Saturday, April 16, 2011

Peanuts, Pepsi, Conan and Black Chicken

Pepsi definitely likes its tie-ins. This time it's with the Peanuts characters in a "Snoopy World" theme. Each 500 ml bottle of Pepsi NEX comes with one of 12 Peanuts character keitai (cell phone) straps. Each strap is associated with the food, or food product, of a specific country. In the attached photos Woodstock gets a bottle of olive oil from Greece, and Snoopy swims in yogurt from Bulgaria. They're not particularly large, maybe only an inch tall, each.

Again, I'm not a big Pepsi drinker, and I only like the Peanuts strips from the mid-1950's, so there's no plan to collect them all this time. Although, I have located a nearby drug store that carries the 500ml Pepsi bottles for 98 yen each, so it's not all that expensive to get one or two of the more interesting straps...

Note that when I went to the Pepsi site to check if they still had the page promoting the Snoopy straps, I discovered that they're currently sponsoring an anime series that just started, called "Tiger & Bunny". The setup is that a bunch of super heroes are sponsored by real-world companies, and their powers are called "NEXT". Hmmm...

I've written about the new Meitantei Conan anime movie, "Quarter to Silence", and how Shonen Sunday had packaged the advertising poster and drink coaster in a recent issue of the magazine. Well, 7-11 had also gotten in on the gig with their plastic "4-16 Roadshow" snack bundle. This bundle consists of a cheap plastic tote bag holding a chocolate bar, a couple packages of chips, a box of chocolate-covered malt candies, and a bag of grape-flavored gummies. If you were to get them all separately, it would come to about 580 yen. As a package, it's 500 yen ($6.00 USD). Because I did want to get the snacks, it wasn't that overly expensive of a purchase. However, the only snack that's at all related to Conan is the little cup of pressed corn pretzels, with some pictures of the characters on the outside of the package. Fairly boring overall. The tote bag isn't particularly useful, either.

(Contents of the Conan package.)

Next up is the Family Mart "black chicken". I first discovered this in a recent issue of the Metropolis. The rag's photo did NOT do it justice, nor did the description in the write-up. Fortunately, there's a Family Mart within walking distance of me, and the 140 yen price tag is in keeping with the rest of the fried food items in most convenience stores. Actually, the coating tastes like a regular black pepper sauce, and the chicken itself is soft and juicy. Not bad, but not something worth buying just for itself.

Finally, Sunkus. This is one of the many convenience stores in Japan, and I've always thought it was pronounced "sun-cuss". Although, using the Japanese pronunciation it would be closer to "soon-coo-sue". However, if you look at the second photo, you'll see that the katakana spelling is "sankusu". It may not seem like much, but this makes a huge difference. Keep in mind that the Japanese language doesn't have a specific "th" sound, and words that start with "th" in English are represented as "s" in Japanese. We start with "san-coo-sue". Next, the "u" sound in words that end in "su" often gets dropped, and in the case of this particular name, the same happens with the "ku" sound. Bringing us to "sanks". Substituting the "tha" back in for the "sa" part, we arrive at "thanks". Which is what most Japanese think this store's name really is. A far cry from "sun-cuss".

("Thanks". Sake and Tobacco.)

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