girl-fun: Angry Japanese Candy Rules

Long before I moved to Japan I was obsessed with Japanese candy. Like most girls, I love anything brightly colored, shiny, and aesthetically pleasing, so when you add sugar to the mix, it’s kind of a no brainer.

Hi-Chew and Pocky have been my long time favorites simply because they’re available all over the place. But there are alllll sorts of interesting and amazing and perhaps peculiar treats I’m just now learning about. I’ve gone from being an armchair connoisseur to a full on Nihon-fructose anthropologist. Let’s look at my latest findings, shall we? We shall.

So I’ve been trying to translate this package. I can read:

Bad ASS? It kind of looks like a soap package no?

Bad ASS? It kind of looks like a soap package no?


キヤラメル, which mean caramel. It also helps that the wordmark is “caramel.”

But below that gets a little hazy…

なおいしさ translates to “taste” butワル means “badass.” Is it possible that these caramels taste badass? Because that would rule. And they do taste totally badass. These make the cut.

Now just by looking at the package I know these are plum candy… ume

We're extremely sour. RAWWWR.

We’re extremely sour. RAWWWR.

ウメトラ translates to tiger plum? Rawr… plum? And they taste nothing like they look. I was expecting a burst of sour-sugar-plum wonderment, but got stabbed in the back of the throat with a shot of vinegar. Crunchy and squishy? How can that be? Pass.

Any package displaying a trifecta of disjointed emotion will at least get me to stop and look. This one got me to put mystery stuff in my mouth:

Schizophrenic packaging always wins.

Schizophrenic packaging always wins.

すつぱい レモン translates to shrew lemon tree? Judging by the intimidating lemon with furrowed brows and 80’s biker shades… he’s the shrew of the lot. But the others seem pretty happy. Maybe this candy makes you bipolar? Eating it anyway.

Wait, it’s gum. Delicious, but do not swallow for you’ll have angry lemons in your stomach for the next seven years.

Anyway, I don’t think I’m learning much Japanese, but reading packages has helped me remember the alphabets and understand that reading Kanji is a bit of a lost cause. Which makes me slightly sad. But then I eat some baddass caramel and feel much better.

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