Tuesday, 19 April 2016

だがしかし ★ Dagashi Kashi

 Recently an anime by the name of Dagashi Kashi has stolen my heart!

The anime centres around a Dagashi store (Cheap candy store)
in a Japanese country side where wacky antics and an obsession for Japanese candy takes place

There is a story, the shows protagonist Kokonatsu, dreams of becoming a Manga artist
Then one day Hotaru shows up, she's the daughter of a famous snack manufacturer
and she has come to recruits Kokonatsu's father to her family company
Yo refuses and says that he will only take the job if Kokonatsu inherits their Dagashi store
and do begins a series in which the eccentric Hotaru does her best to unleash
Kokonatsu's inner love for all things Dagashi!

Hotaru fast became my favourite character, she's strange and she loves snacks
What's not to love? Haha
Whilst she exhibits behaviour that is often strange, throughout the show
she also teaches other characters about the history and origins of Dagashi
Which is definitely one of the reasons why I love this show so much
I am a sucker for trivia and Japanese snacks, so to have them combined
It's pretty much heaven for me ♥

and what better way to celebrate my love of this show than with a haul of Dasaghi!

Jbox too fell in love with the show and made various Dagashi Sampler sets
Featuring a mix of popular snacks as well as those that were featured in the show


PLEASE NOTE!
This post is rather large and I've tried my best to format it in a more readable manner
But you might want to crab a drink and a snack before settling down to read ♪

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にんじん / Ninjin
Ninjin is the Japanese word for carrot and this Dagashi's packaging resembles the vegetable
Though thankfully the snack is slightly sweetened rice puffs apposed to anything healthy lol
The long packaging makes this snack seem never ending
which is actually a key factor for making Dagashi!
The idea is that Dagashi remains cheap for children
but also lasts a long time, so they feel like they got a lot for their money

Whilst this Dagashi doesn't take a center stage in the Anime it is often seen in the background
and it holds a special place in my heart too
When I was 16, I had a Japanese Pen Pal who sent me some Ninjin!
Who knew that 10 years later I'd be writing about it on the internet with a new found love

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ベビースターラーメン / Baby Star Ramen
This is one of my favourite snacks OF ALL TIME
and until watching the show, I had no idea it was considered a Dagashi!

The snack itself is pieces of dry ramen
During the manufacturing of ramen, pieces would often break off
and the company didn't want to let this perfectly edible crumb go to waste!

It's most common flavour is the chicken you see here
But there are also regional exclusives as well as "world" flavours
(Such as curry from India!)

It takes centre stage in Episode 5 where Kokonatsu discovers his dad attempting
to make a YouTube video about the product and scolds him for his poor knowledge
Whilst spouting information about the snacks history, he doesn't realise the camera is recording
and later becomes a small Internet sensation for his Dagashi passion
...sounds like my dream job to be honest

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まけんグミ / Maken Gummy
As mentioned above, a key factor to Dagashi is to make snacks last a long time
Sometimes this is done by incorporating games into the packaging
Or in this case, making the candy itself into a toy or playable object

Each packet contains a long piece of gummy with a hand on the end
The hand will represent rock, paper or scissors!

I'm not 100% of any rules to playing the game with these gummies
but in Episode 6 of the show, a character shows that it can be used to flip up skirts too lol
So I guess the "fun" of these doesn't stop after childhood

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ヨーグレット /  Yoghurt
I thought I had tried this snack before, and technically I had
but it was a "mini" version which featured a hard shell
So I was surprised to discover that in it's true form, this Dagashi looked like medicine

The snack itself is a slightly sour milk yoghurt flavoured tablet
They melt in your mouth and are just so delicious!
But it's also known as being a nutritious sweet, containing plenty of calcium
The idea was to make a snack that parents would approve of buying!

It's also featured in Episode 6 with a flashback to two of the characters when they were children
They played "Doctor" with this candy and it's pretty cute

I was snacking on these whilst writing this post
and to my surprise, one of the sweets had a smiling face imprinted on it!

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サクマ式ドロップ / Sakuma Drops
If you've seen the Ghibli film "Grave of the Fireflies" you're probably familair with this candy
and you probably also want to cry a huge flood of tears
That film is so sad!

Sakuma drops are mixed hard candies in fruity and mint flavours
They come in an iconic tin and have been produced since 1908!
The tins themselves are a collectors item due to their changing packaging
and I too own two "drop" tins in cute designs ♥

The tins are notoriously difficult to open though
and in the Final Episode of the show, Konotatsu show Hotaru
how to open a tin using a simple coin (a tip I went on to use myself later)
Hotaru has never used this method before and explains that she opened
her previous tins through willpower alone

As mentioned the sweets are mostly flavoured with real fruits juices
But there is also a white, mint flavour too
and it seems many people in Japan will return this flavour to the tin
in favour of trying to shake out something a little more fruity

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グリコ / Glico
Glico are very famous, especially for their soft and buttery caramels
and the free toy makes this candy a perfect dagashi candidate!

I'd always wondered why the mascot was a guy running a marathon
and now, thanks to Dagashi Kashi, I know!
It's said that each caramel gives you the energy to run 300 metres
Whilst I don't think I'll be testing this out any time soon
It comes up in Episode 4 of the show when Kokonatsu needs to
run back to his friends cafe before she finds a suggestive doodle, oh my!

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コーラガム / Cola Gum
Cheap gum is a must for any dagashi store
sticking to the idea that dagashi should last a long time
gum is obviously a clear choice, but this cola gum takes it further
Not only does it include an activity on the wrapper but each piece
also contains a ticket, which could win the buyer another piece of gum!

Sadly both of mine were losing tickets
Not that I could have claimed my prize from the UK hah

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うんチョコ /  Un-Choco
Don't ask me why, but I love cute poop related products
Blame Japan ok? Haha
So this pooping fortune dagashi is right up my alley!

The container is opened at the butt where it dispenses the candy
and it can actually be used as a method for telling fortunes

Pink candy = good luck in love
Green candy = good luck in dreams
Purple candy = good luck in your ventures

The candy itself is really interesting, as it's grape flavoured white chocolate
I'd never expect to see these flavours combined
But it actually works really well!

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ふがし / Fugashi
Fugashi is a traditional dagashi made from gluten and sugar
This particular stick was coated in a film of brown sugar
It has such a lovely and light texture!
Some say this is a healthy snack, so it's popular with women on diets

 Each region of Japan has it's own specialty Fugashi
So if you're ever travelling, it may be worth picking up a stick or two
They're also available in super long sticks!

Fugashi appears in Episode 4 via a hilarious blind taste test

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都こんぶ / Miyako Konbu
Sometimes traditional goods can still "freak" me out haha
When I saw this in Episode 11 of the show, I can't say I was rushing to try it
But it appeared in my box of dagashi none the less!

Miyako Konbu is small pieces of konbu (seaweed)
that are vinegared (pickled)
and covered in a sour powder

It's all very, very weird
A little sweet, a little sour, a little... fishy
I can't say I hate it, it's totally edible
But it's not something I'm in a rush to eat again!

This is a special dagashi as it doesn't often appear in dagashi stores
It's more often found at small kiosks in train stations
This is due to it's size, making it handy for people to put in their pockets or bag

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あんずボ /  Anzubo
This dagashi didn't appear in the show, so it took me off guard!
What on earth could this brown, lumpy liquid be??
 It looked like mushrooms!

Well, I'm not sure how to describe it
It wasn't mushrooms that's for sure hah
It was kind of like a natural syrup with pieces of peach (I think it was peach)
It was pretty interesting, but I didn't really like it hah

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桜ジャム / Sakura Jam
Another strange packet of semi-liquid hah
Being a dagashi, I presume it's supposed to be eaten directly
But from what I've seen online, people eat it with yoghurts or use it in baking
So I'm at a but of a loss as to how to eat this

I think I will save it for a yoghurt sometime!

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ガブリチュでつくろう / "Let's make Gaburichuu"
I was very surprised to see a DIY Candy Kit in the dagashi set!
Whilst they may embody the fun and spirit of dagashi
I never thought they'd be considered cheap enough to be part of the family

This kit looks like it comes with a 2-part tray allowing you to make 3D shapes
Usually they come with just one which you can press on to for patterns

I'll likely be saving this for a giveaway, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled

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and that's all for my dagashi haul today!
I know this post was super long, if you read it all then thank you so much!!
Did any dagashi catch your eye?
Have you tried any of these before?
Feel free to let loose your inner Hotaru and chat all things dagashi with me ♥

Dagashi Kashi is available to stream via Funimation
Of course it comes with a high recommendation from me
But I do worry that my opinion may be a little bias hehe

The Dagashi featured in this post are from Sampler #3
The Samplers are often in and out of stock, so be sure to check back

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