Category Archives: Japanese Products

Japan: Makers of the Japanese Zero, Ion Cannons Part 2

I have no idea what this is.....

....or where the fuck it came from

I write about Ion Cannons and strange devices appear in my kitchen.

I’m not sure what the hell is going on. It looks like something from Duck Tales has just invaded my life from out of the blue.

Lifting the top, I find eggs.

If I ate eggs, this would make sense.

If I didn’t possess the ability to put eggs in a pot of boiling water  and cook them, it would make sense.

If this machine made eggs faster than boiling them in a pot, this would make sense.

As it stands, none of these are true, creepy Duck Tales machine has appeared as if to defy my previous posts.

I have no idea why it’s appearing in my house, although I pin the blame on an eccentric future mother in law who often makes strange objects appear in the house.

I’ve seen “Batteries Not Included” and I know how this story ends. I don’t need eggs and I don’t need ion cannons.

It’s on, wacky Japanese inventions, machines, and robots.

I’m done with you appearing in my life, making creepy sounds, and telling me how to do things (I’m looking at you, GPS lady).

This is war….

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Japan: Maker of the Japanese Zero, Ion Cannons

Hoth Ion Cannon

Star Wars Ion Cannon...

“Did I just buy you a fucking Ion Cannon?”

I looked at the object I’d just paid ¥20,000 for as she removed it from the box, a volleyball-sized  glossy white sphere, resting on a swiveling base, with some kind of protruding nozzle aiming defensively at the sky.

She smiled as she began toying with it, thanking me for the birthday present. “It’s a Nanoe.” She beamed as she ejected the small internal cylinder like someone who knows here way around an ion cannon and began filling it with liquid. After finishing, she reinserted the cylinder into the sphere, causing a clicking sound similar to popping an ammo cartridge into a gun.

“What did you fill it with?”

She gave me a quizzical glance like I’m supposed to know the load-out procedures for warming up intergalactic weapons. “Ionized Water…”

Panasonic Nanoe EHSA-41

....meet Japanese Ion Cannon

I nodded my head as the realization dawned on me. “Right, of course, that makes sense…”

She picked it up and set it on the shelf next to our bed, the nozzle pointing skyward to deter any would-be attackers. As she pressed the button the device warmed up and hummed to life, casting some ominous blue lights on the ceiling.

With her eyes casting heart shapes at her new space laser, she motioned for me to join her in the bed, a look of satisfaction and happiness upon her face, the ion cannon ready to protect us throughout the night.

Hours later, as the creepy blue lights and ominous machinations of the machine continued, sounding earily like Darth Vader, I still had no concrete idea of what exactly I’d bought my her.

Weeks later, as it sits here by me now, buzzing, clicking and humming along with a million other technological creations that I fail to understand I come to a final realization:

I could probably go on the internet and solve my query, perhaps even get some kind of explanation from the girl. In truth though, it’s fun not knowing what that ion cannon actually does. I come from America and I know goddamn well that someone’s gonna sue the shit out of me when I blow up their Star Destroyer and it’s a far better tactic to feign ignorance.

Also: Japanese people like some weird-ass shit, but ya’already knew that, didn’tcha?

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“Catch the Drift™”

Akio Toyoda

We came in an Audi, because I don't even like the cars that we make

He walked briskly toward the raised stage and took his seat at the desk, the first hints of sweat forming upon his brow. He adjusted his glasses as he sat, the cameras firing off a continuous volley of assailing light.

The foreign press huddled at the foot of the stage like hungry vultures ready to tear him apart. He suddenly wished he’d brushed up on his English since his Babson days. ‘Toyota cars is safety’ had done absolutely nothing to assure investors’ worries during his last conference. He made a mental note not to ask at the end if anyone had any questions.

In the flashes, he could hardly see, but Akio Toyoda calmly half-nodded, half bowed to the assembled media and began.

“I…the people who drive Toyota, the people who care about Toyota, I am a little bit worried about…the, about the style-free cars we offer them.”

Nervously fondling a pen in one hand, trying to indicate calmly with the other, he continued, a picture of one of Toyota’s 2010 lineup hitting the screen behind him.

Toyota Sai Hybrid 2010“We make bored cars.  I, ah, as head of new quality control committee, which was initiated by me in recent days, have looked beyond the problem of maintaining safety cars…”

He nearly smacked his own forehead as he realized his repeated mistake, but soldiered on.

“Customer first is first priority. What does customers want today? I look into customer needs, I see the needs of people of today. In Japan, we drift upon the roads like the spring’s cherry blossoms on the gentle breeze. I, ah, Toyota has lost sight of this.”

The next slide appeared behind Toyoda.

Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

“We must reflect on the mistakes which we have made. We try to increase our style better, so our, this kind of style pleases the customer. Toyota must take sexy back. Asian peoples, we enjoy the drifting. I, Toyota, have failed customers to provide them with the Asian drifting experience. So, as President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, I have chosen to recall Toyota vehicles, all Toyota vehicles. ”

The final slide came into view behind him. The cameras fired at their highest intensity.

Shopping Cart Car

“Toyota customers, those which are unhappy with the product which are produced for them, bring their cars to Toyota Dealerships. There, in dealerships, the wheels of the cars will switch with shopping cart wheels to provide better driving experience. If drivers do not wish for the same hope, it is my, ah, our hope that drivers with problems in the current line of cars run their style-free cars off the road without caution.”

Toyoda took a few moments to let the slide speak for itself.

“This reaction is a reaction that is not rash, but I am trying to do this work as soon as possible and with cooperation of our employees and our supplier. I will do my best.”

With that, he rose from his chair bow-nodded one more time to the press, and slowly exited the conference room.

Japan’s Coca Cola Lineup Getting Interesting?

This image is obviously copyright of Coca Cola Japan, if they don't like me using it to talk about how I'm digging their products, they can kiss my ass. PS: This ad is retarded

Coca Cola vending machines are the bane of my existence.

In general, I hate vending machines anyway, but they’re a hated necessity. I often visit companies zoned out in the middle of nowhere, without a restaurant and convenience store in sight.

I try to avoid the machines, but when spending the day at a bleak, grey, concrete client site, vending machines in Japan often become little islands of hope and dreams in a sea of bland.

But Coca Cola, you destroy me.

Most Japanese products diversify and change weekly. Visiting my tiny islands of hope, I yearn to see a bevy of new products that dazzle the sights and senses.

But not you Coca Cola. You have the same damn fucking products I’ve seen for the last 3 1/2 years.

Perhaps since you’re a foreign company you’ve never adjusted to the Japanese need for visual and taste changes.

Perhaps when you’re rolling around in your giant money vault and you just don’t give a fuck.

Or do you?

It started last week…

Dropping by the Marugame train station with an hour to kill before meeting my client, I settled into my usual mode of watching the yankee boys write dirty words in marker on a drunken old man dancing around in a wifebeater, or watching 8 year old deviant girls beat old people with umbrellas.

Hopefully my seat would smell less like homeless shit and vomit today.

I go to the machine to procure a beverage for the visual festivities. What do my wandering eyes do appear but Coca Cola Co’s Georgia Coffee Jelly in a can!

The widemouth version of the Georgia Coffee Jelly can (from conbini, not machine)

The widemouth version of the Georgia Coffee Jelly can (from conbini, not machine)

Shaking the can to break up the jello-like coffee inside and popping the top, I was immediately greeted with design flaws that make drinking jello out of a tab-capped can extremely difficult. The machine version left me loudly sucking coffee jelly out of a can that just wouldn’t yield its prize to me.

Luckily, the conbini version has a wide mouth can, so that you can shake it up, toss it back, and immediately choke on a giant wad of jelly. It’s probably sweetened about the same as a regular can of black coffee with sugar, but tastes a bit less sweet in jelly form.

Coca Cola, you now have my attention.

On a recent day off, after riding back from some shopping with an intense hangover, I stopped by the nearby Lawson’s conbini.

Now, as a warning, I have weird tastes. This is especially true when I’m hungover, where I suddenly become like a pregnant woman. So when I come across Coca Cola’s new line of milk teas my first words are “Wow, that sounds disgusting,” as I eagerly pick it up to buy.

Mango + Milk + Black Tea = Surprisingly Good

Mango + Milk + Black Tea = Surprisingly Good

In every Coca Cola machine and every conbini is Coca Cola’s sweet black milk tea, under the label ‘Kochakaden.’ This new drink, under the same line but with the ‘Desserts’ label adds mango to the original taste.

Mango milk tea doesn’t sound extremely tasty, but somehow the mango flavor smooths it out.

I really dig it, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere but in one Lawsons. I have yet to see it in machines, only in a 500 ml bottle, but it’s worth looking for.

Coca Cola, you’re winning me over.

Today, on the way to an early office meeting I hit up another Convenience store to find Coca Cola’s Georgia Black in a sports-bottle-esque package:

When you need black coffee in the weight room

When you need black coffee in the weight room

It’s apparently for keeping coffee handy in your car, but the packaging reminds me of something you’d see on a sports bottle for a bicycle or gatorade bottle.

Bit strange…

It’s not a different flavor, but Coca Cola, you’re 3 for 3 on me this week.

Isolated in a sea of bland, the lone Coca Cola machine was always a depressing visage sending my mind hoping and wishing for Itoen or other Japanese-based company machines.

I’m now slightly optimistic, Coca Cola. Keep it up.

On the downside, I’m slightly pessimistic that the highlight of my day is my vending machine or conbini selection.

PS: Green Tea Coke is an epic failure…but that was last week… It tastes like diet coke…

But I’ll applaud your willingness to try. Just try harder!

Shiso Pepsi was wacky cool!