7-Eleven Japan teams up with “Attack on Titan” to bring you new video short and prizes

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RocketNews 24:

Beginning on Friday, May 22, 7-Eleven stores across Japan will finally team up with the wildly popular Attack on Titan franchise to bring you a special lottery with all sorts of winnable prizes! Be sure to check out the details as well as an amusing new promotional video after the jump.

The new campaign will begin on Friday, May 22. Buy at least 700 yen (US $5.85) worth of goods at any 7-Eleven store throughout Japan and you’ll be eligible to draw a ticket at the register with the possibility of winning an Attack on Titan-themed prize. In addition, a special web commercial advertising the upcoming fair is a must-see for any fan of the series!

The web video shows the Colossal Titan plodding towards a 7-Eleven store, apparently after a brief shopping trip to his local convenience store. He mutters to himself, “I bought milk, pasta, and salad…surely this is enough to bridge the 700 yen wall!”

Just as the titan nears the wall, Eren comes into view. He replies somewhat hesitantly,“It comes to 699 yen.” Aww, poor Colossal Titan–you were so close!

The web commercial will be available to view until Tuesday, May 26.

▼ The Attack on Titan collaboration, coming to a 7-Eleven near you (minus the Colossal Titan)!

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If you’re familiar with previous 7-Eleven fairs, you’ll know that the different prizes you can win in each lottery drawing are arranged in basic order of coolness, from trivial trinkets to some grand prizes that only a few people manage to get their hands on.

Check out the official campaign site here (in Japanese only, sorry) for a look at some of the prizes…

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this picture of limited life-sized Eren and Levi figures that could be yours in just a matter of days. Better start saving up those one-yen coins now!

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The defrosted reality of 24 frozen meals at Thai 7-Elevens

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RocketNews 24:

The frozen food section at the local convenience store may not hold any lofty culinary treasures, but it does hold the key to saving time and energy after a long day. All around the world, people value frozen foods for their convenience and, sometimes, their deliciousness.

But can you really trust the picture on the front of the package to be what comes out of the microwave? One Thai netizen went on a quest to demystify the frozen food section of Thailand’s 7-Elevens and posted photos of 24 heated up meals to see how they compared to people’s expectations.

Lonelynite, a user of the Thai webforum Pantip, posted the photos to share what a diet of only frozen meals from 7-Eleven would look like. The meals all cost between 30 to 45 baht (US$0.92 to US$1.38) and were a variety of Southeast Asian, Chinese, and Western cuisine. There were even a few Japanese foods including karaage fried chicken or Japanese-style curry. While some of the food looked pretty good, some did not look appetizing at all. Check out all 24 meals below!

 

1. Fish in red curry fried with rice

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2. Pork fried rice

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3. Japanese curry and tonkatsu (pork cutlet) with Japanese rice

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4. Stir fried mixed vegetables and omelette with rice

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5. Shrimp fried rice

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6. Korean-style chicken with rice

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7. Spaghetti carbonara with ham

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8. Spaghetti with chili pork basil leaf

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9. Stir-fried Japanese rice with salmon

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10. Chicken sausage fried rice

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11. American fried rice

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12. Stir-fried basil shrimp with rice

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13. Stir-fried chicken with chili paste and bamboo shoots

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14. Fried mackerel and shrimp paste sauce with rice

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15. Hainanese chicken rice with soup

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16. Pork panang curry with rice

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17. Karaage chicken with Japanese rice

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18. Spaghetti tomato sauce with chicken

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19. Stir-fried basil vegetarian protein with rice

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20. Stir-fried pork and basil with rice

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21. Noodles

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22. Stir-fried pork with basil leaf and rice

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23. Grilled pork steak with Japanese rice

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24. Crab fried rice

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How did the frozen meals of Thailand’s 7-Eleven match up to the photos on the package?

Black Mont Blanc: The most loved ice cream in Japan you can only buy in Kyushu

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RocketNews 24:

Usually when people talk about “culture shock,” we think of moving to another country–but it doesn’t have to be limited to that. It can be anything from moving from one prefecture to another or even just moving into the city from the country or vice versa.

Of course, you can’t get much more “city” than Tokyo, so, of course, many Japanese people moving here from more rural areas might experience a bit of culture shock. And today we’ll be looking at one such example for one of our Japanese writers who came to the metropolis from Kyushu! Hint: it involves delicious ice cream.

▼We’ve marked Kyushu on the bottom-left and Tokyo on the right.

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Of course, moving from Kyushu to Tokyo isn’t exactly the same as, say, moving to Japan’s capital city from France or Germany, though it certainly does present a host of new things to learn. For Takashi Harada, one of our writers for the Japanese side of RocketNews24, there was naturally a lot to get used to, least not the ocean of people inhabiting the city. But one of the biggest differences for him was the food–to be specific, the lack of a certain ice cream bar.

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Called “Burakku Monburan,” or “Black Mont Blanc,” the ice cream bar (pictured above) is one of the most popular in Kyushu. Unfortunately for homesick Kyushu natives living elsewhere in Japan, the dessert is sold almost exclusively on the mostly-rural island. However, it seems that the ice cream bar is so popular and so common in Kyushu that most who live there never even consider that it’s not really available anywhere else.

In fact, according to our writer, the ice cream is a bit like local “soul food” and everyone from child to adults eat it. So, when Takashi stopped by a local convenience store in Tokyo, he was taken aback to find it wasn’t on any of the shelves. It’s not quite as bad as being allergic to fish in Japan, but it was a bit of a shock to our writers, and we can imagine that it would be enough to ruin your night if you’re really looking for some comfort food after moving halfway across the country!

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It would be like if Garigari-kun suddenly disappeared from all the convenience stores!” he explained. While that might not mean much to you if you’ve never had one of Japan’s most popular popsicles, it would certainly be a shock to most Japanese people.

By now, you’re probably wondering what makes this Black Mont Blanc ice cream bar so special, but it’s apparently just vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate and cookie crumbs. That’s…actually, that sounds really good, even if it is still freezing in Tokyo right now! But it’s not just the ice cream itself–the bar was first produced 45 years ago, and we suspect its long life has been part of cementing its popularity. Kind of like an edible security blanket.

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Now, we mentioned above that it’s almost exclusively sold in Kyushu. Apparently the manufacturer has started branching out a little bit, and you can now find it at limited stores. For example, it’s available at Summit in Tokyo, some 7-Elevens in the Kansai area, and you can buy it online, too.

Fake 7-Elevens across Asia

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RocketNews 24:

Take a quick look at the picture above. Notice anything strange? Perceptive readers may have spotted something out-of-place right away. If you didn’t, well, no worries, but you’ll probably want to facepalm yourself when you take a second look.

Like this Chinese 7-Twelve, there are a number of fake, localized versions of popular convenience store 7-Eleven scattered throughout the Asian continent. They may think they can slip through the cracks, but perhaps it’s only a matter of time before a lawyer comes knocking at their doors. We have to hand it to them, though–they score high on creativity for coming up with some amusing names.

Let’s take a look at some photographic evidence of the various 7-Eleven wannabes out there.

 

Japan:

You may not have guessed it, but our first offender is actually from none other than Japan! Err, was, that is–this particular store is no longer in business.

7-Mercy apparently opened during the latter years of the Showa Era (1926-1989) somewhere in Miyagi Prefecture. We certainly did a double take the first time we glanced at the store’s logo:

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Ironically, there’s now a real 7-Eleven located right across the street:

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China:

Moving on to China, we’re once again almost, but not quite, fooled by the familiar-looking red and green logo. Perhaps someone was trying to make a statement by one-upping the number eleven? At least they spelled it right…

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Here we’ve got the presumably less-convenient 9-One.” We wonder what the significance of the numbers “nine” and “one” is…

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Vietnam:

If you travel further south in Asia, you can find a mini-mart in the guise of 7-Days.”

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Cambodia:

Does the name 7-Bright suggest that it’s only open when there’s still light outside? Or that the shop workers will greet you with bright smiles? Perhaps only intelligent people can shop here…

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Nepal (Pokhara):

Although the sign reads “7-Eleven,” the merchandise being sold there appears to be fitting only for some kind of school festival.

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Here’s a new one–how would you like to waste the night away at the “7-Eleven Dance Bar”?

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South Korea (Dongdaemun district, Seoul):

Finally, we have this 7-Seven mart located in a popular Korean tourist area. While lacking the chain’s distinctive red and green stripes, the design of the numeral “7” still comes a little too close to the real thing.

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Has anyone seen any other fake 7-Elevens out there during their travels around the globe? We’re sure there’s a whole slew of counterfeit shops for other popular chains, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, as well.

Attack on Titan teams up with plum wine maker for new anime alcohol

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RocketNews 24:

Along with its naked giants and high-flying fight scenes, anime and manga mega hit Attack on Titan is defined by its oppressively bleak atmosphere. Its world is one in which not only do rampaging monsters want to eat you, the ruling aristocracy is ready to kick you out of the walled city if you’re too big a drain on its resources.

Compelling as its story may be, after spending enough time in that setting, even fans of the series could find themselves needing a stiff drink. If so, they might want to reach for a glass of the soon-to-be-released Attack on Titan plum wine.

He may be a household name now, but it wasn’t too long ago that manga artist Hajime Isayama was largely unknown. The Attack on Titan creator is just 28, which means he’s only a decade or so removed from being just another kid growing up in rural Oita Prefecture.

But while the sudden skyrocketing success of Attack on Titan has brought Isayama fame, wealth, and an enviable amount of creative freedom, that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten his roots back in his hometown of Oyama, now merged with a number of other former municipalities into Hita City. The town is equally proud of their manga star, and previously Oyama has issued stamps and held exhibitions and other events related to Attack on Titan.

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Oyama’s tiny population doesn’t really lend itself to the creation of large economic entities, but one local industry is plum wine, called umeshu in Japanese. Not only are plums grown in Oyama, but the beverage itself is produced, bottled, and sold in the town by the company Hibiki no Sato.

Isayama and Hibiko no Sato have teamed up once before to make Attack on Titan plum wine. Due to the first batch’s popularity, they’ve decided to go ahead with a second.

The set includes two 500-mililiter (16.9-ounce) bottles, each with a different type of plum wine and label specially drawn by Isayama for the project.

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The first variety is the Bande Side S, with Attack on Titan’s Levi appearing on the label (the “S” stands for “short,” because while Levi may be tough and cool, he’s definitely not tall). Made with Oyama-grown oshuku plums and aged for over three years, the Bande Side S plum wine has an alcohol content of 20 percent. Hibiki no Sato describes its flavor as strong yet crisp, and recommends drinking it on the rocks or cut with soda water.

The other bottle contains the Bande Side T, referring to the “tall” Erwin and Hange on its label. Also aged for over three years, but made from nanko plums and only 14 percent alcohol, the Bande Side T’s flavor has stronger fruit notes. Best served on the rocks, business travelers may find the taste familiar, as the same blend is also poured by airline ANA in its business class.

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Lining the two labels up next to each other produces a composite illustration of the three Survey Corps standouts relaxing together. Likewise, placing their boxes side by side also creates one large image, in keeping with the name Bande, which is German for “band” or “group.”

If you’re too thirsty to make the trip all the way down to Oita, the 3,780-yen (US$31.50)Attack on Titan plum wine set can also be purchased through convenience store Lawson. Preorders start February 24, with shipment on April 4, meaning you’ll have your bottles in plenty of time for that second season of the anime we keep hearing about.

Drinking sake just got more convenient with convenience store Family Mart’s new canned brews

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RocketNews 24:

Like with wine, there are variations in flavor between different types of Japanese sake. However, it can be kind of tough to pick up on the subtle differences unless you’re drinking them back to back. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for prices for anything other than the house sake at restaurants to start at about 800 yen (US $6.75), so putting together your own sampling set can get pricey.

But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to dip you toes in the wide, wonderful world of sake, convenience store Family Mart is here to help, with its new lineup of affordably priced canned sake.

While convenience stores selling individual-sized servings of sake isn’t anything new, there are two unique points to Family Mart’s Sake Bottle series. First, while most cheap convenience store sake is of a quality as low as its price, Family Mart’s four exclusive brews are produced by respected sake maker Nihonsakari.

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Second, the Sake Bottle series is sold in 200-mililiter (6.8-ounce) oblong cans with resealable tops. There’s no pressure to drink any more than you feel like at that exact moment, unlike with other brands which come in glass containers whose tops have to be completely and irreversibly removed in order to get at the liquid refreshment inside.

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The least expensive of the quartet is the josen karakuchi, which comes in a black container and is priced at 260 yen ($2.17). Family Mart says this dry, 15-percent alcohol sake goes down smooth and can be paired with a wide range of foods.

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Ponying up 280 yen will get you a can of the refreshing junmaishu, which is just a tad less dry than the josen karakuchi but also has an alcohol content of 15 percent.

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Identically priced at 280 yen, the rich-tasting namagenshu provides the strongest kick of the bunch, with 20 percent alcohol and the sweetest flavor of the four.

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Finally, there’s the dry, aromatic, and elegant 16-percent-alcohol daiginjo, for 300 yen ($2.50).

All of the Sake Bottle varieties are currently available at Family Mart branches across Japan, which is also a handy place to pick up some snacks to munch on while you sip them. Even better, until January 12 they’re all 10 yen off, meaning that even if the top-of-the-line daiginjo turns out to be your favorite, right now it’s buy-30-get-one-free.

7-Eleven Japan introduces the Eggs Benedict Sandwich

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RocketNews 24:

 

For a Westerner in Japan, breakfast is just incorrect. If North Americans living in Japan had to pick the one thing they miss most about home, a lot of them would probably scream, “Breakfast food!

Traditional Japanese breakfast is completely different and usually consists of rice, fish and miso soup. It’s boring, lacking in any real taste and basically good for you, unlike our favorite breakfast dishes. Of course, some places serve a “Western-style” breakfast, but that usually includes ham that they call “bacon”, in other words, facon! Get outta here you fake bacon!

So when 7-Eleven dropped this “Eggs Benedict Sandwich” onto its shelves, we figured it couldn’t possibly be worse than any other breakfast food out there, or could it?  Better prepare yourself Eggs Benny, we won’t play nice. Get ready for the toughest food review yet!

It always starts with a random venture to the convenience store to find a drink or a quick snack and ends up being an adventure. There is a new food to try? Excellent, throw it in the basket! So when we saw this non-assuming plastic wrapped English muffin sandwich on the shelf, we only gave it a cursory glance because it was new. But then we read:

Eggs Benedict Style Muffin
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No way! Hollandaise sauce, ham, and egg sandwich?!? We looked at the main ingredients.

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Muffin, half-boiled egg, bologna sausage, and hollandaise sauce! Pretty much the same! But, hollandaise sauce in Japan?  That is a tough sauce to get right and already so many Western foods have been ruined by Japanese hands.

 

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After heating it up (500W, 1 min or 1500W, 20 sec) we delicately started to unwrap the packaging.

 

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The wrapping was obviously done this way so that someone could use it to hold the sandwich and catch any sauce droppings.

 

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It definitely smells like hollandaise sauce. Let’s inspect it a little more.

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The egg certainly wasn’t runny like the picture indicated, but that was the least of our worries. It’s the sauce that remains questionable. Here goes nothing.

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It’s actually pretty close to what real eggs benedict tastes like! The hollandaise sauce is definitely not made from scratch but it could compete with any of the instant sauces in the States. The ham is thick enough to provide its own distinct taste and the egg completes the sandwich. It is certainly not the best eggs benedict ever, but it’s an adequate substitute for one you could find in a restaurant. While it is a bit pricey at 320 yen (about US $2.75) for only one sandwich, it seems to be available any time of the day, as long as it’s in stock. Our final thoughts?

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Circle K Japan introduces the Bacon Cheeseburger Onigiri

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FoodBeast:

 

A popular Japanese snack known as Onigiri, was forcefully stuffed with a bacon cheeseburger and birthed something called a Bakudan Musubi Bacon Cheeseburger.

Onigiri is just a rice ball, wrapped in sea weed, and usually filled with a meat, similar to the Spam Musubi you see at Hawaiian restaurants in the United States.

 

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This Bakudan Musubi is an Onigiri filled with bacon, hamburger meat, cheese, a sunny side up egg, and peppered mayonnaise.

Bakudan Musubi” loosely translates into “Rice bombs,” so in essence, it’s a bacon cheeseburger rice bomb, which sounds pretty ‘Murica enough to be a hit in the United States too (Fingers crossed).

Onigiri are usually found at corner stores all over Japan, and now this Bakudan Musubi can be found exclusively in their Circle K Sunkus stores.

 

Titans attack Lawson convenience stores, bring tons of anime goodies with them

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RocketNews 24:

 

Pokémon fans recently got some good news when word came that Pikachu will soon be taking over the city of Yokohama. It’s not just cute and cuddly anime icons running rampant in Japan this summer, though.

Next month, Lawson convenience stores across Japan are going to be invaded by the remorseless and/or skinless cast of Attack on Titan, and they’re bringing a staggering amount of merchandise with them.. 

Even with no news about the inevitable continuation of the Attack on Titan TV anime, fans of creator Hajime Isayama’s gritty epic have plenty to look forward to. On August 8, the14th collected volume of the Attack on Titan manga goes on sale, as do tickets for aNovember art exhibition focusing on the series at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo’s Ueno.

In celebration, Lawson is rolling out a huge number of Attack on Titan goodies, even by the prolific standards the franchise has already set for merchandising and marketing.

Let’s start with the edibles. Pastries, Danishes, and all other sorts of baked goods are a mainstay of Japanese convenience stores, and while we’ve got no idea what’s in the Titan Footstep Bread, we’re anxious to try it (unless it’s filled with the Titan’s favorite food, people).

 

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If you’re looking for something to cool off with during the summer heat, there’s a yogurt gelatin dessert that comes in a special collector’s glass. It’s an absolute certainty that the Levi version will sell out long before the Eren one.

 

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Ditto for these buckets of chocolate.

 

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If you’re worried that eating that much candy will make you a plump and slow-moving, and therefore an attractive target for the man-eating Titans, Lawson is ready with smaller-quantity indulgences like chewy yogurt candies and chocolate wafers, the latter of which come with a trading card.

 

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Similarly, these instant noodles come with one of eight stickers.

 

▼ We’re hoping the clerks at our local Lawson follow Levi’s example and start greeting customers with the Scout Corps salute.

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And of course, the Attack on Titan potato chips are endorsed by spud-loving Sasha.

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The downside to anime-themed food though is, obviously, that it’s gone one you eat it. If you want something more lasting, during the campaign Lawson will be selling Attack on Titan pins and magnets.

 

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Attack on Titan tissues come in two types, silly and dramatic.

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Towels only come in two varieties of wacky, though.

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We’ve got no idea what the contents of the mysteriously named Clean Up Box are, but we’re sure fastidious neat freak Levi would approve.

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Personal grooming is just as important as keeping your surroundings clean, so Levi’s face also graces the packaging for deodorant sheets, facial papers, and lip balm.

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Some parents worry about their kids spending all day reading manga and neglecting their schoolwork. The considerate Titans are willing to do their part in encouraging education though, with notebooks and erasers, and sticker-style index tabs.

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Or, if you’re more the digital type, Lawson is also selling a mouse/memo pad bundle.

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▼ Perfect for listening to your Attack on Titan opening and ending theme playlist.

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All of these items are offered for sale inside Lawson, and also provide points that can be put towards entering drawings for the even cooler Attack on Titan items below, like rubberized straps featuring the anime’s cast teaming up with Lawson mascot/best-selling fried chicken snack Karaage-kun.

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▼ It’s Titan time!

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The same illustrations also show up on the postcard sets.

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Of course, it’s not an authentic Japanese sweepstakes without clear files.

 

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We suppose you could use this towel for its intended purpose of drying your hands and face, or tie it around your neck like a scarf for the world’s laziest Mikasa cosplay costume.

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A few prizes still seem to be in the planning stage, like the stacking figure set and the poster signed by Isayama himself.

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Likewise, the figurines of Levi and Eren in their summer kimonos are just silhouettes at this point in time.

 

▼ They’re either standing on a stone path or a slice of pie.

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Still, we expect all of these to be ready to go by the time Lawson’s promotion starts on August 5, or by August 25, when it wraps up, at the latest.

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Denny’s Japan to launch microwaveable version of its 40th anniversary jambalaya dish

 

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RocketNews 24:

 

You know how you sometimes sit at home watching TV and find yourself thinking, “Man, I wish I could eat a Denny’s meal right now. But, like, from a cup…”? Neither have we, but apparently that product is a real thing and is coming to stores in Japan very soon.

That’s right folks, with the help of Cup Noodle (and Cup Curry Rice) maker Nissin, Denny’s Japan will launch its 40th anniversary rice dish Denny’s Jambalaya in cup form on June 24.

The mini meal will cost 224 yen (US$2.20) and will be available to buy from 7-Eleven convenience stores, affiliated supermarkets, and, surprisingly, Denny’s restaurants themselves.

We’ve tried the real thing and can confirm that it is indeed tasty, but we’re approaching this microwaveable version with a degree of trepidation. Rest assured, though, that we’ll run a full taste just as soon as the product hits the shelves and let you know how well (or badly) the transition from restaurant food to heat-at-home snack goes.

 

Check out this link:

 

Denny’s Japan to launch microwaveable version of its 40th anniversary jambalaya dish