Kaiju Kuisine

  • Perhaps sporting one of the less appetizing names in the big pile of sweets that I purchased, the Godzilla Can (literally ゴジラ CAN from Hunter Confections or ハンター製菓株式会社 if you prefer) conjures up images of canned meat or maybe Godzilla on the can, or maybe even a self-actualization chant for the Big G when he is feeling down—not so much chocolates and romance. (Well, maybe Zoey from I Want to Marry Godzilla and Have His Children might fantasize about married life with Godzilla and walking in on him while he is on the john, but it’s probably best not to go there.) While it is true that Godzilla is liable to kick lots of can, and Mechagodzilla might be called a Godzilla Can if you really stretch, the real Godzilla Can is actually a fairly impressive collection of chocolates that is just itching to be set up in delicious dioramas.

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    Kaiju Kuisine // February 21, 2018
  • Many years ago, when I was in college, I did not participate nearly as much in the Godzilla fandom as I have come to do now that I am in my thirties (what the heck happened?). Back then I still was fond of Godzilla and Japanese films, anime, and video games, but I was not regularly writing about those topics (although I did write a long article for my school’s newspaper about the appreciation of old-school monster movies…). Perhaps the reason I did not express my love for all things monster-suited was because there simply weren’t enough, erm, monster-related Valentine’s Day goods available at the time. I remember my mom sending me a gift package that included  a set of Godzilla-themed Valentine’s Day cards, which I will include scans of below.

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    Kaiju Kuisine // February 14, 2018
  • Over the years the question of what kaiju eat has often remained largely a mystery. Tsuburaya cut the scene of Godzilla eating a cow in the original Godzilla (1954), and he has been mostly left hungry ever since—except when he starts snarfing radiation or, in the case of the American Godzilla, piles of fish. However, it’s hard to imagine just the enormous amount of food necessary to feed these modern day behemoths—the film Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972) attempted an answer and showed that feeding the beasts can be quite the hassle! While some kaiju definitely eat people (Rodan originally munched people meat, for example, as did Gyaos), and some eat livestock (such as Baragon), by and large the question of what makes a good monster lunch has been left largely open to interpretation. (more…)

    Kaiju Kuisine // February 25, 2017
  • Japanese has a number of borrowed words from other languages, just like English does. Unlike English, however, Japanese usually marks foreign words by writing them in katakana (with the most notable exception being loan words from Chinese). Thus we end up with the Godzilla Gaufrette (ゴジラゴーフレット), “gaufrette” coming from French. The English word is Neapolitan wafer, but “Godzilla Neapolitan wafer” sounds much less cool. The actual confection comes from Sawarabi STK, which also made the Godzilla Pie. (more…)

    Kaiju Kuisine // February 12, 2017
  • When I picture a Godzilla pie, I… well, to be honest, I have never pictured a Godzilla pie, but were I to engage in the mental exercise now, the picture I would conjure up would be something big and round and right out of the oven. If we are talking 2016 Goji, my image would tend towards a black crust with gaps in between with cherry or strawberry innards representing the glowing nuclear energy. (more…)

    Kaiju Kuisine // January 7, 2017
  • 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… (more…)

    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 Shin Godzilla (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! (more…)

    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! (more…)

    Kaiju Kuisine // November 7, 2016
  • Along with any decent large scale summer release, Shin Godzilla (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. (more…)

    Kaiju Kuisine // September 22, 2016