Ita-Curry Craze Sweeps Akiba

ita_curry_sekirei_musubi.jpg

ita_curry_aoi_nishimata_01.jpg

The latest consumer good to receive an upgrade via the otaku fine art of ita-fication is modern Japan’s favorite foreign dish, curry. Toradora, ef: a tale of melodies, Musubi of Sekirei and even dear Nagisa-chan of Clannad have received their own ita-curry products, catered specifically for otaku culinary taste.

Eroge illustrator Aoi Nishimata (Shuffle!), the same artist whose moe ita-rice became a huge marketing coup for a small town last year, has also lent her talents to the creation of moe curry, illustrating the cover art for the farming region’s brand of beef curry with the above image of a moe kimono-clad woman.

Apparently, the growing reach of Akiba (and moe) knows few boundaries.

The store display pictured below (from otaku megastore Gamers main Akihabara branch) displays a couple of the varying brands of ita-curry that have been recently released:

ita_curry_gamers_store_display.jpg

Below are the individual packages, all containing the standard of 2 curry pouches inside, along with with brief translations of the blurbs on the boxes:

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Nagisa’s Homemade Curry

Eat lots and lots, please

ita_curry_toradora.jpg

Ryuuji Takasu’s Special Curry

Is dinner still not ready!?

ita_curry_ef_a_tale_of_melodies_mizuki.jpg

Mizuki’s Handmade Curry

Kuze-san

This is the “Mizuki’s special beef curry” that I made. I made two pouches so we can eat together

ita_curry_sekirei_musubi.jpg

Musubi’s Full of Love Curry

It’s a delivery of delicious curry

M-a-s-t-e-r ♥♥

ita_curry_sekirei_musubi_back.jpg

The back of the Musubi curry bag, with cooking instructions and nutritional information.

ita_curry_gamers_store_display_banner.jpg

A Gamers banner advertising the 4 types of curry, which are exclusive to the store chain.

The Aoi Nishimata illustrated ita-curry also went on sale recently, opening sales on Jan. 31 with a special event in Ugomachi (Akita Prefecture).

The curry comes from JA-Ugo (the town farmer’s association), who undoubtedly are eager to repeat the huge success of the earlier ita-rice, also illustrated by Nishimata.

ita_curry_aoi_nishimata_01.jpg

The package contains 2 pouches of curry and sells for ¥1,764 (a steep price for Japanese instant curry), but there also tenative plans to introduce 3 and 5 pouch packages in the future.

As with the earlier ita-rice, the primary method of sales will likely be mail order through the JA-Ugo website, but the flood of otaku gourmets rushing to purchase the curry have apparently overwhelmed the site, which is currently down as of this writing.

Sales seem set to do repeat the success of the ita-rice regardless, with the 200 packages prepared for the Jan. 31 introductory event selling out quickly, and JA-Ugo reports 700 pre-orders for the curry on their website on the first day of sale.

ita_curry_aoi_nishimata_event.jpg

Aoi Nishimata handing out packages of curry at the introductory event. Her earlier ita-rice is visible on the left.

ita_curry_aoi_nishimata_source.jpg

The ita-curry illustration in a higher resolution, from Nishimata’s blog.

Gamers’ store photos are from Akiba Kakaku. Aoi Nishimata ita-curry: Asahi, Livedoor, Nishimata’s blog.


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    44 Comments
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    Avatar of vin-nii
    Comment by Vin-nii
    18:56 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would Mizuki or Nagisa's curry anyday XD

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    20:05 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Otakus are not after the food but more of the moe art that goes with it.

    It is like, the curry is just an extra XDD

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:49 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What!?! No MANLY Hosaka curry!?!

    "Jala jala jalapeno...."

    Comment by Kyo
    23:06 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This totally pwns Lingam's curry, Baba's curry or Adabi curry.

    Damn.

    Comment by Svinto
    18:40 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm a little disappointed. :(

    The rice that started it all had special-made art for the rice packages.
    These seems to just be taken from anime screen shots.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:52 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Buying curry at Gamers... the world has gone mad! I love akiba...

    Avatar of Ararara-ra
    Comment by Ararara-ra
    17:03 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looking forward to the Akiko (Kanon) curry... with mysterious jam flavour. >.<

    Comment by kenjiharima
    17:11 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't care about the art as long as the food tastes good.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:25 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Do want
    Although I did see Tomoyo, which I want more

    Comment by Yuun
    00:01 05/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Mizuki’s Handmade Curry FTW!!!

    Where's Yuuko? Where's Yuuko? YUUKO~!!! I WANT YOUR HOME+HAND MADE CURRY!!!

    Avatar of Muzaffar
    Comment by Muzaffar
    04:15 05/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Instant curry? Phail!!!!
    Real asians would cook their own curry, only the lazy otakus would buy them like that. =P

    Comment by Leode
    12:39 05/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Which is exactly why I would buy them!

    Actually.. I need them to be microwave ready. (This means the rice needs to come in the package as well... with disposable plate and utensils... )

    Comment by Leode
    12:37 05/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The marketing behind this is fantastic.

    Right now, in the experimental stage, the images are merely being used to market to a specific market segment. This segment however could actually grow it's own oddball culinary delights.

    A strange combo might take a long time to take root in regular markets (like say - peanut butter and jelly, bug-in-a-candy, Carrot-milk-egg.. ) but can easily support itself as a premier product in the otaku markets.

    Previously mentioned Curries:
    [Ararara-ra] Akikko Mysterious Jam Curry
    [Palmtop Tiger] Ryuji Extra-Spicy Curry
    [EcureuilMatrix] Ciel Vampire Ward Curry

    Other possible examples:

    Ja-Pan breads
    Cooking Master Boy recipes
    Astro Fighter Sunred Tarako Spaghetti (Actually Gen.Vemp)
    Cecile Croomy Blueberry Jam Onigiri
    Cecile Croomy Sugar and Wasbi Sandwich

    "All Hail Otaku!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:06 05/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Nagisa’s Homemade Curry
    Eat lots and lots, please ♥"

    homemade in a factory -__-

    Avatar of knuclear200x
    Comment by knuclear200x
    05:59 05/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Awww...we need more anime characters on our products. Like Haruhi on Chips ahoy or something :P

    Avatar of GANTZ Playboy!
    Comment by Gantz_Playboy
    06:47 05/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah...so you could eat one cookie and then wait 3-4-5-10 years for the second cookie??...but the Marketing would be impressive!- lol.

    Avatar of motaku96
    Comment by motaku96
    07:32 05/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is marketing genius. I want the Nagisa curry.

    Comment by イチロ イノ (Ichiro Ino)
    16:28 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ita-Curry with Nagi pic = WIN

    Comment by northpole776
    15:04 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Kuze-san ♪

    This is the “Mizuki’s special beef curry” that I made. I made two pouches so we can eat together ♪"

    There's something that'll send you to the psychiatric ward.

    'So lonely... She said she would eat together with me...'

    Avatar of Actar
    Comment by Actar
    Avatar of jinstevens
    Comment by Jin Stevens
    15:11 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Slap a cartoon character on a package and you get a premium product. Ain't capitalism grand?

    Comment by EcureuilMatrix
    15:15 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They missed the obvious: Ciel's Special Curry. Guaranteed to ward off vampires.*

    *Might not work on Arcueid, or NecoArc for that matter.

    Comment by Svinto
    18:38 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hey! That's right. Why are there no Ciel-curry?

    How could they have missed that?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:58 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    dammit now i want to eat curry.
    Musubi is love

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I recall a 2ch comment to the effect that the curry itself probably differs not at all from what you might buy in a discount supermarket...

    Avatar of giascle
    Comment by iapfah
    14:54 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well of course it's not. Do special edition Star Wars Doritos taste any better than normal?

    Avatar of Kerosene_Solution
    Comment by Kerosene_Solution
    19:14 01/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...Sssss.. That.. is a tough one.

    Avatar of Quen
    Comment by Quen
    15:02 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I left out any mention of a taste test in the post, as that would be well outside the intended focus of these products. ^^

    Avatar of basilio
    Comment by basilio
    15:15 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yah they do. Just like how the blue M&M tastes better than the yellow one. Silly iapfah *rolls eyes*

    Avatar of giascle
    Comment by iapfah
    15:21 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Whoa, don't bring M&Ms into this. They're on a whole different level.

    Avatar of Bokusatsu Tenshi
    Comment by XSportSeeker
    14:47 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yep, I knew this would happen.. after all the reports on ita-rice and moe strawberry packaging (my blog included.. oops), this is just the next step on the obvious ladder...

    Product quality will probably be dubious, since the target is profiting from otaku anyways.

    At least, I hope it helps food chains to face the crisis.

    Like I said before, Otaku will save Japan from the crisis!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:28 02/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    the day when otaku saves japan is the day god decides to watch a dirty movie, that being said i would like some curry right about now

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:31 10/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "... is the day god decides to watch a dirty movie, ..."

    ... and God saw that it was good... ;D

    Avatar of basilio
    Comment by basilio
    14:54 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Trying to milk every last penny out of the otaku population, eh?... haha at this rate, Japan's economy would be stable and secure again =P...

    and just like what Artefact said, the curry itself is most likely not dissimilar to those that you can get at the supermarket. I mean, how different can curry get? Personally, I would save the money, buy cheap curry, and just print off the pictures and look at them while I eat the curry. Saves money.

    Avatar of Yangth
    Comment by Yangth
    15:43 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    yes, but you're the one looking at pictures of moe you printed out because you were so against the idea of paying a little more for something iconic of the otaku influence on product design...

    Avatar of cubed2d
    Comment by cubed2d
    15:16 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    no way could I eat Nagisa curry. Thats no way to dispose of a young girls body.

    Avatar of Yangth
    Comment by Yangth
    Avatar of GANTZ Playboy!
    Comment by Gantz_Playboy
    15:49 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't get the Curry fasination. What's next Mellon bread by Shana- flame haze. Is Wilhimina Carmel going to have a dish to buy? who remembers "Best Student Councils" Curry-making competition?...would you get a free Indian to 'bless' your curry (*Nameste*)- lol.

    To think I laughed about the plastic vagina from Toradora that was purchased at some recent con- lol.

    Avatar of Twintail Tsundere
    Comment by Palmtop Tiger
    15:53 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is Ryuji's curry extra spicy like how Minori likes it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:00 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah yes, the purple bovine, a creature native to Japan, distant cousin to the green sheep.

    Avatar of NitWit005
    Comment by NitWit005
    16:38 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They are only slightly less rare than attractive and miraculously clean milkmaids in expensive kimono.

    Avatar of RaikenTB
    Comment by RaikenTB
    15:31 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I still prefer the maid cookies.

    Avatar of persocom
    Comment by Persocom
    15:17 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    this reminds me of cereal in the US, and... now I'm hungry

    Comment by Shimu
    15:27 04/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I want Ryuuji's curry~ <3




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