So, they really missed an opportunity by failing to call this a Godzilla Bath Bomb. The Godzilla Bath Ball (ゴジラ バスボール) from Deruma Rabo, which I purchased at Nijigen no Mori back in 2021 for 500 yen, is an awkward way to feel closer to your favorite kaiju. I have been a big fan of bath balls for several years now, ever since I purchased some of the higher end ones from Lush (pro tip: You can use some of their bath balls for multiple baths just by shaving off a bit each time—don’t waste the whole thing on one go, dang it!), but more recently in Japan you can get all sorts of cheaper ones for sale in novelty shops like Village Vanguard or at souvenir stores. These cheaper bath balls usually have some kind of branding with a secret tiny figure inside—one of several inserted at random, to encourage customers to buy multiple balls in hopes of collecting all of them ala the gacha gacha lottery. I have also purchased a Detective Butt bath bomb and a Gremlins bath bomb (a butt character seems appropriate for a bath, but don’t put Gizmo in the water!). You can even get bath bombs with no-name toys inside at the hundred yen shops these days. Even if the character-branded bath bombs pale in comparison to the glory of a Lush bath ball, you can still have a good time with the Godzilla Bath Ball. Let’s walk through the details.
First, the packaging. How about that cute Godzilla on the front there? One of many cartoony Godzilla designs making the rounds on G-merchandise, this one actually gets a figure version—if you happen to luck into finding Godzilla inside the soapy bubble bomb, the tiny guy will be based on this illustration, with the same dramatic pose. Also on the packaging, you get “Godzilla” in the usual cracked font, “Bath Ball” in a sketchy cartoon font, a blue banner announcing the scent of the ball (ramune—a “traditional” Japanese soda with a long history, known for their distinct glass bottles), and images of the five possible toy figures you simply MUST collect—Godzilla (perhaps based on the Heisei design), Mothra, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla/Kiryu, and Shin Godzilla second form/Kamata Kun.
Spoiler: I got Kamata Kun. For being small enough to balance on the pad of my thumb, he is fairly detailed, has five colors with strategically applied paint, and a lovable chibi design aesthetic.
The bath ball itself looks like a giant lollipop head and is a light greenish blue, matching the color of most ramune candies and drinks. After I popped the ball into my Japanese tub, I definitely smelled a bit of that distinct sweet ramune scent—but I promise I didn’t take a sip. The ball releases a dramatic stream of bubbles after you drop it in, and whether it’s deliberate or not, the effect brought my mind back to the horrific effects of the Oxygen Destroyer from the OG Godzilla—though after soaking for a good half-hour in the resultant marsh-colored water, the flesh didn’t dissolve off my bones, so I am fairly certain my bath treat didn’t double as a weapon of mass destruction. While some bath balls can really create a soothing and smooth (one might say lush) feeling to the soaking experience, this one didn’t seem to change the consistency of my water all that much, and since I didn’t have the water running when I dropped the sucker in, I also didn’t get the usual mountain of bubbles. My bad.
Still, for Godzilla fans, it certainly is fun to have a Godzilla bath (probably even better with toy boats and a Godzilla figure or two), and with the wide variety of Godzilla bath towels currently available, as well as things like toilet paper and shower curtains, you can deck out your bathroom with an impressive range of Godzilla décor to fit your monster bath time needs. And while the resultant vaguely citrus-scented soaking session might be slightly underwhelming (it was better than the fried chicken bath bomb I tried), the figures inside appear to be well-made and terribly cute. Not the worst use of a couple bucks for some monster shenanigans.