Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Chihayafuru and Toppo

Chihayafuru is a girl's manga about a school girl that decided to compete at the national level for karuta. I wrote about karuta a couple years ago when I attended a tournament in Kagoshima. It's a card game between two players, where you have several cards on the floor at one time. Each card has an illustration and a couple lines of a poem on the front. An announcer reads the poem, and the first player to slap the correct card away wins that round. A referee keeps score, and when two players are finished playing against each other, the group rotates so that everyone plays against everyone else in the group. In the manga, Chihayu had been a talented karuta player as a child, but her school team soon broke up. In high school, she decides to start a new club, and she tries to become the best karuta player in the world.

Snack food maker Lotte tied up their Toppo brand pretzels with the Chihayafuru manga to create a series of 9 different box designs (3 designs per Toppo flavor).

I was at a nearby drug store, and getting hungry, so I looked for the cheapest snack they had. They were running a discount price on Toppo, so I grabbed the closest box to me. It wasn't until later that I realized that the box had  manga-themed art on it. I don't read this manga, so I have no intrinsic interest in it. The sticks in the box are a kind of long, thin sweet pretzel with a chocolate filling. Nothing really spectacular, but sufficiently filling for the reduced price of about 75 cents USD.

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