The characters from the dead-serious magical girl franchise show off their bunny ears, flowery dresses, and egg-shaped soul gems.
Over the last few years, Japan’s excitement about Halloween has spiked, which has been a boon for marketers as they roll out special versions of their products and sales promotions related to the spooky autumn celebration. The suddenness of the boom now has festive-minded businesses looking for the next big imported holiday to drum up enthusiasm for, and Easter is getting a surprising push from some unlikely spokespeople: the cast of dark magical girl anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Since the meals of Japan’s hardcore otaku are more likely to come from the convenience store than their own kitchens, convenience store chain Lawson is getting ready to launch its Puella Magi Madoka Magica Easter campaign on April 5, in which it will release a flurry of merchandise showing off Madoka and her sisters-in-arms in special spring-themed, bunny-eared outfits.
In the campaign’s first stage, customers can exchange points on their Ponta, D Point, or d Card Lawson loyalty cards for one of five 12.7-centimeter (five-inch) long mini posters.
▼ Homura, you keep insisting on standing next to Madoka like that, and people might start to think you’re just a teeny bit obsessed with her.
In addition, one Twitter user who retweets the campaign announcement from Lawson’s official Twitter account between April 5 and 11 will be randomly selected to win this 60-centimeter Easter egg cushion.
▼ Heroines on the front, creepy adversaries on the back
April 26, though, marks the beginning of when you can just walk into a Lawson branch and exchange cold, hard cash for exclusive Madoka merch, including super deformed rubber straps for 600 yen (US$5.35).
▼ If yours gets dirty, we’ve got a great trick to clean it.
You’ll also be able to get your hands on plastic files (1,500 yen for one of two sets of three files)…
… and microfiber towels (3,500 yen).
And if you’d feel weird going to the convenience store and not getting some snacks, Lawson will also have Langue de Chat chocolate cookies in a special Madoka Magica Easter box (556 yen) which also includes one of six illustrated papers…
…or cheese popcorn (278 yen) with one of six calendar stickers.
We’re not entirely sure which is more ironic, that so much of the artwork features Charlotte, the murderous “Witch of Sweets,” or that, unless you take advantage of advance sales at the Anime Japan trade show this coming weekend, you won’t be able to get any of these items until well after Easter, which falls on March 27 this year. The in-store campaign only lasts until supplies run out, so as with any limited-quantity anime merchandise, you’ll want to get yours as soon as possible.