Well, sometimes we have a reason to keep the package. Every year some really fun and interesting collaborations form between entertainment and confectionery. The offspring are beautiful over-packaged delicacies that become great collectors items. Of course napaJapan carries some of these products too! They are linked to four Japanese entertainment aspects I will call The 4 Cs: The Cute, The Comics, The Celebrities, The Cyber-Games.
The Cute (Characters)
Sanrio is the most well-known Japanese character brand around the world due in large part to Hello Kitty. This popular kitten defines cuteness. And since the rise of Hello Kitty in the 1970s a number of other hugely famous characters were etched into the minds of another generation. The most recent star is Rilakkuma by San-X (*thanks for the correction Kelly*). There is no escaping this new phenom as there are products galore in every shopping mall you visit.
The Comics (Manga)
Japan has one book store for every five people, or at least it seems. What isn't an exaggeration is that the Japanese LOVE to read, especially comics. There are stories for every age and every personality (which is kind of scary.) One thing that many of them have in common is recognizable branding found amongst the daily goods the characters enjoy consuming. Three very popular brands synonymous to manga are Pocky, Cup Noodle and Pocari Sweat. Try them for yourself and see if it gives you that animate feeling.
Quiz Time! What products do you think these people endorse(d)? Match to the pictures below and let me know your answers. Try not to use the web for help ;)
1> Tommy Lee Jones (actor)
2> Mao Asada (figure skater)
3> Gackt (singer)
4> Kiefer Sutherland (actor)
Product placement in video games has become big business. Metal Gear Solid 4 introduced two Japanese products to the world: REGAIN Energy Drink & CALORIE MATE Energy Bars.
There have been numerous cross-promotion campaigns and collectors from around the globe contact us all the time for "Snake's energy supply."
I am still waiting for a Mario Bros. game to be released where Japanese Kit Kat bars are used instead of the blocks.