supposed to taste like ramen noodles I guess and is probably made from similar ingredients, and the packaging has some amusing wordplay, including the combination of “gojira” with “ramen” and a tag line of “Anata tai Shin Gojira”–you vs Shin Gojira, with “shin” written with the kanji for “spicy,” taking advantage of the deliberately vague title of Hideaki Anno’s new movie (“shin” doesn’t just mean “new,” and when Anno named the movie that, he was going for several meanings at once). I bought my Shin Gojiramen recently at an Aeon Mall where they were relegated to the half-price bin, so I guess we can safely conclude they aren’t selling well.

    Baby Star Dodekai Ramen Shin Gojiramen Black Pepper and Hot Chili Review

    That lack of sales may be due to the underwhelming quality of the snacks, at least as judged by my discerning (?) tongue. The black pepper flavor (ベビースタードデカイシン・ゴジラーメン- ブラックペッパー味) certainly is very black peppery, with an unhealthy dose of salt. I am not really complaining about the flavoring, though I am no big fan of black pepper chips. The source of my mild disappointment stems more from the bland texture of the ramen chips themselves. While the chips are certainly visually appealing as they curl and twist like so many edible ribbons blowing in the wind, the actual crunch lacks punch and struck me as having the mouth-feel of slightly stale potato chips. I grew tired of them after just a few bites. This snack is pictured at the top of the review.

    The hot chili flavor (ベビースタードデカイ シン・ゴジラーメン-ホットチリ味) was better, at least to my tastes. The chips themselves are less messy as they don’t have so much salt to fall off onto your fingers, and the chili flavoring seems to have been applied with a slightly sweet sauce and cooked in, so your fingers may feel a little sticky after a munch session. The flavor is hotter, but not scorching–enough to make me thirsty. Still, neither flavor was enough to make me want to buy more. This snack is pictured below.

    Baby Star Dodekai Ramen Shin Gojiramen Black Pepper and Hot Chili Review

    Enterprising individuals can also send a post card in to the company with name, address, sex, age, etc, to get either a poster or a press pamphlet, neither of which are being sold in stores. The packaging doesn’t show what the poster or pamphlet look like, but it’s a nice addition to a simple, fairly underwhelming snack. Still, for the curious, these are cheap snacks to feed your growing kaiju belly.

    Kaiju Kuisine // September 30, 2016
  • 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 mural on the back wall

    The open kitchen with posters above

    The open kitchen with posters above

    The menu, which serves a "Godzila" Salad

    The menu, which serves a “Godzila” Salad

    Back of the menu, with a "Godzila" Roll and a King Kong Roll

    Back of the menu, with a “Godzila” Roll and a King Kong Roll

    The sake menu

    The sake menu

    The "Godzila" Salad

    The “Godzila” Salad

    The "Godzila" Roll

    The “Godzila” Roll

    The entrance which has a Godzilla vs. Megaguirus poster, the only Japanese one here

    The entrance which has a Godzilla vs. Megaguirus poster, the only Japanese one here

    Close-up of the open kitchen

    Close-up of the open kitchen

    Some of the hand drawn art on display

    Some of the hand drawn art on display

    The bathroom decor

    The bathroom decor

    More of the art on display

    More of the art on display

    Even more art, most of which uses "Godzila" although a few let Godzilla with the double Ls slip

    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

    Even more of the art on display

    Even more of the art on display

    More Godzila themed art

    More Godzila themed art

    Last set of Godzila art

    Last set of Godzila art

    The Godzila Sushi shirt

    The Godzila Sushi shirt

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

    Kaiju Kuisine // January 2, 2015