Ita-Curry Craze Sweeps Akiba

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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:

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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

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Ryuuji Takasu’s Special Curry

Is dinner still not ready!?

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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

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Musubi’s Full of Love Curry

It’s a delivery of delicious curry

M-a-s-t-e-r ♥♥

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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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