Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SpongeBob has Jumped the Shark.

Evidence that a cartoon version of “Lost in Translation” is being made?

Today we hit Mitsuwa Marketplace an amazing Japanese grocer, sushi paradise, and book store; located conveniently on the way home from one of our favorite client's offices. Penny had been there several times before and even indicated that he’s had a couple of successful dates at the sushi cafeteria. I wonder what kind of date he considers “sucessful.”

It seems The Marketplace is now a national chain and lacks a bit of the charm it had before the expansion, but it is unique enough for me to take the wife to on the weekend. Did I mention it’s Valentine’s Day weekend? The girls are always impressed by the raw fish right?

Well, my favorite part of the store included a half-isle full of Gashapon-style toys, strange candy and gum. From “Black Black Gum” to Crunky (see image below) this place seems to have it all.

The Crunky bar itself was a great find—part chocolate, part intimidating urban music/dance fad. We wondered if the Japanese were simply trying to share in “the crunk”, something no city dweller should be without.

Other notable crunks include:

Lil Jon
The Drink
and even Hebrew Crunk.

I have given one of my two purchased “crunky” bars to a co-worker, but they haven't had the stomach to open it yet. We'll report on its taste at a later date.

As for this post’s title image, the SpongeBob candy/gum, it was truly mystifying. Is this really our squishy yellow/orange friend’s “Lost in Translation” moment? Will he be finding a cartoon ingenue to continue the plot line? I suggest Hillary Duff in cartoon form. (She looks drunk in this image doesn't she?).

For this Japanese candy package, Bob seems to have chosen to model in his natural yet risqué sans-squarepants mode. We've seen him before in underwear, but it seems the Japanese consumer demands a little more than we do. For some reason only nude SpongeBob will do for this strange candy.

He has also, wisely chosen to protect his identity by sucking his face inside the holes. A move that normally terrifies my wife. He may be trying to hide, but it's obviously him, I wonder what Nickelodeon® will have to say about this.

When looking at the candy package, we were all a little worried that it may taste like SpongeBob’s butt. Our other thought was that it may be sponge-sushi flavored. In the end it was a sweet orange/lemon soda flavor that may have me going back to the Japanese market for more. I've included our video taste-test below.

Japanese SpongeBob?
NOTE: It’s great that my cube neighbor Brad can look horribly indignant and still sample the package. Speaking of packages notice how co-worker Ed’s crotch makes a star appearance in our film. Teaching us to aim the camera a little better next time — maybe use the viewfinder? Or we could include it as a commentator on the blog. I vote for option No. 2. It’s nice to know what his crotch thinks about SpongeBob’s Japanese flavor.

All this foreign snack food makes me wonder if foreign countries have American import stores. I don’t remember seeing any growing up in Canada. And more importantly are there any weird bloggers that taste test our Twinkies, HoHos and Nerd’s Rope?

Remember to tip your waiter on the way out,

P.S. --
If you've actually read this far into our post you deserve to learn about my favorite Mexican/American snack-food company ever “Bimbo Bakeries.” I Don't know about the actual food, but the name is fantastic. Their website actually says “Our trademark bear brings a smile to adults and children alike...” ( I think the bear has very little to do with it). High-five!


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