We recently added to our collection of weird Japanese toys by buying a couple of Doggy Bread Figures. But while the canine fans in the RocketNews24 office were happy, our resident cat lovers couldn’t help but sigh in sad reminiscence of the good old days when they could decorate their shelves with cat sushi.
Well, the worlds of Japanese cuisine and cute kitties have once again collided, as there’s a new batch of really (and surreally) cute sushi cat figures on the market, and we’ve already compiled a complete set.
Tracking down the elusive toys was no easy task, though. They’re available from gachapon machines, Japan’s class of vending machines that dispense capsules with all manner of trinkets inside. We started our hunt by contacting the manufacturer, Kitan Club, who told us we could probably find sushi kitty-stocked machines at kitschy retailers like Tokyu Hands and Village Vanguard.
Unfortunately, our calls to both chains turned up none that had sushi cats for sale. We knew from experience, though, that the Akihabara branch of electronics giant Yodobashi Camera has a gigantic gachapon bank, so we picked up the phone again, and were informed that sure enough, we could find what we were looking for there.
The newest batch of sushi cats, officially called the Nekozushi Nyaata line, is available as either key chains or strap-free decorations. We were determined to take all five cats home with us, and since we don’t need that many key-chains, we opted for the decoration type.
With that decision taken care of, we started pumping coins into the machine (each one sells for 400 yen, equal to about US$3.75), and didn’t stop until 10 tries later, when our kitty collection was finally complete!
Once it was, we were so excited we couldn’t wait to crack open the capsules, so we arranged an impromptu photo session next to the Kandagawa River.
▼ Nyata, the designated main character of the non-existent cat sushi saga, is a vegetarian with an ise ebi (Japanese spiny lobster) on his back.
▼ Nyata’s mischievous and energetic friend Margo, wrapped in a bit of egg
▼ Section Chief Sakekawa, who’s affectionately known as “Shakebu,” shoulders a slice of salmon (called either sake or shake in Japanese) and has been working at Cat Sushi Inc. for 35 years.
▼ Wasabi, the young owner of the Cat Sushi Marketplace, which was started by his grandfather
▼ And finally, the lovely Toromi, who has recently fallen in love for the first time, and probably has a randoseru full of toro, or fatty tuna.
Each capsule also contains a flier, showing you the whole team lined up.
But now that we’ve got our set, we can take our own group photos!
▼ Up close, their faces are surprisingly detailed, and also predictably adorable.
So thanks again, Kitan Club! Nyanta and his pals may not satisfy our cravings for sushi, but having them in the office sure brings smiles to our faces, even when our stomachs are rumbling.
[ Read in Japanese ]