(English follows) インスタを見てみんなは買ってたようなので私もついに手に入れてしまいました（笑）。ローソンで２個しか買わなかったがな〜んと、添付シールは人気No. 1キャラに当たり、大喜び ！買ってよかった、と。よかったら写真を見てください↓
It’s funny how one of my favourite characters in Jujutsu Kaisen, Maki Zen’in, is apparently a junk food junkie. She and her twin sister Mai both have junk food listed as their favourite food in the official fanbook. Contrast that to the other Zen’in, Megumi Fushiguro, who seems to be into healthy stuff like foods that go well with ginger (Tofu comes to mind!). I loved Maki even before I knew she was into junk food, so really, I think people like us have a natural connection, an unspoken affinity 🙂
One of my struggles as a supposed adult is getting rid of the junk food habit I acquired as a kid. To lessen the guilt of eating empty calories, I fool myself into believing that potato chips are dried veggies, and senbei (rice cracker) is just dried rice. Nevermind that most of them are slathered with salt and additives xD
Snacking on Rice Crackers
Senbei is such a common snack in Japan and needless to say, I eat a fair amount of it. The most popular brand is called ばかうけ Bakauke, with the ‘baka’ here not meaning stupid (written as 馬鹿 baka) but the Niigata dialect meaning of ‘very’ or ‘a lot’. ‘Ukeru’ in general means to accept, but when used as an expression means something you find pleasing, highly acceptable, or funny/amusing. So Bakauke, which is manufactured in Niigata by Befco, means ‘very well-received’. It’s true: I can’t think of one person in the country who hasn’t eaten it at one time or another. Niigata, by the way, is a prefecture along the west coast of Japan’s largest island, and is known as the country’s rice bowl.
Like all popular snacks, Bakauke regularly collaborates with hot anime/manga and comes up with special-issue packs of rice crackers. This time they decided to collaborate with Jujutsu Kaisen. It’s actually the second batch of products for Jujutsu, but I missed the first. I’m not much of a fan of stickers, you see, which is the giveaway: for every pack you get one sticker. I think I’ve a drawer filled with stickers I will probably never use in my lifetime. Who needs more stickers? Not me.
But one Bakauke pack is only JPY 120 (a little over 1 USD). Since I eat senbei anyway I might as well get these, which I found at a Lawson convenience store.
There are two package designs, the one on the left showing FIK (Fushiguro, Itadori, Kugisaki) with Gojo-sensei, while on the right is the poster for the Tokyo school vs Kyoto school arc.
On both of them it says: 「怪しく光るシール１枚付き」(ayashiku hikaru shiiru ichimai-tsuki) or ‘Comes with one suspiciously glowing sticker’. The small purple packets you see contain said stickers, stuck to the back of the senbei pack.
With twenty sticker designs, I wondered which ones I would end up with. As someone who loves all the characters (including the villains), I’d have been happy to get anyone, as long as they are two different designs.
Well, guess what? I only bought two packs but hit the sticker jackpot, yey!
Helloooooooo Satoru Gojo. Ugh, look at him, certifiable babe, with that baby face and those baby blue eyes. He’s soooo pretty!
Speaking of pretty, I got the prettiest amongst the girls as well: Kasumi Miwa. She’s Number 1 in Akutami’s Attractiveness Scale, strange blue hair and all. She’s got a crush on Gojo-sensei. I found her supremely cute from the very beginning, and bawled my eyes out about the thing with Mechamaru. It was Miwa he last spoke to before he died, and he told her of his love for her, and wished her happiness in life, telling her that if she’s happy then he’s happy. Ah, true love from him, even if unrequited! Anyone who didn’t get teary eyed over that storyline is a fucking monster.
Regarding that ‘suspicious glow’ thing, I took this pic in the dark:
The characters say 無量空所 (muryō kūsho), or infinite void, our Six Eyes’ domain expansion style.
For Miwa, it glows like this:
A nice neon green glow. The characters simply spell her name: 三輪霞. Kasumi means mist, haze or fog, but as a girl’s name can also mean charming, alluring, seductive or captivating.
Now let’s move on to the crackers themselves. Rice crackers are dry and crunchy, and this one is no exception. For this product, the flavouring is seaweed with soy sauce.
Each cracker is banana-shaped and about the size of a thumb (which is not a good way to describe it because hand sizes vary, so I went ahead and used a ruler: one piece is about 6 x 2cm). These are the mini ones, though, packaged for snacking at the office or school. The regular ones are about four times as big and come individually packed inside one big bag.
Can I bore you with Bakauke trivia? They are always coming up with new flavours, and have sold over 280 to date. Guess which ones are the most and least popular? Excluding the standard flavours, here they are:
Most Popular Bakauke Non-Standard Flavours
- Grilled corn
- Ume (plum)
- Wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
Least Popular Bakauke Non-Standard Flavours
- Chicken broth with ponzu* vinegar (*pressed juice from bitter orange)
- Subtle chestnut
(Source: Bakauke official website)
Ahaha! Watermelon, how about that. My favourite is a Bakauke bag with assorted flavours, all of them standard: seaweed, sesame, cheese, curry and corn potage.
Barin & Borin
There’s this super tiny, super adorable detail in the packaging:
Ahaha! They’re Kugisaki and Itadori turned into Barin and Borin, the official mascots of Bakauke. I love this Jujutsu version of them, with Kugisaki holding her hammer and nails. Barin and Borin are actually sweethearts, while Kugisaki has made it very clear to Yuko Osawa that she has no romantic feelings whatsoever for Itadori.
Still, the characters have something in common. Barin (who is probably female) loves to eat and is a fashionista, just like Kugisaki. On the other hand, Borin (who is probably male) has a bright personality and enjoys a good laugh, just like Itadori.
Soon to be at Supermarkets
The Jujutsu Kaisen Bakauke packs are available in convenience stores from April 12, 2021, and will also be made widely available in grocery stores and supermarkets from April 19, a Monday. Everything is always cheaper when sold at supermarkets, so I may or may not buy more once I find them at my local grocer’s. We’ll see!
That’s it for this latest official merch from the Jujutsu people. Hope you enjoyed this short take on something as trivial as rice crackers!
Thank you so much for reading! Please take a moment to share a thought or two in the comment section below. Your comments give me life and are a real source of encouragement. xoxo – hana