Chinese style steamed dumplings are a staple of convenience stores all over Japan. Known as nikuman in Japan (or other name ending in “–man” depending on the fillings) their round shape allows for a lot of cross marketing creativity. In the past we’ve seen Spiderman, Monsters Inc., the Dragon Quest Slime, Hatsune Miku, and random cute animals all rendered in dumpling form.
What better way for the hard rocking and hard merchandising titans of Kiss to commemorate their Japan tour in the latter half of this month than with the Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman? But can a steamed dumpling capture the rock and roll spirit of Kiss? Mr. Sato went on the day of their release to find out.
On 15 October Mr. Sato woke up and put the final “X” on his calendar. Today was the day Circle K Sunkus convenience stores would begin selling the Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman. He fastened his Love Gun belt buckle and headed out to get one on the way to work.
However, upon arriving at the Sunkus the nikuman showcase was empty. Mr. Sato had arrived too early. The dumplings were delivered but still needed two hours to be thawed out and then they still needed to be adequately warmed in the steamer. The store clerk told him that they’d be ready early in the afternoon. “Dammit! I waited so long.” shouted Mr. Sato, stomping his studded platform boot into the sidewalk.
■ Later that day
Mr. Sato returned to the Sunkus at around 3:00 in the afternoon, but saw only a single Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman sitting in the showcase. He was surprised that the demand was so big. The clerk confirmed that indeed people have been buying them up all day except for the one sitting before them.
Mr. Sato purchased the lone dumpling for 100 yen (US$1), and dashed back to the office. When he peeled back the wrapping he was in awe of the stylish Kiss logo branded on the top of the bun. It looked nice enough to display next to his Paul Stanley Wacky Wobbler, but realizing it would smell bad after a while he decided to eat it.
When he broke the black bun in two a glowing red tomato paste could be seen inside. It was so red Mr. Sato’s eyes stung a little. It certainly looked hot, but how does it taste? The display case had said that it contained the habanero chili pepper which once held the Guinness World Record for hottest chili.
After biting into it, tears began to roll down Mr. Sato’s face which he wiped off with his Destroyer T-shirt. It was every bit as hot as the lava like substance it looked like. Probably it was too hot, but anything less just wouldn’t be rock and roll so he accepted the spicy intensity with pleasure.
As an added bonus, the wrapper had the Peter Criss/Eric Singer Catman logo printed on it. There are five wrappers to collect; one for each member and one with all of them and the Kiss logo. Mr. Sato was hoping for a Gene Simmons Demon wrapper but it would have to wait for next time.
In conclusion, Mr. Sato says that people who like their rock hard and their buns spicy should try a Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman. It’s really hot!
▼ And some music to enjoy your Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman to
[ Read in Japanese ]